Facebook Dependency Survey: RESULTS

Last month, we opened a survey for dance organizers on the topic of how dependent we are on Facebook being free. The survey
was 10 questions long, and was anonymous if desired. Today we share the results of the survey.

The Background

I’ve been trying to follow the big tech monopolies for a while now… keeping track of their acquisitions, political maneuverings, etc… Although my interest started mainly as a hobby, the more I have become involved in the dance community, the more I have come to view the big tech issue as a practical one. My personal network, my business, and a lot of my sense of self is tied up on platforms like Facebook and Google.

Over the past year or so, I have noticed a shift in how politicians treat the tech monopolies. It appears there is a growing impulse among both politicians and regulators to clamp down on the power that these monopolies exercise. Although it is still way too early to guess the outcome of this struggle, I think now an excellent time to assess how resilient we are to potential shocks to the tech system. As an example of this shift in the treatment of the tech monopolies, I share with you the following article:

Dark Clouds Over Facebook: The $5 Billion Settlement Isn’t Finalized, by Matt Stoller

Facebook makes the vast majority of it money from advertisement revenue. If regulations change in a fundamental way regarding digital advertising, the knock-on effects could be very significant for us dance organizers. Of course, I don’t have a crystal ball or anything, but I do think it’s wise to assess just how dependent we are on Facebook. Hence the idea of survey.

The Results

Without further ado, here are the results from the survey. We had 77 organizers complete the survey. I leave it to each of us individually to draw conclusions from the data.

SURVEY: How much does your organization depend upon a FREE Facebook?

We in the dance world depend upon Facebook for our a lot of our organization. I know that I personally use Facebook every day for dancing business. This being said, I recently saw that Facebook removed its slogan “It’s free and always will be,” from its homepage.

This got me thinking through implications of what would happen to the dance community if Facebook changed its business model. We in the dance world rely upon Facebook for so much of what we do. Could we still do it all if we had to pay for it?

Business Insider: Facebook Changes Free and Always Will Be Slogan on Homepage

I think that this issue is important enough to warrant a community wide assessment of how sensitive we are to changes in Facebook’s business model. To help with this, I’ve put together a short, 10 question survey about how dependent our organizations are on using Facebook. If you could share this around to all the organizers you know, it would help a lot for us to get a better understanding of where we as a community stand in regards to a free Facebook.

Survey Link: How dependent is your organization on a FREE Facebook?

The survey should only take 2-3 minutes, and you don’t have name which organization you are, if you don’t want to. The survey will remain open until January 21, after which I will post the results to this blog.

Thanks in advance for helping us all get a clearer understanding on what having a free Facebook means to us as a larger dance community!

Photo: Kasia Goździewska

A Balfolk Introduction

One of the delightful gems that I have discovered since moving to Europe is the dance known as Balfolk. I find that most people have never heard of it, so I’m shining a little light on this vibrant and growing dance community. I spoke with Agnieszka Dworzańska, Kraków’s resident expert on Balfolk. Let’s listen in…

Greg Austin We are here in Kraków, I am sitting with Agnieszka Dworzańska. How are you today?

Agnieszka Dworzańska Sleepy. Really sleepy.

Greg Sleepy? Why is that?

Agnieszka Because of our wonderful autumn sleepy weather outside. Typical for Kraków.

Greg It definitely is autumn, isn’t it? Nothing like an autumn day interview with coffee in hand. As we begin, if you could tell us a little bit about who you are, and why do you dance?

Photo: Illustration from Dąbrowska, Grażyna. Taniec ludowy na Mazowszu

The Importance of the Embrace

I found myself not too long ago in the basement of a old, Krakowian palace, today turned into a bar and venue. The place smelled of age and stories. As I got a drink, the bartender told me that much history had passed through the place, it being a gathering spot for political dissidents and patriots during the long years of foreign occupation.

But I wasn’t there for politics. No, I was attending a Polish folk dance, complete with traditional instruments and steps.

The music at this dance was a repetitive, atmospheric type, and I quickly found myself drifting off into imagination land. I imagined what it would be like to be a Polish peasant during the high middle ages. When knights on horseback could ride through your fields on a whim, destroying your crops and bringing famine to your family. When wars called in far away kingdoms enlisted your sons, stealing away able hands in the prime of their lives. Or when plagues flowed out from central Asia, bringing with them years of decay and death.

Photo: Ben Hejkal

Going back to Clarksdale. Where the Blues was born.

In an earlier interview, I spoke with Krystal Wilkerson about how a legacy is passed down from generation to generation in a dance community. In this interview, I speak with her husband, Adam Wilkerson about returning to the roots of where Blues music was born.

Greg Austin So even though we’re here in Zürich, Switzerland, Adam Wilkenson and I are going to talk about a really fantastic research project that he’s working on back America, in the Mississippi Delta specifically. Tell us about it.

Adam Wilkerson Sure thing.

In the Delta of Mississippi, there’s this town called Clarksdale, which is where the Blues was supposedly born. There’s legends around the place. It’s really cool. I’m originally from Tupelo, which is about 2 hours east of there. I’m very proud of the fact that Blues comes from my home state of Mississippi, and I decided to use the fact that I’m from Mississippi to be able to dive into Clarksdale and talk with the people there. Definitely ends up being advantageous when I talk to folks, that I go there and I have a bit of a Mississippi accent and I can chat with the people there about, you know, local stuff that’s happened.

So Clarksdale, being the heart of where Blues was born, people go there to make music, and they’re a lot of locals at juke joints there that will actually dance to music.

I should explain a little about our dance scene. Our dance scene was born in the 2000’s, kind of a subset of the Lindy Hop scene, maybe at the beginning, but the point is that for a long time there were debates in our scene as to what is or is not “Blues” music? What is and what is not “Blues” dancing? And as we have uncovered more historical references to what Blues dancing is, and as we have come to a better understanding of what Blues music is, we feel that we’re trying to do a better job of honoring the Blues at this point, even if we still have a ways to go.