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!

RESULTS – Organizer Survey on DJ’s

I am pleased to publish the results from the first survey that Dancers Say What has conducted. I reached out to as many dance event organizers as I could to ask them to take a short survey about DJ’s and their events.

First of all, I must note that this survey exposed my own biases.  My network is very much skewed towards the Blues and Swing worlds.

For the next survey, I desperately need to expand out into the other dance worlds. Does anyone want to help me with this? If you are knowledgeable and passionate about some of the other dance styles, and are interested in contributing to this project, please email me. Let’s chat!

Now on to the results of the survey. We had 79 respondents, which I think is quite solid for a first survey. Listed below you will find the results, along with some of my own commentary on them. Lastly, I closed this post out with a selection of responses to the question, “What do you wish DJ’s would do more often?”

 

Most of the respondents organize events in the Blues and Swing worlds. Brazilian Zouk composed the majority of the “other” responses. In general, responses tended to fall into “families.” There is the “Swing family,” the “Blues & Fusion family,” and the “Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba family.”

Looking deeper into the data, Lindy Hop events tended to be the largest, with over 65% of 200 plus people events dancing Lindy Hop. This being said, there was a lot of diversity in the sizes of events across the spectrum of dance styles.

I’m speculating as to why most organizations are non-profit, but my guess would be because most people do it for the love of the dance, not as a job. Maybe in the future, I should ask DJ’s if they DJ because of a profit motive, or because of the love of the performance?

One take away from this question was that the dance style that hired musicians the least was Zouk, of which 75% said they never hire live musicians. I admit that the sample size was smaller than the other styles, but it makes me curious to learn more about the live music dynamic in the Zouk scene.

For me, this was one of the most important questions. In talking with my DJ friends, getting paid for their work is always an issue that is brought up.

Out of all of the styles of dance who had more than 10 responses, the style that almost always hired DJ’s was… Balboa, with 95% of organizers saying that they pay for DJ’s services. Cheers to them!

Comparing whether organizers hire musicians and/or DJ’s, we can see that while live musicians are often hired, DJ’s are much more likely to be a part of the event. Which leads up to the next question. If DJ’s are more likely to be hired than musicians, are they promoted the same?

Interesting, no? I guess this also gets into the classic dilemma of picking the headliner for your event. Promotion can be tricky stuff.

It seems like the local community is the big winner here. The logical follow up question for me is if you are a DJ, how do you be a part of that local community?

Are there ways that organizers encourage the development of DJ’s in their local communities? How often to DJ’s travel to other communities? How do DJ’s develop their reputations in local communities outside of their own? Do organizers have tools to find DJ’s from other local communities?  Lots of potential future questions here…

And finally, a selection of answers to the question “What do you wish DJ’s would do more often?”

“Play for the audience, not for themselves, listen to organizer.”

“Pay attention to the audience.”

“Pay closer attention to the floor.”

“Promote our events as we are promoting them.”

“Producing usable promotional images of themselves instead of stupid selfies with thumbs up.”

“Highlight some of their songs and tell us a little bit about what inspired their set or if there’s an artist or song they are really excited about sharing.”

“Surprise us.”

“Improvise ;)”

“Get paid!”

So yes, I hope the results of this survey helps both DJ’s and organizers with their events. As I mentioned at the start, this survey process has illustrated some weaknesses in my dance network. I really need to find some help with someone who knows the dance scenes outside of my expertise. Please contact me if you want to help me with the next survey!

CALL TO ACTION: Organizer Survey on DJ’s

We’re stepping up to the plate, to go to bat for all the DJ’s in the social dancing world. For those not familiar with American baseball, this is a metaphor that means that we are taking it upon ourselves to help the DJ community with their craft. One way we can do this is by asking dance event organizers to share some thoughts on DJ’s at the events they organize.

To do this, we’ve created a quick survey to ask organizers how they use DJ’s at their events. The survey is just 10 questions long and should take less than 5 minutes. There’s no need to identify which event you organize, if you prefer to be anonymous, but either way, your thoughts will be incredibly helpful to the DJ community. Please fill it out today!

The survey will be open until the end of May. After the survey closes, we’ll analyze the data and write a post with insights from the survey, so that everyone can see the results. It will be a resource for both organizers and DJ’s. Many thanks for contributing. Swing away!*

Create your own user feedback survey

*That’s a callback to the baseball metaphor, we’re asking you to bat for DJ’s too 😉

Photo Essay Call: The Survivor Pic

There is a thing in the social dancing world called the “survivor pic.” It is the picture that is taken at the very end of a night of dancing to capture the people who made it through until the very end.

As I was write this, it comes to me that calling it a survivor pic makes it sound as if the remaining dancers braved some terrible ordeal, or journeyed on an epic odyssey. Really though, they usually had just experienced a delightful evening of dancing and merriment. Funny.

Regardless, survivor pics are some of my favorite photos from any event that I attend. They have a feeling of camaraderie to them, or perhaps a touch of satisfaction. Most often though a definite look of exhaustion. It is not uncommon to have daylight peeking through in the background.

As the year 2018 winds down, I thought it a good idea to make a call for submissions for everyone’s favorite survivor pictures from the year. Please send me your favorite picture, along with the event name, date, and a sentence or two describing what made the night special for you. Oh, and also who took the picture for the photo credit.

I’ll compile all of the submissions and post them as a remembrance for 2018. Send your submissions to editor@dancerssaywhat.com by Monday, November 26th.

For me, my favorite survivor pic is from the Saturday night dance at this year’s Willow Blues in Łódż, Poland – April 21, 2018. For some reason, we are almost all in black and somebody suggested at the last minute that we should pretend we are sleeping. I swear we had a great time! Notice the smiles peaking out of the corners of everyone’s mouths…

Photo: Michał Markowicz

 

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