Are you watching the GRAMMYs Sunday night? Speaking as someone who watched, tweeted, liveblogged and live chatted the show as the music editor at Comcast.net for three years, I had a front row seat to the transformation of awards shows as we know them. The first time I covered the show was 2007 and I spent the night liveblogging my notes --as well as the snarky comments shared on my couch -- when I wasn't gushing about the amazing performances. A year later I found myself taking part in a nationwide conversation about the year in music on Twitter and Facebook and in a live chat. The GRAMMYs went from being a ho-hum awards show into an unmatched interactive experience for music fans.
The GRAMMYs evolved, too, becoming one of the most consistently entertaining awards shows on television. They took a bold step a few years ago, presenting fewer awards and packing more performances into the show, really capturing the essence of what excites people about music in the first place. Who could forget M.I.A. performing on her due date, or Vince Gill poking fun at Kanye? The GRAMMYs immediately became the kind of show that made you tweet "OMG" and "LOL."
But then they took it a step further, adding social media to the mix, tapping into the excitement that was already out there on the web. The GRAMMYs launched blogs, joined Twitter and Facebook to participate in the conversation on their big night.
Ben Sisario wrote about this phenomenon in the New York Times, noting that it's a great way to connect with younger fans who may think the GRAMMYs are a stodgy affair. Evan Green, the recording academy's chief marketing officer told him, "Digital media have become a critical part of everything that we do." It really shows. What better way to channel the energy of the most fervent Justin Bieber fans into the mix!
If you want to join the fun, just search the official Twitter hashtag, #GRAMMYs2011 and follow along on Sunday night. You'll be part of a conversation with fans, artists and industry types. Now you can be backstage without leaving your living room. And don't forget to drop by the Comcast.net Music live chat to say hi!