Feed Spam, Desperation and Attention
I think it's part of feeling a bit helpless - social media is an easy place to go to try to whip up friends to come and see your stuff. At this time of year - the festival season, every one of my colleagues is being told to plug their shows online. 

It's one of the pieces of advice every primer on self-publicising gives you - though many differ as to the best way to do it. Algorithms change - privileging pictures over links, certain hashtags, certain 'moods' and times of posting. So it's tempting to try to cover all the bases. Because you don't know who is watching when, you might try to post many times a day, or the same thing in a number of different ways.  

But because many of my friends are overseas, and many others are friends with other comedians, I feel guilty about constantly harassing people to come to my shows on my twitter and FB.

I also do hate repeating myself (an odd thing, I know, given that's basically what doing a comedy show for 24 nights in a row involves - the only differential being that it's usually a different crowd each night. Maybe that's why I can reconcile it with my fear of becoming boring).

Telling people who aren't in Melbourne (or Sydney, or Perth, or Adelaide, or London, or Edinburgh) at the time I'm plugging my show (My tickets for Melbourne are on sale here .) means I'm either just being annoying or adding to that phenomenon where people's feeds get super overwhelming with COME SEE MY SHOW desperation from their comedy friends.

Like putting posters up on crowded poster walls, I feel like you're more or less lost in the mix - just telling people "There's a Festival on!" Not that there's anything wrong with advertising the festival for them, but it does feel a little bit like the peasants throwing coins to the Laird, rather than vice versa. Some diffuse benefit to that, but overall maybe not the best use of investment.

That said, I occasionally get messages from people who are in cities where I am - who listen to the podcast or follow me online that have missed the details of my show because I haven't been good enough on promotion - who aren't sure when I'm on, or who missed the window of time when I was in their hood.

Not everyone goes through the guide circling shows with a red pen and making spreadsheets to see all their favourites. 

So, trying to balance all these different opinions and insecurities, I'm setting myself the task this festival of every time I feel the need to plug the damned thing, also to add something non-show related, useful or fun.

Just so I feel like less of a drain on society.

Let me know if you think that's working, or if I should be doing more or less of one thing or the other. I can't promise I'll obey, but I can promise I'll pay attention, and if your feedback is negative, probably spend some sleepless hours in relentless self-examination. (Trolls are good for meditative self-reflection, and also for the late night self-soothing snack industry. They should get sponsorship.)

Maybe I should get a mailing list up, but between twitter, fb and patreon, I feel like I've covered most of the bases, and I'm not sure people would want another channel of access to me. (feel free to correct me, of course! If enough people want a thing, and it's in my power, I will make that thing!)

I think the best publicity is other people telling other people to go and see the things they liked.

Of course I'll tell you to come and see me, I have a vested interest! I make money if people come to my shows, whether they are good shows or not. (find out if it's a good show by buying tickets here)

Maybe I should spend more time on Reddit building a pseudonymous character who would occasionally say nice things about me, but I don't think I can handle the level of dissociation/compartmentalisation required to sustain that kind of facade, even online.

But if you do see a good show (mine or someone else's) never underestimate the power of telling the performer that you liked it, telling your friends about it - organising a group to go or just putting up a positive review online.


P.S. My tickets are on sale here by the way.

P.P.S was this enough content to make that plug worthwhile?

P.P.P.S. Not that I want to get too deep or too didactic about trolling/negative online commentary (I am just about to do exactly that), but if you don't like a thing, and want to post about it, think about whether it's just a matter of taste, or if it's actually objectively objectionable. If you can, find an email address for someone in the production chain and send a private message with a specific criticism and reasoned argument. If you can't, write an interesting op-ed. Otherwise, in the best case scenario, you're most likely just indulging some sort of exhibitionistic or self indulgent virtue-signalling. In the worst case, you're just cultivating an addictive and nutrition-less cycle of rage and catharsis which can only make the world a slightly grubbier and more unpleasant place.