Showzee is a new visual platform to showcase your talents and interests and connect with likeminded people. But can it be a useful tool for events?
In this post we review the new social media site Showzee and consider how it could be useful for events as a potential amplification tool.
What is Showzee?
Showzee is a platform for users to create and share mini portfolios (known as Showzees) to showcase their talents or interests. The platform encourages users to make social connections based on shared interests, rather than pre-existing relationships.
Here is the official trailer:
In many respects, it is reminiscent of Pinterest, with the Showzee acting as the equivalent of a Pinterest board that can be created using video and audio, as well as images. Each Showzee has a short description, tags and an interest assigned to it so others can find it (and you). Unlike Pinterest, Showzee puts more emphasis on the social connections and gives you a news feed featuring the latest Showzees created by the people you follow.
I found it quite difficult to find an example to illustrate what the platform actually looks like before joining up, so here are a few screenshots of my profile so far:
My home screen/newsfeed looks like this:
It is also possible to search for Showzees by topic using the showcase feature.
How Could This Benefit Events?
Showzee’s terms indicate that the platform is primarily designed for individuals to show off their talents and interests. However, brands and companies are not excluded from using the platform and there are indications that providing services for companies forms part of the platform’s development roadmap.
That said, there are a few ways that event organisers could use Showzee as it stands:
An event-specific Showzee profile showcasing the interests covered by the event could be used as a marketing tool, allowing the event organisers to form connections with people who share an interest in any of the topics covered. This could be effective as a pre-event marketing tool for one off events, or as an ongoing presence for annual/series events looking to build a following within particular communities.
Showzee allows you to showcase a choice of media and features YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud integration so users can share and play audio and video directly through a Showzee. This would be a useful feature for event organisers with podcast content to share or a selection of videos they want to show case to particular interest-based audiences.
Each Showzee can feature up to 10 pieces of content and a 50 word description of the collection, so could be used to showcase content relating to individual themes within a conference or event. This would allow different sections of a conference programme to be shared with different interest groups. It is not clear if the 10 item limit is intended to be a permanent feature, or whether it is a restriction whilst the platform is in beta.
Presenting Multimedia Content Publicly
Showzee accounts are public, but they are not easily discoverable if you are not logged into Showzee yourself. If your event lacks a suitable website for hosting and presenting multimedia content, Showzee may be a good alternative. You will have to share the link to your profile directly for non-Showzee users to find it.
Individual Showzee collections can be shared directly via Facebook and Twitter.
Other Considerations for Event Organisers
The Beta Risk
Showzee is still in the beta phase and is some way from being a useful platform for event organisers at present, but may become more useful if/when a community forms there. Event organisers may not wish to invest heavily in developing a profile until it becomes clearer what the wider uptake is likely to be and what kind of community will form around the platform. At this stage, Showzee is very much a “to keep an eye on” service, with potential to be useful for certain events.
At present, you can only select from a pre-defined list of interests, which is general rather than niche. I was able to express an interest in a number of broad musical genres, but not to identify myself as someone with a specific interest in harps.
There is a very easy option to suggest an interest, but it not clear how regularly these will be reviewed or implemented. The interest selection process is currently very clean and well designed, so I am curious to see whether the developers intend to enforce only high-level, general interests in order to maintain usability, or whether in the future there will be many more niche options if you drill down.
From an event organisers’ perspective, unless you are organising a very general type of event – such as a music festival focussing on a particular genre – the current interest options are not specific enough to identify and build relationships with potential audiences.
Showzee seems to be very image-based, with a focus on beautiful visuals that will be more appropriate for some niches than others. This may well impact the types of community that are attracted to use Showzee instead of other online platforms.
An event amplifier may have to consider whether they have access to good quality images related to their event that will work well in this context. If your event outputs are more text-based, then this may not be the platform for you. However, if you are running a visual/performing arts or music event, Showzee might be a useful platform to consider if/when the user base increases.
Showzee seems to be a fairly easy way to share media with specific communities of interest, making it a potential post-event amplification tool. There are a few usability issues to iron out (it does not like links to YouTube playlists, or YouTube’s sharable shortened links), but overall it is well designed and easy to use.
I will be interested to see if it takes off and who uses it, as the audience will be the key to whether Showzee can be employed as a useful tool for events.
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