Seriously, stop tweeting!

March 28, 2012 9:40 am

Intellectual property infringement is no laughing matter according to one comedian

Dave Thornton

Have you heard the one about the comedian who asked his audience not to tweet his best one-liners? No? That’s probably because it’s not a joke but a genuine attempt to put the whole issue of intellectual copyright (something that concerns all content creators) into perspective in the digital and social media age.

Melbourne comedian Dave Thornton is currently preparing his show for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) and, as the Sydney Morning Herald reports, will begin it with an appeal to the audience not to tweet his jokes.

The reason, he says, is that ‘jokes just aren’t as funny the second time around’. Thornton recounts a story of asking a woman to stop using her phone to film one of his gigs, telling her: ‘If you show that to everyone they’re not going to pay to come and see me ever again.

Thornton argues that ‘the surprise of a joke is no longer there if everyone knows how it’s going’. And it seems he’s not alone, with MICF director Susan Provan revealing that a number of performers at this year’s event are considering ‘no tweeting’ signs at venues – something she believes will become ‘more common’ over time.

There is, of course, a suitably comic irony to all this in that many comedians happily use social media in general – and twitter in particular – to promote themselves and get their material out there. Anyone who follows Wil Anderson would know what we’re talking about…

However, Susan Provan argues that ‘nothing is going to beat the experience of sitting in a house listening to a skilled performer doing their very own material’. The fear for the likes of Dave Thornton is that social media is going to kill live comedy in the same way the pokies have more or less killed live music in pubs.

Do social media users need to get a life?

‘I woz here – see, I can prove it…’

But as the comments at the end of the Herald article shows, this whole issue may say more about how people are using social media to experience live events than anything else.

‘Willburd from Victoria’ wrote: ‘People really struggle to live “in the moment” now. I was tagged on facebook from the gig I was at , why wasnt the person enjoying the show instead of showing everyone else ? Ive notived at gigs these days so many people are living the experience through their phone screen, its almost as if there a sense of “If I dont show everyone else I know , did it really happen?”…’

‘Tracy from Melbourne’ concurred: ‘I went to a concert at Rod Laver Arena last week and as soon as the band came on the cameras and phones came up and all you could see in the audience was the glow of screens. A person I know who was at the concert bragged on facebook that she’d taken over 400 photos. That’s one every 18secs. I suggested that she may like to put the camera down and enjoy the show and I copped a thinly disguised spray suggesting that there was something wrong with me ’cause I couldn’t take photos, dance, sing and have a good time simultaneously. No, I just choose to enjoy the concert through my eyes and remember it that way, rather than through a camera lens.’

Have people become so addicted to social media that now everything has to be viewed through its prism? Are we shortly going to be at the point when eating dinner will be filmed and posted/live streamed? And speaking of streaming…. What about going to the toilet? Or brushing teeth? Or opening the office door? Or painting a room (and watching said paint dry)? Is all that social media-worthy?

Oh well, at least there’s material there for a stand-up comedy routine. Just note, please, that the intellectual property belongs to The Message


The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.


  • Content Marketing News & Views Why Your Brand Needs a Podcast

    Why Your Brand Needs a Podcast

    Can you imagine speaking directly to a captive audience of potential customers? I’m not talking about the room of people you might find at a conference or seminar, but potentially tens of thousands of prospective buyers, listening to you from their home, on their way to work, during their lunch break or maybe even at the gym. This is the power of podcasting, and it’s one of the fastest growing and exciting marketing mediums available to businesses in 2017. It’s […]

    Read more →
  • Content Marketing Features The Power of Personalised Content

    The Power of Personalised Content

    With the incessant growth of digital communications, newspapers and other publishers have been forced to come up with new ways to tell stories. Companies that are not in the publishing business, but use content as a part of their marketing strategy can learn a lot from these emerging storytelling tactics. When it comes to personalised content, gamification is king. The more you can learn programmatically – primarily using data for better targeting – about your customer or audience member, the […]

    Read more →
  • Features Social Media The Latest Social Media Fails

    The Latest Social Media Fails

    There’s one big flaw that all brands have that no one likes to talk about: they’re run by fallible, emotional and sometimes careless human beings. Every once in a great while, these humans make mistakes—they slip up all too publicly on their brands’ social media properties. When this happens, most us watch the disaster unfold with bewilderment at the stark stupidity of it all. While these mistakes often create backlash for brands, and sometimes a bit of recovery work, they’re not necessarily […]

    Read more →
  • Features News & Views Is All Publicity Good Publicity?

    Is All Publicity Good Publicity?

    We’ve all seen those marketing campaigns that went, oh, so very wrong. They’re often around to clog up our social media feeds for a couple of days, garner some negative attention, and then they die off. But the real question for marketers is: how damaging was the campaign to the brand? We’re taking a look at whether or not all publicity is good publicity, and whether you can expect to recover from a serious popular culture blunder. Everyone’s Goal: Good […]

    Read more →
  • News & Views Don’t Forget to Pat the Dog

    Don’t Forget to Pat the Dog

    A few days ago I posted an article called The Stupidity of Silence where I suggested that ceasing all contact when someone doesn’t give you what you want is a really dumb strategy. Here’s another one. We’re looking to sell our house at the moment. Part of the process is interviewing real estate agents. Theirs is an incredibly competitive business where all they’re offering is reputation and the perceived ability to persuade people to buy. The first agent who came […]

    Read more →
  • Content Marketing How to Make Your Content Actionable

    How to Make Your Content Actionable

    Content is not a magical formula that will make your target audience find your product and then breathlessly buy from you. The power of actionable content comes from your ability to attract the right audience, enabling them to interact with you and then to elevate that relationship to the next level i.e. for them to become a customer. So, how do you make your content actionable? Most importantly, you must give the reader, viewer or listener a sense of how they […]

    Read more →
  • News & Views The Stupidity of Silence

    The Stupidity of Silence

    It always astounds me when people in business don’t follow-up with a simple thank you email or even a note – when was the last time you received a handwritten thank you note? – after we’ve had some type of interaction.

    Read more →
  • Email Marketing Features What you Need to Know About Email Marketing for Mobile

    What you Need to Know About Email Marketing for Mobile

    It’s no secret that smartphones and tablets can no longer be ignored by email marketers—and there aren’t many more marketers out there doing so. It is a massive part of customer communication and revenue, but do you know just how massive? The following statistics come from all corners of the globe, and from many different industries. While they keep changing everyday, some are quite shocking. Here’s a brief description of everything you need to know about the power of email […]

    Read more →
  • Digital Marketing Features How to Reduce Your Media Spend & Achieve Better Results

    How to Reduce Your Media Spend & Achieve Better Results

    Digital marketing has changed the media landscape forever and marketing budgets are being spread across channels – mainly digital – that previously didn’t exist. The problem is that optimisation is not as simple as it was before; if you’re not careful, your spend can get out of hand. By optimising each of your channels, you can reduce your media spend and achieve better results – all the while proving a positive return on investment (ROI) for every dollar you spend. […]

    Read more →
  • Features News & Views Digital Marketing Lessons To Be Learnt From Donald Trump

    Digital Marketing Lessons To Be Learnt From Donald Trump

    Donald Trump teaching you marketing lessons? Seriously? Yes, seriously. Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has made the race for the White House fascinating. And fascinating doesn’t happen by chance. Exceptional marketing combined with good old fashioned, in-your-face salesmanship are central to the success of his campaign – so far. So putting aside your opinion on his politics, let’s look at what can be learned from Trump’s ‘Making America Great Again’ campaign. Know Your Audience Contrary to the opinion […]

    Read more →