Even when I'm not in them, I do like knowing when stand-up comedy shows are happening. I used to read the comedy listings in newspapers - when they published a list - and I knew those listings were also and only read by other comedians. Comics now also read each other's promos on blogs, tweets, emails, Tumblr reposts, and Facebook. Facebook alone has event invites, event invites notifications, event invites "gentle reminder" emails, shared event invites, and then there's the inevitable countdown statuses before the event invite expires and the show finally begins.
That's what it's about, anyway: the show. The promotions are there to get butts in seats. Ostensibly, they promote the comedy scene; and the comedy scene, let alone the ego of a comedian, cannot exist in a vacuum. But to aggressively blast promotions, buckshot-style, to fellow comedians comes off as noise and after a while treats fellow comedians more like civilian rubes holding dollar bills.
But I don't hate, I participate. I try to offer content in my promo. To promote my weekly showcase at the Layover Music Bar in Oakland, I photograph the shows and post it on Tumblr. I opted for a Facebook group over a Facebook page under the impression it could serve as a community message board. I have a "one in five" rule on Twitter: At the very most, I only promote shows in one in five tweets, with the other four tweets being jokes, retweets, replies, hashtag gags, links, and other normal tweets that normal tweeters read and tweet. Those Twitter posts appear on Facebook. I use Facebook event invites only for special shows. Yes, I include comics to "let them know," but usually a week later I'll remove them from the events list when they don't reply or reply "no." Follow-up emails are reserved for show cancellations. I try to separate comedians from civilians when promoting. As for the din in my inbox, I don't follow, friend, or subscribe to comedians that solely self-promote.
These last two points are why I'm excited about Google Plus. I can separate comics from civilians. I won't circle comedians who will solely spam me about shows that I don't give a fuck about. Which is a shame, because I'd like to include comedians in a circle to discuss and share things other than shows. What would we talk about?
Comedian and Luggage Tuesdays guy Mike Spiegelman will be performing at the 31st Annual Comedy Day in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on September 18, 2011.