Sounding boards: performing arts organizations and the Internet forum

O'Sullivan, Terry (2007). Sounding boards: performing arts organizations and the Internet forum. International Journal of Arts Management, 9(3) pp. 65–77.



This article discusses some examples of how arts organizations in the United Kingdom are using online communities as a way of extending their relationships with audiences. It offers some suggestions (synthesizing ideas from the growing marketing literature on brand communities and theory about fan behaviour) on how this might be developed in order to deepen participation in the arts. Data are drawn from performing arts organizations that specialize in Western classical music – but from this small sample useful generalizations may be possible with regard to other art forms and organizational types. Performing arts audiences demonstrate a degree of omniverousness towards arts experiences. Furthermore, by increasing our understanding of how arts consumers interact in hosted online communities we may be able to gain insights into other service marketing applications, both within and beyond the arts.

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