Well.. we’ve only gone and done it…yes Tomahawk Films is now the proud owner of its own Facebook page & Twitter account…and even more incredibly, we are starting to use it. Being the technophobe that I am I thought we would have these social media set-up and tailored to Tomahawk’s professional usage… and then there they would stay, unused & un-loved (or more likely, me to be found terrified of actually using them for the purposes intended and caught legging it up the street!)
But then, herein lies the rub..what exactly is social media intended for? I was formerly of the opinion that we would not be using these platforms for personal means, (though I’ve already broken that rule by watching & enjoying several fellow Facebookers’ hilarious photos that have been posted..so that one’s gone straight out of the window!)
But what are the rules of etiquette on Facebook… and how does a new member of this on-line social community behave?
There seems to be no FB handbook by which we can consult for badly-needed pointers and already we seem to have committed our first cardinal sin..: that of innocently asking if several like-minded businesses or individuals working in the same WW-II Military Historical field as us, would like to link..? and whilst most have been very friendly and very welcoming it would appear that some merely lifted their skirts in high dudgeon and complained to Facebook that they don’t know us from Adam… so how can they be Friends with us?
Eh..? I thought the whole idea of Facebook was precisely to find people you don’t know and they ask them politely if they would like to exchange info and links to each others’ pages..? But apparently no… so somewhat dumbstruck we now find ourselves banished from the touch-line for 7 days and banned from asking anybody else if they are interested in our Facebook page until next weekend! Sob! Bleat! (Crikey! life seemed so much easier when all we had was our printed Tomahawk Films’ mail-order catalogue..which incidentally still goes out free with every order!)
I must admit that 55, (56 on Monday, thanks for asking!) is a bit old to be sent to sit on The Naughty Step… but that’s what happened and we are still none the wiser! If we’re not allowed to befriend new people, (no point ‘befriending’ folk who already know of our WW-II German Archive surely?), how on earth are we to spread the good word…’answers, please, on a postcard to…’
However undaunted by our first transgressions, (and hopefully we can soon get off our knees and unfold our hands from the supplication to Facebook they are currently tightly clasped in), we might soon be allowed back with our other new playmates on Facebook who are actually happy to know us. But it does feel a bit like entering the primary school playground for the first time..uncertain and unsure of what to do and to whom we speak. But happily there do seem to be many smashing people on there who are very interested in the German archival photos we post up. In fact we have just received our first ‘Poke’ (‘shield your eyes, vicar!’) from a delightful lady in America who has been most happy to welcome us on board the Facebook charabanc..and we thank her very much!
Actually these slightly strange ‘Facebook birthing pains’ apart we are already finding it a bit of a boon as quite often we have something to announce or Post that is far too short for a Tomahawk Films Blog which, as you can see, with multiple photos and a fair few words from ‘yours truly’, are actually magazine-length articles and definitely too long for Facebook. For instance we will be able to shortly post an FB notice warmly congratulating Ms Karin Goddard-Wiedmann on her recent engagement to be married. Karin is a most delightful lady who was a very great friend to our company and who really got stuck in and helped us co-produce a number of Tomahawk Film’s Third Reich ‘civilian’ music CDs in 2007 including the wonderful & evocative Gute Nacht Mutter: The Songs of Wilhelm Strienz 1935-1945.
We’ve also discovered that Facebook has given us the ability to show a Tomahawk CD cover and link it to our website, or perhaps show a shot of Richard Heaume’s fantastic German Occupation Museum on Guernsey and link that to our Channel Islands Occupied TV documentary, or perhaps just post a good photo of a Wehrmacht Musikkorps or band and link that to my book on The Military Music and Bandsmen of Hitler’s Reich 1933-45. Allowing us the opportunity for shorter, sharper Posts is going to prove most exciting.. just the job!
(Assuming of course this sort of marketing exposure and mutual sharing of historical info on Facebook is actually allowed and we are not going to be caught sinning again… I sincerely hope not as the Naughty Step is bloomin’ freezing at this time of year and likely to induce piles if I have to sit on it much longer..!)
The one thing I don’t quite understand, however, is the need for some people to share somewhat inane details of their lives with the world at large..? Whilst personally I am very interested in a Post from Jacques to tell me about the wreckage of a Tiger Tank that has been uncovered in France, I am not that enamoured of Jost in Holland who feels the need to tell me the contents of his breakfast bowl (or even worse..Blimey Charlie!). I wonder why some people feel the need ‘to share’ so much with complete strangers… is it perhaps the eternal quest in the modern day for everybody to have their ‘15 minutes of fame’ I wonder?
Perhaps there is a part of the brain, (like with people who love to strap on a parachute and jump out of a plane at 15,000 feet.. whilst I am busy hugging Mother Earth) that, like those in the ever growing queues of people on Channel Four or Five’s ‘Weird Bodies’ or ‘Horrible Disease’s or whatever, makes people delight in having a camera stuck up their rear-end in front of 4 million TV viewers or share a close-up view of the boils on their manhood, also on camera, in front of a seemingly grateful nation! What????? I just cannot get my head around this… is it just me?
(Though I thank my lucky stars that my television career was a healthy mix of documentaries, drama, sport, travel and 88 joyous episodes as Unit-Production Manager on the much-loved ‘Out of Town’ with Jack Hargreaves… all so much more thrilling than a boil on the bum any day!)
I suppose that my having been a young radio and television presenter in my time, with more 15 minutes of fame than anybody has a right to expect in their life-time, my desire to ‘be in the public eye ‘, (if indeed it was a desire as I certainly wasn’t conscious of it at the time), has certainly waned. Nowadays I enjoy the relative anonymity of either running Tomahawk Films or being ‘the voice-over behind the camera’. Though I must admit it is still nice when I am occasionally recognised from the old days or even asked for my autograph… much to the great surprise & amazement of my younger brother, Mike, who has these days firmly put me in the category of ‘faded luvvie’ whom the world has forgotten! But then him keeping my ego in check has always been his number one game..and rightly so.. nothing more boring than a raging ego out of control I find!.
But this whole modern phenomena of folk talking like Australians with the interrogative intonation (the appalling habit of rising at the end of a sentence so everything you say is a question..jeez!!) or rushing to appear on X-Factor or the Voice or some such ‘talent show, when you are anything but talented, (wish the producers would have the odd ‘gentle word’ here or there), is also part of this whole new ‘Social Media thing’ of giving the oxygen of publicity to the ‘average Joe’ who, hitherto, has been starved of it… and some people wonder why I often find myself longing for ‘good the old days’?
But fair enough… if that floats your boat who am I to knock it…especially if you are also posting hilarious photos or thoughtful sayings on Facebook at the same time… but for Tomahawk, provided we don’t get ticked us off for any further transgressions, I can see this being an extra platform on which to talk about our work in the field of Third Reich archival music & film...
So yes, used wisely I can see the new Social Media being a boon to Tomahawk Films, especially as our good pal and former TV director Ian ‘Nobby’ Fraser compared matters to: “a shop that no-one walks past because it is sited off the high street in a side- road.. what is the point of having a fantastic website if no-one knows you are actually on-line?”…. and you know what, he is right, thanks Nobby..!
Copyright@ Brian Matthews 2014