Amanda MacKinnon Gaiman Palmer. Or Amanda F*cking Palmer, as she is known as to most of her fans and friends, is an American (hometown Boston) performer who rose to fame as the lead-singer in the two part punk-cabaret band The Dresden Dolls.
Amanda is currently touring and recording as a solo artist, prominently singing and playing the piano but also know to perform songs on ukulele. Her latest studio album is Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under (2011), an self released album with songs written during her tours in Australia, which was released two years after her first solo record Who Killed Amanda Palmer (2008).
The way Amanda Palmer uses twitter has become something of a legend among indie musicians and tech bloggers, she tends to announce impromptu “ninja-gigs” between performances, using twitter to reach all her fans at once.
The time she started her own hashtag-trend #lofnotc she managed to make $19 000 in 10h through twitter. Back in 2009, when twitter was a wee bit smaller then it is now, she found herself alone one Friday night between tours, she decided to gather her fans and friends who themselves were “Losers On Friday Night On Their Computers” ( aka #LOFNOTC ) by calling them out on a semi-jokingly tweet.
This resulted in an massive trending of the topic #lofnotc, something like a “virtual flash mob” in the words of Zoë Keating, and her followers used twitter as an outlet to discuss politics, crack silly jokes AND collaborating on an #loftnotc themed t-shirt design which were to be sold in an temporary webshop by Amanda Palmer.
A couple of hours later they had sold around 200 shirts and when Amanda blogged about the whole thing the morning after, the shirt sale was still on and they reached the number of 400 shirts, $25 ea.
A few night later Amanda set up and webcast/web-auction where she played songs, answered questions and sold various stuff from her home, to an growing audience of about 2000 re-tweeting followers.
These two escapades proved so rewarding, partly monetarily but also in the amount of support and fun the fans had, that Amanda decided to pull an small venue “twitter-invite only” gig in an studio, free for the first 200 people. Donations and merch sale from this gig covered the cost of the equipment and studio space with margins.
This whole thing happened a couple of weeks after Amanda had realized that she had been screwed over the record company on which she released her first solo album, thus she tweeted:
TOTAL MADE THIS MONTH USING TWITTER = $19,000
TOTAL MADE FROM 30,000 RECORD SALES = ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
Nowadays she tends to release and sell her music mostly through twitter or blogging.
I think that Amanda Palmer’s experience with twitter and online communication should be treated as a good example of how endless the possibilities of the digital world are.
Follow Amanda on twitter.