Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Royal Wedding - the webfan view

As the dresses, the cake, the trees and everything else will be picked over in fine detail, I thought I'd write about what I know and praise the social media yesterday.

For all our reservations in the run-up to the wedding (some involving fine Staffordshire mugs), the day itself was an opportunity for millions to indulge in the fairy-tale romance of it all and wish the happy couple well.

Clarence House has been tweeting with great confidence throughout the engagement and yesterday's wedding did not disappoint: a nice mixture of the formal facts, ceremony PDF, the stuff *everyone* wanted to know about, retweets and rooftop views of the flyover.

All their channels were just as slick. The Royal Wedding website is credited to Google Apps and Accenture and had the common touch of a blog with embeds and links to Twitter, Flickr, Youtube and Facebook. Take note: you can recreate them all for free if you want your own multimedia wedding, though it was also a good advert for different premium services.

There was a good call to action for those swept away enough by it all to send a gift. Metric-watchers will be interested to know how much the world's attention converted into donations. It will be a small fraction, of course, but should still make a significant amount for the couple's chosen causes.

Finally I noted that Clarence House staff swiftly swept through the site to ensure that William and Kate's new titles are fully reflected in their biographies and even the URLs. (Yes, I have been reading it all)

What Clarence House didn't get into was comments and moderation, except for a curated message page. I think this was wise. After all, we were were on Twitter to see what the worldwide congregation was saying. The main hashtags were #rw11 and #royalwedding. Don't think you can bury your bad news (much) any more though, other topics like #stokescroft and the NHS were being interspersed and retweeted. A reminder to the media that our little heads can take in more than one story at once. Sniggering at the back from the US dormboys came from #QILF - I'm not saying what that stands for but suffice to say there were a lot of queens and future queens jostling for attention in the Abbey.

As well as tweeting for the rest of us who had finally succumbed to romance, Fashion Critic was quick to post photos of the dresses and her thoughts on them.

There should also be plenty of hyperlocal street party action being posted over the next few days and if anyone out there wants to help gather them, I'd suggest the tag 'rw11hyperlocal'

While this was definitely a day when you want to be glued to a largescreen TV when you're not sipping Pimms in the street, having the web around enriched an historic day no end - with more pictures, wittier commentary, a host of extras and the voices of the crowds. Loved it.

My favourite picture of the day, via Popsugar & Getty

All pictures are screengrabs for illustration only, follow the links for originals and full source information.

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