Can VO be TOO Social?

by | Jul 2, 2012 | Social Media/Networking, VO Community | 4 comments

If you look closely, you’ll see the offhand comments here ‘n’ there…not malicious…instead, almost confused:

“Another FaceBook Voice Over Group???!!”  — or  (cynically) — “What we need is another social media site for Voice-Overs!”

Voice actors quickly embraced the enabling power of the internet for auditions and jobs, and many immediately saw the potential for marketing, promotions, and relationship-building.

We voice actors are not alone in this, of course, but we DO seem to be a friendly, gregarious, and supportive lot for the most part, and the VO social sites that have cropped-up found early acceptance and hearty membership sign-ups.

In my relatively shallow history in voice-overs, it seems the legacy leader in this space…solid in its member-base before social media even got popular was DB Cooper’s VO-BB: Voice Over Bulletin Board..and she would tell you she inherited it from someone before her.  Voice123,, Julie Williams, and others continue to sponsor online forums for VO’s with varying degrees of success and membership

Clearly, Zurek though, captured the potential of the current social media trend ahead of the curve.  His site (VU) was the standard-bearer community-building that still thrives today.  But even Zurek translated that brand onto FaceBook when it opened up the ‘Groups’ functionality.

John Florian, also, was a leader in creating a focus point of information and community with his VoiceOverXtra site.

Of course, there are many other examples, and I’m just as guilty in some of my efforts at Social Media groupings as anyone.  (I admit it!).  I launched and administer the Voice-Over Friends group on FaceBook (900+ members), three groups on LinkedIn:  both a public and private group pertaining to setting rates, and — also on LinkedIn — a Social Media for VO’s group.  I’ve also built two lists of voice-actors on Twitter.  One of them quickly reached the Twitter-imposed 500-member limit, and my second list is now at 315.

Between them, Ed Victor and Lee Gordon administer LinkedIn sites with collectively thousands of voice actors as members.  Chris Kendall — a UK-based voice actor — claims 10’s of thousands of members/followers/friends/fans in his many Voice Artists United (VAU) sites.

There’s AllStarVoices, now, and Voice and Studio, and whatever Michael Minetree is working on from time-to-time.  The list goes on!….I’m sure I’m unintentionally missing someone or something, and I haven’t even BEGUN to mention bloggers.

Here’s what I’m getting at:  Is there a point of diminishing returns of VO Social Media Groups?…if so, doesn’t the marketplace dictate whether they survive or not? If there is NOT a point of diminishing returns what’s the worst that can happen?

A couple of years ago when I launched NVOAM — National Voice Over Appreciation Month — an established voice actor with plenty of respect asked me if the voice over community really needed something like this.  There was a sort of righteous indignation  that the saturation level for voice over communities had already been reached, and another site was only diluting the ones already present.  I was miffed.

What do YOU think?  I’ve posted a link to this article on about 6 or 7 FaceBook Groups, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Google-Plus, Pinterest, Posterous, and Delicious. Sure, I’d rather post to just one place, but such is the state of affairs these days.

There’s a lot of speculating, and not much precipitating-out.

Can VO social media sharing get too watered down?




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  1. Paul Strikwerda

    As a member of many of these groups, I know exactly where you’re coming from. Are all these groups an embarrassment of riches or simply a refection of diversity?

    These virtual hangouts are like pubs, each with their own atmosphere and crowd. People like people who are like themselves. The strength of the group depends on its members.

    As soon as one place becomes “more of the same” the appeal can quickly fade away. The longevity of a group depends on the quality of the interaction.

    A big turn-off for me is colleagues putting colleagues down. I welcome a spirited debate, but when it gets to the level of personal attacks, I’m gone.

    As a fellow-blogger and contributor to these platforms, I sometimes fear that I’m plastering cyberspace with links to my latest articles. I’d rather send an alert to my subscribers, but I can’t force my readers to sign up.

    To me, Facebook and LinkedIn are very useful tools to drive traffic and engage readers. Different groups give me an opportunity to expand my reach and make new friends. These groups are a great resource for things to blog about. Every day I learn new things about the business I’m in from colleagues.

    Thank you Dave, for creating and moderating some of these platforms!

    • CourVO

      Thanks for gracing my blog with your visit. I concur with all you say…and agree strongly with the put-downs…no place for them!….and you’ve shown the greatest patience of anyone I know, with a certain person who’s initials are EG.

      Many of these FB groups HAVE lost their distinct flavor and now appear to be populated by a lot of the same people. This might be better controlled with an opt-in policy, instead of FB’s opt-out policy.

      Until I hear some strong resistance, I will continue to visit and post (sometimes similar) content on all of them…because, you’re right…those posts drive traffic and engage new readers.

      Best to you Paul!

      Dave Courvoisier

  2. Charlotte Ann

    I feel like we’d all be much better served if there were one or two definitive places to hang, play, and collaborate. With so many groups, forums, blogs, etc. it can be hard to really be a part of something because I feel rushed to check this forum, read that facebook group, respond to that linkedin poll….the list goes on.

    If there were only a couple of places for VO people to hang, the great information that we all have to share would be able to be found in one place. We’d probably make more solid relationships with one anther. And I for one, would feel much less stressed when I wake up and realize that I only have to check one or two places for new info, rather than scour the internet for the next four hours less I miss anything.

    • CourVO


      I agree…and I think that may end up being the case, but right now there’s a lot of flailing around and probably will be for a while.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

      Dave Courvoisier


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