Saturday, March 2, 2013

Thoughts on Blogging...


My first social media platform was this blog. Nearly 6 years later, it remains my favorite way to connect with my peeps (i.e. YOU). But over the years I have acknowledged begrudgedly accepted embraced the notion that to be a successful artist in the 21st century means being connected online. And these days, being connected means more than simply having a blog.

So you can visit my Facebook Page, my Twitter page, my YouTube account, and any one or all of my four (!) Tumblr blogs: The Altered Page where I highlight my favorite pieces of abstract art that I have come across, Curiosity Contained where I highlight inspiring, artistic curiosities, Palettless where I post inspiring black and white images, and Seth Apter Art & Photography where I very occasionally and very randomly post images of my own art.

While maintaining all these sites takes a tremendous amount of time and energy, I am lucky because I truly love connecting with all of you. And rather than feeling as if my time on the computer takes away from my time in the studio, I see it as another creative outlet that enhances my life as an artist.

What I have come to realize over time is that the different social media platforms attract different types of people. Obviously if you are reading this, you are at least a bit of a blog person. But I am curious...what are your feelings these days about blogs versus other social media sites? Favorites? Reasons? Thoughts?

42 comments:

Maureen said...

Tumblr sites are quick in-and-outs for me. They can be a lot of fun to visit when done well. FaceBook is helpful as a check against blogs I do not subscribe to; one thing I do like about using it is that by sharing something, I can save it for myself in my personal stream to read later if time is a concern. Twitter is, of course, instant notification; I see stuff there that I don't see elsewhere. Now that YouTube is a bit more organized into channels, I find it helpful when researching videos about artists. Blogs allow for more considered and in-depth posts, and take more time to do well, but I find them essential to my research of both artists and writers and literary publications. I delete those that aren't updated frequently or are poorly written or that fail to satisfy my deep curiosity.

I have pushed back against joining or creating any new accounts at more sites than I engage with now. There's a point when information does intersect and becomes an overload. As with anything, balance is key, and I don't do anything half-way, so I'm careful about where I put in the time to get the most out of it. Periodic breaks from all of it are essential.

Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

Okay so I HATE FB. I am only there because some of my friends don't have any other online connection. It's the back hole of the internet-full of ads I don't want and political cr*p I don't want to see. I am contemplating trimming my friends list to the bone, to just people I have meaningful interaction with.

I love twitter-it's quick and easy to read and I get a ton of new info there. I feel plugged into the things I care about. I retweet the good stuff. I've found some artists though just post their stuff and don't actively support each other by retweeting other artists. It kind of annoys me, truth be told. They don't have to retweet everything, but it's nice to reciprocate when someone is making the effort to support you. (I don't mean YOU-this is just in general.)

I don't have a Tumbler, but I follow one person's feed from it. It's sad I can't comment on what he posts because I love what he does.

I rarely check out videos on Youtube, vimeo and the like, but occasionally enjoy the ones I do. Usually they come to me via a friend. I have videos on both platforms.

Blogs are still my go-to source for inspiration and to stay connected to the mixed media community. I use google reader for my feed, so anytime I open my browser, it has all the new posts waiting for me. I've found in most cases Typepad has some weird glitch that I can't seem to overcome that prevents me from commenting. Anyone who uses that platform rarely hears from me for that reason.

Pinterest is so much fun. I love visual hoarding the things I like and curating them onto boards of my chosing. I like seeing what my friends are into and enjoy it when our tastes overlap. I used to "pin" things to a file on my computer, long before Pinterest was created. I find alot of inspiration from this site. It's like crack. I am convinced it was invented by someone with insomnia. Now I will have to go see if you have a board, because I don't think we're connected there.

Did I miss any of them?

tami said...

I am in the midst of deciding about my blog - I would like to take a step towards a more cohesive blog that is my voice but then i wonder if i should.
I LOVE visiting blogs and seeing what others thoughts and ideas are. I have learned an incredible amount just doing this. Facebook guides me to things I might not see or alerts me to new posts. I try to avoid the political stuff. I have blocked some facebook people just for that. I don't have a clue about twitter or tumblr. New to instagram and a half-hearted pinterest. I do enjoy finding and pinning items that pique my interest for later. I am looking forward to this thread Seth. Thank you!

tgarrett said...

I am new to blogland with my own blog but have read other blogs for years- including yours Seth. Through your blog I have made what I know will be lifelong friends. I love/hate facebook. It's communication "lite"- I don't use the others much at all- tumbler I will look at with a link from someone. I do like to watch some videos- I live in a remote forest area in Northern Minnesota so blogs are important for to be connected.

Gillian McMurray said...

I am finding it all very frustrating these days. I believe you have to have an online presence but there are so many platforms now that it is confusing, time consuming and not really worthwhile. Business pages on Facebook are now tucked out of the way so fewer people are seeing your posts. Twitter is full of people just using it to advertise their stuff and feels like talking to yourself - even when I try to interact with others. Google+ is quiet and confusing to use. I like Pinterest but it does suck time away when looking at all the lovely pictures. My blog is pretty much dead in the water. It never really took off despite adding the address to all e-mails, business cards, etc. Most importantly I get very little traffic and/or sales in my Etsy store via any of them. I am now considering trimming my social networking to a minimum, getting a new web site and online store of my own (alongside my Etsy shop) and doing it myself. I'm helping nurse my 93 year old grandmother and run my own business so I now need things to be streamline, easy and to do the job I need them to do. I wonder how many other people feel that way or if it's just me?

just jen said...

serendipitous as Tom and I were only talking about this yesterday morning over coffee ... personally? I'd say the age of The Blog is dead.

By that I mean the personal 'here's my life kind 'of blog where the author is not promoting a book or a product or a Life Style (yes w/capitals!) but simply attempting to find like-minded individuals in the ether. There is just too much competition, too much eye candy, too many other distractions.

Not to say that having a blog can't accomplish SOMEthing. Hone your voice, show your family what you're up to, a dumping ground for words and pictures and thoughts and links but the day of putting it out there and they will come? Yah. So 2005. ;)

Erin in Morro Bay said...

I'm still a blog person, after all these years it's my favourite way to get the info, the pictures and keep up with what everyone's doing. I think I prefer the greater length and more detail that blogs provide. But I do realize that all the others social media forms are important to reach more potential art lovers.
Erin

Rachel Whetzel said...

I love my blog. I miss my blog! I'm TRYING to get back to my blog... sometimes, I feel like it's too "old school" for a lot of people. Maybe I need to get back to Tumbler... I just didn't "get" it before, so I didn't do anything with it. Twitter is VERY hard to keep up with/use when you live in the STIX (which I do) because there is no cell connection in my house. Makes tweeting regularly really tough, and I can't get updates on my phone, because then when I go out into cell world, my phone blows up. lol Facebook is a great connection for me. It takes a lot of time, but sorting people into lists, and unplugging without unfriending from people that post a lot of "stuff" helps keep it manageable for me. My blog is still my favorite though. Mostly because I feel like that's where I have the control to share what matters to me. Content, appearance, links. All of it.

bockel24 said...

I´m definitely a blog person, combined with Youtube videos, but it´s amazing how many friends only look at my stuff at Flickr - don´t know why ...

Jo Crawford said...

I have to confess I hit social media overload this year. After 4 years of maintaining active accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, I decided to trim back. It was just getting too much to maintain and I wondered, why am I really doing this? I understand the need to network with other artists and get my work out there, but it takes me away from what I love most - to create.

For now I'm going back to basics and blogging more about my art and less about what I think I should blog about. I'm also using my RSS reader more to follow blogs that inspire and provoke me (thanks Seth for your Blog Directory which has introduced me to so many talented people).

I do follow a lot of artist's channels on YouTube for tips and inspiration. Pinterest is also a great source of inspiration for me.

I'm still on Facebook but it's mostly personal these days to keep up with family and friends who live back home in South Africa.

All in all I get a lot out of online connections with other artists but, as you say, it's all about balance.

Anonymous said...

Blogs are my source of inspiration as are photo galleries and youtube videos. I do strictly stay away from FB and Twitter because I don´t agree with what is going on technically.
If I want to connect personally I can email or phone...

Kathryn said...

Interesting mix of comments. I got to the point recently where I wanted to cut back on my social networking. Most of the time it seems like a lot of time and effort just to be 'part of the crowd'. I have thought about deleting my Twitter account and rarely go on there any more. Google+ confuses me. Linked in I rarely visit but update once in a while. Flickr has died an abrupt death for me. I use facebook to connect with friends and family and some artists that I like. My main love though is my blog. For me its like having an online journal. It documents my art, my life and my growth over the years. It's nice to have followers and I love the comments I receive but ultimately I do it for me. I have deliberately stayed away from tumblr, pininterest and many other sites because I don't want to spend all day on the computer. I heard somewhere recently that its the older generation that like blogs and the younger generation like faster moving things with less depth such as facebook and twitter. I have to say that a part of me loves it when I go on vacation and totally disconnect, just me, my hubby and my camera.

elle said...

I blog. I like to blog. I wouldn't be who I am and where I am if I hadn't started blogging. I like to connect somehow to the people that inspire me. I am no techy. The time commitment for social media is not something I would pursue even if I didn't live out in the boonies. I have a blogroll and edit it frequently to keep the best and also to keep it down to something reasonable, time wise. I am learning all about mixed media and enjoy technique videos when they are posted on the blogs. I also like to share my own journey with others who are coming along behind me or who have been interested in helping me along. Please keep blogging, Seth! :)

Norma Conway said...

Hey there! I think blogs are more personal and yes they eat time. Many have abandoned them entirely. I hope that those who crank down their blog, at least post less frequently and not abandon it completely. I gave up on flickr. for quite awhile and have recently rediscovred it as a mini-blog. There's pictures and as you know my comments are always long for the most part and are like a mini-post anyway. Flickr. gives me a short little visit. Twitter is annoying to me because I do not care if the user is going to the bathroom in five minutes, etc. For those who use it well, it is an excellent tool. Not many do. YouTube rocks, always in my book. I dislike FaceBook. The tumbler (sp?) is fun for inspiration and interest and I am in love with Pinterest. This gives me the visuals for inspiration bar none. For a human contact however, blogs still rule my universe. p.s. I do not like instagram. It has it's purpose though, I realize. p.p.s. I know I have left out other social media because I am not in the saddle, really. Ciao! N, xo

Annie said...

Interesting to follow the conversation you've sparked off, Seth. I think it's inevitable that blogging has changed now that there are so many other ways to interact with others online. Most of it is not my cup of tea at all. Personally, I'd rather read the book or see the show than follow the twitter feeds about it! I'm sticking with my blog because of the interaction I have with my readers. I guess if that dwindles away, I might think again.

lynne h said...

"...to be a successful artist in the 21st century means being connected online." seth, these words set off a big 'ol alarm within me because they seem to presume the same definition of 'successful' for everyone. mine has nothing to do with blogging, social networking, or being well known in general. long story short, there are so many things i'd rather be doing (like painting!) than social networking!

xoxo

Kelly Kilmer said...

Thank you, Seth, for this.

My go to sites are: blogs and instagram. I use a google reader and am able to quickly go through and read my favorites (I subscribe to a LOT of blogs.) I am tending to ignore blogs that I have to click through the post (as opposed to being able to read it IN the reader.) I love the eye candy, daily aspect of instagram.

Twitter, I use for mostly catching and reading world news bits and local interests, though I do post my own information there and there are a handful of artists that I follow. Facebook is a time suck and I hate how they keep changing everything every time you blink. It is too hard to keep up with everyone and everything on there. I have lists of friends and favorite things that I check on their daily but I do not read everything. You simply don't have time to do that. It is my least favorite social media site.

I have a tumblr and pinterest account and I rarely use those.

I am thinking of starting an email list (I don't have one) to keep in touch with folks on a regular basis.

I think that while it's nice to have access to so much information that it can be complete overkill and we really can't read everything out there. That said, I read each and every single one of your posts as your blog is one of the best out there! My goal this year is to spend less time online and more time journaling, reading (physical books) and trying to find a happy balance. I LOVE reading my blogs and instagram but I can't spend all day doing it. There has to be a breaking point.

Jo Murray said...

Already you have a resounding response to this question, which shows that it is on people's minds. For me, I love blogging and tolerate the rest. Blogging is a very personal thing, particularly if you quite like writing. The other 'fast' contact social media is not as interesting.

Barbara Hagerty said...

I think it's all useful.

Personally, I am first and foremost a blog person, but I love FB, Twitter, Tumblr, and the list goes on.

Some I find are more intuitive and easier for me to use. Other people may find the social media outlets that are more difficult for me to navigate are their easiest. What's intuitive for one isn't necessarily intuitive for another. With different types of thinkers, it takes many different platforms to communicate with everyone.

Like you, I love communicating, so I try my hand at as many social media outlets as possible. I'm more successful at some than others, but eventually I will find my niche within them all. I can't say that I "hate" any of them, even those that I find intensely frustrating, because they serve very well as a communications device for those whose minds think in the direction served by that particular platform.

So I try to be as flexible and as open as possible to as many forms of online communication platforms as possible because for me, the goal is to talk with as many people as possible and hopefully, get many of them to talk back to me, as well.

It's the hope of a meaningful dialogue that propels me forward, and while I have my own personal likes and dislikes, I'm very happy and grateful for the many different audiences that the many different social media platforms bring to the greater table.

Gwen Buchanan said...

I use my blog as my website, for my customers to find me, to connect with other artists and to show what and why i create... the biggest thing about all the various social media sites is the distraction that they create.. I tried FB but I will never, ever go their again.. too much distraction duplication, voyeurism... a certain amount of exposure is good and necessary but too much makes everything homogenized and diluted. I need more off-computer time to be able to think and come up with original ideas.

Jenny said...

I like to think that all these social media "opportunities" are just different ways to connect with people on their terms. Some folks, like me, love to sit down and savor their favorite blogs. Others just don't have or want to take that kind of time, so a FB page, twitter, pinterest, or instagram give them the connection they like. Even though I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all of it, I also love all the connections and support I have received from like-minded people. Although I really like it all, the biggest hunk of my heart goes to my blog, where I have some followers who have been with me since the very get-go. I feel like these are my peeps. I also feel like writing and creating art for my blog is a wonderful creative experience and has pushed me in very positive ways.

4roomsandthemoon said...

Seth,
When I found that there was a whole artist community online with a thing called blogging,(2008) I was totally amazed. It was a lifeline to others like myself! I started my own blog mostly so I could visit other's blogs and hear what they felt about art, and see their art, and learn from them. I'm not a very good blogger -meaning I don't post as often as I should. Like Lynne said, I'd rather be painting, or making some kind of art. But still blogs are the purest way to visit sites which mean something to me. I have fb, but it doesnt engage me much and it often seems like a real time waster (to me). I do like pinterest, its almost like going shopping without spending any money, and I do get inspiration from the art boards and artist journals I find there.
But blogging has been a blessing and an inspiration for me.
Olivia

Seth said...

Thanks to everybody who has joined the conversation and taken the time to share your thoughts in depth -- one of the many aspects of blogs that I like. It has been fascinating to see the overlap and the differences among artists and art bloggers.

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

I love blogging, use facebook to check out family photos, but rarely visit and haven't joined any of the other social media sites. I do still belong to a few yahoo and ning groups, but find that general interest in those seems to be dwindling. I guess that I'm a book, not a magazine peson and that's why I love blogs. I think that they're better suited to the artist within! They allow you to paint with words and share your passions with other like minded individuals. Long live the blog!!

Julie Prichard said...

I think everyone knows ow I feel about Facebook.....I'm only social about art now. My personal life is remaining personal for the most part. :)

Lin Collette said...

I prefer blogs to the others. I hate twitter though I find myself forced to use it for my business. I hate facebook less because it does help me stay in touch with friends and family. Pinterest I don't know how I feel. The others I haven't really tried...there are too many!!!!

I like blogs because I can READ in some detail about what the writer is doing. If there's a read by email option I prefer that because I can't always remember to visit blogs. Email reminds me.

Nothing though will surpass my favorite media form...books...

Marit said...

My feelings? Ambivalent! (I hope one day to meet you so we can talk about it - it costs too much time/effort to try and explain in English writing... and maybe that's part of the ambivalent feelings?!)

Karenliz said...

I don't have a FB. I'm probably one in a very small group that never wanted one. To me most of the social networking sites are just too time consuming or very confusing and I'm not sure what it does for artists.

Blogging is my way to see where I started and how far I have come. I love reading blogs for inspiration or learning and try to comment on those I visit.

This discussion is very interesting because I have been thinking a lot about my blog and social networking. I feel pressured to make art just so I can post on my blog; it has opened my eyes to so many forms of art that my mind is in overload which sometimes stops my creativity.

I believe everyone has to find that balance between social networking and creating their art. I will continue to blog but I need to stop the art overload. I need to find my balance again.

Thanks Seth!

IrelandBrady said...

To me a blog is like reading a book,an on going always growing book, with each post being a new chapter. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and more akin to the book's index ... they provide highlights to chapters in blogs.

If you want concise highlights you focus on FB, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. But when you want in depth content you go to the blogs. Blogs provide an insight into the person who is writing that blog. Blogs are more personal, even the comments are more in depth; people seem to open up and share more of their personal feelings in a blog environment.

A good blog is like a good book, you may put it down for quite awhile but you always know its there just within reach. Many times you may run short of time to enjoy it but when you do, it is waiting to entertain, amuse, educate, stimulate,inspire you ...

Your blog is a fine example of just that.

Seth said...

This conversation that has developed in the comment section is exactly the reason I love blogging. The depth and personal nature of these comments just cannot be matched on the other social media platforms.

Carol said...

Well I am of the over 60 generation and find a lot of social networking overwhelming. I do FB because I would miss out on a lot of what my faraway family and friends are up to and although there are lots of things I don't like, I like the variety of opinions and media. It also enables me to post and see art made in some classes I take online.
I LOVE blogs and blogging although I am quite technologically inept and find it frustrating sometimes. I have narrowed my blog list down quite a bit to some favorites that I really enjoy, Seth's included, so I don't spend too much time blog reading instead of actually making art, or in my case,playing.
That's all I do because I don't know how to tweet, etc. And frankly I don't want to learn. Although I must say if I started a business I think it would be important to use any method to get the word out.
I would never have discovered this mixed media community that I love so much if it hadn't been for blog reading. It has lead me to workshops and online classes that have been truly life changing. As a full time caregiver for a handicapped family member I would feel isolated from the artworld I love. I really look forward to new posts from the generous people who are willing to share their time and talents. They are like good friends that are always there for you.
I would say explore what social networking you like and be selective. You can always turn off what you don't like. And it is so true just like everything else, it's all about balance.

jane said...

This February I decided to blog every day (as the last two years I sketched every day) and found it suprisingly beneficial to my artwork - something to do with both the thinking about art all the time and the feedback, I suspect.

There is a depth to blogging that facebook doesn't match, however I do find facebook useful for connecting people to the blog - also, facebook keeps me in touch with my friends and the larger art community and what is happening in a way that blogging just doesn't.

Twitter is for those with modern phones, and youtube is mainly for those with good hearing - I don't have either, so stay away from both.

Eileen Bellomo said...

Blogging and yahoo groups were my first way of interacting with those whose interests I shared, and through both have made friendships that evolved from online to "real life", and for that I am very grateful. I resisted other forms for the longest time, but now have FB, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts. Lots about FB annoys and fustrates me, and I do mostly keep things that are personal out of it; it is useful, however, in keeping up with people who do not blog.
As for Twitter, I basically use it to let people know when I have posted something new on my blog.
I use YouTube when I want to know how to do something or have lost a manual for one of my devices. Often I get a link to a video that is simply entertaining and that can be fun.
Pinterest is actually very useful. But because it is so visually appealing it can be a real time suck.
I've been feeling lately that blogs are going the way of the dinosaur and I hope that isn't the case, but I fear it is.

justbea123 said...

Social media takes time away from working on your art. If the art is what really matters (and not the marketing of it), then you shouldn't feel bad if you don't blog, twit, etc. IMHO, it's an artificial world, and most connections you make are shallow.

jinxxxygirl said...

I only blog and avoid all other social media like the plague. One has to draw the line somewhere....Hugs! deb

alteredbits said...

i don't have a tumblr account but should (i have pintrest though and am a junkie), and i'm not much of a youtuber. i don't do the twitter thing except maybe twice (however twitter always automatically posts a note and a link when i post a blog so it looks like i tweet). i have a facebook page for my art but i hatehatehate facebook (don't tell anyone i said that) -- that being said, i really, really try to catch up once a week or so. i have a blog and try to post often, though until today it had been 3+ months.

i TOTALLY admire you and all the time you put into things. i really don't know how you do it! you are such a huge inspiration to me (and hundreds, if not thousands of others)!! i feel like i have maybe one hour of "free time" every day with all else that i do so i usually spend that time doing art... but i should really spend half of it catching up with other's blogs and posting more frequently myself. :)

Caatje said...

I prefer my blog to really talk about and show my artsy endeavours. I think right now it's my main platform.
I like facebook for quick interactions with all kinds of people and to keep a bit of a photodiary for myself (I try to post one smart phone photo a day there).
I started showing my stuff online on flickr and have kept up the account and do post my work there, even though I don't really use it much anymore for interacting with others. It does reach different people than the blog.
I stay away from twitter and tumblr, because I simply don't have the time even though I think I would like both. I have to draw the line somewhere.
I also have a pinterest, but that's for me only to collect imagery that caught my eye. For some reason I have 500 followers there (I swear I don't know where they come from), but I never follow anyone myself, for me it's a digital pinning board, not social media. But hey, if others like to look at the stuff I pin and repin it, they're welcome to it.
I'm also a member of a couple of yahoo groups and love the discussions that take place there from time to time.
With all this I have just about reached the limit of what I can keep up with. ;-)

Parabolic Muse said...

Well, I feel like a traitor saying this, but I was having such a hard time keeping up with my blog and others' blogs that I thought I was going to have to end my blogging altogether. Now that I am on other media, I feel a lot better about blogging and staying connected. It is much faster to use other media when I am busy, so I am able to keep up with what's going on in a much easier way. I can't always spend much time reading, commenting, and keeping my blog as current as I'd like to.

At the same time, I feel that when I retire, I will be focusing more time on blogging than other media. Blogging is a much richer experience.

Parabolic Muse said...

I also dislike FB a lot, so I am only there once every month at the most.

Parabolic Muse said...

also! I can't wait to see all your sites! This is exciting.

I am reading comments first.

Kim Palmer said...

Like many of your blog readers out there I have succumbed to the pressure of social media sites over time and signed up for many of them. Most have fallen by the wayside as I found them both time consuming, and let's face it, who's ever got enough to spare anyway, or more importantly they are just too shallow. I much prefer blogs. For me the interest is in both what the artist is doing in terms of creativity and work but also in that glimpse into what they are thinking and feeling. The connection that is made between us through the sharing of these thoughts. There's enough of the other stuff in one's everyday life. I have become much more choosy in where I spend my time these days and want more depth rather than less and for myself only blogs seem to offer that insight. I do still love flickr though for imagery without the distraction of words. I know, I'm a veritable minfield of contradictions, LOL! Good topic for discussion though Seth.

~Rasz~ said...

Hi Seth! I have had this post in my inbox to respond to and I am just now getting around to it. I love blogging and have realized that so many people use the other social medias as well. I don't know if I can handle more on my plate but maybe I need to?? This is something I have been struggling with, which is why this post has been sitting in my emails. I guess as a newby artist trying to find my niche I have more time to think about it. I am just realizing that some blogs need you to be a "networked blogger" to follow, some offers require a blog, facebook and twitter account...and so on. After reading all the posts, I think I will just stay where I am at with my blog (oh and my Pinterest) and try to do art, because in the beginning that's what its all about anyway, right?