Friday, August 15, 2014

Email Alert


One of the wonders of the Internet is that it has connected me to an art community that has become an important part of my creative life on so many levels. Over the years I have found myself reaching out to other artists online for many reasons -- some small (thanking somebody for leaving a comment on my blog), some big (inviting an artist to be a contributor in my books), and some in between (contacting the winner of a giveaway I have hosted). It still surprises me how challenging and frustrating this can sometimes be.

Click on five random blogs that you often visit and look to see how many of them provide easy access to an email address. On occasion it can quickly be found at the top of the blog or via a contact tab. Sometimes it is only listed within the profile. Once in a while it is deep within the sidebar. Every so often the artist asks that you leave a comment on a post to contact them. All too often, an email address is nowhere to be found.

It is obviously a personal and individual decision as to whether one posts their email address, allows for an alternate way of contact, or even wishes to potentially communicate with readers of their blog at all. It may not be your intention, but when no easy contact info is provided...the message is that you do not want to be contacted. Opportunities that might come your way may just in fact take a detour if you do not provide a relatively accessible way for people to contact you.

My thoughts here are not meant as a rant but rather as a friendly reminder of the power of connections when they are made...and the loss of possibilities when they are not.

Thoughts????

18 comments:

lynne h said...

i have thoughts, seth... : )

it's frustrating when someone leaves a meaningful comment and there's no way to reach them. i feel like it's a one sided conversation when i can't respond... i'd love to see those who are reaching out online enable a two way conversation!

xoxo

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

My e-mail was hacked, and as much as I would LOVE to have it fixed, and have tried several times, it seems it sends a virus out if I send a comment back. Now who wants their computer to get a virus in exchange for an e-mail? Leaving comments on others' blogs IS a meaningful way to communicate AND they don't risk getting their computer infected.

CERULEAN said...

You are right Seth. But a lot of bloggers are afraid of spam. Searching for a solution how to reply to a "noreply-comment", I've found this blogpost some time ago.
How to change your settings, maybe it's useful. http://badluckjenn.blogspot.nl/2013/10/are-you-no-reply-blogger.html - eric

Jo Murray said...

There are pros and cons. If one doesn't require any feedback (tho' who would post stuff and not want it?)then , by all means, withhold contact info. My comments are relayed to me by email so that I can respond in the same way.

elle said...

Although I am not a BIG presence on the internet I have had no problem making my e-mail prominent and haven't used any verification for commenters. So far so good. If I have to jump through too many hoops to comment or contact I let the opportunity pass. I do appreciate the internet even if I don't always understand the how and the why. ;~)

PamelaArtsinSF said...

Interesting post, Seth. For my email, you just go to the profile and that seems to work out ok -- I do get quite a lot of emails from my blog readers that way. I agree, we don't want to make it too difficult to get a hold us of....also my blog (like yours) has a FaceBook page and it is easy to leave messages for me there too. have fun in Australia!

Darlene Campbell said...

Right. I've gone to their FB page, to leave a message...but I appreciate an email address on Blogs. Every professional site I visit has contact info easily found.
OOPS! I'd better go see if my email address is easy to find on my blog.
Cheers-Darlene

JackieP Neal said...

Sometimes I have gone as far as contacting a blog owner to ask if they would add a Follow By Email so I may follow and keep in touch-some never knew- others just don't care to have it- Being accessible to me, is the best way to keep in touch with others we might never have met!
")

Lin Collette said...

I've been hesitant to expose my email address on my blog because my accounts seem to be popular with spammers. However, I just set up a contact form so that people can get in touch, and I can contact them back. I think that's a good compromise

Boo said...

Thank you so much for this discussion. I had follow by email on my side bar but I didn't have Contact Me. I've added it this morning. Thanks again for a very helpful reminder.

Stampendous said...

Thank you, Seth, this makes us crazy, too!! Why enter to win something and then never check back and also be completely un-contactable? I will jump through LOTS of hoops to find someone, or EVEN just to determine if they have a US mailing address. I think most people who don't have it just don't know how to add it.

Just Jen said...

well dang. I've changed my website so much in the last ..erm.. 5 years that I hadn't realized that I no longer have contact info. And I am totally NOT anti-contact. rectifying as we speak! (hope Oz is all that and a bucket of chips!)

Tracey Fletcher King said...

I have only recently discovered your blog and I have to say I love the way you bring up exactly what I am thinking... I often get people ask questions in comments, but they are no reply commenters thingies and then on tracking down their website or blog, I find no contact details... A frustrating experience... Another great post...xx

Sharon W. said...

I am puzzled by all the concern regarding people who pose questions with no available return address. Bleh! When I visit a blog, I feel as if I have become part of a big group, perhaps comparable to the scene in the bar at the end of a great day at an art retreat such as Art is You. I feel free to chime in with a comment, and even at times to pose a question, or just to listen. But I am not speaking directly to the individual who has created that blog. No, I am cruising along as part of a group that has been drawn in by that person's "charisma". In fact, I do not want a one-on-one response, because that would be like sneaking away to one end of the bar. So, please, just keep posing good topics, offering stimulating views, and sharing reader comments which broaden the issue.

Martice Smith II said...

Oh wow, Seth, I have a blog post in the works for this same topic! I do have a few thoughts: I've been using my Google+ profile to leave comments on other blogs, with my blog URL linked. I DO have my email address visible but never knew how to navigate to the blogger profile. I just switched to using my blogger profile, just to see how both methods work. (Now I'm wondering if you've ever had to search for my contact info?) I apologize if I made any inconvenience.
As for the no-reply commenters (who actually WANT a reply), it can be so time consuming searching numerous social media platforms to get their email address.

I have also noticed, Seth, that you reply to me via email (post info intact) instead of directly on your blog post comments. Is that because of personal preference or blogging etiquette? How is it done?
Thanks for always listening and giving feedback :) You really help make blogging a fun addition to being an artist!

Jocelyn said...

I guess I never really gave it much thought. When I go to someone's blog, it's unlikely I'll leave some kind of comment unless they are solitciting a specific comment (such as this one). I believe if it involves some kind of contest...I'd certainly leave some way to be contacted LOL. And sometimes I think that bloggers who are well known in the industry really don't read all the comments. I don't mean that as snarky, just that y'all seem so busy. I do follow you on facebook...so do enjoy the travel posts.

my croft said...

On a similar, but not precisely the same, note... I am frustrated unto madness at commercial ads for galleries with interesting exhibitions but no hint, or clue, or whisper of an inkling of WHERE the d**n place is. I don't want to "check our website" only to find out that the place is 2,000 miles away. This is no way to run a railroad.

-melanie

Fran Gibson said...

Could not agree with you more. Oftentimes the information given in a blog is incomplete or
confusing -- or even worse completely missing. If I want to grow in technique and I do -- I often need more information. To the extent a blogger is accessible, I see their art on a higher plane and grounded in what Nietzsche said is the fount of all art -- gratitude! Thanks for all you do to feed our Muses, Seth!