Blog? Website? Facebook? Flickr?

I've been trying to simplify all areas of my life, weeding out the stuff that doesn't work so I have more time to do the work I love. I was appalled to find I still had a MySpace page, something I'd completely forgotten about. Was there a time when this was a cool thing to have? I kind of doubt it--I can't even remember ever using it, although I must have, at some point. Then there were the four blogs, both a Facebook profile and a fan page, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube--just on and on. I weeded out as much as I could, sacrificing links to other sites and really trying to consolidate what was out there so I didn't have that cloud over my head--you know, the one full of obligation and guilt for not updating stuff. I hate that. And in the process, I realized that if this is an issue for me, it's even more of an issue for artists who use their online presence as a way to get noticed and to make contacts and just generally get their work out there. The internet can be fabulous for that, but you really need to know where to focus because there's just no way to keep up with all of it unless you have an assistant. So I asked some of the top editors: where do you go to look for new talent? Here's what they had to say--excellent information and a peek into the way they do what they do. First, Tonia Davenport (soon to be known as Tonia Jenny). She is the Senior Content Developer for North Light Mixed Media Books and she finds talented, creative people to publish books as well as to share interesting information on CreateMixedMedia.com.
• When you're looking for new art, new artists, new ideas, where do you go first? 
I ask my friends/contacts if they know of anyone who does ___ if I'm looking for potential authors, but if that doesn't lead anywhere I do a Google search in hopes of turning up artists' blogs relative to what I'm looking for. If I'm looking for new ideas, I nearly always go straight to Pinterest.
• If an artist has time for only a limited online presence, where would you recommend they spend their time posting their work? A blog? Website? Flickr? Facebook? And why do you recommend those? 
I guess it really depends on how big of a presence they've already established. If it's someone new on the scene, I think Facebook is the most visible way to be out there and get others familiar with who you are/what you do. If you've already built a decent platform, I think keeping just a blog is best because you can create quality content curtailed to your personal style/voice.
• In your opinion, are there any that are pretty much a waste of time? Places you never look? 
I don't think anything is a waste of time. I think no matter what what you maintain, as long as it is consistent (truly the key! Consistence and regularity), people will find/get to know you because we all like different sources. I for one rarely ever visit Twitter, Flickr and several other sites that I'm sure if others heard me say as much they'd think I was not playing with a full deck; I know many people who are rabid about things I just don't jibe with, and on the flip side, I love Facebook and Pinterest (and occasionally blogs), but I know several people who can't get into either one.
Christen Olivarez is the Editor in Chief and Director of Publishing for Stampington & Company, publisher of Somerset Studio, Art Journaling, Belle Armoire, and several dozen other titles.
When you're looking for new art, new artists, new ideas, where do you go first?  The first place I go is Flickr, most of the time. When I'm looking for something new, I usually have a general idea of the kind of artwork I'm looking for (collage, assemblage, etc.), and so it's easy for me to go on there and do a general search for that type of artwork. From there, I'm able to find groups with great artists in them and look at artists' favorite pictures. Any time I'm searching for artwork or artists, whether it be on blogs, websites, etc., it's a bit like slipping down the rabbithole. One thing leads to another, and suddenly I've been looking at artwork for the entire day. 
If an artist has time for only a limited online presence, where would you recommend they spend their time posting their work? A blog? Website? Flickr? And why do you recommend those?
I would recommend an artist do three things: put effort into keeping a blog
in order to build an online presence, stay current on your Flickr photostream (which isn't difficult, as you can upload your blog pictures and have them post to Flickr automatically), and also maintain a website. The reason for this is that websites are a great way to show who you are as an artist. Make sure your website has links to your blog, Flickr, and anywhere else you are present online. Also be sure to have a clear-cut and easy way for someone to contact you.
In your opinion, are there any that are pretty much a waste of time? Places you never look? For me, I use Facebook for fun. The more friends you have, the more "stuff" you have to wade through. Occasionally I'll find artwork on there, but I don't seek it out on Facebook.
Jenn Mason is editor of CLOTH PAPER SCISSORS®, CLOTH PAPER SCISSORS® PAGES, ART JOURNALING EXPOSED, COLLAGE IN COLOR, and CLOTH PAPER SCISSORS® WORKSHOPS®. clothpaperscissors.com
When you're looking for new art, new artists, new ideas, where do you go first? Blogs (via Google or Facebook). Make sure to tag photos and articles so that a Google search will find you! I also love looking through our online galleries at clothpaperscissors.com and online stores like Etsy. And probably most importantly, my submissions inbox atsubmissions@clothpaperscissors.com.
If an artist has time for only a limited online presence, where would you recommend they spend their time posting their work? A blog? Website? Flickr? And why do you recommend those? Blogs are great because they are easy to update. But you have to make sure to tag your blogs so that people can find them. I’d also highly recommend using Facebook as a tool to alert people to new blog posts. (Yes, that’s two things!)
In your opinion, are there any that are pretty much a waste of time? Places you never look?
Flickr is a great tool but not for an editor looking for interesting editorial content. It’s just eye candy, and I need to find substance. So while I use it occasionally, I don’t go there often.
Beth Livesay is the editor of five magazines at Stampington & Company and her writing has appeared in many other print and web publications. To learn more about her, visit www.coutureovercoffee.blogspot.com. When you're looking for new art, new artists, new ideas, where do you go first? This is a horrible answer: I don’t go any one place first. Honestly, I go to the places I personally enjoy going for myself (Etsy, Pinterest, FB, Blogland, Twitter, Instagram) and I find things there while on my daily morning routines. Sometimes my colleagues send me things from a number of places on the Web, but I’ve gotten to a place where I don’t need to Google “altered artwear” etc. I would encourage artists to keep up with whatever media they feel compelled to as routinely as they will allow themselves. The best, most direct way, that is given a first priority for making contact is email. I always turn on my inbox first thing in the morning and I answer every email. Best to approach me. It’s a guaranteed way of getting seen and heard than hoping I discover you on the Internet (although it’s possible). If an artist has time for only a limited online presence, where would you recommend they spend their time posting their work? A blog? Website? Flickr? And why do you recommend those? I suppose a blog or a website are best because I feel like a Facebook is more personal. I associate a blog or site with professionalism and a greater canvas to showcase work, process and social media platforms etc. 
In your opinion, are there any that are pretty much a waste of time? Places you never look?I don’t ever look at Myspace or Google Plus. There might be other social media forums that I’m not aware of too … I admit that.
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As you can see, preferences vary, and it's great to get an idea of where people are looking and where you might want to focus your time and energy. If you still have a MySpace page? Good luck there: I just now discovered that my account hadn't actually been canceled: my email address had changed, and the confirmation of cancellation email didn't go through. Trying again, though, and hoping it goes more smoothly for you~~
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5 Responses to Blog? Website? Facebook? Flickr?

  1. Seth says:

    Really interesting Rice. Thanks for asking around. For me…I think my blog will always be #1.

    • Rice Freeman-Zachery says:

      I agree, Seth. With the ability to add stand-alone pages to even free blogs, there’s really no reason anyone can’t have a easy, solid, free way to showcase their work.

  2. cathy ward says:

    Thanks Rice – this is a very helpful & interesting article. It is so hard to keep up with so many sites and then it ends up eating into the time I should be using to create!

  3. Alice says:

    Thanks for a great article. This is an issue I have been thinking about a lot lately. I don’t have time (or the desire) to update several social media sites so I’m happy to hear others who feel the same. I’ve got a blog where I show my jewelry, but my FB page is more social stuff with my friends. I have a flikr account but most of the time I don’t remember to update it. I do need to work more on getting my work onto flikr and pinterest–so thanks for that reminder. Maybe having a set schedule will help me with that.

    Though I do realize the importance of how social media affects my business, life is too short to spend it on several sites. I want time to spend with my family and friends. After all, sometime they’re all we’ve got.

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