Friday, June 3, 2011

Winnowing my blog list….

 

Well, I finally went through Google Reader and cleaned out the blogs that either never post anything (so why do I need to subscribe to them?) or that post 4 times a day (there is no way you have that much interesting stuff to show/tell me!!) or – and these were the toughest to weed – that seem to post just about at the right intervals, but who only give me a tiny snippet so that I have to click out of Google Reader to finish it.  Unless your first 3 sentences are Pulitzer-worthy, I’m probably not doing it.  I’ll read the snippet, wonder why you don’t want me to see the rest of the post, and move on.

Most of the blogs I follow are art related.  I often wonder about artists who blog.  Why are they doing it?  Do they use their blog as a journal, to keep track of ideas for projects, to better understand why they are doing what they do?  Do they hope to get more name recognition and a larger viewership of their art?  Do they blog to teach – to pass along tips and tricks they have discovered over the years?  Do they expect people who read the blog to buy their art?  Sometimes you really can’t tell, I mean really can’t tell, by reading their blog, why they do it.

I don’t claim to be a blogging expert.  But I know why I do it, and I hope the reasons are clear when others read it.  I do it first for my own journaling purposes; I do it because I can pass along whatever tricks of the trade I discover about making mosaics; and I do it because it pleases me no end to get a comment on here and know that someone else is listening. 

The other thing I wonder is why so many artists post SO infrequently?  If you want people to remember your name, you should probably post more often than once every 4 – 6 months.  I was amazed at the number of blog names, even ones that included the name of the artist, that I couldn’t even recall as I cleaned out the reader today.  If I can’t remember who you are or what you art looks like, you don’t post often enough.  And you’ve been removed from my Google Reader. 

Maybe you don’t care because you are doing it to serve your own purposes and no one else’s.  And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  But I’m disappointed, because I liked your art enough to subscribe in the first place.  And then I will wonder why you write a blog, which is a tool for sharing, if you are only doing it for yourself.  Why make it available online unless you want others to share in your creative journey?

I think most of you that read this blog are artists (except my Mom – hi Mom!  I’m kidding, she can’t be bothered).  Do you write a blog?  Why do you do it?  How often do you post, and what is your thinking behind it?  Why do you read this one?

I would love it if you would leave a comment telling me the answers to those questions.  Don’t forget to include a link to your blog so we can all check t out (if you WANT that). 

Oh – I almost forgot – the obligatory pretty picture:

016

Poppies and roses in my garden last year.

6 comments:

  1. Technology, blogging are time consuming but I do enjoy reading the stuff others publish on their blogs. I would like to create an artsy blog but haven't taken the time to put it together. Sharing and journaling are the main objectives I have concerning a personal blog. If I sat down with a "fellow artist" maybe I could create a blog. Don't know the ins and outs yet. It is a matter of devoting time to posting. Yes, if one has a blog I think it is important to update it at least once a week. It is a discipline and the clock keeps ticking away. I wrestle with whether it is worth it too. I too like to visit art blogs occasionally.

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  2. Hi Sandy! You know, setting up a blog and learning how to post the pictures and add things to the sidebars, etc. does take some time. But once you have everything set up, posting to it probably only takes 15 minutes or so, depending on how in depth your discussion is. I'd be glad to show you the ropes, if you like.

    I think that when you first get started, the hardest thing is to remember to post! It's easy to forget about it until it becomes a habit. Just set aside 15 minutes each Monday, or whenever is convenient. If you get writer's block, you can just share something from someone else - other artists are (almost) always glad to have you help them get the word out!

    But as I've said here before, I do it first and foremost for myself. I won't write in a notebook, but I will sit down and bang out a few words on the computer - so this is my journal. That's what makes it "worth it" for me. I think if you look at it that way it helps keep you motivated, rather than thinking of it as something you "have to do to market your work".

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  3. Hi Lee Ann! *waves*

    I'm guilty of not posting often enough on my own blog. Maybe this post will get me back on track!

    I started blogging as a means to get all of the ideas out of my head. I have way too many things floating around in the creative recesses of my brain and blogging was a natural choice to remove them and file them somewhere else.

    I often refer to my blog to "remember" something that I created or to review my artistic process over the course of a year.

    Ultimately I hope that my blog readers can be converted into clients but I really blog for myself and for the mosaic community that I am a part of.

    I read YOUR blog because your sense of humor and dry wit is in line with mine. We're comrades. ;)

    Think I'll get a post written for my blog soon. Hope you read it!

    http://creativenonconformity.blogspot.com

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  4. Hi Evie - darling girl! Of course I'll read your next post, as I have all the others. After all, you're on my blogroll here, doncha know?

    I think we all hope our readers can be converted into clients, but that alone is probably not a great motivator when it comes to sticking with the blog. There has to be something else that makes the writer value it even when it seems no one is listening (or looking.......or buying!)

    I saw a post on an artist's forum that asked "how do you keep track of all the ideas you don't have time for?" and it sounds like this is a great way for you to do it! (I replied that I don't even bother trying - I have too many ideas today, and will have too many tomorrow and the day after that - I try to just let them go).

    It makes me happy that my particular brand of humor and dry wit amuses you, because I know it's not for everyone - after viewing a rather dark video I showed it to my husband. He was very startled when the main character yelled into the camera. I told him I couldn't quit laughing after I saw that, and he said "that's because you're sick and I'm sensitive to scary things". God bless him, he loves me anyway. :)

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  5. My blog sort of evolved from old mosaic forums, to Flickr, to Facebook. And FB never let me finish what I wanted to say. I had finally gotten my own website up and running and it had a space for a blog, so I started posting. Yes, we’d all love for hordes of people to come knocking with offers to buy our latest wares, but really, we know that’s not the way most people buy art. Heck, people rarely even comment. I blog because many times I want to share more info about my art, or the art-making process. And what started as a way to share my art, has become a way to share my poetry, photos, or an occasional story. I don’t feel I post often enough, but hope to do better. I don’t really subscribe to many blogs, just check in with them. If there’s no new post, I just assume other aspects of their lives have butted in on blog time. I forgive them as I hope they will forgive me. If they’ve really intrigued me, I keep going back like one of Pavlov’s dog, wagging my eager little tail, waiting for that blog treat. With some, I am disappointed time after time, but still, I keep checking.
    I started reading your blog because 1) You are a mosaic artist 2) your blog posts and FB posts showed some wit, and I appreciated that.
    I recommend the publication Artful Blogging to any art blogger, or really to anyone interested in blogging. The blogs and artists they feature are beautiful and inspiring and leave one with a sense that there is good in this world.
    My own blog is not there yet, but I am taking baby steps to improve it. One suggestion from Artful Blogging is to comment on other blogs you like. So here I am…

    My blog: www.backbaydesignstudio.com

    Artful Blogging publication: http://www.stampington.com/html/artful_blogging_spring11.html

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  6. Ah Carolyn, you had me confused there for a minute! Your blog, Inner Workings, is on my Google Reader so I thought maybe you had changed to another one, but I see now that it's just part of a bigger website. I supposed that's a downside of Google Reader - although it allows me to keep up with LOTS of blogs, if there is more to see to a website besides a blog, I'll miss out.

    Thanks so much for chiming in here, and I'm so glad you enjoy this blog. And it's true that commenting on other blogs is not only good for the sense of community on here, but it's good for your own blog! I used to spend more time commenting before getting involved with running a gallery, and my stats were consistently higher then. I'll try to do better in the near future!

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