Deep Thought Thursday: What are you getting from Web 2.0?

Lyn Bishop wants to hear how artists are using social networking. I do, too!

So, you have a blog. And you're on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, yada yada yada.

How is it paying off for you? Can you quantify any results? Or are you sucked in and wasting time there when you should be making art? What are the pros and cons of using social networking strategies in your marketing?

By the way, do you think of social networking as marketing? Or just plain fun? I guess I shouldn't assume anything here.

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23 thoughts on “Deep Thought Thursday: What are you getting from Web 2.0?”

  1. I think of it as entertainment. I have no quantifiable results as far as interest in my artwork goes. However, I do seem to get interest in my blogs from Twitter… which at least gets folks to my web site. I do waste time online.. there is no doubt in my mind about that. Good thing I have deadlines.

  2. I like to think that my blog adds another layer of interest to my website since my blog and main website are tied together. But I have no evidence of it really helping me from a marketing perspective. I’m also on facebook, linkedin, twitter, myspace, and probably a few others – I’ve pretty much given up on those as being of any benefit, other than being another page that links to my main website. The blog, I will keep doing, because if nothing else, it helps my writing skills. The other social networking sites – I’m not bothering with those any more.

  3. I think it is part of the artist’s gestalt …the whole package…Artists are expected to understand these things today…I see it as part of the art making process…Like reading books, magazines, hearing lectures, taking classes – participating in the internet is essential to staying up to date… & the only real way to do it is to join all of these various communities, find out how they work & see if they work for you…I have found that a huge number of viewers passively visit sites, or receive email invitations, without actively acknowledging such…It is only when I meet people in person, in passing they will mention being aware of what I do from an online presence… So far, Facebook has been very helpful with their free event announcement feature, Plaxo gets a good response as well from an invite emailing, handing out business cards with a web address is always solid… truth is, for the moment I’m all over the place, just getting a gander at all of this & learning at the same time- eventually I hope to pare it down, but it does help people find you in search engines…silly thing, Ebay listings always get listed high & quickly with search engines, even if you don’t really want to sell that way, it helps as a marketing tool…Today I spoke to a successful business consultant- I asked her secret- she said ” I talk to customers “…- I think the whole social networking thing & the internet in general is about that – talking to customers, & from that perspective, it’s all good…

  4. I started my blog a little over a year ago and I’m intending to start another one (It’s set up, just haven’t started posting yet). I don’t do any of the other stuff (Twitter, etc). I find that people do go back & forth between my blog and my website–which is good for me, since the latest stuff is on the blog & the website gets updated about once a year. I get a steady stream of visitors–not a lot. The most visitors I got was when I participated in the promotion of Alyson’s book. But I think that this is like everything else you do in promoting your art–it can take a long time to build up your business and your sales. I can barely keep up with doing the blog, so that is why I’m not doing Facebook, Twitter, etc. Duane Keiser (Who was mentioned on this blog awhile back) and who is credited with starting the “painting a day” movement, started his blog in 1994. He was already selling his work in galleries at that time. I would call him “wildly successful” now—but he’s been doing it for 14 years! So, my take on it is–“It’s too early to tell”

  5. I have a blog, e-newsletter, twitter and myspace. I have a steady stream of “regulars’ to my blog but 90% are other artists. I guess this would be helpful if I were teaching workshops, but hasn’t drawn more portrait commissions. For 2009, I plan on focusing my blog and e-newsletter to appeal more to those interested in commissioning portraits. Twitter is more of an annoyance than anything. I doubt I’ll continue with it.

  6. I love doing the blogs because the committment keeps me on focus and documents my work, but find the technical aspects daunting and my lack of knowledge frustrating. An email newsletter works great as a notification tool. As far as Facebook and Twitter, not at all sure they’re helping in any way that’s worth the time or that I really know how to utilize them effectively. I’ll try them for a while but I’d rather be painting!

  7. Good question, Lyn, thanks Alyson for bringing it up. I’m a member of Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace, and only joined those because someone asked me to. I’ve yet to “use” them and have little other than my blog address on them. I even wasn’t aware that there was other “artist social networks” out there. Because I have a full-time business in addition to my art, I can’t seem to find the time to pursue any of these. (I know, time is there if you want it!) I guess this very question as to their effectiveness is why. All depends upon what you put in. As far as marketing benefits, they may not directly bring in patrons, but let’s face it: the larger the web, the more flies you catch. I can also understand that full-time artists lead lives with lots alone time and and touching base with other artists is comforting and a great way to share ideas (like a blog!). Maybe in the future I’ll pursue it, but right now my time is better spent in the studio.

  8. PT 2 …and I don’t really consider my blog in the same “social network” category. Although also a way to connect, I concur with Jo-Ann in that mine has been such a benefit for me to keep me posting regularly and to help me talk more about art. Allows me to practice refining my words so I can make better connections!

  9. I’ve only been ‘social networking’ for a couple of months on Facebook and just this week, Twitter. Facebook has drawn many more to my blog and has also been a great resource finder as in linking with others in my field. New friends, yes, but also people to learn from and some have been guests posting on my blog. Widens the audience for sure. In time, such exposure pays off I think and has been my experience.

  10. I can quantify fabulous results; gained exhibits, collectors(sales),learning new skills,a workshop & networking, while still admittedly enjoying too much time in it. I have set up automatic feeds from my blog to facebook and twitter to save time. Advertising at my fingertips. We inspire and encourage our colleagues.

  11. You never know when a social interaction will generate an important professional contact. The more you put yourself out there as an artist, the more people will think of you when an opportunity arises. I’m on Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn. So far this month, 11% of the visits to my website came from links clicked on Facebook. Zilch from the other two.

  12. I meet lots of people at art fairs and the blog keeps them connected to me. Facebook is GREAT for connecting with other artists, collaborating on projects. getting ideas and feedback. I use Facebook to introduce new work. Linked In in more business oriented — straight connections. I see all of them as invaluable — and sometimes fun.

  13. Twitter is like talking to people in the check out line, although I’ve gotten useful information in response to technical questions I ask. I forgot all about facebook until someone asked to be a “friend” I am watching how they use it to announce events and may try that approach. Haven’t quite figured out if these are useful beyond publicizing a name or if I would be better off painting. Those who seem to be working twitter are offering services like consulting, etc, so it’s probably just me and not the concept.

  14. Wow! All these comments are fantastic. I find that my Twitter posts that are automatically fed into my Facebook and Plaxo account is an effective way to drive traffic to my blog and website. The real question for me is what about the art portfolio community sites? I’m really wondering how to make the most of them. I think the reason why Twitter and Facebook are effective to some degree is because of the diverse community, but what about the “” and “” types of community sites? It will be interesting to watch how this all plays out. Thanks Alyson for asking the quesiton.

  15. I just listed about this not that long ago on my blog, but I’ll reinterate here. I’ve had a lot of traffic directed to my blog from twitter and my blog actually got me a webradio interview before one of my craft shows. (This resulted in a sale to the interviewer!) Through Facebook and twitter I keep up with my real world networking group, have met people who live near me, and have stayed connected to the artists I’ve met online. My blog (and blog surfing) has connected me with other artists and gives me an outlet to talk about what I’m doing with my work. I also participate in an online artists networking site, crafthaus that has enabled me to see a lot of other really great metalworkers that are out there, but not famous enough for me to have found them through print articles. I’ve also found out about a new Pittsburgh gallery that I submitted to through it (Yet to hear back, keep your fingers crossed!). So far I’m still new with linkedin and haven’t found too much of a benefit yet. It’s fun and sometimes sucks me in, but hopefully it keeps my name out there at the very least.

  16. I keep a blog, facebook, and twitter. They are great tools for staying in touch with friends and collectors. Often, at shows, I have met people for the first time, and they already know about my latest goings on…and they came to the show because they heard about it online. I also use flikr and deviantArt. They are both great social networks for artists. They are great ways to communicate with other artists and get input on your work

  17. This is a great issue to look at because it can be very easy to waste time on the internet. I have many sales from my blog, some from Flickr and this week a few from Twitter. I have to set a kitchen time for myself so I don’t lose studio and other work time to cruising these sites….

  18. I am apart of Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxco and have two blogs, oh and Etsy. I have met incrediable people that I would have never met otherwise. I get lots of hits but no sales, yet. I spend way too much time on the computer and really wonder if it’s a waste of time. Last year I made a point to pay closer attention to my community, but I think I will have to revisit that idea again this year. I will say that all my commissions except one has come from my webite. It is invaluable in this day and time. So glad someone asked this question, I have been going over and over this in my mind………IS THIS WORTH ALL THE TIME AND EFFORT! 🙂

  19. Yes. I’m closing in on 90 blog posts ( Steady increase in traffic over the year. Clearly have a pool of RSS subscribers. Got a major feature post on another hugely followed blog ( a couple of weeks ago and still getting almost daily hits from it. (I sent him a jpeg of a painting of his favorite dog breed and he LOVED it.) I also comment regularly on another artist’s blog ( and I get regular traffic from her site. Her latest post is about all this new networking stuff and how to find the time. Joined Facebook a month or so ago. Became “Friends” with a translator of Mongolian poetry who wrote, at my request, a couple of short essays for my blog and gave me permission to reprint the poetry. This is driving visitors who are looking for Mongolia stuff, not necessarily art, but now they’ll see that, too. Have also become Friends on Facebook with art school classmates (Academy of Art, Class of ’89), art school teachers and a well-known landscape artist I met at a workshop, because of Alison’s observation that other artists are critical to career development and can make it happen for someone like me. Plus, equally, it’s great to be in touch with them and see what they are up to. Both the blog and Facebook are now part of my marketing plan, and I didn’t bother with either until I figured out that they could be and should be. Every entry relates to the plan in some way. I am about to start listing small, original “Studio Studies” (6″x8″ to 8″x10″ oil paintings) on EBay and hope to use the blog and Facebook to drive traffic there (y’all are welcome to check ’em out) and, hopefully, sales. It will also be an excuse, along with the holidays, to start up the email artzine I let lapse when I began to blog (stupid, stupid. I know.) I think it’s like weaving a web where all the threads link to each other and, eventually, lead to sales, because people have gotten to know me and what I’m about as an artist from reading about my travels and how I do what I do. So, what I’m wondering: Is part of the problem that “I’m doing a blog, where are the sales?” in a passive kind of way? As opposed to linking the networking sites to very specific buying opportunities? Which is what I’m going to try. We’ll see.

  20. Oh, almost forgot, I’m also on a site called Brushspace. It seems to be mostly artist-to-artist, but they’re from all over the world and we all post a gallery of our work, which is VERY cool.

  21. I’m not sure I can quantify my use of social networking sites, but I can tell you I consider both to be networking and marketing tools. While not necessarily a social networking site, my blog has brought me tons of opportunities to sell work, network and to teach. I suppose in one sense it is a type of social network through the conversations I have with people and exchanging links with other blogs, but not along the same lines as FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Flickr (which multi-tasks as marketing, photo storage, social networking), and more. I find FB much more useful than Twitter because a lot of times it really feels like people are just talking out loud to themselves.

  22. Nothing beats face-to-face meetings, but once you meet someone, chances are they might want to know more about you. Who buys anything nowadays from someone they don’t “know” anyway? I would say it’s all about how one wants to use new media and what one wants out of it. The internet has allowed me to become very well known in the mosaic world, as I started using new media in 2002 and have constantly chipped away at it since then. This has gotten me invited to exhibit in shows where others have to go through a jury and invited to write articles for magazines, sometimes paid. The Internet allowed me to manage a successful international open call to artists for my latest book, Mosaic: Finding Your Own Voice, not to mention help get the word out about it, which resulted in the book being on the Blurb best-seller list for most of the first 8 weeks after release. Yes, it takes time to manage it all, but it takes time to build a brand. Few artists understand that they are their own “brand” – or know how to manage it. I’m on several sites – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, have a blog (since 2006) and vidcast, among others. I use video to allow people to get a feel of who I am – to see me and hear my voice. If they want more info about me, my books, or my art, they can peruse my site. If they want to know what I think or what inspired a work, they can read my blog, which is also on my site. And if they only want to know my daily movements, it’s on Twitter. Everything is cross-linked to my site and well organized. In summation, I leave it to my audience to decide how they want to interact with me (or not) and how much information they want. And I do my best to make it easy for them. It’s all about so-called “user experience”…

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Your Artist Mailing List: Rethinking + Assessing

Get a transcript of episode 182 of The Art Biz (Rethinking Mailing Lists for Artists) followed by a 3-page worksheet to evaluate the overall health and usage of the 3 types of artist lists.

Where can we send it? 

To ensure delivery, please triple check your email address.

You’ll also receive my regular news for your art business.

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