Saturday, August 29, 2009

Blogger, Twitter and Flickr



This is a little review of what I've been doing online and why.

Flickr.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28509471@N05/collections/

This is where all my images are kept, and is a complete catalogue of almost everything worthwhile. I have about 200 followers here. Any image put there receives in first three days between 0 and 20 hits.

Blogger.

I 've been blogging fairly steadily for about 2 months now. I shall continue to use Blogger as I have been- that is, I shall be using it to comment on particular pieces and projects in Flicker, and my artwork in general. I also use it to publish short stories and asides about life and art in general.

I haven't used it to talk directly about my private life, primarily because I perceive an "invisible line" between the artist (blogger) and his personal life. There has been a considerable amount written about this sort of thing, where someone has written pieces based on their own family experiences and this has caused some sort of controversy or other: to me this is intrusive and an abuse of power. Even if people agree to be written about they are unlikely really to know the consequences. And if the pieces are in any way negative then they rarely have the literary skills or legal will to gain redress.

To me the artist necessarily adopts a persona for his work- art is artifice, after all- and the re-invention of self is simply part of this (that is why, for instance, attempts to uncover the "real" Bob Dylan or Pablo Picasso are so silly).

Twitter.

After four days, I have about 20 Followers on Twitter. I've been sending Twitter messages to ensure that when various subjects such as monoprinting or artists appear, so does a link to my work. Clearly, the results of this will take some time to show

I have been experimenting with individual links to specific blog entries and to individual images. if I post a link to an image I usually get between 10 and 20 hits. But I am not sure how many of these hits turn into sustained "loyal" followers. People seem much more reluctant to click on Blog entries, possibly because they know they will have to read something as opposed to simply digesting an image.

Also, when viewers access these linked images they seldom go on to look though other related images which are on the same Flickr page. Also, they rarely "favourite" work- so I can't help feeling that they are simply clicking as a sort of motor response to seeing a link and a keyword that appealed to them.

What's it all about?

The objective of all this is for me to pass my time in a way that I find reasonably amusing. For me, that means engaging in a dialogue with the public- the Internet is potentially a magnificent tool for this, combining the constrictions of diary, gallery space art review and discussion in one easily accessible location - specifically a dialogue where my artistic interests meet those of the wider public.

Gaining individual hits is good for an ego buzz, but in the long term is neither here nor there if I do not thereby create more "followers" (ghastly term) because it's the dialogue with these followers that I find enjoyable. Postings tend to have either a wide and shallow or narrow and deep base. For instance, images of girls have a wide general appeal and will receive a good number of hits, but they are too ubiquitous and superficial to create lasting followers.

Contrariwise, monotypes on Kafkaesque themes will have a much narrow but deeper following and are much more likely to create the loyal blog following that I desire.

I shall come back to this in about three months time for another review.

Image above is from "The Universal Alphabet"
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28509471@N05/sets/72157608815122656/

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