A colleague, on one of the many social net groups I take part in, mentioned how exhausting it is keeping up with all of the social networking self-representing artists find themselves participating in on the web. If you Google 'social networking sites" you get over 45 million hits. Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, Twitter, Forums, blogs: seriously, when is a person supposed to find time for it all, and still create?
This is a question I have been turning over in my head for a while now. It seems like most people fall into two camps; one groups feels the best results will come from having representation in every avenue, the other feels that energy should be focused on one or two priorities. I find myself bouncing back and forth on a continual basis, so who am I to offer advice to anyone, right?
One thing I have realized, is social networking will not benefit your business if you find that it is interfering with your ability to create new product! Lately, I have had a number of initiatives starting up, and found myself without any time to be creative, much less add new work to my existing sites. It was then that I realized I needed to see through the projects I had started on, and then decide one or two sites that I would try to utilize the best way possible.
However, most self-representing artists do not have a big advertising budget, and social networking can be a great way to sell yourself to a targeted audience. To satisfy that part of me that is worried I will be missing out on the next great "thing", I will continue to try out the new sites that I come across...and then I will have to make the decision whether to continue that route or let it go.
Social networking can be a blessing for the artist who does not have a group of like-minded folks in their neck of the words. Just make sure it doesn't turn into a time vampire, and deprive you of the precious minutes you spend in your studio creating new treasures for the rest of us!