Friday, January 13, 2012

Good to Know ... Insights for the Creative Life

In the past eight months, I have made it my mission to understand (or at least, participate in) social media. Please know that I do not do this because it comes naturally to me, even though I consider myself to be socially skilled. I do this because I've been told it is an important tool for success in the creative industries. When I first worked in the quilt industry in the 1970s, the Internet was not available, and we promoted ourselves in far-less immediate ways, like space advertising and public appearances, both of which took months to plan and implement. Today, I can take a piece of fiber folk art off of my work table at my Nestle and Soar studio, and within an hour, someone in London has heard about it, seen multiple photos of it, and purchased it. Gratifying? Immediately.

It is good to know that learning all about the social workings of this amazing electronic medium is not second nature to everyone, because no one really wants to feel like a lonely dork. So I have sought out others who absolutely "get it" and have picked up two good-to-know tips to share today. Now, this will either help you a lot, or you will think kindly that I am "late to the party". Either way, here you go!

Truths of Social Networks
“Everyone on social networks is motivated by some combination of the following human needs:
Love   Finding love, keeping up with loved ones, and so forth.
Self-expression/emotion   Sharing life’s details with friends.
Sharing opinions/influencing people   Using social media as a platform for influencing opinions, usually about politics, religion, or other things we don’t typically debate in person.
Showing off   Sharing life’s successes and/or achievements with others.
Fun/escapism/humor   Using social media to get a good laugh.
Memories and nostalgia   Catching up with old friends and sharing old stories.
Making money   Using social networks primarily to support professional pursuits.”
Chris Treadaway and Mari Smith in Facebook Marketing, 2010

An item on Pinterest that caught my eye...
There is another type of social media that I've begun to learn how to use, and this platform is inspirational for creativity...Pinterest. Have you gotten sucked into the wonderful world of Pinterest? Next to playing Mahjongg Legends when I have insomnia, this is my next favorite way to unwind. Pinterest is a club of sorts that members use to communicate things they've seen on the Internet that they like or even covet. When you see something that makes your eyes sparkle, you can "pin it" on a Pinterest virtual pin board. This is a social activity because other folks who like similar things as you can "follow" you on Pinterest and therefore see what you are pinning on your boards. Then, they can comment on the item, repin it onto their own board to show their followers, or even (and this is the commercial aspect of Pinterest), click through to the originating source of the item. This is a great way for creative folks who make items to sell show it all around the town with a touch of a button. I find Pinterest to be an amusing way to see good ideas, discover talented artists, and promote my own fiber folk art. In fact, if you go to my website,, there is now a hot link that let's you follow me on Pinterest! Maybe sometime, perhaps in the middle of the night, you can see what I see in the whole-wide world of creativity!

Thanks for stopping by,

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