Friday, January 8, 2016

A blog question

Pamela at Cappiccino and Art Journal raised a question about blogging a few weeks ago during T Time.   I thought I would explain why I blog and see why YOU blog.  Do you believe blogs still have a chance to survive?  BTW, this is the ONLY place you'll find me.

I began blogging because I wanted to keep a journal, but not one that I have to write in.  I really don't like writing because it's hard for me to grip a pen or pencil.  But everyone said I should document how I made something.  So of course, it was easy to take photos (even as lousy as they were before I finally got a camera I loved) and document the process.

Later, I used my blog as a vehicle to procure a place as a DT member of UHU glue.  Although I was sad about the way we six UHU gluers were treated in the end, having been given no notice the blog had been discontinued, I learned a lot about what was expected of a member of a design team.

I enjoy writing tutorials, and go by the philosophy see (or envision) it, make it, teach it.  One of the reasons I'm not on Pinterest is because when I was at my friend Kathy's one weekend, we perused Pinterest.  More than half the links showed a photo, but no explanation of how something was made or the basic materials used.  That was very disappointing.  The above tutorial is called "Alcohol and acrylics don't mix" and can be found on my tutorials page or here.

Speaking of materials, I believe in using what I have, not what others want me to buy.  I tell you what I used, then encourage you to use your own materials.  I don't like to advertise the type of ink or stamp or material or whatever I'm using, because 1) I often get it on clearance which means it's more than likely discontinued by the time I use it,

2) I find it in my neighbor's recycle pile (like this meat tray I turned into stamped hearts), and

3) I don't like mentioning specific names of products because I feel I'm giving the company free advertising.  If they want to pay me, I'll throw their name ALL OVER my blog (like I did when I was a UHU gluer).  But until then, I show the product I'm using (at least most of the time), but refuse to tout or name specific products.  Although I used a lot of products to create this Grunge background, I don't mention any specific products I used, only the type I used, such as spray mists, color glazes, pigment ink, etc.  I believe it's up to the reader to re-create my tutorials using whatever products they have, not using the same products I have.

But that was a rant, and had little to do with documenting my art techniques and processes.   It's something I do on occasion when I feel it's important.  

I also feel the number of followers I have gotten over the years has been phenomenal.  I'm always encouraged because I see the stats and know that many, many more readers are viewing my blog, even though they don't leave a comment.  Although comments are nice, I have never asked for them.

As for followers, I never, EVER try to pad my stats by requiring a person to join my blog simply because I have a give-away.  They might join one day, then when the give-away is over, they unsub because the content isn't what they were after.  All they wanted was the possibility of winning a freebie or two.  Those aren't true followers.

You, my loyal readers and followers, are a big reason why I blog.   I gave away the above items that took two photos to show during a blogoversary, and all anyone had to do was leave a comment.  Did I not mention how horrible my old camera was?  Incidentally, the winner had never left a comment before the giveaway or after winning.

I also blog for inspiration.  There's not a day goes by I don't visit a blog that inspires me.  That inspiration may take months to develop,

because sometimes an idea has to ferment or percolate before I figure out how to use it, but in the end, it was one of my blog family members who inspired me along the way.  This inspiration above came from Susi, who created an Easter wreath for her table and I used that inspiration to create this on my Christmas end table.

Are you still an active blogger, or do you see them as going the way of Picturetrail?  Do you believe blogs will survive for at least 10 more years?

From humbly beginning my blog as a vehicle for documentation to being inspired by my dear blog friends, you know why I blog.  Now please share why YOU blog and if you think blogs are here to stay. 

18 thoughtful remarks:

Rita said...

I started blogging because I moved away from the rest of my friends and family (except Dagan) to go to college up here in Fargo-Moorhead, couldn't finish school, ended up housebound in terrible shape, and it was a new-to-me way to write one letter and they could all read it and know I was okay up here. That's why I started blogging. I have never tried to gain followers. Haven't even had a give-away. But very slowly over the years I have met the most wonderful people and have some loyal followers. Well, Miss Karma has her own followers, I think--LOL! Over the years some of them have come and gone and some of them have stayed. I am always honored that anyone stops to make a comment. :)

Once Dagan and Leah gave me an old digital camera several years ago--OMG! Letters with pictures! What could be better?! All these years it still feels to me like I am writing a letter when I blog and I can't ever imagine quitting. I write about my life--whatever is happening. I am always delighted to meet new people and it is nice to know my friends and family know we're okay up here. :)

Divers and Sundry said...

Thanks for sharing your interesting blogging history. I began blogging to keep track of what movies I watch, what books I read, what new places I go, where I go on vacation... that kind of thing. I love finding people whose blogs I enjoy who also leave comments on some of my posts. It's a special type of friendship that doesn't require actually knowing the person in real life. Almost a kind of pen pal.

I subscribe to a lot of blogs through inoreader (my rss reader of choice) and often never click through to the post itself to leave a comment. I can't tell you how much getting to know the T Tuesday group has meant to me -plenty of folks I like to click through and visit with :)

I hope the free blogging platforms remain available, as blogging meets a specific need for me. I enjoy Facebook for its ability to keep me connected to folks and for easy access to all the latest in political memes and puppy videos lol. I am on Pinterest but rarely do anything but add hat photos. I'm on Twitter (or at least I have a Twitter account) but never got the hang of it. I signed up for Google+ thinking it might be a good alternative to Facebook, but nobody I know is there. I track my movies at Letterboxd, but I haven't found much of a social connection there. I think I may try GoodReads but haven't yet. Blogging works for me.

Long live the blog! And thank you for your help in forming connections :)

Valerie-Jael said...

This was a very informative read. I agree with you on a lot of points. I don't worry about having more and more followers, that's not important, I need people who support me, and whose blogs I like reading and can support. I am hoping we will long be able to blog, without more and more restrictions. Till then, I hope we will see each other regularly and learn what others are making and what makes them tick. Have fun with your wonderful blog! Hugs, Valerie

Fran Hopkins said...

I feel a bit of a fraud as I don't have a blog of my own but I love to read about other peoples creations and the lives that work around their artiness. Because I don't get out much or have many 'real' friends it is lovely for me to be able to see so much of the outside world, all over the world, from my own home. So thank you to all the bloggers out there, you really add to my enjoyment of life. x

Aiyana Kalyna said...

This is going to be a little long. I have been reading your blog a long time. I have to say of all the blog posts you wrote this was the most inspirational to me.

I use to blog. I loved it very much. I blogged before it was popular. Life dealt me a series of tragedies over the years. In all honesty I stopped blogging because I became depressed. I did not want my blog to be depressed. Plus, my blog was a tutorial blog. It became to hard to write tutorials suffering depression and tackling a new tragedy. I do miss blogging so much. I am thinking of blogging again now that I am healthier. I am on Pinterest. Pinterest for me is easier right now. I need baby steps.

When I did blog it was not crafting. It was graphics. I never felt pressured. When I got into the online crafting world I felt such a pressure. It was due to the "Use what so and so wanted you to buy." I was so moved by what you wrote on that subject. I was fearful if I started a blog I would get slammed for using what I have and not what somebody told me to use. I was going through this same thing on message boards. I knew it would happen in a blog.

Like you I don't want to give free advertising. You made me realize I am still doing that on a message board I am posting at. I was doing this innocently. I am giving the companies money while they take mine.

Also I make my own products. I use recycled products. I buy on clearance or shop at thrift stores.

Thank you so much for writing your post. You will not believe how much inspired me and moved me. I love blogs. I love bloggers. They are here to stay. I love Pinterest too. Pinterest would not be around if it wasn't for bloggers. I actually use Pinterest to find new blogs. Thank you. I am seriously thinking of starting blogging again because of your post.

Dawn C. said...

I do not blog but enjoy arty blogs. I also don't facebook, instagram or any other social media. It's just too time consuming and takes time away from art making and reading. Plus, I have to work for a living as well. I enjoy your blog and have been visiting for a few months. Thanks for your energy and passion for writing and documenting your process and story. I, for one, am grateful for blogs like yours. It takes a lot of thought, planning and energy to develop a post, and I have always been a deep thinker so I appreciate the more in-depth approach provided in blogs :)

froebelsternchen Susi said...

I love blogging - and so hope we will be able to blog furthermore in the future. I found many friends and it is much more my cup of tea as being in a forum or on facebook - I am just interested in crafts and techniques and making art and I don't like to read just about all the private things - most of the people are posting on FB ..
I am not very interested in gossip things at all - the first platforms I used were forums for crafters as I started crafting.That was also very nice - and I found friends- but I love it more to have my own forum - my blog is kind of a home-forum for me . Very important for me. When I see how many are visiting and how many are following and how many are commenting - it just makes me happy and proud and shows me that what I do is good. That is why I love my blog. It's just a hobby - and to have a hobby and enjoy it is healthy for the mind for sure!
I love the way you blog Elizabeth - you know that for sure!
Hope we will continue our blogging for the next 100 years!

Halle said...

I started blogging to share my artwork with others. Further than just the yahoo groups I started out in. It also became a virtual journal of sorts.
I still blog for those reasons but I also blog for self promotion...hoping to drive traffic to my etsy site. In that same money main thought I have also placed a couple ad spots. I have excluded sensitive topics.
This year with my new word of the year, I'm attempting to use my blog in a slightly different way. Posting when I feel compelled,for my pleasure. That being said...I'm not going to ignore linking to my etsy or promoting myself but I'm not planning to post just for the sake of that.

My name is Erika. said...

I started to blog to keep track of my life. I actually do look back to see what I did or saw or was up to on certain past dates. To me it is good to see where I have been and where I am now. I have grown to like showing the world my art. Working full time it is hard to have the show part of an artistic life. You know, doing craft fairs, art events, going to retreats or even classes. There just isn't the time to do it, never mind work and make all the art for one. Doing the art "show" part of life is a lot of time and work. I also love meeting people by blogging. I feel like I have a whole new set of friends that share something I love. Its to meet people that have the same interests. And also I love the inspiration I get from other people's blogs, and hearing what people have to say, and think, and feel. I with you though, don't run a give away by signing up on my follow list to get followers. Be yourself. Be true to you, don't get sucked into the product push...sometimes I do mention products only for other to know what to use if they want to know how to do something. Have a great weekend Elizabeth.

sheila 77 said...

Hello Elizabeth, Thanks for the request to add my blog to your sidebar, that would be very nice indeed and I can't imagine why anyone would refuse, it's an honour.
I'll be back to comment on this blogpost later as I have to read it again, there is so much of interest here.

pearshapedcrafting said...

I think I need to be on my computer for this so I will come back to you if you don't mind! Hugs, Chrisx

sheila 77 said...

What an interesting post, Elizabeth, with so many interesting questions and fascinating replies from others.
I love making art, sharing it and blogging about it. The two go together for me. If I didn't blog, or if I did and nobody visited, I would not make nearly as much art, I would do something else creative and maybe more useful like make home items or make clothes or do more gardening or I might exhibit art and textiles in Real World more and so on. It's often a struggle to keep a balance between Real Life and Virtual Life as I also love visiting other bloggers and communicating with them.
Blogging is very time-consuming (for me anyway) and I think it is possible that others may find it too time-consuming, especially those with full-time work, and especially now that there is Instagram and Facebook and so on, which don't need nearly so much effort. How easy it is to press a "Like" button rather than write a thoughtful comment.
I think our own current Art Blogging community is a wonderful place to be a part of and I very much hope it can go on for some time yet.

Jo Murray said...

It's an interesting question Elizabeth. I've not been blogging as prolifically as I did when I first started. The good thing is that blogging feedback spurs you on to greater efforts, and I found that my art improved a lot.

Nancy said...

Good post- and food for thought. Your thoughts and decisions are interesting. I began blogging as a way to keep a visual journal of my quilting, crafting, and art projects and to share them with others who may have a mutual interest. I wonder, too, about the longevity of blogging since Instagram and the like have diverted some blogs. But I like to write and tell the story of quilts and projects, so will plan to continue.

Meggymay said...

A good post to read and lots of questions that I had to ask myself. The blog for me began after meeting friends at a Craft retreat. Something I had never thought about till then.
Craft took over my spare time when I retired from work. ATC swaps via a magazine introduced me to a number of like minded friends. I had to give up my love of sewing and cross stitch as the fingers were not so nimble and the eyesight not so sharp.
Now to the blog, late one evening at the retreat we all took the plunge and signed up and I am so pleased I did.
Now, I Have come to know many talented folk, who have inspired me to try other things, besides card making and altering /recycling boxes etc
Recently Susi and Valerie at AJJ got me creating more journal pages and the folk I follow who create digital art. After following yourself, nothing ever gets thrown away without a second look to see if I can sometime use it.
So for me I hope Blogs continue for many years.
Yvonne xx

Janet said...

I only recently found your blog so I'm new to you but I love blogging and hope it hangs around for a lot longer. I do think Instagram, FB and other quickie sites are becoming the norm though. Few people want to take the time to actually read a blog post and then comment on it.

Corrine at said...

I replied to Pamela when she first posed the question and really I blog because I enjoy writing and creating and connection. I love seeing what folks are doing and getting to "know" someone a bit more because of a deeper online connection to the who, what, where, when and why they are as human beings. Like you said, I like those who like me back for me, in the same way I like and follow them because of them. Nuff said. xox

Pamela Gerard said...

I seem to be joining the party here a little late -- or maybe not really since I posed that question on my blog (and thank you for the shout out!). I think -- hope -- blogs will be around for ten years because I really enjoy reading my favorite blogs. i like to blog because I find it keeps me always thinking about interesting and creative things -- you can't have a boring life and do nothing and blog, can you? (That is tongue in cheek). But seriously, I have to be doing creative work all the time to feed my own soul -- and keep my blog going. And, I am a photographer by profession so i enjoy the process of taking photos for my blog. I agree about "give-aways" on the blog -- I rarely do them because I too found that people often just try for the give-away with no interest in the blog. I do send people surprises in the mail often though since I am a mail artist. When i posted the question on my blog the comments about blogging vs FB were solidly in the blog corner. I have a FB page for my blog too and i enjoy posting there but for me, nothing replaces blogging.