Wednesday, March 07, 2018

writers and artists and social media-doings

As I've been dipping my toes in the Twitter pool the past week, I've been thinking about social media and which platforms work best for which things, both as content generator and content consumer.  My twitter use is shaping up to more focused than facebook on specifically  writing and art-related topics. (and I am mostly following other artists, writers, and publications there.) It's perfect for links and small segments of poetry due to length restrictions, but I am also hesitant on how much time one is to spend there in order to absorb the hive that is buzzing around you.  As someone who does not really use my phone for internet outside of instagram posts, and mostly do my interneting on my laptop or desk computer and only at certain times of day,   I feel sort of adrift and unable to follow twitter as a reader and follower even when I am posting there.   I've had the dgp one for a while, but it mostly autoposts from the facebook and I don't interact all that much there. It also got me thinking about other platforms I use, and what they are best for, and sometimes worst for.


What's on it?  What it's useful for?

I've been regularly keeping a journal since my second year of college (and rather spottedly before that even though high school).  First it was a series of black marble composition books, then it was Xanga, then it was here.  Sometimes I feel like maybe no one is really reading this and maybe I'm just writing for myself. And really,  maybe that's okay.  I use it as a reference all the time for temporal reasons, also for mulling over patterns and obsessions.  For replaying things in my head from 5-10-15 years ago.  For writing fodder & materials.  Since it probably, altogether, far exceeds any poems I've ever written in both word count  and bulk, it's probably my grandest opus, even though a little rougher around the edges  My frequency has waxed and waned over time, and some waters are deeper than others, some rants and arguments more fevered. I used to get more heated over writing-related things I thought were stupid or arbitrary or useless.  There is much here about forging one's identity as a writer, about submitting work and publishing your first book.  About MFA-ing. There is also a lot of  thinking things out loud to make sense of them.   Sadly, with the rise of of much sexier social media options, may writers once active have long since abandoned them for other, less time intensive pastures.  Even for me,  most of my writerly news updates are more likely to happen elsewhere, whereas once, it was pretty much only happening here. I still like blogs for their heftiness and longer dips into things, however, and still read the ones I can find. (and the style & fashion blogs I also enjoy  are still very much a thing, even if poetry has moved onto to other platforms. )


What's on it?  What's it useful for?

When I decided to stop struggling with handcoding html everytime I wanted to change something on my personal or press website (which I had been doing old school on angelfire since around 2001), I started thinking of something easily updateable but with easy customizeable templates.  I had started using tumblr as the platform for wicked alice when we went from individual issues to streaming content, and I liked the ease of use enough and the ability to sucscribe/follow enough to aim my both my domains for both the press and my personal site to tumblr pages. On my the press page, you are able to navigate through info & guidelines pages, or go directly into the shopify platform which is the retail outlet. The feed on the tumblr features occasional news and new titles. Similarly, my own writing & art site ( in much the same way, with the main feed sort of a news & updates page (publications, samples, new work), and then individual pages for things like books, interviews/reviews, exhibits and readings, and linking to other social media and projects from there. In this way, I probably use it very much in the way other writer's use Word Press as an easy way to set up a site that looks polished and like you have a design team working on it. Tumblr's boon is that it  is mostly free unless you want super-fancy templates. Tumblr, as a whole, also has really good search engine rankings.


What's on it?  What's it useful for?

Pretty much the kitchen sink of social media. Baby goat videos, funny comics, random observations, links to writing and art endeavors, personal history, library things, dancing girl press things, cats, artist discoveries,  book & entertainment things, cats, photoshop magic, clothes & fashion & decor, angry feminist rantings (and links! ) Reductress and McSweeney's funnies. Areas of personal interest--anxiety, polyamory, creativity in general. Cats. Basically all the things you will hear me talk about of you are ever within actual earshot of any conversation IRL ever (but yeah, mostly cats.). It is behind a friend wall mostly with a few public posts to keep away the right-wingers and mansplaining riffraff, but if I know you in an actual real life or online community writerly capacity, you're pretty much in.   This sometimes feels like a convergence point where everything comes together and probably where my truest, unadulterated voice comes through. Sometimes with a lot of profanity.  And cats. Also, probably the only place where my real non-writing life (family, personal, library) intersects with more creative endeavors. Facebook as a platform seems to excel in it's share-ability and conversational possibilities.  I also have facebook pages for projects--dgp, Aesthetics of Research, the Crypto Society,  that are more focused in their content on those endeavors.


What's on it?  What's it useful for?

Up until last summer, I had a Nokia Windows based phone that was pretty much not playing nice with instagram and I so very badly wanted to give it a whirl. When I was firmly ensconced with an Android like a normal person, the first thing I did was start posting--pretty things, random shots of my homespaces and workspaces, books under construction, random dailyness,  things I'm reading or perusing, clothes, vintage housewares, landscape shots. And yes, I think 48 hours passed before I posted the first cat picture. Over time,  I've slowly filtered in some poem posts and artwork series in progress, and sometimes, older stuff and throwback pieces.  I am still working on how to use hastags effectively.  If you want a more visual manifestation of what is twirling about me in a daily basis and maybe even twirling about inside me, this is an accurate representations of my surrounding and obsessions. With more cats.


What's on it?  What's it useful for?

I've had a flickr account for over a decade, and at first it was more just a photo storage place that wasn't my own device. . As a result it is much more of an online photo album documenting the past 10 years than a social media thing I interact with other's over. I do, however,  since I am too lazy to find a proper portfolio platform for visual artwork, use the flickr albums as an easy  way to showcase that, but there are also random vacation folders, albums of more instagrammic shots pre-instagram, and sales pics from when I had the etsy shop.


What's on it?  What's it useful for?

Pinterest is definitely more for me than for anyone else, and where I bookmark completely frivolous stuff like dresses I want, style I like (by season and decade), hair colors, drink recipes, food stuffs, home or studio design inspirations. Also mini-obsessions like vintage wallaper, postcards, textiles., floral tattoos.   Useful things like packaging design and book cover inspirations.  I also have started idea and inspirations boards for various creative projects (UNUSUAL CREATURES has one, as does POSTCARDS FROM THE BLUE SWALLOW MOTEL.) Pinterest always has the feeling  that reading print magazines (fashion or decor mostly) used to have for me, that sort of flipping through and ripping things out to save.

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