I don't get it.

I've been working with a friend of mine on a branding project, and along the way we've been talking about digital things, like websites and social media. And at one point my friend -- who knows me and my work quite well, and has a lot of it in her house -- said, "And you use a flickr site too, right?"

And this got me thinking. Because to me, my flickr site is as obvious as my right arm.

And then this weekend, while C and I (and Oona) were driving up to Ottawa to attend her sister's pumpkin-carving party (and no, I did not disrupt the proceedings by pouring gasoline over my head and setting myself on fire, so perhaps I am growing up), and the two of us were just chatting, rather happily, or so I thought, I happened to ask her if she saw the little tumblr site I put together to catalogue the work I currently have for sale. And her reaction went like this
I don't know. I don't know if I saw it. I don't understand. I don't get tumblr. I don't get it. I thought I was on some tumblr site and then I clicked something and all of a sudden I wasn't. I don't know how to answer you because I don't understand. I don't get it.
And while she was sitting there talking like my mom if I put her in front of a bank machine, I got busy thinking some more.

Because there's a couple of problems here.

* * * * *

The first one is this: while it seems clear and obvious to me where my work exists, and how to find it, this must not be the case. Because people are still confused.

The second problem: I am using digital forums that people are staying away from because they don't "get" them. Because they feel intimidated by them, or they don't understand what their point is, or even why they exist.

So let me explain.

* * * * *

My tumblr site is new. I created it as a catalogue of work I have for sale. Some of this work is available from artstream studios, some from my Etsy store, and some directly from me. This is a static site, which means there is no interactivity (like leaving comments). Think of it as a brochure, or a flier, or anything that someone would hand you and say, "If you like my work, this is how you can buy it." That's all it is -- a digital envelope with pictures of work inside of it.

* * * * *

My flickr site is a portfolio site: here is where I archive all of my work. I have a section for my string-series paintings, another one for my drawings, for the artwork that was in my book, etc. This is where you can find everything.

* * * * *

I also have an Etsy shop. This is a shop I use for small (physically small) items I have for sale, like my math-paper drawings or my cigar-tin stories. Think of it as a lemonade stand, where I might be selling some cookies as well, but I didn't bring all my comic books or my old GI Joe's or a hundred other things I could be selling. Why do I use Etsy as a vendor? Because it exposes my work to the kind of people who shop on Etsy, that's why (plus it's a very easy way to sell: no back-and-forth with emails, just click your way to the check-out).

* * * * *

Then we have this site, my Blogger site. This is a diary site. Certainly, I share a lot of artwork here. But I also put up pictures of my wife, and my daughter. And I think out loud about important things like the Olympics, red-heads or
Phil Collins. This is where I get to abuse the limits of good taste on the wonderful worldwide web, just because I can.

* * * * *

And then I have a couple of Facebook pages.

I have a personal page, as in just for me as a person, as an individual, and I use this mostly just to give people a hard time and act like an all-around jackass. Because, you know, it's Facebook. And if you take Facebook seriously, then you've got a problem, and you should de-friend me *immediately*.

I have a Facebook page for my artistic work. This is solely for sharing creative work with people on Facebook. I don't know how else to put it. I mean, I draw something, and then I post it to Facebook. Because that's what you do with work. You share it. Otherwise, you end up like this fellow.

And then I have a Facebook page for my book, Punishing Ugly Children. Why? Because here I can share excerpts, or artwork I created as part of the launch, or any news, or just anything relevant to my writing. It's just what you do, these days.

* * * * *

I won't even get into things like LinkedIn or Saatchi Online or Whohub or Gravatar or any of that hoo-ha. These days a person could work full-time just propagating some kind of online persona, and I hardly have time enough to make myself a proper lunch.

Today it's a peanut-butter sandwich. And a pickle.

My wife does not look after me.


  1. Hard to know where to position oneself sometimes, but as long as you maintain all the personas, people will find you like you, buy from you, maybe even friend you, but not all the same people in the same places, know what I mean. But now and again, assess what is working and if it's it not working, don't do it.

    I did see your tumblr site and was impressed! But I am a fan and I spend way too much time on Facebook!

    And as for peanut butter sandwiches . . . that's my fall-back too because there is always PB in the cupboard and it always tastes good!

  2. Anonymous10:49 am

    Awesome! :-)

  3. UpStart: Yes. Yes, we do.

    Elle: But you are smarter than the average chicken, too.

    Sheri: ;)

  4. wow! I try to spread my web personal as well but I find it's too confusing and too many web pages to update. but you seem to know which is which and they all make sense, though I wonder if people keep themselves in one place, would other people find us?

    have a nice autumn.

  5. When lost in the wilderness, stay in one place.

    Also do not lie on the cold ground.

  6. Anonymous10:08 pm

    There's a term for this that we use at school all the time. It's called "infoglut," and it's making us all chubby. Or, maybe it's giving us all chubbies. Or... what was the question, again?

  7. Your brother1:23 am

    Jenn and I are thinking of de-friending you on Facebook because you never comment on our posts.

  8. never mind the sandwich, how do you find time to do any work?


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