madshutterbug (madshutterbug) wrote,

Time For Thought

So much wandering through the reading stream leading to thoughts about this, that, and a Japanese proverb. 'Chase two rabbits, catch neither one.' Lately I've been feeling like that a bit. What do I really want to do with a blog? Why aren't I making and showing more photographs? What is lacking on that count?

The string posting a photograph a day provided some of this time for thought. There's some discipline required, and that even if one is 'mining' an archive, not always posting new work done specifically for the post. I consciously broke the string because I felt time pressures getting ready for an art show. Only so much time available when working for a living at something other than making the art. Curiously enough, not posting brings feelings of loss...

Another recent post by jongibbs one of the people I read who writes, concerned focusing ones blog quite deliberately. This one, in fact, on blogging tactics. I like punning there, because posting a photo a day provided some focus on this as a photo blog. Discussion about photography and art could fit in as well as the actual photos. Still, there are times I simply feel like digressing, for one reason or another. Doesn't fit the focus concept well, that.

And yet, I see something similar over at haikujaguar's place, and it seems to work. Oh, not a lot of personal (hmm... what word) drama/angst/something. Some though, about things happening in life as well as the art.

Lots of readers in both those blogs, so both concepts work.

Part of what spurred these meditations are suggestions and questions from one of the panels at the recent Necronomicon, 'How to Train as a Professional Artist.' I think I mentioned it, even if not by title, because this was the first session Sunday morning panel I talked about where very few people showed. This led to a good bit of talk between everyone there, and suggestions on things to do, and encouragement to continue doing those things when discussed. Specifically, artist web sites, and if not custom sites at least places like Flickr and Deviant Art. I mention those two in particular both because they were mentioned, and because I use them to some extent or other. Also blogs, again either custom sites or using LJ, Blogger, and others. And, key to it all, building readership/viewership steadily.

That last is what I've been pondering for a couple reasons.

For a while I've been watching statistics on Flickr. Now, Flickr's made this easier to do in the past year and a bit, even providing a nifty graph showing stream visits over the past few weeks. Before that, I started watching the 'Most Popular' listing, as in the photos most popular by 'Interestingness' (a unique Flickr algorythm of some sort), Comments, Favorites (how many times someone tags a photo as a 'Fave'). That latter group still intrigues me a bit, but it's the former that provided the recent insight. And, it got a bit of a reinforcement after the Con art show, where I posted an 'artist info' blurb that listed my work on Deviant Art.

DA's statistics for my pieces there showed an increase in viewers starting during the Con and continuing for a few days after. Not a huge increase, and yet a visible one. Also one of the things that came up while talking with another of the exhibiting artists at Necro who asked 'What's your view counts?' Thinking back over it, I mentioned that while the average views may not be high, there are occasional spikes. More thought provoking to me is that it is become unusual (not unknown, yet measurable) for no views in a day to occur.

Steady building of readership/viewership, and with it the spin offs which result in people following links...

Another of the people I read, firesmithsghost often talks about being a writer and being successful as in say paid for writing. He writes because he wants to, feels driven to. Being paid for it would be nice. Not being paid isn't stopping him. I see this as one of the measures for success as well. Be really nice to bring in some money selling photographs. Is, in fact; I've done so often enough to know, nowhere near often enough to 'quit the day job'. Point made, in fact, in another of the panels at the Con where a group of published writers all answered in the affirmative, 'How many of us have a Day Job?' They all do.

I suppose then, the point I'm making is... I'm not making a point. I've noticed a trend, after four years or so posting work to Flickr, of views being quite steady. I remember the views to DA bumping during and after last year's Necronomicon Art Show as well. And I'm approaching a change in the Day Job which will in effect be a non-change. I'm still making photographs, even if not posting one a day for a bit. Because it is something I do.

So, what was I talking about, anyway?
Tags: art, life, philosophy, photography, writing

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