Friday, August 16, 2013
Blog Awards Ireland
I'm delighted to be nominated for a second year in the Best Craft Blog Category in the 2013 Blog Awards. Last year I was lucky enough to be shortlisted, and went along to the interesting and enjoyable awards night. There is such a fab community of bloggers on the East Coast, and they seem to be a very sociable bunch althogether, both online and in the real world!
Being a rural blogger, I sometimes feel like I'm missing out on more networking opportunities. Not even work-wise, but sociably. I'd love to meet up with more bloggers, tweeters, etc in real life. I seem to have a distinct line between my virtual friends, and my 'real' friends. But we seem to have more hermit tendencies down my way, and dont meet up much. (OK, so maybe I'm to blame for that, since I dont use my real name, only use my super-crafter-hero name. But I'm trying to become a lifestyle brand, I'll have clothes and handbags and perfume named after me or my soon to be designed, ultra fashionable design).
Blogging is a funny thing, anyway, and you take to it or you don't, I suppose. The same with any kind of social media. I recently came across a great article by The Design Trust http://www.thedesigntrust.co.uk/why-twitter-wont-get-you-any-clients-soon/ . Its a great little insight into the 'why's' of social media.
It depends on your reason for going into social media in the first place. Is it just because everyone tells you you have to have an online presence? Fair enough, that is true, and if you live in a rural area, that is a fantastic way of running a business. I started because I had no-one to talk yarnie stuff to. All the social sites I first joined were all textile related, yahoo groups, Ravelry, etc. They are great starting points to building up your confidence with talking to yourself. Because, essentially that's what you are doing when you start typing. Its only when you find someone answering you back, something in common with someone else, well, then its social. I remember signing up to twitter, and thinking, jeez, what will I say? The buzz is getting some feedback, comments, and insights from other people talking to themselves. The beloved followers. I don't tout for followers, I dont see the point. People will follow, if they like what you say, and the info you re-post. The Design Trust article is geared towards Twitter, but I think the same info is relevant for blogging.
Whether its a business or personal blog you have, its a fantastic way of keeping track of what you do. I'm notorious for not remembering dates, so the blog is my diary of sorts,. What I did and when. Though lately, through ongoing technology disasters, and more physical yarnie stuff, eg exhibitions, teaching, etc, however, I seem to have less time and energy to blog. My poor neglected blogs. I did give this one a face-lift this year, that was an achievement! Now I've just got to get round to all the other blog-related things I said I'd do... (yes, I know I said more tutorials!).
And keep within your language comfort zone. I read other artist/crafters blogs and they sound so ..artistic and intelligent, and I think, every now and then I should use some arty big words. But in the end, I'm not comfortable using big words, those kind of big words anyway. I'm not comfortable with the language that the art/craft world has surrounded itself with. At first this language may have been comforting, community driven, to explain the work they were doing, but now it is drivel, constricting and serves no purpose other than applying for grants. If I want to say something intelligent, I'll use a quote. And you'll find the best quotes, the most profound insights are those using simple language, almost child/zen like:
George Eliot The finest language is mostly made up of simple unimposing words.
Picasso"It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child."
I love quoting other artists, generally because they say it so much better than I can. Picasso is a great man for quotes. I wouldn't be the biggest fan of his work, but his intelligence and wit have produced some of the greatest arty quotes: “When art critics get together they talk about Form and Structure and Meaning. When artists get together they talk about where you can buy cheap turpentine.” Its true! When I get together with other crafters we talk about the price of materials, where to get them, weather, politics, anything but form and structure and meaning. There isn't that many famous quotes from craftspeople. Maybe I should start gathering some...
Oh but I ramble...
Anyway, congrats and best of luck to all the other fab craft nominees. You can see the long list here, go check out their blogs, leave comments (we love nice comments). Theres some great blogs there. I'd hate to be thejudge.
And go visit Blog Awards Ireland, and all the other nominees. The short list is out on 8th September, best of luck to everyone!