To Tweet or not to Tweet. That is the question.

I have set up a Twitter account, and wonder if it’s worth it…  I’m worried that it’s the CB radio of the 21st century…
I have some real misgivings about Twitter.  I have heard all about it and really like it’s ability to speak to so many globally–that’s a wonderfully useful asset for so many reasons.  It’s unbelievable how handy it can be for certain situations–take the Iranian incidences that happened during their recent election, for example.
But I am unsure it’s really worthwhile anymore for promoting handcrafted items…  From what I can glean, it’s usefulness has slipped in an incredibly short amount of time…  I’ve read articles that have suggested getting into Twitter at this point is a useless endeavor; that the time has passed on it’s effectiveness, and it’s fallen into mass junk tweets.  Much like email, now people are trying desperately to avoid junk tweets as much as they avoid junk emails, and it’s becoming harder and harder to do so even though you can accept/decline following.  Determining who is worth listening to is problematic, and therefore it’s starting to become convoluted and complicated.
I’ve not heard that much that’s actually good about Twitter from the handmade community.  Sure there is the ability to let all your followers know when new items are available, but I am not at all sure that’s actually useful in the long run.  Sister Diane, on CraftyPod, did a podcast that discussed this briefly a while ago.  (FYI, I highly recommend her podcast–good good stuff!)  Her concern was that we are sending the wrong message when all we use our online community for is to flood it with messages regarding our new products.  It somehow cheapens the whole and makes a bad impression.  I agree with that…
So I’m a tad hesitant to jump into the “Twitter Pond”.  I’m not at all sure it’s going to be something that I can actually use beyond simply informing others when my stuff becomes available.  I guess I feel I have other means of doing that…  Because, frankly, if people are in a shopping mood, and they’re looking for something I am making, I’m not that hard to find.  I’m just not sure artistically handcrafted items are the “impulse buy” sort of thing.  Art doesn’t seem like an impulse buy to me.  And I somehow feel that advertising using Twitter is about encouraging impulse buying.  It would seem to me there is a much more discerning consumer that purposely purchases handcrafted items, and no amount of twittering is gonna speed up that discernment…
I think in the end, I respect my customers too much to do that…  But am I making a mountain out of a molehill?  I’m not sure I want my items to seem so easily “pushed” on others… I’m just not that easy, I guess (haha)!  Ease of access is one thing, but there’s a fine line between informing interested followers and simple mass advertising…
I guess I respect my potential customers too much to inflict what I feel is a certain “cheesiness” on them…  I mean, I might as well text everyone’s cell phones…  Would that prompt anyone to run to their computer to buy a new vest??
I feel like Twitter is some kind of carrot on a stick, and it’s dangling in front of me, and I’m not sure if I really want it…  Hmmm…
Thoughts?  Lemme know.
Until next time, live life with Relish!

I have set up a Twitter account, and wonder if it’s worth it…  I’m worried that it’s the CB radio of the 21st century…

I have some real misgivings about Twitter.  I have heard all about it and really like it’s ability to speak to so many globally–that’s a wonderfully useful asset for so many reasons.  It’s unbelievable how handy it can be for certain situations–take the Iranian incidences that happened during their recent election, for example.

logoBut I am unsure it’s really worthwhile anymore for promoting handcrafted items…  From what I can glean, it’s usefulness has slipped in an incredibly short amount of time…  I’ve read articles that have suggested getting into Twitter at this point is a useless endeavor; that the time has passed on it’s effectiveness, and it’s fallen into mass junk tweets.  Much like email, now people are trying desperately to avoid junk tweets as much as they avoid junk emails, and it’s becoming harder and harder to do so even though you can accept/decline following.  Determining who is worth listening to is problematic, and therefore it’s starting to become convoluted and complicated.

I’ve not heard that much that’s actually good about Twitter from the handmade community.  Sure there is the ability to let all your followers know when new items are available, but I am not at all sure that’s actually useful in the long run.  Sister Diane, on CraftyPod, did a podcast that discussed this briefly a while ago.  (FYI, I highly recommend her podcast–good good stuff!)  Her concern was that we are sending the wrong message when all we use our online community for is to flood it with messages regarding our new products.  It somehow cheapens the whole and makes a bad impression.  I agree with that…

So I’m a tad hesitant to jump into the “Twitter Pond”.  I’m not at all sure it’s going to be something that I can actually use beyond simply informing others when my stuff becomes available.  I guess I feel I have other means of doing that…  Because, frankly, if people are in a shopping mood, and they’re looking for something I am making, I’m not that hard to find.  I’m just not sure artistically handcrafted items are the “impulse buy” sort of thing.  Art doesn’t seem like an impulse buy to me.  And I somehow feel that advertising using Twitter is about encouraging impulse buying.  It would seem to me there is a much more discerning consumer that purposely purchases handcrafted items, and no amount of twittering is gonna speed up that discernment…

I think in the end, I respect my customers too much to do that…  But am I making a mountain out of a molehill?  I’m not sure I want my items to seem so easily “pushed” on others… I’m just not that easy, I guess (haha)!  Ease of access is one thing, but there’s a fine line between informing interested followers and simple mass advertising…

I guess I respect my potential customers too much to inflict what I feel is a certain “cheesiness” on them…  I mean, I might as well text everyone’s cell phones…  Would that prompt anyone to run to their computer to buy a new vest??

I feel like Twitter is some kind of carrot on a stick, and it’s dangling in front of me, and I’m not sure if I really want it…  Hmmm…

Thoughts?  Lemme know.

Until next time, live life with Relish!

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Podcast Mania

So for my next blog entry, I want to discuss some of the things that I had been researching up to this point.  I had been doing a lot of reading, and a lot of exploring regarding setting up a business of my own–I didn’t want to enter into this blindly.  However, I felt a lot of the stuff that I was reading didn’t really apply to my particular situation… It was almost as if there was a specific definition of what was appropriately “business” and what wasn’t… On the other hand, most of the “art” books that I read regarding the art industry didn’t really have a grounding in the kind of business that I wanted.  I wasn’t looking for an apparel company model, nor was I looking for a studio artist model.  I was looking for something that was in between–an example of a business story that would allow me to straddle three different worlds–those of Craft, Art, and Apparel.

I started out by exploring podcasts.  For those that don’t know what a podcast is, it sort of like “educational talk radio”.  I had discovered the concept as I was exploring iTunes and hit upon a World of Warcraft podcast.  I was hooked.  I discovered that there were not only gaming podcasts, but others about art, business, technology–you name it, there was a podcast about it.

Except wearable art.  At least from what I could find.

And that’s what I was looking to get into.

So I started to “subscribe” to a lot of different podcasts that were similar to what I felt I was getting into–crafting podcasts, business, design, freelancing, marketing, etc.  While many of them weren’t actually about my field, the information I could use was easily extrapolated and applied to my particular situation.  So even though I was listening to graphic designers, I was able to philosophically consider their advice from my own perspective.  And while some of them were about wool felting as a craft, I could listen to their beginning business endeavors and gain inspiration and confidence.

Here’s a list of the podcasts that I am currently listening to right now or had in the past… There are a LOT more on my iPod and in my iTunes that I haven’t even started listening to yet, but I look forward to diving into them!  I know that many of them will have a great deal of knowledge that is useful.  I encourage you to go exploring.  All of these have corresponding websites that are extraordinarily helpful as well.

43 Folders
The Accidental Creative
Answers for Freelancers!
Art Marketing Action Podcasts
Craftcast
CraftSanity
CraftyPod
Design Guy
Etsy
Freelance America
Inside Digital Design Radio
SketcheeBook: The Creativity Podcast
Threadbanger!
Tweak! The Podcast for the Creative Entrepreneur
The Digital Marketer’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Growing Your Business

I find that it’s really wonderful to put these into my iPod player and listen to them as I work.  It feels like one’s double-dipping in a way and getting twice as much work done at one time.  Listening to them in the car, piece by piece, as one drives around on that 15 minute errand can be really helpful as some of them are merely a few minutes–intentionally short for the busy worker bee!

Next time, I’ll talk about some of the print resources that I was reading as I’ve prepared to launch Relished Artistry.  Believe it or not, the internet isn’t the only source of helpful hints!

Until next time, live life with relish!