Friday, September 20, 2013

Counting sheep woke me up


Adding another thought to the tangle...

This is what kept me awake tonight.

Over the last decade my website has grown from a simple depository of records of sculptures, articles on paper clay and paper sculpture, and a record of gatherings in numerous countries of paper clay pioneers.

This has slowly grown to over 160 pages, 1200 images and probably over 100,000 words.

The studio website (and other websites) has also slowly grown to over 60 pages and 400 images of art, exhibitions, media releases and catalogues.

Like a gardener in a "digital garden" I spend a little bit of time now and then, just a few minutes, each day or week, on it.

But these few minutes now and then, have compounded up over a decade to a huge amount of time.

It is a quiet and reflective activity.

No-one disturbs, or comments as I wander about doing this, checking, trimming, adding, and updating.

The annual online visitor numbers are staggering: 100,000 website visitors (or 1.1 million hits),

21,000 viewers of the videos, and about

10,000 blog page views.

Website visitors come from 149 countries, with only 11,000 coming from within Australia.

I didn't actively foster this, it has just slowly occurred over time, as I posted online the information that people requested.

These visitors are like "digital ghosts", walking through my digital garden looking for and at whatever interested them, and generally leaving me alone.

Over time this meant the letter, emails and phone calls for information, came less and less.

I had more and more time to myself, to make my work, and get on with my life.

This all changed radically with social media.

I tried to do what I had done on the website.

To find out how each operates, their strengths and weaknesses, I provided information I thought people wanted.

As I floating between the different social media, I begun to meet the "digital ghosts".

 Some are existing friends, peers, my large extended family, current and past students, but also lots and lots of strangers from my website.

My social media visitors have been much more demanding of me, “poking”, “liking”, “friends requests” repeated questions and commenting.

The structure is more dynamic, fragmented, and now also becoming frustratingly time consuming.

I receive the same questions repeatedly, but now via the different channels.

It's also more obvious when I put something up on social media, as everything is dated.

Whenever I add and change things, someone is always “liking” or commenting or questioning what I'm doing!

Writing this has clarified my thinking, stilling my mental loop.

Decision: Time to change how I do things.

Back to sleep.



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