Monday, March 19, 2012

I Get By With a Little Help from My... Friends.

"Hi honey. What did you get up to at work today?..." "Facebook."

I was never a big Star Trek, but I had to
"friend" George Takei on Facebook. He has
some of the most clever posts and comments.
Is he on Twitter? Does he write his own material?
Live long and prosper, Mr. Sulu...
There was a time when I would have considered that kind of exchange ridiculous, but nowadays social networking is a big part of my job. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have all become important marketing tools for organizations, including Norman Rockwell MuseumI more or less oversee all of these sites for the Museum, and just launched us on Pinterest (my fiancee's current addiction). 

I was interviewed last week by a reporter at The Berkshire Eagle about what the pros and cons are about these social networking sites, and how they have affected our business. I think everyone is still trying to measure the true benefits, but they have certainly proven to be a quick and cheap way of sharing a message and obtaining instant feedback. I think it has helped me to better understand what our audience is looking for, and it should come as little surprise: images! Anytime I post an image by Norman Rockwell or another illustrator (which easily lend themselves to a number of events, holidays, activities), I am amazed by how much feedback we can get. 

Oh, the places you will go!...
Norman Rockwell's Facebook page

My point is, I think I'm good at this stuff... even though it takes time away from things I might consider more fulfilling. Tomorrow morning I have been asked to give a tech-talk on using Facebook to my colleagues. I think most people already know how to use it, but... whatever... I guess it's nice to be asked. 

Honestly, what's great for me with social networking is when I can effectively share and receive feedback for the videos and photos I have created--I have even landed job opportunities and important connections as a result. The technology can take over though, and I find myself wondering "where did my time go?" There is something about creating the surrounding content that can feel so ephemeral... Facebook is here to stay, but as an artist I "like" creating things that are going to last. 

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