Friday, 28 May 2010

Merry-Go-Round - Networking

Jump on our merry go round and join a group of artists/crafts-women from around the world as they link hands and tell you a little bit about their lives in craft.
Do look up the answers from the rest of this band of crafters (links to your left).
If they haven't posted yet, remember we all live in different time zones and check again later...
This month's theme:
What do you do to network? In what ways does it work or not work?

These days, I have even less time for networking than for crafting.

Over the past few years, I have tried the usual (myspace, blogging, among others) and the less usual (this Merry-Go-Round, the Thursday Sweet Treat...). I don't believe the networking sites, such as myspace and facebook (which I keep personal) are any good for me.
The only forum I still visit on a daily basis is the DaWanda forum. If only because I find it much more congenial than the Etsy forum where you get a measure of support but also a lot of gratuitous aggression. I have no time for this... Still, the Etsy forum is where I found the Thusrday Sweet Treat, which was a really inspiring 'place', (when I still had time to be part of it...) and it is much faster than the DaWanda one, especially in English, which is a shame.

As I have never done this full time,
I really have no idea what concrete results it has brought about, or what it could have. What I do know, though, is that it has allowed me to learn a lot from fellow crafters. It has also inspired me in a way I couldn't have been if I had only been focusing on making and selling.
It has kept me curious and — relatively— ambitious.

In short, though it sometimes felt like the networking time was stolen from crafting, I suspect I wouldn't be crafting at all anymore, if it wasn't for the virtual ties that have kept me going.

Using my blog address as a signature at the bottom of all my mails has brought me at least two clients among aquaintances who didn't know of that part of my life. I also keep giving away my business cards, though I still don't know what effect it may have had. Who knows...


ArtMind said...

Jip, it's hard to balance out networking time and crafting time - although that I do think that once you have found a way to balance it, it is fun to network and get out there! :)

Tweed Delights said...

Yes, I'm still trying to see what works for me too - it's very time consuming though, particularly when you're crafting on a part-time basis :/

Ruth said...

It is tricky to figure how effective different networking is on a sales only basis....but I know that's why I like Google analytics so much as it gives you lots of info on how people found you and what they were looking for. As far as networking resulting in having supportive people around you - I don't have to be able to measure that to know how much I appreciate it.

Mariana said...

I thought I was the only one who had found the Etsy forum to be a little juvenile and bitchy...
Balance is what one needs..too much computer eats into crafting time and then it is counterproductive.

Easterya said...

Totally agree with networking time stealing crafting time, but very interesting when you say that it is effectively what has kept you going... Food for thought, thank you!!!

Sara's Texture Crafts said...

I agree about the Etsy forums... they can get very nasty. It always surprises me that some of those people actually have shops on Etsy... how can you behave like that and expect shoppers not to see it?

I think that's why blogging is probably one of my favourite networking forums... people come and visit you because they want to visit you.