Life As An Itinerant Artist

Stories and anecdotes from fifteen years on the art show circuit. 

On Twitter and staying in touch

I read a post on Havi Brook’s site (The Fluent Life) recently about her email hiatus. Briefly, she’s not answering any email anymore. Now, whoa, before you say, “How can that happen?” you might want to read her thoughts. She makes a lot of sense. I spend a lot of time staying in touch with people asynchronously. By that, I mean, having conversations that don’t occur in real time. A little like chess by mail. But it takes an inordinate amount of time. While I’m not sure I could give up email completely, she makes a good case. After all, it’s addictive and a huge time sink. And I’m not terribly disciplined about checking once or twice and leaving it go. I needed another solution.

So I started using Facebook. And LinkedIn. And Plaxo. And all of this overhead takes like, WAY too much time. It’s easy to get distracted by other people’s chatter. I get a ton of spam and newsgroup digests on email that I have to wade through. Info overload. For sure. I used to like Facebook, because it sorted out things that were relevant to ME. But then they changed it. And not for the good, either. LinkedIn and Plaxo are fine for staying connected and reconnecting with old work buddies, but not much good for constant communication.

What I realized I was missing as an independent artist was the kind of conversation that you have with peeps in the office. You know, standing around, talking about the latest cool technology, or what was on tv last night. And then I found Twitter. Twitter lets you have those kind of conversations, and some of the applications that have grown up around the platform allow you group conversations or friends, and see only those posts that you want to see. And the funny thing is, I’m now having more meaningful conversations with people. Sure I still spend time on Facebook, but less of it, because I can get friend status updates directly into TweetDeck. And I can stay connected using my iPhone, with any number of apps for a buck or two. My current favorite for Twitter on the iPhone is Tweetie. It’s now available as a desktop app for Mac, too.

So enough about that. If you’d like to join in the conversation, you can find me on Twitter as @dakkid. (That’s my old CB handle, dakotakid, shortened for the new millennium. Besides, dakotakid was already taken!)

April 21, 2009

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