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How to use this site to listen to one or all the podcasts

On this site, Brainard Carey is reading from his books and adding commentary, like a directors cut of a book. New episodes are put up daily, but if you want to listen to a whole book in its entirety, from beginning to end, click here to listen to all of The Art World Demystified, and click here to listen to all the podcasts so far from Making it in the Art World. Click here to listen to the latest podcast series New Markets for Artists.

If you want to hear a free webinar on How to Get into A Gallery and Write better Statements and a Bio, click here.

Episode 197 – New Markets for Artists / Relationships between Facebook Friends

Continued from Episode 196…

What was interesting about the school photograph was that names that I had forgotten other people remembered. Before long, almost everyone had been tagged in the photo. For me, this was a turning point in using social media tools. This was not about sharing my interests or liking someone else’s pictures; it was about memories and people from the past that I enjoyed for purely sentimental reasons. Some people hate that aspect of Facebook, but for me, it was welcomed and inspiring.

The story I want to tell about this post on the elementary school group’s wall is about enemies and how they can come together on Facebook, often in these types of group pages. You might not want to be friends with someone on Facebook, but you may have to see their posts on a group page that you belong to. In this case, I was watching my old school photograph get tagged and remembering all those names. Below the photograph, people were commenting on the image and their memories. I recognized the names and commented back, enjoying myself. Then I got a private message from someone who was commenting on the photograph. (On a side note, a private message is the same as an email inbox message, and you can send anybody that is your friend a direct message by clicking on the “send a message” button on the top right of anyone’s Facebook page. It’s just like email, but with less spam, and it’s very easy to read. You can read your messages by going to the top left of your Facebook page and clicking on the envelope icon. Then you will see your messages and you can easily respond to them in the space below.) The message was from a friend who told me that she hated someone else from our elementary school class who was commenting on the photograph. She told me a story about something that happened between the two of them as children that permanently damaged the relationship for her. She said that she wasn’t speaking to her anymore but she wanted to tell me because she didn’t like being in the same stream of comments as her ex-friend.

Relationships between Facebook Friends

Of course, I understood. Then, I got a private message from the other person involved, the ex-friend, who said she knew that what she did in the past upset the other friend and hoped her old friend will forgive her, going so far as to ask me to put in a good word for her! You see how complex things can get on Facebook? Luckily, it’s fairly

easy to deal with this, because there are lots of privacy barriers in place on Facebook. I just responded to both people politely and said that I understood. The point that I am trying to make is that just like in the real world, there can be relationships that are tricky to navigate on Facebook. I have found this to be a very minor issue for me, partly because I am in a stable relationship and have been for several years, and partly because I don’t gossip much or talk about people I prefer not to be friends with.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 196 – New Markets for Artists / Tagging

Ex-Spouses

Ex-spouses and ex-lovers make up the next category of friends and are to be added with caution. You should generally not add an ex-lover or spouse unless you want them to comment about your new relationships. Be careful, because un-friending someone isn’t always easy to do, especially if you are just breaking up. Facebook is aware of these kinds  of issues; in fact, when you first sign up and give Facebook your basic information, it asks you what your relationship status is. If you check “Married” or “Single” you can always change it to “It’s complicated” or something else. In the new world of social networking, relationship status can be mysterious or not, but it is something to be mindful of at the very least.

Enemies

Another issue is sometimes having friends that don’t get along. There are a lot of groups that you can join on Facebook, and I ran into some problems, (albeit a very minor one) after joining a group that will explain what I mean. I joined a Facebook elementary school group after I was invited by a past classmate from elementary school. That’s right, it was a page for my very first school! People often make pages about schools so they can get in touch with friends from that time. I recognized a few names and joined. On that page, if I recognized someone, I made a comment on his or her photo. Then I realized that I had several old class photos stored away somewhere. I found one, I scanned a photo of the class picture from fourth grade. On the elementary school Facebook page there is a place where you can post a photo. I posted the photograph of my school picture from fourth grade, which had about thirty students in it, neatly arranged.

Tagging

Once I posted the picture, other former students began commenting on it. What happened next was really fascinating. People began to “tag” the photograph of the group of children. “Tagging” means identifying other people in Facebook photos so that their names are displayed under the image. When you are looking at a photograph of people on Facebook, there is an option right next to the photograph that says “tag this photograph,” and if you click on it, you can drag your cursor over the photo and click when it’s hovering over someone’s face. A form will pop up for you to fill in that person’s name. After you tag one person or several people in a picture, you click a button that says “done tagging.” What you are  left with is a caption underneath the photo with everyone’s name in it. If you casually move your cursor over the photo, you will see who’s who in the picture. Pretty neat, huh?

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 195 – New Markets for Artists / Special Friends

Special Friends

Of course, there are exceptions. Consider for example the special cases of family and exes—that is, past lovers, spouses, and family members. Once you friend someone and she or he accepts your friendship on Facebook, you are connected to her Facebook page and see her daily news and updates. This works for many relationships but not all. The first time I heard about a Facebook relationship issue was with teenagers and their parents. One woman told me that her daughter would not accept her friend request. The daughter had her reasons no doubt; she wanted to talk to her friends  in privacy. This became an issue for the mother and daughter, but the mother eventually came to understand, and the daughter did eventually accept her mother as a friend. The mother posted the news on her Facebook page, saying “My daughter finally accepted my friend request today!”  That post was funny of course, but it also illustrates how Facebook users make an effort to control who sees their pages and who does not.

Teenagers

I have a relative who is a teenager and attends public school in New York City. He’s on Facebook, and of course so are all his friends. He accepted my friend request, so I’m able to see how he uses Facebook and communicates with his classmates. Looking at a page like his gives you a clear sense of what tools on Facebook are used most often. There are video chats with friends, abbreviations for everything you can imagine, and quite a bit of cursing and off-the-cuff comments. Because his page feels very informal and he seems to say whatever he wants, there is even more reason for him to screen friends, in case he doesn’t want an ex-girlfriend or someone else to see the page.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 194 – New Markets for Artists / Your Schedule

Your  Schedule

As part of your fifteen minutes a day, you can try adding  two or three friends that you have found on the Facebook pages of other friends in the arts. That’s it! Take it slow at first so that you don’t risk adding too many friends and getting a warning. When you add a friend, you have the option of sending a personal message with your friend request. In my opinion, it’s smart to add a short personal message, even if you send the same message to everyone. When someone friends me now on Facebook, the first thing I want to know is if they’re a spammer. It’s hard to tell, but I usually check to see how many friends we have in common, and if they send me a personal message, that’s a good sign, too. I almost always add people who send me personal messages because I know they’re real and not just adding friends for game points or something. I suggest that you come up with something short, such as “I am an artist and I would like to keep in touch . . .” Sometimes I’ll try mentioning a friend we have in common and say something like “I would like to be your friend. I’m a mutual friend of Sandy Robbins and I would like to keep in touch.” That’s another good way to  introduce yourself, but you could make it more casual or more formal depending on who you are friending. For example, if you’re writing to family it might be more casual, whereas if you’re writing to a museum curator or gallery director it might be more formal. In general, I think it’s good to err on the side  of being too polite. It’s not too much to say this in a note   for a friend request: “Dear John, I would like to talk about art with you and Kristine, who is a mutual friend. I would also be interested in perhaps interviewing you as well. Best, Brainard.” Of course, you do not have to say you want to interview them, but I can tell you, I have been interviewing people for years, and pretty much everyone likes to be interviewed. I could meet almost anyone at all by sending them a legitimate interview request. Everyone loves to talk about themselves, especially famous artists, curators, and celebrities. They are selective in the requests they accept— they have to be—but if you are sincere and have a place to publish the interview, even a blog, you can interview almost anyone.

However, the friend request note we are talking about need not go that far. Most people will accept your friend request. Some people like to keep their Facebook friends true to life, meaning they have to have physically met them before accepting their friend request. You can draw the line wherever you like. You do not have to accept any friend requests, and when you get one you can always use the “not now” button and make a decision later; the person requesting your friendship will only see that his request is pending. Don’t worry about hurting this person’s feelings if you decide not to add him.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 193 – New Markets for Artists / Friend Limits

Continued from last episode…

How was I finding the friends I needed for my zombie army? I was looking for other artists, curators, and people who liked the arts. I started looking at the Facebook pages of people and organizations in the art world, including critics, well-known artists, and galleries and museums. I would then look through their friends and click on the “add friend” button, thinking that those people might have interests similar to mine. If you look at someone’s wall and you like the comments that someone else is making, friend them. That’s what I did, and before long I had an entire army of zombies!

Friend  Limits

Facebook is designed to make you want to connect with other people and make more friends. However, Facebook discourages random friend adding because they want to generate real conversations rather than meaningless lists of friends for gaming purposes. If you add too many friends in a day, Facebook will send you a warning. If you continue to add friends, Facebook will turn off your account and tell you that you broke the rules. I know because it happened to me. You can either start another account at that point or you can appeal, which is what I did. I searched, “What to do when your Facebook account is shut off” online, and I found an email address to which to write an appeal letter. I simply wrote that letter and my account was restored.

More Friends

The rule-makers at Facebook are really not after individuals who are adding too many friends; they’re after bots, which are automated programs that create Facebook accounts and automatically generate friends. Why do bots exist, you ask? Because having a lot of friends actually translates into real value. If you are an artist for example, having many friends is valuable because a lot more people will be seeing your art, and they are potential customers or partners of some kind. If you are a businessperson or corporate employee, you are making friends and mixing business with pleasure a bit, and that could turn into professional advances for you as well as personal benefits. As an artist, you are sharing your work and telling people about what you are doing, just like any person who has a message that they want to share—and the more friends you have on Facebook, the more the message of your art is shared.

In short, the more friends the better, especially friends who are interested in art, because your work can reach the world through them.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 192 – New Markets for Artists / Friends: How to Add Them and Why

Friends: How to Add Them and Why (Dale Carnegie, Pay Attention!)

Having friends on Facebook—as of 2012, you can add up to five thousand of them—is like being on a mailing list. You have the option of inviting everyone in your email address book when you first sign up for a Facebook account. If you haven’t done this yet, you can do it now. Click on the small arrow in the upper right-hand corner of your Facebook page, next to the word “Home.” Select “Account Settings.” Now on the left side of the page you will see the words “Invite Friends;” click on that. Once you do, you can see there are a few options. Either you can enter your email address and password and Facebook will automatically invite everyone from your account, or you can enter in email addresses one at a time. The other way to get Facebook friends is to add them. Once you add a friend, you have to wait for them to accept your request. One way  to find friends is to look at the Facebook pages of people like me, as I have many friends who are artists. I already have five thousand friends, which is the maximum, but I have another page as well. Even if you don’t “friend” me, you can still look through my friends and begin “friending” them if you like. But please do friend me, because that will subscribe you to my Facebook updates.

To illustrate the dos and don’ts of friending, let me tell you how I got involved, reluctantly, in Facebook.

My Facebook Story

My wife and I are a collaborative art team, and our body of work includes visual art as well as performance and conceptual art. We work with different museum directors and curators, most of whom are in New York, though many are not. We know that all the relationships we have in the art world are important and, like anyone, we try to be as sensitive as we can and not burn bridges or make enemies, even if we do not share someone’s opinion or taste.

The story began one day in 2008, when I got a form email saying that I had been bitten by a zombie and asking me to join Facebook. I usually ignored things like that, but this time it was different because it was from a curator I knew and with whom my wife and I had worked. So, reluctantly, to keep up the playing spirit, I joined Facebook.

Playing Games

At first I found frustrating that I had to answer so many questions, but not taking it very seriously allowed me to start getting very silly with it. For a profile picture, I put an image of Harry Potter that I got from the web. I entered joke interests so that it that sounded like I was ten years old. Ultimately, of course, I joined the Zombies game on Facebook, which was the whole reason I had signed up. I invited all my friends and began exploring Facebook, but I couldn’t really figure  it out. I kept getting messages alerting me that I had been bitten by more zombies, and I realized that I had to bite back—which meant that I had to invite a few of my friends to become zombies. The more friends I got to be zombies, the more points I earned, and I became stronger and better equipped to win fights. It may sound silly—or perhaps it won’t to some of you—but even though I thought it was ridiculous, I became addicted to it. I started to really enjoy competing with the friend and curator who invited me to join Facebook and play the game. It was just the kind of meaningless game playing that I had wanted to avoid, but instead I was going on Facebook every day and night to fight zombies and add friends.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 191 – New Markets for Artists / Posting a Photo of Your Art

Posting a Photo of Your Art

To post an image on your wall, click on your name in the upper right-hand corner of your Facebook page. Then you will be looking at your “Wall,” where you can post your own comments and photographs. Really, your wall is like a personal web page, and Facebook makes it easy for you to add content, which your friends can then comment on. Probably the best part of Facebook is how easy it is to post photographs to your wall. Obviously, you’ll want to add pictures of your artwork, but you can also post photos of your studio, or just a photo you took during a walk. Go ahead and post a few photos of your studio or a picture of a tree or a street scene. Begin by looking at your Facebook wall. You’ll notice that towards the top of your page there are four or five words in a row that begin with Share: Status,  Photo,  Place,  and Life Event. Click on “Photo” and a little box will pop up giving you three choices. You can upload a photo, take a photo, or create an album. For now, let’s do the simplest thing and upload a photo. You will be shown a dialogue box that lets you search your computer for a photo. For the time being, make it easy on yourself and choose a photo that is easy to access on your computer. (If you don’t know how to put photos on your computer, have someone help you with that part, and then upload a photo.) Ta da! That was the hard part. Now you are using Facebook and sharing your art.

You will notice that when you posted your photo, you can also enter in a date and place. Entering the date is a great feature because you can post photos of your art a year ago, or at any time in the past, and it will post lower down on your timeline. If you think of Facebook as one super long page or timeline of your life, the photograph dates make sense of the entire timeline. You can back date images that were created years ago, or an event that happened in the past.

You have learned how to like and comment on comments, how to enter a status update, and how to post images of your art. If you stick to the fifteen minutes a day every weekday, then each session you can spend ten minutes commenting on other people’s things and a few minutes uploading a new photo and saying something about it or just posting a status update. This is a powerful beginning, but now is the part where you get to make friends. I discuss how and why to do that below.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 190 – New Markets for Artists / The Community and Reposting

The Community and Reposting

If you want to be noticed and talked about in the Facebook community, then remember to talk more about the community itself. That means spending approximately ten minutes every day looking at the home page or news feed on your Facebook page. It refreshes constantly, so what you see there will always be the latest news, which on Facebook amounts to what people have posted within the last hour or day. Look over it with genuine interest and thought and check off things you like by clicking the word “like” next to the post. If there is a comment or a statement about something, consider writing back a thought or even a nod of agreement and support. If you don’t like to write, consider this good practice. You don’t have to write very much, and you will gradually get better and better at making comments and clicking off the things you like. Doing just this for ten minutes a day on weekdays can really make a difference. You will start to see yourself as in dialogue with the community. Your comments don’t have to be meaningless or trivial, although they can be. You will find that many people are talking about politics. There are always issues and news stories that get people talking and commenting. You can repost or post a link to a news story that you find interesting.

The Ratio to Observe

The ratio of how much time you spend commenting on the news feed to the time you spend talking about yourself or your art should be four to one. This means that for about every eighty minutes you spend commenting on other people’s thoughts and pictures on Facebook, you should spend twenty minutes posting your own content. Or it could be eight seconds and two seconds! I suggest you spend ten minutes a day, every weekday commenting on the news feed, you could then devote a few minutes to posting your own photos or talking about a show you’re having.

This ratio is important because you can use it to determine how you are contributing. This is really the whole concept behind social media, and it is often misunderstood. When you post a photograph of your art on your Facebook wall, which I will explain how to do in just a moment, you will most likely get a comment. When you do, you will make a mental note of who made that comment and you will probably look at their page as well. You might even comment back—not because you have to, but because it is human nature to reciprocate, especially when we’re paid a compliment. So take part in the community, comment on other people’s art and their status updates, and they will comment on yours in turn. The more sincere and in depth your comments are, the more you will receive the same back.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 189 – New Markets for Artists / Posting and Content

Posting and Content

You’ll notice that some posts get more comments than others. If you are ranting about politics, you will probably get some passionate responses. I have experimented quite a bit with different status updates, and I am always surprised by what gets comments. When I post things about my family, I usually don’t get much of a response; when I post about art, I get more of a response; and when I post about just feeling great, I get the most comments of all. Asking questions sometimes gets responses, but not always. I have been posting a lot about an art project of mine lately, and while I have gotten many responses, it was nothing like the flurry of comments I got last night when I posted this: “I am washing the dishes and wondering how you clean between the tines of a fork. It seems impossible or like too much work. Am I crazy?” Everyone started commenting on how to wash a fork. This may not seem useful, but it is, because people commented on it that I hadn’t heard from in a while and a lively and humorous conversation came out of it. Thanks to that status update I re-established contact with those people, and as a result they may notice when I post about my art in the future.

Comments

One of the more interesting things that can happen through Facebook comments is when an argument or discussion develops between people who are commenting on the same post. However, it has been my experience that status updates that express a sense of well-being get the most responses. Most of my friends are artists, and I would not say that most are inclined to be optimistic. But I think that when someone is feeling good, we want to share in their well-being in the hopes that it will rub off—at least that’s my theory. If I write, in my status update, “I love life, I am breathing in deeply today!” I will get at least several responses right away, including comments. I also got a lot of comments when I wrote that I had just gotten a publisher for my book and posted about him handing me an advance check. Many people congratulated me and made other comments. But again, that  was a comment or a status update about celebration, and in general I find that’s what the Facebook community is the most receptive to, celebration. Don’t you think we all want more triumph in our lives? It can’t hurt to make an effort to say things that might make people feel good, because that’s what’s popular! Is it any wonder? I feel that sharing your art is a form of celebration, it is life affirming and  generous.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

Episode 188 – New Markets for Artists / The News Feed

The News Feed

The next step is to go to the Home button in the top right-hand corner of your Facebook page and click on it. That home button will take you to what is called the news feed. The page you are now looking at, the news feed, is a list of phrases and photos that people have put on Facebook in the last hour  or  so. If you have added friends and they have been active on Facebook in the past couple of hours, you will see their names and the things they have posted. If not, you will see other people’s postings. This page, the “News Feed,” is the heart of the Facebook community. I will not ask you to spend more than fifteen minutes per day on this. You could do even less and still be very effective in sharing the images that you make. You can look the News Feed over and scroll down it to see if you find anything interesting, like an opinion you agree with (or one you don’t). If you like something you are reading in a short sentence, you can click the little word that says “like” next to it with an image of a thumbs-up. This is what it means to “like” someone or something on Facebook. You should know that you always have the option to “unlike” something in the future if you wish. Take your time to read through this page. This is where everyone is, making it the most interactive page on Facebook. You can make connections just by “liking” other peoples’ pictures and pages and making comments. If you get lost somehow, just click the “home” button again at the top right of the Facebook page, and you will be back on the News Feed page.

The Facebook Community and You

Commenting on other Facebooks users’ posts is very important at this stage, and I will explain why. The reason you are getting involved in Facebook at all is the same as the reason for building your website: You want to get your art “out there,” you want to connect with as many people who are interested in your art as possible, you want more possibilities. In short, you want new things to happen for you and your art. What makes Facebook special is that it comes with a built-in community, and you can and should take part in that community. In fact, in order to make it work, you have to participate. It’s really a simple give and take. If you want people to like you and your art, then you have to be interested in other people and other people’s art as well. This should come as a relief to anyone who has heard others criticize social networking platforms for making people less social and less generous. In fact, if you are checking out your Facebook home page and looking through the News Feed and liking and commenting, you are being social, and people notice. Yes, that’s right—they do. You can tell because when you post something, even if it is a status update about your breakfast, when someone comments, you notice. When someone either “likes” your comment or writes back, you are notified by email and it also displays on your Facebook page. This is the equivalent of throwing a bottle with a note in it out to sea and seeing if you get a response; if you get a response, you are definitely going to read it.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.