ArtSpark’s heard several artists and arts organizations recently bemoan the time online networking takes and if it really makes a difference.  It’s difficult to know, from the outside, what’s going on with their online space without exploring more deeply, but there are some guidelines that ArtSpark would like to offer:

1.  Don’t jump into building a website or blog or signing up for social media without thinking ahead.  Questions like:  “Is my audience online and, if yes, how/where?” and “What are my online communication goals for building and engaging my audience over the next year?” are worth considering.

2.  Commit to 1-2 online tools and use them regularly (consistency is key!).  This takes energy and time.  Also, don’t forget to experiment with these tools (like adding video or photos to your website and/or Twitter) as this engages readers/followers even more.

3.  Don’t forget to make art and connect in-person with your community!  Online activities mustn’t supplant your creative work and offline networking.  ArtSpark artists/arts orgs are learning a lot about how to balance both worlds and the power of combining them, like inviting your online community to a dress rehearsal or a celebration.  It works!