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social networking for artists?

Do you blog, tweet, friend, or link? As an artist, do you find that these are helpful to your marketing/networking efforts? Tonight, a group of fellow artists met at my house to discuss how to use the plethora of social media out there. Most of us were ambivalent about having to join in, mostly for lack of time. How does one fit all this stuff in around doing whatever else we do to make money, take care of families, exercise, or get together with "real" friends?

Blogging is more than marketing for me. I use this as a visual diary and a way to shed light on my art for anyone who is interested in the back story. It is much less formal than a website, more immedate and far less intimidating.

My fellow artists felt that a Facebook fan page was the best use of the medium for promoting upcoming shows, open studios, or whatever. Twitter was the least embraced by the 8 of us at ths point, but that may change... we'll see!

The consensus was that all these vehicles may or may not be great marketing tools, but if used wisely, they can augment our studio practice by giving us reason to hone our writing skills and think out loud to an invisible audience. That can be helpful when one is alone in the studio for long hours.

What do you think?