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Apr 28, 2009



Enjoyed your post, I've recently found my way to writing my own blog, using twitter and flickr, and I couldn't agree more. It was intimidating at first, but with each day it gets easier and a lot more enjoyable. The deluge of inspirations from all of it can sometimes feel like drinking out of a firehouse, but in the best way possible! Your arguments for delicious have me sold, I'm joining today


Where do you draw the line though...

The constant barrage of reading blog posts, checking twitter feeds, adding those interesting links found on blog posts to delicious (and tagging them), checking through new flickr photos, checking through new ffffound (Dropular & Image Spark) images, posting a few comments and stuff on Facebook and those blogs you were just reading.

It takes some time.


Ryan: http://noisydecentgraphics.typepad.com/design/2007/07/where-do-you-fi.html


What's wrong with blogger?


excellent post ben. really excellent.

last night in my masters course i got called something along the lines of a 'master of references'. i was critiquing another artists' work, and giving suggestions of other artists working in the field - from the death metal logo guy (who i read about here) to bruce nauman. not hard, but only possible because i read shit all the time. if you're in the business of doing creative stuff, i reckon you have to be a sponge. solely focusing on 'what you do' = design business model: FAIL.


Don't forget http://vi.sualize.us/ - similar principle to delicious, which is good for saving main links to sites or specific site pages with text/info, but for image people vi.sualize.us is better, like a scrap book for all your picture refs. Clicking on the pix in your online scrap book takes you back to the original source (where you found them). I'm a photographer and use it to collect samples for research and inspiration, but there are lots of designers using it too.

Re: Twitter and Facebook. As I'm a photog rather than an (aspiring) designer, can I live without please?



Agree with every point here, educators don't push the social media side of things enough.

I've met a lot of Manchester creatives and SEO's on Twitter.

Flickr gives me that extra little push to get up early at the weekend and snap some photos.

Most of my website's traffic comes via my blog.

Over the few years I've been using Delicious, I've managed to build an insane list of inspiration and references.

And finally, Google Reader keeps all my RSS subscriptions (including this one) nicely organised and catrgorised.

I think there's a limit to how much time a person can put into social networking platforms, but picking and sticking with a few is essential.

The only place i don't put my work is Facebook, call me paranoid but they change their TOS far too often.

@Ryan - That's where your productivity tools come in. Grab the delicious buttons for Firefox, get yourself a copy of Tweetdeck and spend an hour setting up a few groups. Sign up for Google Reader and put your RSS feeds into categories etc, etc. I probably only check my Flickr once, maybe twice a week and I roll into work at half 8 to skim through the RSS feeds.


@Pete "Agree with every point here, educators don't push the social media side of things enough." You mean *some* educators surely? I do wish people would stop lumping us all together like that.

I've been on at my students to do this stuff for years now. See http://design-cultures.blogspot.com - and many of them do!


You can see one of my students, Lauren Currie (http://redjotter.wordpress.com/), and "Queen of Networking" Kate Andrews in action in this video: http://vimeo.com/3363097 talking about the need for social networking etc to be part of the modern design curriculum.


Awesome post, we are backing this too, one of our modules (personal development profile) is ran entirely via wordpress. Any other educators running anything similar? Our students blogs can be reached via the collective site. http://nwsadcollective.wordpress.com/ .thanks again


Yeah, our tutors are so behind on encouraging us to do any of this. I was in a lecture a few weeks ago, there was Illustration, Graphics, Media, everyone in there (I'm an illustration student) and I was the ONLY ONE who put my hand up when they asked who has a blog. Crazy.

I discovered delicious a few years back now and it saved me during my dissertation. I use it every day now, I have so many random tags, really should clean it up a bit.

I need to join Twitter, I'm feeling that I think. Flickr, meh, to be honest.

And my blog is hosted by blogger, and I've been thinking of switching to wordpress for a while; it does my head in, images always upload with strange colour problems and things like that. It doesn't feel professional enough either.

I've been blogging for the past 2 years of my course, it's been great to put my work up as I'm working on it as well as when it's finished. I have hardly any vistors though, don't think anyone ever reads my blog. I kind of do it for myself really. Gets a bit lonely though *tear*


@Rachel - I recommend the Huffington Post guide to blogging. It has useful tips on getting an audience.
I would suggest:

Stay focussed but don't be a 'designer' (or illustrator, in your case!) - I've read many many blogs by designers that just go on about design all the time. And boy are they dull.
Design is about more than just design, so have things to say about the world. The most interesting design blogs I'm reading at the moment talk about the recession, health care, transport systems and so on - all issues that a group of people share interests in and bring "design thinking" perspectives to. Remember: the difference between a colleague and a friend is shared interests. Someone who reads your blog and thinks "this person is like me" will come back and will comment. I think that explains why my blog has been so successful in terms of contacts made through it (as opposed to comments left). (I got invited to tea in China a few weeks ago by someone who reads my blog (http://jonathanbaldwin.blogspot.com) and it was one of the highlights of my visit!

If I had to criticise your blog I'd say it's a typical student blog about current projects. That's okay. But it's not about you. Your work looks great but that's not why I read blogs. What do you think about the world? What do you read? What did you hear on the news this morning that made you think "must write my opinion down".

Have things to say. Have opinions on things you read elsewhere. Leave comments on other blogs (like you've done here) and let people follow the link back to you. Some will subscribe to your feed, but only if you have things to say rather than things to show. For example, your post on the Tesco chicken project - I didn't get anything about your views on the subject, on how your research into chicken farming techniques made you feel, on why you thought you should take part...
Alternatively, turn your blog in to somewhere to share advice. If you have a favourite technique, explain how it's done. If you buy your materials from a particular place, tell us about the people who work there. If you have friends who do interesting stuff, write about them.

End posts with a "what do you think?" line. You have to invite comments to get any. (That's a tip from the Huffington Post book and, simple as it sounds, it works...)
That should work with your current blog too, if you were to stick with posting images of your work. Ask questions about how to achieve a certain effect.

Don't view your blog as a way to make friends. If someone goes to a party to find a rich husband, every party will be a disappointment. If they go out to learn something interesting about other people, the world or just themselves, every party will be a success. And by being more interesting, you make friends...

Ask people to visit. If you find a writer online who you admire, drop them a line saying so and ask them to visit your blog sometime. People are nice like that!


Reading this in my RSS reader via Booktwo.org, who recommend it for the publishing community too. I think you're bang on here. Time is always an issue, but tweeting and joining groups on Facebook and blogging, it all helps, and when you know you're up to dat on the news in the industry, or you can give a really good critique with references, then you feel like the time is paying off.


Ironically I found this on my course blog... but I do seem to be the only student that uses twitter, or has their own blog.
Though, I do slack off a bit with my blog - maybe it would help if I was graded on that too!
I love reading other peoples blogs and tweets, etc, I find it inspiring and interesting. I enjoy seeing other peoples ideas and progress, its exactly what we show in class... I really don't understand why other students don't bother to see what other designers are doing outside of their uni. We are only there for 3 years after all...
I've never really seen the point in Delicious, but I have given it ago now and so far loving it. Who knows how many links I can save in the two years before my dissertation.
Thanks for the tip! Love the post, good to know that my internet addiction could come in handy!

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