Since my dream of Vincent Van Gogh last week, Iâ€™ve been pondering what â€œtrueâ€ artists from history would think of the online art marketing environment of 2009. What would they think of email, Facebook and Twitter?
I guess that depending on the artist the reaction could be anything from wonder and pure pleasure to shock, horror, and distaste. Itâ€™s hard not to imagine a look of disdain on Gauguinâ€™s face as he contemplates our dizzy online art marketing world!
But Van Gogh? With such curiosity about life itâ€™s hard to imagine that he would not have at least a passing interest. Then again, his intensity and power of focus seem truly at odds with the scattered sound bites of something like Twitter.
I like to think that he would see it both ways â€“ eschewing the online world during his days painting in the fields and focusing relentlessly on his work â€“ while at night perhaps engaging in a little high value social networking noise with fellow artists. After all, those late night salon get-togethers when he visited Paris were simply 19th-Century social networking â€“ right?
The bottom line for me is the quality of the interactions â€“ whether they be online or offline. Iâ€™ve been on Twitter for a while now and I see lots of noisy self-promotion â€“ but also some genuinely wonderful content. Yesterday, I saw this tweet from a fellow Twitterer, Brent Hodgson:
â€œWhat’s HOT: delivering real, genuine, valuable content — What’s NOT: pitch-pitch, repeat-repeat, spam-spam.â€
I think that about sums it up. All our online-tools make good servants but poor masters. As artists itâ€™s our responsibility to raise the bar and deliver â€œreal, genuine, valuable contentâ€ no matter what the mode of communication.
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