Thursday, April 25, 2013

I'm back ... with apologies

It's been a bit more than a month since my last blog post. My friend Kim reminded me of that the other day. So ... for those of you who pay attention the, I apologize for my absence. What has happened - and I know this infuriates some of my readers, some of my favorite reader friends - is Facebook.
Tessa Morgan, a potter in nearby Woods Hole, urged me several months ago to get Hatchville Pottery on Facebook. She had discovered that increasing numbers of visitors - virtual and bodily - were finding her on Facebook. The point, she said, if you expect to sell what you make, is to get the eyes to see the pots. Which, of course, makes perfect sense.
So I created a Facebook business page for Hatchville Pottery. And people began to see the pots. That doesn't mean they were buying, necessarily, but it does mean that many more people seemed to see the work that was coming off my wheel and out of my kiln. Those people are here on Cape Cod, they're in California, North Carolina, England, Spain, Scotland, France, Japan, Australia ... all over. I used to love that about the blog, but (and this may be partly my fault for less frequent posting or perhaps less interesting posts) fewer and fewer people have been commenting. And, except for a not-very-specific visit-counter, the comments are the only way I know people are seeing the blog.
Some months ago I posted a couple of photos and a bit of a story about the collaborative work Kim and I have been doing. It got a single comment, and even that was unrelated to the post.
On the other hand, I get Facebook "likes" sometimes before I'm even finished fully posting an entry. And I get regular comments from acquaintances, friends, potters far away, collectors, buyers. It is a wide community of makers and enthusiastic consumers. In some ways, it is what I liked about the blogging community three or four years ago, when Meredith Heywood (Whynot Pottery, NC) and I wrote about it for Studio Potter.
Yes, Facebook has privacy problems and other complications. I choose to ignore most of that for the benefit of the exposure, the access to other potters and buyers around the world, the ease of posting. I put up at least one photo each day, usually a recent pot, and I often link it to other potters whose work is also on Facebook. People see my pots, and it doesn't take a lot of my time. With the summer season about to begin, we may find out how many summer visitors have seen Hatchville Pottery on Facebook.
I miss the camraderie we had a few years ago. Some of my old blogging friends I see now on Facebook. Many, of course, I don't. And I miss that connection. I haven't decided to abandon the blog, but Facebook seems to give me more exposure and, I hope, will result in selling more pots.
I'll continue to post to the blog. More often, I hope. I made a commitment to it when I added the address to a new brochure that our group of Upper Cape Cod potters are producing this spring. Please comment when you see something you like, or have something to say. And if you don't have a visceral hatred of Facebook, take a look at the Hatchville Pottery page. I fired today and will have photos of some of the pots on Facebook tomorrow, and also in here.
Below, the gallery in the back yard, after it was rearranged a couple of weeks ago. New pots coming tomorrow.


Dennis Allen said...

Welcome back. I can't say that blogging has led to much increase in exposure but see it more as an extended group of pen pals conversing in a public forum at this point. It helps me network with other like minded people. Comments? I can never predict them. Daily Facebook posting will probably lead to more exposure if that is what you are after. I think your blog can go into more depth on subjects like, oh I don't know, How the salt kiln is coming along! There are still inquiring minds that want to know these things.

Tracey Broome said...

I blogged about the pears I made last month and had emails that day, sold two of them. I blogged about my stars, sold most of them through emails. I blog almost every day, I get a lot of page views, I get emails asking for work I blog about. I just try to mix interesting reading with work I want to sell, I'm not really trying all that hard to get likes and looks, I just like my blog and yes, have a visceral dislike for Facebook.
I really like your blog, you take beautiful photos and when you choose to, you write really well, sometimes just a photo of a pot requires little to no comment except the same old, " beautiful pot" comment. Maybe that's why you get more hits on Facebook, clicking "like" requires so little brain power, haha! You have to be more thoughtful with a blog I think..... It's been weird watching so many stop blogging and it's mostly the guys, damn few of you left out here in blog land! Hope you stick around :-)

Sandy miller said...

You can link you blog directly to Facebook. Every time you post a blog it also posts on FB. Have to say it's a quandary. FB takes up time, as does blogging. Haven't sold much through the virtual world but looking hard at it this summer.
I prefer the story tellers and weavers, I want to know why you throw, how you fire and the daily trials......
All in all....... Whatever works or floats your boat :)

Melissa Rohrer said...

When your visitor thing says Columbus, Ohio it might be Marietta, Ohio. Hope you don't give up the blog entirely. I haven't convinced myself to go down the Facebook road yet.

Unknown said...

Shoot, I'd better scoot over to FB and see if I can get hooked in and follow your posts!

mudheartpottery said...

Like unknown I'm off to look at your FB page. I was blogging on a regular basis but then life decided to rear its somewhat ugly head in amongst the good stuff and things almost came to a stop. Love reading your blog so I know I will enjoy your FB. This virtual world is wonderful for connections but oh what a time consumer it can be!

Hollis Engley said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. I appreciate what you say and I do see the difference between FB and the blog. Tracey, you didn't fail me. I knew you'd feel strongly about this. I've just posted my second blog post in two days, so I'm trying to pay attention. Dennis, Kim and I have been talking now since January about a wood kiln, with Finnegan the designer and builder. It's close to happening.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy reading and following several pottery/ceramic posts so please don't be discouraged. I agree that FB has its advantages of enabling the quick post and photo I don't think it allows the same connection to people. Hang in there !