To Facebook or not to Facebook...

I belong to an art quilting e-mail list.  I have for years.  I get my mail in "digest" form rather than individual e-mails, so periodically I receive an e-mail with seven to ten "posts".  The list of subjects is conveniently displayed at the top, and I can scan the list and decide if I want to read any of them.  If I do, I scroll down to the e-mail I want to read.  If not, I delete the digest.  More often than not, that's what I do.

I have learned a lot from the other list members over the years.  Topics are generally art and fiber related, and frequently involve some process discussion, which I often find interesting.  Periodically, the discussion involves more general topics, such as "fiber art and it's place in the traditional art world" or "what do you call yourself -- artist or quilter?".  Other more personal topics often surface.  I generally skip those, not that I'm not interested, but rather that I prefer to spend my time in the studio making art.  Through the list, I've been introduced to some fabulous quilt artists by following the links to their blogs and websites.  I've enjoyed my membership.

Last week someone proposed moving the list over to Facebook.  There was instant uproar.  There seem to be a lot of Facebook haters out there.  Personally, I rather enjoy Facebook.  In moderation.  And I love that the new group is private, and that we can post pictures of our work.  As a private group the posts and pictures cannot be seen by the general public.  No more searching out someone's blog or website.  It's all right there.

There seem to be several objections.  Firstly, that viewing Facebook wastes a lot of time.  Secondly, that images on Facebook are not protected.

My feeling is that we as users are directly responsible for the amount of time we "waste" on Facebook and the internet.  I do restrict my time online.  My main computer time is early in the morning.  B and I get up at six am and while he showers and dresses I do my morning tasks (feed the cat, make B's lunch, make breakfast, make the bed, make coffee, clean up the kitchen). After I've done all of that I sit down with a cup of coffee and read my e-mail and check Facebook.  I see what my friends and family are up to and I check my groups (SAQA North Texas, Master Class and now Art Quilts).  When Brian comes down for breakfast I get off of the computer.  I do check my e-mail at lunch, but I try not to spend more than 15 minutes online.  In the evening after dinner I check e-mail and Facebook again.  Only a very small part of my day is spent on the computer.

I don't take my iPad up to the studio.  I don't want to be distracted from my work.

As for the second objection, I believe you cannot control any image you post on the internet.  Copyright or no copyright, once it is on the web it is to some extent public property.  If you don't want your pictures copied and pasted and pinned and misappropriated, then don't post them.

As an artist, I am concerned about my copyright.  But I also want my work to be seen and enjoyed by others.  If I have a piece, like Tuning Fork 22, that I don't want pinned or copied, then I won't post it.  Otherwise, I hope it is seen by as many people as possible.

I, and 700 other list members, have joined the Facebook group.  And I still get then e-mail digest.  The list seems to be a place of deeper discussion, the Facebook group a place to show our work, both finished and in progress.  I see validity in both platforms.

To change the subject completely, Tuning Fork 13 is on it's way to IQF Houston.  Any of you going to be there in November?


Laura McGrath said…
I have also been following the facebook controversy on quiltart. I find the conversations on quiltart too often are judgemental or downright mean, and I sometimes wonder why I still receive the digests. I think the move to facebook is a good one, just don't understand the opposition. Oh well. Enough of that! Are you in Jane Dunnewold's Master Class??
Heather Pregger said…
Laura, I agree about quiltart. It sometimes gets a bit snarky. Though I still find some of the discussions interesting.

I'm in a master class with Lisa Call. I highly recommend it. Kind of a yearlong mentor ship.
I used to listen to a radio show on NPR called Michael Feldman's Whad'ya Know. They had a phrase they used about people "itching for a fight." Lately I'm thinking that phrase applies to some folks on ArtQuilt. I find myself deleting the digest quite frequently.