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Let's Chat About Chatting
How this newsletter can be more of a community for us.
When I started rearranging the puzzle pieces of my life after closing my Santa Fe Gallery - a year and three and a half months ago, but who’s counting - I have been searching for the right internet pieces to make a fun creative space for my friends and me. Because all platforms don’t do all things, it got confusing for awhile. But what has come out on the top of the stack of good things that work, is this “stack” - my Newsletter on the Substack platform. It offers so many possibilities for community and for communication.
I came to this platform because my newsletter could be like a blog, so I wouldn’t need two places to write. Every post allows readers to leave Comments and Likes, just like a blog does, and readers can even includes images in their Comments.
But it’s been VERY dead in that area of Comments and Likes. Because I know you like me or you wouldn’t be here, and my content is pretty likable too, and I know you all are not *that* quiet, I am thinking the ability to talk back is not obvious when you get the emailed posts.
So, I took a look at that and sure enough, if you read the post in your email, it looks like the end when I sign off. But scroll beyond that to the bottom of the email, and there are your Comment and Like buttons. ALL my subscribers are authorized to Comment. Some Substack writers only allow paid subscribers to Comment, but I think the more folks who can chime in, the better the conversation. All subscribers can also read all the Comments. Hopefully, there will be some to read now.
NEW SUBJECT . . . .
The other thing I tried was setting up a private Group like a Facebook group where every member could post new threads. It had to be hosted on a different platform for tech reasons. It was slow going, but at least we were going, and the platform just got bought by some big company who will change everything. They aren’t even trying to keep their clients, so our Group there will be unceremoniously dumped by them. End of that endeavor!
Although huge Groups on Facebook are a gigantic pain in the neck (I know because I have run one for five years), I still believe the concept of being able to hang out and chat online with other artists is a great thing. Some of you who have been around a long time will remember Yahoo Groups. They were perfect, but they didn’t make the long haul.
However, just as I was lamenting all this, Substack added a new Chat thing. I think it can give us the essence of a “Group” right here in this newsletter.
This Chat will work on the Substack website now, but it works best in the (FREE) Substack App (for both Apple and Android). The app offers a great way to read the posts from all your subscriptions in one place, and you can access the Comments and the Chat easily. Chat is accessed by tapping the talk bubbles at the bottom of the screen.
Here’s how this works (I hope - I am still learning all this).
I have set my newsletter to allow all subscribers, free and paid, to start Threads. If you don’t know, threads are posts on new topics. Just like your posts might be in a Facebook Group. I can also start threads (obviously), and I am going to start my first one as soon as I publish this edition of the newsletter.
Hopefully, we can all figure out what is going on by trying it.
NEWS FOR Paid Subscribers . . .
First of all - a big thank you.
Secondly, I am going to start writing a couple of ebooks using the Paid channel - publishing a chapter at a time. Many well known writers are doing this, and I really like the idea. Usually, you struggle for a year or more to finish a book, and nobody sees any of it until it’s all done. This is a sluggish and often frustrating experience, and many folks never make the finish line.
Writing and publishing a chapter at a time is so much more doable, and you have the advantage of questions and other feedback from readers as you go.
My books are art books of course (guidance, inspiration, and how-to), because that is what I do best.
So, your paid subscription is going to get you these books without having to buy the finished publication. Hopefully, you will be moved to put your 2 cents worth in along the way.
The first book is called “Sneaky Sketching and Photography” and is all about how to go out and hunt and gather interesting things to sketch and/or shoot with your phone. If you don’t take photography very seriously, you will love having reference photos to sketch from anyway. The book is really about a new way of seeing your world. It will be fun!
Now, please scroll down and find the Comment button and use it - if only to let me know that you found it and that it works. Then look for my first Chat thread - which will be about communicating online.
See you there!