Friday, October 9, 2009

The Evolution of Design Panel Recap

It was standing room only at The Editor at Large sponsored Evolution of Design panel discussion to kick off Market Week at the D&D Building this week! I was honored to be included with Michael Bruno of 1stdibs, Jonathan Adler, James Andrew of What is James Wearing? and Brad Ford of Design Therapy. Below are a few of the bullet points that were made during the discussion.

  • Michael Bruno kicked things off by suggesting that if you are a designer who plans to write a blog, you better make sure it is the best blog you can make it. Don't be one of those designers who only writes one post and leaves it up for all to see. It looks very unprofessional.
  • Brad Ford noted that he started his blog to help promote his work since it can be updated more often that a website that tends to stay static.
  • We also all admitted that none of us are tech savvy and often rely on others to help us. Obviously Michael Bruno and Jonathan Adler have teams of employees but James Andrew also hired someone to help produce and write his blog. I don't pay anyone to help me but I do call Christian May of Maison21 at least once a week with a technical question!
  • Bloggers are gaining not just readership but power. I had a shop owner tell me that my post on her new store brought in more traffic and business than a mention in a major shelter magazine. After James posted on a vacation home, it was rented by two different people.
  • We have no "blogger headquarters" or magazine paying us so we are all trying to figure out how to get paid for what we love to do. If we are creating sales and business for companies, why shouldn't we receive a commission, gift or payment...that we would of course declare to appease the FTC.
  • We are lucky to live in New York and have access to the D&D Building and all the showrooms but those who don't have access in their area rely on the internet so showrooms should consider having websites.
  • We all agreed that designers and showrooms should have a website. If you Google a company and they don't have a website, it doesn't send a very good message. Since it can be expensive to create a website, at the very least, they should have a landing page with their contact information and a nice photo.
  • I know in my case that I have to think twice about posting a company or product that I can't link to since my readers always want to be able to access more information or order a product online.

I'm sure I forgot a few but those were the highlights. I think we could have talked about blogs, websites, Facebook and Twitter all day! I always have a lot of people ask me about blogging and my best advice is to find your own voice, be original, don't post badly scanned photos, and be nice! Perhaps I'll write a full post devoted to blogging but that will have to wait for another time. I'd also like to thank all my friends and readers who came out early to support me! I really appreciated it! Bon Weekend!

UPDATE: I just found out that I will be one of the bloggers participating in a Blogger Breakfast sponsored by Hickory Chair at High Point. If you are attending, please stop by their space on Tuesday, October 20th from 8:30am-9:30am.

16 comments:

Daniel M. Hale said...

Interesting discussion on the blog aspect of things verses websites. I am very new to blogging and have admittedly come very late to the party (as usual). So far I have found doing a blog very liberating verses a website. Much more interactive and so much more fun to update. I do not have a clear idea of what to expect from it. For me it has been a way to communicate with others who share some of my interests and share my work and some of the process of how it comes to be. I have also found blogs (yours included) to be an amazing resource in regards to learning how designers and artists handle some of the issues that come up in this business. You are among many who are very much appreciated for the effort it takes. Thanks, Daniel

Urban Flea said...

Looks to be a fantastic discussion. Just wanted to let you know, I've give you a wee award (Honest Scrap Award...) Here's the link: http://www.urbanfleadesign.net/2009/10/honest-scrap-paying-it-forward.html Hope you enjoy and pay it forward, cheers!

xo Katherine aka. Urban Flea :)
http://www.urbanfleadesign.net

little augury said...

A great look at your panel discussion-good advice. la

maison21 said...

ok- i'm scared if i am a 'go to guy' for technical advice! :-0 i feel like my blog is held together with bobby pins & scotch tape, so to be advising others seems scary...

seriously though- some very good advice, especially that one's blog looks unprofessional if it's not updated! have to try to remember that one next time i go on unannounced blog sabbatical.

and you are right- blogs, especially those as popular as yours- drive a tremendous amount of traffic to a product or business, so you deserve to be compensated somehow. non-bloggers also never realize the sheer amount of work a singe post entails (um, HOURS) let alone coming up with material for posts five days a week. it truly is a full-time job in many respects, so a little bit of money making only seems fair.

last, to the commenter who said they were late to the game- you are not. the whole blog phenomenon is still very new, and new blogs are sprouting up and old blogs are closing down, or changing into something else every day, so it's still kind of the wild wild west on the internets. i've seen blogs started much later then my own really take off as far as readership, so it depends on your passion and ambition to get you as far as you want to go.

thanks for filling in those of us who couldn't be at your discussion, chic- it sounds fascinating. we need to fly you out to LA to reprise it for the west coast!

home before dark said...

So very interesting to watch media history in the making. What started from passion about a subject and the idea of finding like-minded souls in cyberspace has come to be a media dream come true in some ways: instant readers, instant buyers, little busy bees of cross pollinating of readers to new readers.

I do agree there needs to be some way for the pioneers such as yourself, to be compensated. I do believe in ethics. I also firmly believe in fairness.

If people, especially Americans who are the world's best marketers, can create free blogs that make money for other people. Surely, there is a way for these passionate bloggers to keep blogging away for us!

Ruthies Renewed Treasured said...

Would have love to have been there. Thanks for the recap!! Enjoying your blog entries!

Ruthie

Tina Steele Lindsey said...

I really enjoyed your post, and then I read the comments and really cracked up (audibly) at maison21:
"ok- i'm scared if i am a 'go to guy' for technical advice! :-0 i feel like my blog is held together with bobby pins & scotch tape, so to be advising others seems scary..."

Wow - then I am in SUPER trouble because mine must to held together on a wing and a prayer!

Thank you for great post.

Tammy@InStitches said...

Thanks so much for passing along this information. I enjoy reading your blog very much !

jones said...

In the two years that I have been following design blogs, they have grown exponentially in influence; of course the bloggers deserve to be compensated. Since this is a very creative community, I have not doubt that a solution will soon be found.

Gabrielle Katz said...

Thank you so much for an informative panel!! I was lucky enough to attend on behalf of my company, The Well Appointed House and know I brought back invaluable advice. Thanks again!
http://wellappointedhouse.blogspot.com/

Debra Phillips said...

loved the info you passed on to us, wanted more! so informative heather lucky you, congrats.

i too feel "late to the party". does anyone have advice/suggestions on driving readership to one's blog?
thanks,
debra

Suzy said...

Yay, well done Heather! I wish I could have attended.

Ashfield Hansen Design Inc. said...

Heather-
Thank you for sharing all of this valuble information for those of us who couldn't be there in person.
I think you epitomize the professional blogger, and I always appreciate your point of view.
Thanks again!
David @ Ashfield Hansen Design

www.ashfieldhansendesign.blogspot.com

Developing Designs said...

I second, third, so forth and so on, thank you for posting invaluable information. For those of us that weren't able to attend and are still figuring out how all the details work, we rely and appreciate all the tips that we can get. Congrats on the news to be a part of Hickory Chair Blogger Breakfast. Have fun!

red ticking said...

this is a wonderful post. i struggled for years to put together a website and blog and i am so happy that i now have both. coupled with 1stdibs.com, these have been amazing for my business - thank you heather for setting the bar for all of us "newcomers" .. you are a wonderful inspiration. x pam

Grant K. Gibson said...

If you didn't have a blog- then I would have never met you! So it is a fabulous tool and I have been so thrilled that people are actually interested in what I have to post on mine as a hobby. Great to "meet" people all over the world with common interests.
Remember when you taught me how to link something! You have been MY tech support!

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