ditto to what Mike said above. In addition it puts you in touch with artists that may be of similar ilk or technique, or genre....gives you a chance to like/vote/fav others and vice versa, basically help each other..it can be an opportunity to make some artist friends..share some process..observe some process/techniques as well.
I have several images in my shopping cart--both greeting cards and framed prints--that I'm planning to purchase. I would not have known of these had I not come across the artwork in a particular group. First I must absolutely love the artwork, but knowing the artist helps me feel extra-good about having the piece in my home. I do purchase and frame my own artwork, too, but not exclusively. I have a painting in mind and would like to buy the original. A new computer comes first, but perhaps this gives you an idea of how one member thinks. In my guestroom is a framed print that I bought from Steve Vecchiotti 20 minutes after it was first downloaded. He said it was his quickest sale ever. I knew it would be perfect in that room, and it is.
I have a profound respect for those who take on the task of managing a group. These are truly motivated souls and I appreciate the conversations I've had with several of them since I came to FAA only a month ago. I agree that getting your work featured increases the commentary and visibility,
Let me tell you why I started my own group, Suzan.
When I joined FAA I began submitting images to many groups. One of the first things I did after joining a group was to click on the link for the administrator. In most cases I found some excellent work.
I found some very well run groups by some people that seemed intent on providing a valuable service to other members.
If groups had no value here, then FAA would not have established the ability for each and every member to start one.
And if groups here have value, then certainly managing a group must have at least some value. Right?
I have a feeling (no way to check) that I have gained as least as much exposure by administrating my own group as I have had by participating in the General Discussions page---THIS PAGE. :-)
And yet it can be a two edged sword.
Especially when one runs a group like I do. It is not easy to have an image accepted for my group, and even more difficult to have an image featured on the group homepage.
And yet I have been very careful to explain the criteria for the group both on the homepage, as well as in the topics on the discussion page.
And running a group is by no means an easy task. (At one time I had three groups. I had to drop one, and the other is for photographers---and only photographers---and is based on photography made only in South Carolina)
At any rate, I am confronted with decisions each and every day. I suppose my goal is to garner a reputation here of being a fair person. ?And a pretty good photographer.
Oh, but wait. I also make it a point NOT to post---let alone feature---ANY of my own images in the groups I run. I am confident if people---including any prospective buyers that stumble upon the group---want to see my work they will click on the link for the group administrator.
This is a quote from my favorite group of all!
“Groups are not just places to store work but a social area for members to meet like minded people and to hold events and discussions among themselves.
“A LOT of groups have just been closed due to administrator inactivity. We would like to make sure that all group admins understand what they are taking on when they look after a group. It is a responsibility some people are not prepared for.”
Mike Savad wrote, “there are no advantages to creating your own group other than to have a pet to take care of.”
And yet---correct me if I am wrong, Mike---Mike is a member of hundreds and hundreds of groups.
If all FAA members were of this attitude then there wouldn't be hundreds and hundreds of groups that Mike, and Steven could join.
Of course each member is open to making their own discussions and it is certainly NOT obligatory. But to say outright that there are no advantages to starting a group? Sorry, but I find that to be a very narrow view.
as said, running a group is like taking care of a pet, you want one to look at, but not take care of. and many create dozens of groups, they have time for it. being a member of that many groups is nothing more than checking off a box. it needs no maintenance. ideally though many of the groups repeat, and some are so isolated i don't see why there would ever be a group. it's not a narrow view, it's a realistic view.
a new person all happy, creates a new group. they say upload how ever many images you want, but it has to be about tomatoes. well their group is flooded not just with that subject but everything related, not related, and not even close to related. and in order to be a good group you need to filter it. that takes time, to go through 1000's of images that came yesterday, while your hounded by people - why isn't my thing showing yet? why am i not being featured yet? are you even alive?
so they create a new rule - 3 a day. sometimes that works and it sticks, sometimes it doesn't, i'm not sure how that works now. and now they have to eliminate the other entries to keep to to 3.
there are some groups that are emailing us back stating they don't have the time to remove the 50,000 image backlog because the group got away from them. i'm happy many have the time and energy to make these groups. on the other hand, so many are ignored or abandoned. or have a topic so remote they complain no one is uploading anything. then i think there is an internal race to be a popular group which has certain requirements as well.
walter why do you always have so many questions from the people who commented?
no i have not created a group, i can think far enough ahead to know how much work is involved. i also know what they go through because of the constant complaints on both ends of the forums. people putting work want it there NOW. then complain like the op has nothing better to do than to serve them. i get plenty of mail watching a break down in progress. one person expects us to remove images, she has a backlog of 16,000.
presently i'm in 967 groups, i know a thing or two of what happens behind the scenes through cross talk. while that amount seems high - i've been on probably close to 2000 groups since i started here. but many were created and ignored, and then erased. i have yet to break 1000 because there is always a group gutting and i lose groups.
i don't know if glad is a word i'd use. the group is just another link that happens to match an image. each item may have 12 complimentary groups. one goes 3 more pops up. if we didn't have them, then oh well.
of course though, many don't upkeep them and so i'm adding to groups that no one will ever see. there could be over a 100 clicks i make that won't ever be seen. that's why if you want the cute little pig, you have to take care of it when it's a huge sow.
Good suggestions Frank. I will do that. What is your group btw. I wouldn't have even thought groups would be looking for an admin until you mentioned it. Obviously, I need to spend more time fishing around here.
@MIke, I'm curious to know why you are in so many groups. How do you have time to contribute as a member to all of them? Is is just that you post photos on them and that's the end or is there more to it?
Thanks for opening up this discussion about Groups, Suzan! Group administrators generously give of their time, and they are greatly appreciated!! I'm sure if you started a group, you'd do a smashing job. It's fun to be a part of them and to see other artworks and meet the members.
My biggest concern is probably not shared by others, but all the "thank-you" posts clutter up my group page, so I miss more important and relevant discussions. Some admins are creating a single "thank-you" thread, and that is very much appreciated. I've seen groups I'd love to join, but I don't because I don't want to end up with pages and pages of thank-yous to wade through.