I‘ve been thinking a lot about what makes scrapbooking different from other hobbies. It comes down to the fact that scrapbookers have an important and deeply personal connection to their projects. It is one that is simply not as profound in other creative activities.
This is also exactly what makes our online community so strong. When we share our scrapbooking online, we share a piece of ourselves.
There’s something else I have noticed – something that may reveal a simple strategy for a common problem. I hear more than ever about scrapbookers who aren’t scrapbooking, who have lost their mojo and just can’t find the motivation they need.
I also know that forum threads, gallery uploads, and personal blog posts are at an all-time low compared with years past. There are also fewer forum replies as well as thoughtful gallery and blog comments.
How can this be if we’re online more than ever? And does this impact our scrapbooking? I believe it does.
As we spend more time on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest in lieu of these older platforms, voraciously consuming information and using a button-clicked as a surrogate for a reply, I believe we’re slowly disconnecting ourselves from the community. These sites are the next generation of online interaction, but perhaps we have an important opportunity to be far more mindful of how they are serving our lives.
The online spaces of before fostered longer form comments that were meaningful and led to real support for our scrapbooking. While that certainly still happens, it’s now all too easy for us to click and scroll without pausing to engage and connect. Thus, there’s less giving and receiving of encouragement directly related to our hobby.
What makes our community so strong is still there, but we must grab hold and actively seek what we most need. It turns out that social networking does not negate the need for an online home, but instead makes it all the more necessary.
Conclusion: If you want to stay really motivated to scrapbook, slow down and seek connection over consumption when you’re online.
What do you think? Am I on to something or totally off-base? Leave a comment and let me know.
Furthermore, if you’d like to feel more connected to your fellow simple scrapbookers (and reap the motivation benefits), come introduce yourself on our Facebook page.
Jennifer – I was never very active in online forums or galleries before the move to social media so I am not sure if I am the best person to respond to your conclusion.
In my case, I feel much more connected to this (the Simple Scrapper) community than I ever did with any other online scrapbooking forum or gallery. Even ones that I was involved in for classes.
The only other scrapbooking community I feel engaged with is Masterful Scrapbook Design. What Simple Scrapper and MSD have in common is that they both use live chats (both audio and text) to engage their audience. I find that I want to be prepared to participate so I read up or complete assignment prior to the chat.
I am not sure if I am typical, but the live interactions and private FB group both work for me. Thanks for providing a community where I can be comfortable.
You are welcome Susan! I think it’s interesting that certain types of interaction appeal more to some than others.
I agree. I miss the online scrapbooking communities to which I used to belong. We had thoughtful discussions and really got to know one another. I think Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are all great tools, but they don’t take to place of online sites where your ideas stayed visible for more than just few minutes. I don’t have a local scrapbook store or group of scrappy friends where I live. I often look to online groups for that connection.
You raised a big point Kelly, that the transient nature of these particular sites makes it difficult to catch up with what people are doing.. so we just don’t even try any more.
Like you, I don’t have local people and look to you all to satisfy that need for belonging.
I feel that so many of the larger forums and galleries you end up getting lost in the shuffle. I rely very heavily on the ScrapHappy Group and Layout a Day for my scrapbooking inspiration and community where it is supportive and you end up making real life friends and connections – many of these ladies I would be completely lost without. And though there were over 6000 images in the LOAD gallery in February there was so much personal comments and conversations taking place you never felt like you didn’t fit in or were lost in the shuffle of bigger fish or louder voices. Forums can be overwhelming but thankfully I’ve found the right group with LOAD and my ScrapHappy family to keep inspiration up!
Thanks for sharing Danielle. I think it’s pretty cool there are many options these days for people to find the group that suits them best.
I don’t have FB but I do look at lots of blogs, YouTube videos and Pinterest. I try to leave comments for people because I think it’s nice for them to hear the enjoyment I get from their work.
I, however, am suffering from a terrible case of loss of mojo. I look at magazines, sketches, the things mentioned above, and I see these projects and think, “I can do that! That seems pretty straightforward.” Then when I sit down with my supplies, I go completely blank. I can’t seem to get my brain to connect what I’m seeing to what I want to do. I have totally become a scrap supply collector! I know we’re all our own worst critics but most of the things I’ve made (which really isn’t that much) I’m not totally happy with. I’m to the point now where I’m considering just selling off my stuff and doing what I do best – admiring and enjoying everyone else’s work!
Maybe giving up isn’t the right approach, but instead work on figuring out a specific niche within scrapbooking or approach to it that really suits you best.
I had the same problem until I took Easy Page Design2 class
by Linda Sattgast from Digital Scrapper. It really helped me to feel confident about my pages. I was just collecting scrapbooking supplies up till then!
I totally agree. I feel like I’m behind the 8ball in FB newsfeed and twitter due to time zones, but communities in LOAD, MSD, Simple Scrapper and the Paperclipping and Digi Show podcasts keep me connected.
I do miss the camaraderie of the forums but now I can hear and see my favourite scrappers through live online events/recordings I think I am willing to move into the brave new world (again!)
Reading the comments to this blog was interesting. I find I can agree with just about all that was said. I’ve never been one to talk on forums very much and, as time available decreased (how did that happen? I’m RETIRED!!!) I removed myself more and more. But I’ve found that I really like it here with Simple Scrapper and with Masterful Scrapbook Design and now LOAD. I think what sort of settled me down to those three was 30 Lists in 30 Days. I believe I first heard about it here and I actually completed it. I may not be totally FOCUSed on my scrapping, but I AM more engaged. I still shop but have cut down quite a bit – The Daily Digi gets me 7 kits a month and I still look and buy from ScrapGirls (SC and Designer Digitals were my first two store finds). I’m enrolled in Tangie’s Art Journal Caravan 2013 (but way behind.) So I’m buying less but starting to scrap a bit more. BTW – I’ll be completing the two kits I came up with during the STASHBASH and am making a few more kits today to get me through the first week or so of LOAD513 when I have a convention to attend and a Facebook friend coming by to meet face-to-face. So, I’ve learned a lot from Jennifer and must say – I find myself more engaged these days than less.
I agree and disagree! I agree that it’s important to have a deeper relationship with a community we trust and enjoy, and that we get most of our motivation and support from this place—or perhaps two or three places.
What I love about social media, however, is that it allows me to be superficial when I just want to surf and get ideas or find out what’s going on in people’s lives. I can Like something without getting involved with it, and that adds value to the post. Or it allows me to find out about what’s happening in a friend’s life that I would never find out otherwise because of lack of time to get together.
But, yes, one must go deeper than that to really connect and be motivated. I just finished teaching a Power Scrapbooking class where there was so much interaction and motivation that several students actually finished entire albums they had been wanting to do for years. That’s the power of community.
I never was one to post a reply like this, or post anything on FB – I was always a stalker. It’s only been since I joined you ladies here at Simple Scrapbook that I was inspired to engage in discussions both here and on the FB site. Even now the SS community is the only one that I actively participate in (although on occasion I will participate in Scrapbook/Craft Organization Ideas! on FB). The SS community has helped me with my focus and planning in my approach to scrapbooking.
That being said, I realize I am more of a “thinker” than a “do-er” so I will still spend too much time checking websites and Pinterest looking for inspiration, which becomes a time suck. That takes away my motivation. I need to just walk away after I’ve been inspired from SS. That is my challenge.
You can do it! Having recognized this small hurdle in being a thinker, you now can be more proactive in recognizing when you’re getting off track. So awesome to hear that you’re not just a stalker anymore. 😉
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Outstanding quest there. What occurred after?
I find that many scrap bookers have become collectors (including myself) it became very much about stuff… more was better– as a previous store owner I had shoppers that would buy and collect certain brands(guilty), I closed in Dec 2010 about the time of the decline of LSS, it was all about big box, design teams,blogging and coupons. I find my best mojo comes from seeing a few old friends that focus on scrapbooking and journaling projects.
I have basically quit following all these blogs and only look at ones that I see on facebook that have a project or information posted to a link that interests me. I am a bad blogger.. nothing exciting to share. I think my blog became a journal for me I can go back and read what has happened in the past 5 years.
I think you hit the nail on the head. I miss the community that used to be so much!
I believe we can get back there. It’s just going to look different than it did 5-7 years ago.
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I think that the online communities have also just got too big. For example, the Hero Arts Flickr group started in 2008 and had one of the strongest, kindest, encouraging group online. But now there are 4959 members. Too many to keep track of and be in community.
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