Sharon Butler writes a great article on Facebook at the Brooklyn Rail this month, explaining how it works, and who’s using it; Jerry Saltz and Vic Muniz most notably. I won’t bother going into all the use details Butler provides — if you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re aware of them — but I will note many recent presentations I’ve given address how to manage the network now that it’s so large. You don’t have to have a Saltz or Muniz 4000+ friend count to be overwhelmed by the number of invitations you receive every day, or gallery representation to wonder whether you should be posting your work on the site.
The bad news is nobody has any answers yet. Most exhibition invites that come to me via facebook are ignored, but then so are many that arrive in my inbox. Like most people, I use a combination of artcal, my inbox, friends, and facebook to figure out what I’m going to look at. I also don’t have any firm answers to those wondering if they should post their art on facebook. My instinct says don’t bother — I like to view an artist’s work on their own site — but then it also hasn’t hurt in every case to have it there. Ultimately, the quality of an artist’s work, and the attention span of the user has the most effect on how it is evaluated.
Of course, many worry that uploading their work to the site will simply end with frustration once the site reaches the same eventual end as myspace and friendster. Given their size and actual use value however, Facebook, along with Craigslist in ebay is likely here to stay. Everybody likes to re-connect with friends, eavesdrop on our siblings relationships, and monitor how fat our old classmates have become, even if managing unwanted communication exchange is an undesirable burden.