What If You're Not A Social Media Wizard?
Part 4: Let's Talk The Night Away
So far we’ve talked about long and short-form posting, but perhaps you prefer to chat with people in real-time rather than craft something in advance for them to read later. What options are around for you, then?
As before, I’m scoring each platform by whether they:⭐️ encourage individual commissions
⭐️ are reputable enough to encourage corporate commissions
⭐️ are free to post on
⭐️ are attractively presented
⭐️ make a good place to get feedback
💩 present no hurdles to overcome prior to posting
💩 present high potential for a toxic community (somewhat subjective; humour me)
Let's see how they get on!
Artfight4/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
While they don’t have a chat function they do have their own Discord server. Drop in and have a chat with people!
Artstation4/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
There are two tiers of chat service on Artstation, with one being less strict than the other. Be warned that this isn’t for casual chat, but quick discussion between two people set on networking.
DeviantArt3/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
2/2 💩 💩
There is a chat function here, but at the time of writing it’s buggy. It’s still usable though, so if you want to use it, go at it.
Discord3/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Discord hosts thousands, if not tens of thousands, of communities.
I think it’s worth taking a Goldilocks approach here. Some of the communities there are tiny and rarely get posted to, while some are so huge that anything you say gets swept away by other peoples’ chat. Some are more friendly than others, so don’t take it to heart too much if you post and find that nobody acknowledges you, or they’re more interested in memes than your content. The trick with Discord communities is to keep trying until you find one where you feel like you fit in.
If a few members say hi, and conversation topics come up that you can respond to, then these are some good signs that that community is “just right” for you.
Note also that you can type, talk, or video-call on Discord. Also note that its confidentiality is poor.
Elliquiy2/5 ⭐️ ⭐️
At the top of Elliquiy’s front page is an instant chat box. It’s not big, and old conversation runs out of sight quickly meaning you only ever have a brief snapshot of the conversation in progress, but it is there and it’s front-and-centre on the site.
What’s to say? Facebook’s facilities include instant messaging.
Instagram offers users the option to message other users. As the site is made for people to post interesting photos, artwork, and other graphics, there’s often something worth messaging them out to get the conversation rolling. It also nicely facilitates potential clients reaching out to request a commission.
Among LinkedIn’s offerings is a messaging service.
Instant messaging is an option. Bear in mind that when you send your initial message, the recipient gets a notification and can either accept, or reject, a conversation with you, so bear this in mind when sending your first message.
Skype5/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Skype is made for chatting – it exists for no other reason. What it offers over and above most of the entries here, is that it offers a video-calling option.
SoFurry2/5 ⭐️ ⭐️
This site has a chat function much like Elliquiy’s, but bigger, and with more individual rooms that you can enter or leave.
Telegram3/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
I haven’t personally used Telegram, but it’s a chat program so is custom-made for real-time discussion.
Tumblr2/5 ⭐️ ⭐️
Like many art sites, tumblr offers users the option to instant-message one another. The chat window is narrow on desktop, and you may have to spend a long time on tumblr before you find people willing to give detailed feedback as it's not made for communities where like-minded people can connect with one another.
TwitchTV4/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Twitch’s chat service allows video-bloggers to get instant feedback from their audience. This can quickly become a lot to handle, and busier Twitch “streamers” have moderators to support them, who will keep an eye on activity in the chat activity and manage anybody who creates problems. For smaller streamers, the instant feedback gives helpful real-time feedback and a pleasantly intimate atmosphere.
The instant messaging system here doesn’t particularly stand out, but it works just fine. It can be helpful for reaching out to artists, who tend to use Twitter a lot for showcasing their work.
Your own web site3/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
As ever, if you have the tools to make a chat function on your own web site, it’s doable! By definition you'll need to pay for this, just as you would with any web site, and people who are inclined to chat generally tend to find established sites, so if you want your site to become 'home' for chatters then you may be building that community a long time as you'll be competing against the likes of Discord and Telegram.
Read part 4: The Hub Of The Action
Title image by Alexander Suhorucov from Pexels and used with their kind permission.