If you are reading this blog post, you are aware that the Guild maintains an internet presence, and you have some familiarity with computers and their ability to keep like minded people connected. Not all of us, though, are very adept in the world of social media and how it can be used to keep us connected. At Guild School this year, Darren Scala and Kate Unvers, who keep the Guild moving forward in the social media universe, started to make use of Instagram to broaden IGMA’s presence, and this past week, the Show Committee also started to use Instagram for additional publicity for the Guild Show.
What is Instagram? Instagram is an online mobile photo and video sharing, and social networking site. It can be accessed by anyone with a computer at www.instagram.com, but you can only post from a mobile device with internet capabilities, I post from my iPad.
When you go to the Instagram site, you can search in two ways, for a particular account (a person or group that is posting in that account), or for a category of photos. Type into the search bar what you are interested in, using a name or keyword and a list will come up; if there is a ‘hashtag’, that’s what this symbol ‘#’ is referred to, that means that entry on the list is a category of photos, if there is no hashtag, or if there is a photo in front of the entry, that is an account name. If you click on an account name, (one without a hashtag), you will go to that account and see photos that that person or group has posted. If you click on the entry with the hashtag, that is an archive of photos that people have thought that category applies to.
In order to get them seen by the largest number of viewers, photos are usually given many hashtags. For example, someone might post a photo of a miniature table, that photo can be placed in the category ‘miniatures’, but it could just as well be posted under miniature, dollhouse miniature, tiny, miniature furniture, wooden miniature, hand carved, and so on. The poster must try to think of possible search terms that could be used to describe his photo and enter them as hashtags on his posting. And you, as a viewer, can also use many different keywords to find images you might be interested in. Only the account names are proprietary, by which I mean, if you search IGMA you will see that #igma comes up as a category list of photos with over 5,000 posts, but if you click on it, you will see a lot of photos that have nothing to do with the IGMA we know and love! Evidently, many people have a different idea as to what those four letters mean.
For now, searching IGMA Guild School and Guild Show, will get you to accounts that are purely Guild related photos-that’s if you click on the account listings, not the hashtag listings. If you click on #guildshow, or #igmaguildschool, you will find many show and school photos, but also occasional photos posted there that have nothing to do with ‘our’ IGMA because hashtags are just categories and anyone can put any hashtag they want on their photos.
So, ready to leap into the world of Instagram? Have fun exploring the photos already posted, or establish your own account and start posting your own photos. If you have school or show photos you’d like to add to those already posted, just add the appropriate hashtag (#) to your photos and they will come up whenever anyone searches that category.
We all expect to enjoy the shopping when a show boasts a great list of dealers. What the shoppers don’t often get to enjoy, though, is a wide range of other shopping opportunities, like those available at the annual Guild Show being held this coming August 6 and 7 at the Glenpointe Marriott in Teaneck, New Jersey.
At the GuildShow, not only is there an excellent list of dealers expected but, also in the salesroom, the Gallery of the Guild will be representing a further 10-20 Artisan and Fellow member craftspeople. Outside the salesroom, there will be silent auctions running during show hours Saturday and Sunday, and at the close of the show on Saturday, the Guild’s Annual Live Auction will take place and will feature many special and one-of-a-kind pieces from IGMA Artisan and Fellow members past and present.
While prices can occasionally fly in the live auction, bargains abound in the silent auctions. You will often find the perfect component for the room box you are currently working on, or inspiration for the next!
The Guild always welcomes donations from its members and other supporters. It is only through generous donations that the Guild continues to be able to fund the many educational programs and other benefits it offers to its members and the miniature loving general public. Visit the Guild website for more information on the show and all of the exciting events taking place there.
The Glenpointe Marriott in Teaneck, New Jersey will be the host location once again for the annual IGMA Show August 3-7. There will be 64 dealers present with the Gallery of the Guild tables representing many more Artisan and Fellow members who could not attend in person. Before the sales room opens, there will be a wide range of educational opportunities, including a Guild Study Program which features projects based on pieces in the Brooklyn Museum collections, taught by expert IGMA instructors. Here is your chance to combine a little learning with some superior shopping for a well rounded miniatures experience. Add a little exploration of the big city, New York, nearby and it sounds like a winning vacation destination!