Designers should blog

By now it’s hardly a secret to anyone that there is huge potential in blogging. Blogs have had tremendous effects on recent news stories. Bloggers played a key role in the Dan Rather document scandal in pointing out the inconsistencies in what were later revealed to be a forged documents against President George W. Bush. Bloggers also helped keep the Trent Lott/Jesse Helms story alive, which had initially failed to generate much press or attention, and created a sufficient enough storm that news outlets began to take notice.The results of both incedents are well-known????????the subsequent toppling of a powerful network anchorman and the U.S. Senate Majority Leader. That’s powerful stuff.

We designers don’t aspire to such lofty goals. We’re not trying to topple influencial politicians or powerful mass media journalists.Most of the time, we just want the outside world to have a better understanding of what it is that we do and the benefits we bring to the business world.Most of the time we would just like to better educate clients and potential clients with respect to the creative process.Most of the time we would just like share information with each other about core business practices: how to arrive at fair pricing, how to handle routine contract issues, how to deal with certain client situations and how to grow our businesses into viable and profitable concerns.The information is out there. For every question a designer has, there is another designer out there with the answer. For every daunting situation a designer finds himself/herself in, another designer out there has had to extract themselves from the exact same situation.So why the disconnect? Why do designers have such a difficult time connecting with each other in order to find the answers to the questions we so desperately need answered? One reason is that designers are very isolated. More so than most other professions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nearly one-third of designers were self-employed????????almost five times the proportion for all professional and related occupations.The fact that such a disproportionate number of designers are self-employed means that there is a dearth of other designers, colleagues and mentors from which many designers can draw wisdom and knowledge on a daily basis.Of course, the best and most helpful design blogs out there deal not with design ethics, professional practices or similar problems but rather they deal with more technical matters like CSS, web standards, software, scripting languages or Flash. The exact same thing can be said of the “Graphic Design” or “Web Design” aisle of the local book store. One is far more likely to find books on how to use the latest Photoshop filters than they are to find well-written books on how to be a good and successful design professional.And given the fact that the general public has no idea what it is that we do or how we do it (one of my well-meaning uncles once introduced me to an acquaintance as a “GRAPH designer”), why not use the power of blogs and the Internet to inform it? I mean, if bloggers can inform the public on arcane information such as the type of line-spacing and fonts that were possible 35 years ago, then designers can inform the public on what to expect during design projects and how to better deal with design professionals..chris{}

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