News & Questions

There’s a lot going on behind the scenes at The Well-Appointed Desk Shop right now. We have all sorts of things in the work that I am dying to share with you. I also have the urge, as the pandemic stretches on, to connect with people.

As an introvert, this is a new sensation. When I first started going to pen shows, I would almost make myself sick with stress the night before knowing I would be interacting with so many people. It got even worse when I had my own table. I am also not inclined to be center stage, on camera or whatever it is that lures people to the spotlight. But… I know that sometimes, showing objects, colors, inks, textures, etc in motion, being able to do live Q&A and demonstrations can be incredibly useful. Sometimes, a picture and description is just not enough.

So, I decided to ask you, dear readers, if this is something you would want? And if so, what online channel do you most frequently use? So, if you could take a minute to answer my survey and leave any comments, I would most appreciate it. I’d like to start planning, if not weekly, at least the same day and time every time I host a video chat.

At this point, I think I prefer a live chat over pre-recorded video but you tell me.

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If you have more you’d like to say, please leave your additional thoughts in the comments. Thanks!

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20 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I hope you mean, in addition to the various other email blasts you and your tribe send out…?

    I find I am always late to the party for in person on line live events, so I rely on the other emails you send out.

  2. As a fellow not very outgoing penfriend I applaud your brave approach to going live! From the viewers perspective I’m not often joining live streams or similar events. Reflecting on this I would to recommend considering “the feel” of your event. The few streams and videos I watch come down to topics I am not entirely against but even more the streamers creating the right mood and ambiance. It happens that I will watch a whole hour or more of someone building or reviewing Lego (not a huge fan) or historical accurate sewing (I like it but don’t do it myself). Both examples showing a significant portion of feeling good about just providing info about aspects of their hobby and being comfortable themselves.

    To conclude: think about what you wish to listen to/what would be the missing stream in your watchlist? In which setting would you feel the most comfortable? Imho a combination of those two and a clear absence of the urge to sell something to viewers will result in you and the audience being delighted… 🙂

    1. Excellent advice! And I watch a lot of the same sorts of content. Sadly, I don’t think my editing skills will be anywhere as advanced as some of the videos I watch, but I do enjoy some of the live events for their spontaneity and casual quality.

  3. I voted twitch, but I would like to see what you are doing no matter the channel, as long as I can access it. I did think you were nervous the one time I met you, it was at the St Louis pen show and I was asking if you had any colodex left, seems there were a lot asking that, lol! It was cool meeting you though, from one introvert to another

    1. Thanks for the kind words. Sorry if I am often a mess of nerves. Hopefully, next time we meet up, we can all be a little more relaxed!

  4. I like the sort of interactive IG conversations Lisa Vanness and others do — answering questions from followers and showing off something interesting about paper or ink etc. It’s more like a conversation and suits the Introverts as well as the People-people (whoever they are). Also seems fine to do with pretty simple production values b/c it is “live” (a bit of rambling and fumbling allowed). I expect YouTube to be more polished and am pretty impatient if it’s not. I’ve limited my social media to Instagram for Art; sometimes watch YouTube but hate having to juggle multiple feeds and subscriptions.

  5. As a person with no social media apps, I feel OK with it. I have no inclination of ever speaking in front of a large (or small) crowd as it is too intimidating and my nerves couldn’t deal with it. However, I have learned so much from YouTube videos about pens and writing accessories over the years. I want information about subjects that interests me, not what you had for dinner the night before. When you joined in on our Houston pen club, we so enjoyed what you had to say and share with us. I enjoy Zoom as I can visit with a group of like-minded people. We all need to feel some sort of connection during these disturbing times. So, a Zoom with all your followers would probably be impossible. However, I think YouTube would be a great venue and people can always leave a comment or a question.

  6. I use Instagram a lot but I can’t usually catch Lives live so it’s nice on You Tube to be able to catch it later when I have time.

    I also give a vote to whichever platform you could make some money from which is probably You Tube. I’m all for creators getting some money for their time.

  7. Ana,

    You wrote

    “As an introvert, this is a new sensation. When I first started going to pen shows, I would almost make myself sick with stress the night before knowing I would be interacting with so many people.”

    This describes my situation, too. I love going to our local pen show, but also have severe anxiety about the multitudinous interactions, even though I like everybody who comes and want to see them. As one of those people with health conditions that mean catching COVID would probably be the end of me, I am at home, at home, at home, and at home, and am beginning to think about putting up Yellow Wallpaper.

    So I would welcome a Well-Appointed Social Hour (or two) with people who will laugh with and not at the ink on my shirt/face/hands, who will understand and enable my pen addiction, and who also walk into stationery stores and ask, "May I feel your papers?"

    Like Bill, I'm not a social media person either, but I now know how to join a Zoom meeting. It is within the realm of possibility that I could learn to use another such program. Might I request a meeting time at civilised hour, such as tea time? Mornings and I are not on good terms.

    Whatever you decide, please allow me to tell you that the Well-Appointed Desk posts are always a bright spot in my day. The posts are sane, engaging, well-written, with some humour and a generous helping of warmth. The Link Love editions offer something for everyone, and I have admired the way you have used them to support social causes respectfully without raising hackles. Well done, Well-Appointed peeps.


  8. I voted Instagram Live, but as I think about it, it occurs to me that really all I care about is that it be where I can find it if I missed it when it was live. I’m not familiar with Twitch (forgive me, I struggle to keep up), and I’m most familiar with Instagram and YouTube.

    I met you at a pen show (Chicago 2017). You were always easy to spot from a distance with your pink hair. I met you at the Vanness table as I was learning about Tomoe River paper and blue-black inks. It was my first pen show – exciting, enervating, overwhelming, incredibly affirming – or is that just to say enabling? You were kind and patient, in spite of the hoards clamoring for someone to take their money. This introvert is grateful.

  9. I think Twitch is a great way to invite real-time engagement while also allowing for pre- and post-stream interactions. There’s something really special about live engagement! I’d also follow across multiple platforms if y’all had the bandwidth for something like that.

  10. I voted for Instagram Live but I’m assuming you’d save the videos so I could watch them later. I like it that those who are watching can post questions. YouTube doesn’t facilitate outside input during the video.

    Another option you isn’t list is a video podcast. The other formats don’t remember where I stopped if I don’t watch the entire video in one sitting, but my pod catcher does remember so that format would be my first choice.

    Thank you for your wonderful website and products.

    1. YouTube does allow for Live videos like Instagram Live with audience participation. Mike from Inkdependence does a weekly live chat on Fridays if you want to see what that is like or you can go back and watch one that has been saved (not as much fun but you can see the chat in action). I will look into the video podcast option as well though I am not sure how many podcast apps support that option. Great ideas!

  11. I seem to watch You Tube to unwind at night. I would totally enjoy you being on You Tube. Thanks for the videos you have already done on YT!

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