I think you are right about here. I remember the good old days when this place was always being posted on. I think that what has happened is Facebook. When I go there I see many of the members from here posting there. It is certainly not the same, things come and go so fast there. I do miss the way that TT used to be.
Don't leave, it is not you, I do hope that maybe the fast paced FB fad will fade away and good old places that feel like home will draw more people again.
I think you are right about here. I remember the good old days when this place was always being posted on. I think that what has happened is Facebook. When I go there I see many of the members from here posting there. It is certainly not the same, things come and go so fast there. I do miss the way that TT used to be. Don't leave, it is not you, I do hope that maybe the fast paced FB fad will fade away and good old places that feel like home will draw more people again. Joanne
As usual, Joanne's is the voice of reason!
I have been a member now for two and a half years and have posted about 1400 comments.
TT is not the same as it used to be a year or two years ago. Part of it is certainly due to FB, but how long will FB last? I really don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if within a year or two we'll all be on Google+.
One thing that strikes me most is that the style of teddy bears and animals that are being shown is changing fast.
I am not making any judgment on the quality of the bears presented, but most of them are just not my kind of style (many of you know I am an old-fashioned fuddy duddy ).
I still prefer traditional styled teddies and some realistic bears. Moreover I am sucker for big bears and they are few and far between.
Nevertheless, I keep checking TT daily, because there is still much talent here and I do love to see the new creations by my favourite artists ("if the shoe fits you, wear it... ). I confess that I don't post that much anymore and admittedly, I prefer sharing photos of the bears in my hug on FB, because I get more response there.
So don't give up yet, Jenn, things might be very different in a few months (or years ).
Peter & the bears
I have to agree with Joanne & Peter - other social media has drawn a lot of people away. I find it's almost impossible to keep up, even with FB.
and Peter, I think teddy bears seem to be evolving faster than usual, too. I think maybe part of that is the influx of russian/eastern european bear makers - they have such a different take on things, and needle-felting certainly had a huge effect.
re:big bear. . . I love to make big bears but they are a very hard sell, particularly these days, but pretty much always. case in point - I started out making very big bears, at my first show I had 12 Bear Noels ranging from 24" to 36" (standing upright) including a 36" tall bear with 36" long companion, Brogar & Iorek.
thye were the centerpiece of my u-shaped booth, and I found a lady staring at them with desire, and heard her tell her husband that she absolutely HAD to have them, no matter what the price. her husband smiled at her patiently, and said 'but honey, where are you go to put them?" she quickly said 'oh, on the mantel!' at which point her hubby just started laughing, because the bears at the show were standing on their own 3x5ft table and her mantle was only a foot wide. I eventually sold all of the bear noels, but size was always an issue. even back then, ('97) there was a serious trend towards minatures simply because collectors had run out of space. I've scaled back to mosly 18" and under, esp. the last 4-5 years. I wonder if that part of industry-wide trend?
I agree with everyone - TT has changed tremendously over the past few years. A fellow artist turned me on to facebook a little over a year ago and it is so fast and easy just to pop in, make comments, read others comments and pop out! Then Joanne told me about "blogging" and in April, I finally took the plunge and started "blogging", too. It's hard to keep up with all the social media sites and it takes time away from bear making (my true love)! I'm sorry to see you go, Jenn. Hopefully we will see you on fb instead (btw, fb is where I saw your blog with the beautiful crocheted giveaways!)
Yes, I've been 'in bears', since the late 80s - things have reeeeeeaaaaaaally changed since then - several generations worth.
There is a core group of artists who were working then and are still working now.
Many have have come and gone.
A few have even come back and gone a second time.
Some who were in the early workshops with me, put on by the well-known names in this business, saw this as a way to make some quick money at bear shows - they were in and out in a year or less...
It's always amazed me to watch the rise and fall of everyone; it's like watch the stock market charting: meteor rises and rocket plummets for some. Slow but steady climbs for others.
And all of this in spite of the continuous cries of "The old days (usually 5 years prior to whatever date is being spoken of!!) were so much better!!
Several old-timers like me have seen the 2 main factions develop: first - artists and collector bases that arose out of the teddy bear show circuits/magazines/newsletters-by-mail/contests-awards and with the arrival of the internet, the second group - sales through personal websites/eBay®/all other online bear sales outlets/webzines/blogs/etc.
The fascinating point is that with the first, the collectors got to touch the bears before purchasing and talk to the artists who created them. With the second, all contacts were developed through the internet. Neither way is all good nor all bad - they are just different.
But the main difference that was discovered through polls and surveys by several of the most recognized and well-respected people in the bear community was that the two groups mostly stayed within their own methods for purchasing the bears for their collections: internet buyers didn't start to seek out and attend shows and Fair/Show attendees were not staying up until midnight to watch their bids through the final moments on a special bear online.
So, it is what it is!
And all things do run in cycles, beyond this just being the summer slow-period. This just happens to be the current one. Jenna, you're hoping for 'what used to be' and that won't ever be again. The old-timers on this list have either moved on to other things, busy with other pursuits or just not posting like they used to. That's OK!
You can post more now - after all, you're an 'old-timer' to many of the members, with almost 2200 posts to your name!! I do see many new IDs appearing and they ask many of the same questions that I did when Marion suggested that I join, gosh I don't know how many years ago... 4? 5? perhaps more.
I also agree with Peter, as much as I dislike FB and Twitter and all of the faster-paced networking, it is the future and it has been here for several years, like it or not. And they too will have their cycles. (I'm still waiting for the 'Dick-Tracy' everything-on-my-wristwatch-TV/radio/phone/internet/etc..... That's when I'll buy into it - if I'll be strong enough to lift the magnifying glass I'll need to be able to read it!!!)
This is an ever increasing, faster-paced world; it will only continue to speed up. It will always seem so as we age: its the *job of the youngsters* to push against the older generations and bring change to the world. And if we want Teddy Talk to be what it used to be then it's up to the current members to keep on posing interesting topics about bear making and problem-solving, together, as a group.
Boy, I sure don't want this to sound preachy - - but US , all of us, is the group now.
If we've lost the old names and I know who/what you mean... well I think we're still a pretty talented bunch who know the CURRENT techniques and technologies that perhaps some of the ones who have moved on didn't because they hadn't been developed yet when those other members were active here. And our Library, up there in the upper Left corner has preserved most of the threads/topics/techniques from the past so I'd say that we're as strong as ever.
Don't give up so fast. Think of a question that's been bugging you, even if it hasn't presented itself on the bear/creation you're currently working on, and get a new topic started!! That's the best way to keep Teddy Talk viable.
Did I miss something?
I have felt invisible since our move here and I don't need to come here and feel worse.
Our 'move'? Did we used to have a different format?
Perhaps this was 'before my time'...
And - to show you that people are still here - and logging on and reading - in the time it took to one-finger type out my reply, both Kelly and Janice had responded before I could finish and post.
So Jenn, we're all still here and VERY interested in the (mental.emotional) health and well-being of our fellow TTers!!!!
Take heart! I didn't get the idea that you were leaving, just disappointed and down-in-the-dumps today....
TT isn't what it used to be. I feel like I'm talking to a wall these days. I have felt invisible since our move here and I don't need to come here and feel worse.
Things have definitely changed - this place used to be a bustling "metropolis" of sorts! I think the main problem is that the Internet and Social Sites have grown by leaps and bounds! There are only so many sites one can realistically keep up with at a few at a time. I admit that I am on FB a majority of the time because most of my friends are there but I like that Google+ is starting to grow because it seems like it's going to be easier to control who is in your "Circle of Friends" there.
Anyway, if it helps at all, I hear ya' and understand what your saying.
Sorry to hear you are considering leaving TT. You are not the first that I have read that is feeling there is no one out there when they post a comment. As everyone else has stated I also feel that TT is no longer the busy forum it used to be. I do try to pop by each day but don't post that much.
Will you be attending the next doll and bear show in Salt Lake the first weekend in Oct? Maybe you could talk up TT and see if we can get it back to the old days!
Yes, thing to do change -- and sometimes one has to change with them. I won't/can't advocate one form or the other, just because there might be more than one form of communication amongst teddy bear artist/collectors, doesn't invalidate or otherwise should not put pressure on you directly.
Information propagates, believe it or not -- and if you feel more comfortable posting here, that's fine. People will read it -- and let others know. For example, I have no *clue* what happens on bearpile or on facebook. Nor do I give a shit. Yet I still feel as though I am kept fully informed about things, *just* because I read these forums.
-- Thomas Adam
I don't know what this board was like in the glory days, but it's probably one of the most active forums I'm on. It seems like if I go away for a few hours I come back and there are a bunch of pages with new posts. The only bad thing is that the most popular section is where people post pics of their bears rather than the discussion sections that I would be able to participate in.
I have not been here long at all but I'm part of other forums that shall remain nameless that are like a little community ~ they get posts all the time. This does not feel... I don't know, there aren't words but it's not quite the same. Please don't take this the wrong way though I'm still very happy to be here!
And I have been refusing to join FaceBook now for so long it's ridiculous.... I won't ever join there I don't like it as much, you don't get to know people the same (not that I'm on there so I don't really know).
I still don't think you should leave though if you've been here that long! There has to be a way to bring the forum back to the way you all remember it.
Also regarding big bears ~ I have made them too, but prefer smaller ones. I also like modern bears to make, but like to buy traditional style bears. The reason I make modern bears with a difference is that I have been so used to everyone doing things a certain way with so many endeavors I go on, and that there are ridiculous rules with no real point (of course there has to be rules but some seem a bit over the top) that when I came to bear making I wanted my bears to be DIFFERENT from everyone else's. I wanted mine to stand out and be totally fresh.
That is why mine are completely different, but I do still love big traditional bears ~ there is a place for all bears I believe.
There has to be a way to bring this place back to what you all seem to remember it being..... Or maybe it's just time for a change. To me there is so many members here that it can be a bit overwhelming and you don't get to know people that well. But I am VERY new and I'm willing to give this forum a try. I would like to help make it the way it was, too, if that is possible.
I have been on TT for a few years now and I noticed things changing when people started to create blogs : so that was even before FB.
Before blogs, people usend to share here everything. Then, a few started to say on TT that then opened a blog so others did the same and eventually all these people began to post things on their blog instead of posting them on TT.
Then, FB came to the open, with more and more from TT joining FB and posting less on TT. I first decided that never ever I would join FB. But I eventually joined FB as it was the only way I could see photos from a very dear friend. I thought it might be fun to add as many teddy bear makers as possible into my friend list and I had no idea there were so many. My other friends and family memebers got lost into that huge bunch of teddy bear maker friends and I am getting lost there myself too. I see no point in sharing much on FB as so many of my "friends" are strangers for me. So it is nothing like TT. Not better, for sure. Google+ sounds better as we can have different circles of friends, but no idea where it will get me.
Anyway, I ended up posting less on TT, that is a fact. I have to admitt I make much less teddy bears as I am focusing on trying to build me a professional career, as I am still unemployed and very concerned about it.
Blogs are fun, but since my parents have started spying on me reading my blog, complaining oabout what I postedf, so it brought a cold and I did not feel free of my writings anymore... So I prefer TT!!! Then do not spy on me there!
I am not yet so long with TT.
I am natural also in 2 "German" forums.
For me TT is something special. I have to have the possibility with many bear's friends from a distance contact. I hope that also my language becomes a little better.
FB I have not joined. There are my children; o).
I like my Blog very much and I am glad about every new reader.
The only site i use is TT i dont know off any others being new to the industry,i have to say i have met some wonderful knowlegable careing Bear Makers ,who have found the time to asist me when i had problems and oh boy ive had a lot,your always there to give advise,and in this world of not wanting to give away trade secrets i think thats highly comendable
Dont leave,youll miss out on lots of chit chat
Lots of hugs
. My other friends and family memebers got lost into that huge bunch of teddy bear maker friends and I am getting lost there myself too. I see no point in sharing much on FB as so many of my "friends" are strangers for me. So it is nothing like TT. Not better, for sure. Google+ sounds better as we can have different circles of friends, but no idea where it will get me.
You can put your friends and family into different groups and post directly to that group of people. Look for the little lock icon under the posting line and it will guide you. You can also look at just certain groups of friends postings. I have been doing that more and more.
Jennskains , I agree with a lot of others. Facebook and blogs seem to be the thing now and I do not like either one. I will not go on face book and expose my computer to all the virus there plus it seems an awful waste of time to me. TT is not the place it used to be, which is OK but, what bothers me is it is not a "lets be friends" place either. Just show your bears and talk about antiques seems like to me. I like to be "friends" with other bear makers.
I can also attest that TT used to be busier, but besides looking at the number of people who've responded to this thread, I can add my website statistics. They show me how people arrive at my website, and about half of them follow a link from TT.
That's a lot of people, and many of them are not registered here, but are reading, at least.
The Teddy Bear World is constantly evolving. I believe we're in a bit of a confusing transition right now. Teddy Bears, as a separate art form, arouse from the Doll World (ANd some old-timers still consider us just a spin-off of dolls). When I started back in 2000, entering shows with my realistic style bears and cats, I was rejected by many shows because I did not create traditional teddy bears. The internet has really changed things. In the past our world revolved around several prestigious shows, contests, and the magazines. There was no such thing as forming your own customer base without the help of these entities. At least not a full time business from your art; you had to have their help and acceptance. (I'm sure there were exceptions, but not many.)
Because I still pursue my art as a full time business I am very careful about how I spend my time. I don't have much time for social networks but I do send out a newsletter once a month and I keep in touch with fellow full time artists and discuss what is happening in our world. We all seem to agree that our world is changing. We are worried about the magazines and shows as the internet, for most of us, has become the most cost effective method of sale for our art. Also, I have found that about a third of my sales are now overseas largely because of my exposure via the internet. As much as we want to support and save the other sales/exposure entities, we can't stop or force either artists or, especially, our customers from choosing the method they prefer in selling/finding their bears. But I'm an optimist, I think in evolving we will find a way to gather together and celebrate our art in new ways. Keep you ears and minds open
KJ Lyons Design
I come and go...have a hard time keeping up with facebook. blogs ..email ..forums.. .I get carried away and minutes turn to hours ...so I have to be careful I pop in to see what everyone is doing...just the talk of teddies makes me feel included. Hard to find a friend that can relate to my need to create. I come here and I don't feel alone anymore.
I hope things go better with your move Jenn. What state are you in ? Wishing you the best.
I too wish there was more chatter here on TT nowadays... I'm one of those who has a Facebook and pretty much detest it.. Too much posted there that I'm really not interested in, settings you have to change if you want some small amount of privacy or to not be inundated with useless info, things that don't work right unless I'm on my laptop... Etc etc..
Annoys me how now it's become the default place for just about anything.. Even Teddybear and Friends announced the TOBY winners there before their website... Argh
But not so sure it's just Facebook tho, there are noticeable slowdowns and people leaving after disagreements on the board.. Even once the incident is forgotten, it's sometimes hard to go back to how things were.
I have just stopped in here to see what is happening after being off for over a year and reading this post made me feel terrible. TT was always such a fun place to check in during the day while I was at my "real job" to catch up on everything in the bear making community. I haven't checked in for personal reasons....Over a year ago I switched jobs and it is such a demanding job that I found myself concentrating totally on learning what I needed to so I could keep up. I didn't change fields-still medical billing but I now work for a much larger company.
I have continued to make bears and until recently have been fairly successful. My sales have been slow though in the past couple of months. I thought maybe I could find out if anyone else was experiencing this if I checked in here. Then I read that this site has changed quite a but since last year and I feel like I contributed to that.
I will try to get on here more often because the people here really are wonderful sounding boards and they have always been a great help when I needed them. Maybe it's time for me to return the favor.