Tom Kemp | Episode 220
Tom Kemp is relatively new to pottery. Tom has spent the past four years as a part-time self-learning with a few courses thrown in. For many years Tom studied lettering and formal writing which translated into an abstract painting technique which Tom now applies to his pots. Tom also trained as a computer scientist.
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What do you think of the Instagram change?
Instagram could be very useful but it’s emphasis is changing far too much. If you want to be a developer for Instagram then they put a lot more restrictions on what you are able to do. If you don’t fit into their categories you are not allowed to use the software. It’s quite commercial in a kind of crass way. It’s quite distasteful. I love and hate Instagram. It’s one of those things that we can’t do without and it’s done me a power of good but it could be so, so much better.
What do you think good manners for Instagram should be?
That’s a really tough one. The first thing is communicate. So the worst bad thing you can do is not communicate with people. That’s really bad manners because neither of you can learn anything that way. So like something, comment on something, engage, that’s good manners. I guess there are so many cultures and backgrounds and parts of the world using Instagram now you can’t talk about a cultural way of carrying on on Instagram. I have had to go onto Google translate to try and determine what people are trying to tell me. It’s amazing, I’ve had an endless list of different languages used on my Instagram so it’s hard to put down rules on what is polite on any cultural criteria.
What makes a good post?
The posts that have the most likes, followers, comments, all of that are definitely videos if you are a potter. It helps to explain or at least hint as to why that post exists in the little comment. So why have I put this here today?Why on earth would people be interested in it? People love to see how things are made. It think that is the root to why I have the popularity on some of my posts is that people have not seen stuff being made like this before. It is the sheer fascination factor that is really helping me. So show somebody something they haven’t seen before, that’s rule number one and explain to them in your blurb why they should be looking at it, what’s interesting about it.
What’s your favorite Instagram feed?
I have people who followed me in the very beginning. They are just living their lives doing their thing and they are not necessarily potters or making anything in particular , but they are still somehow engaging with all of us. I’m following them and I love them. They are my favorite feeds.
If Instagram had one change and you could dictate it, what change would you have them make?
The issue I have most trouble with is keeping in touch with people’s comments. Instagram only shows you the last 100 things that happened. If you do a post just before you go to bed, and you wake up and you have 1500 likes and 300 comments well it will only show you the last 100 things. So I will miss those comments. It’s such a shame that you might miss those really lovely comments that people are making. It’s not fair that their reaching out to you is ignored by me just for a technical limitation of the Instagram app. I would say they should allow us to keep a tab on all the comments people have made.