The Internet has proven to be an amazing resource for our industry. It put us in touch with each other and it created networking and educational opportunities. The evolution of social media opened even more avenues of interaction with one another and gave us new marketing options and access to new products...

But it also over-complicated some of these things. It over-diversified these options. It’s not easy to find a quality networking resource any more. People start websites, message forums, and Facebook groups at a mind-boggling rate, and those sites fade into obscurity at an equally astounding rate. Which ones do you join? Which ones do you make sure to check every day? Which ones are populated with like-minded professionals you can trust to give you quality advice and information?

It’s gotten hard to figure out where to go for good online professional camaraderie and support.

It’s also getting hard to figure out how to learn new techniques or find new products; I see lots and lots and lots of photos from all over the world. I used to be really good at keeping up to date on the who’s who of the artists, and following emerging styles, techniques, and products.

These days, my brain swims at the sheer diversity available. I can’t always track down the artist’s name or location. I don’t know if that’s an acrylic nail or a gel nail. I don’t know if they used gel-polish, traditional polish, or embedded the glitter into the extension product. I don’t know what type of paint they used. Is that gel paint? Is it acrylic paint? Is it an airbrush style medium? Studio art style? Medium body acrylic from a tube? Did they paint it onto the gel-polish over the inhibition layer? Remove the inhibition layer before painting the artwork? Or is it traditional polish? Where did they get that stuff? What’s it called? Who makes it? Can I get it? Does the company have a U.S. distributor? Will they ship it to me overseas?

And finding YouTube tutorials proves to be futile. Either the artists employing some of these products and techniques aren’t making YouTube videos or I have no clue what keywords to use to find them!

I don’t mind paying for quality educational materials. Really! I’m willing to buy a CD or download material to learn these things — I just don’t know where to find them or what they’re called.

I am so excited about the “everything goes” place that our industry is in currently, but at the same time, I am overwhelmed by the “everywhere at once-ness” of it. There is so much diversification in the industry that it can be hard to find the information you’re looking for. Add to that the growing “this is mine, go get your own” possessiveness that many techs now have over their knowledge and I just don’t know where to find what I’m looking for anymore.

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