For fans of street art and the artists trying to reach those fans, the physical location of street art matters much less than it did 20 years ago. The networks of street art fandom that have developed online have led to the displacement of street art from the physical location in which it is put up. It used to be that installing a work in New York City in a major city might help you get attention. Today, wheatpasting a poster in the center of a hipster enclave isn’t as noteworthy as having that poster make it onto the front page of Wooster Collective or even the artist just posting it to their own Instagram account if they have enough followers. If it’s in the right digital locations, who cares if the poster can be found in Williamsburg or Williamstown? Blogs, accounts on Instagram or Flickr and all the other places where fans now go to see street art online have become the new locations that matter.
The point of this section is simply that there are international networks of street art distribution to be found online and physical places where connections between web friends can be made in real life. While I have listed specific websites or mediums, this overview of how street artists and street art fans organize themselves online should be considered a rough sketch of the landscape, as examples, not as an exact blueprint that will be accurate in the future. Just as Instagram began to surpass Flickr within some circles around early 2012, something similar could occur next week causing users to abandon Instagram and blogs. The unique quirks of each distribution network are temporary as users can move from one network to another, but the goal within each new network is the same: the sharing of information about street art. It’s not blogs, Flickr, Instagram, forums, Facebook or Tumblr that are affecting street art. It’s the internet. Those platforms are merely best ways to share art on the internet right now. Tomorrow’s platforms will surely be different.