Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A busy month and a web tip!

A lot of projects on tap here lately - including one that's going to take us out of the (970) area code for awhile. We're heading to Louisiana on a road trip production down south for the next three weeks. As one can imagine, it has been pretty busy getting things squared away before we leave.

I'm wrapping up a video-edit production for a dear friend of mine who is retiring after 24 years. I'm proud to say that I worked along side David for 10 great years and I'm looking forward to working with him again in the future! I've been going over old photographs and videos the past week and there have been several times of going down memory lane. I loved the people I worked with - I don't necessarily miss all of the stress that came with the job.

So that's been the scoop around here lately. We'll return in mid-late October and if I'm able to upload some photographs along the way - I'll try to get them posted on here.


As web designers - we work within a canvas that is so mobile and flexible. Statistics show that the majority of the surfing public uses either Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox while having their monitor resolution set to 1024x768. That's a nice sized canvas that we start with, however a year ago we had a client who was having problems looking at her website because it wouldn't fit on her screen and it would look completely askew.

We checked her website coding, ran it through several validation checks and could not find out what was the problem. I eventually got the chance to check out her computer and discovered that she was surfing while having the bookmarks/history sidebar open. Once she closed the sidebar, the website returned to normal and everything was resolved.

The issue with the bookmarks/history side panel is something we debate with all the time because while we want visitors to enjoy their browsing experience as they see fit, from a design point of view - an open bookmarks sidebar ruins the experience we're trying to produce. It would be the equivalent of watching a movie at a theater and have a "picture in a picture" on the screen that is showing Jerry Springer re-runs. Why would you want to watch "Jerry Springer" at the same time of "Gone with the Wind??"

When I'm surfing the web - I want to experience a website the way that it was originally designed. Even when we optimize the website to accommodate the bookmarks/history sidebar - the design element is lost and people will immediately be turned off by the design aspect. Instead of planning for a wonderful 1024x768 canvas, we now have to optimize the browsers to "fit" the content - and it doesn't always look nice and pretty.

So today's tip is essentially: turn off the sidebar if you're not using it so that you can enjoy your websites as they were intended.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Blogging class and a new uploaded video section!

We had the wonderful opportunity to give a presentation to the great folks at Art Space this past Monday evening. It was a really great primer introduction into blogging and what it means to your online marketing experience. While the possibilities can be a bit overwhelming, most blogs start new and small. Keeping that small, clean design is much preferred than a more cluttered blog environment.

The rest of the week was spent preparing a Mitigation Demo video for the Indiana Public Defender's system. With the kind assistance of Albert Stork and Darby Casey - we were able to create a sample video of what a mitigation production might look like. I created a new section on the website - dedicated to small video production work that I've been working on. Check out the new section here.

I'm looking forward to a brief break Saturday so that we can run down to nearby Delta, Colorado and perhaps a picnic in some "up and out of the way" place between here and there.

It was a good week and we're looking forward to the upcoming projects. September has become quite a busy month!

Take care!

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Blogging Do's and Don'ts

  • Do make the time to update your blog. Once might be good enough but a good average to shoot for is three times a week. The more you blog the more interest your blog will gain and the more repeat visitors you will have looking and buying your work.
  • Don't make similar posts every day. It might be nice to show a painting everyday, but just posting the painting and no thoughts, insights or process will lose your visitors interest.
  • Do reply back to emails and comments from your blog. The personal interaction is key to keeping them coming back.
  • Don't engage in online drama. You might get some criticism about your work and it is important to be polite, thank the person for perspective and then move on. Don't get in a battle your time is more important.
  • Do make sure your blog loads quickly. You only get 8 seconds to lure them to stay and get to know you.
  • Do visit other bloggers, comment and add their link to yours if you enjoy their blog. Interacting with other blogs brings them to you. And eventually you will get more people linking to you adding more traffic to your website and blog.
  • Do give it time to grow and become a success for you.
this is part of the brochure that we handed out in the blogging class

Blogging for the Artist
copyright Reflecting Time Productions

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Why and What Should I Blog as an artist?

Why Should I Blog as an artist?

Marketing is the main reason. The following points all bring it back to a blog is good for marketing your art.

  • It is the easiest way to keep your website fresh and new without needing to revamp your website constantly. Fresh content means visitors will be more apt to re-visit your website to check out what’s new.
  • It creates a personal experience for both the visitor and you. Your vistors/customers see "behind the scenes" of your work, your art and your mindset. A visitor – goes to the gallery - they look at the piece and go: "that’s cool." And then walk on to the next piece. A blog allows you the opportunity to discuss the piece – what was the inspiration, the state of mind or emotion that went into the piece.
  • Communication and networking with not only people locally but world wide.
  • Easiest way to get on your art on the web. CAVEAT: you SHOULDN’T be treating the blog to be your "end all, be all" A blog should be ENHANCING your online presence and not become it’s only presence. Your blog should be a piece of your online presence.

What Should I Blog as an artist?

  • First and foremost - show off your art. Finished pieces or
    progress of a piece or series.
  • Tell about your experiences and thought process on your work.
  • Share what inspires you - a story in the newspaper nature, something you found at a flea market. Whatever it may be share it.
  • Share your knowledge tips and techniques associated with your works and the art business.
  • Share your daily life (within reason).
  • Share your upcoming shows, events or anything else significant in promoting your art.
Your visitor wants to get to know you and the art you create. Each of those things will help you bring them back again and again. And also of course buy your art.

this is part of the brochure that we handed out in the blogging class

Blogging for the Artist
copyright Reflecting Time Productions

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Sunday, September 9, 2007

Blogging Class

I am giving a blogging class for Artspace & Open Studio tomorrow. I will post notes and links that I share in the class Tuesday or Wednesday.