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Introducing BoldBrush, Social Networking by FASO


FASO was originally created as a website builder for artists and, over time, it has evolved into much more, for both our wonderful customers and for all the "Fasonians" who work here.  As the years passed, we've added additional products and features to our offering such as: ArtfulMail Newsletter Creator, StudioQuill Blogs, the BoldBrush Art Contest, FineArtViews Marketing Newsletters and our member forum. 

 

Our company, Boldbrush, Inc and our flagship site, FASO, have come to stand for "inspiration through art".   Art is inspiring to create, to share, and to view and we've made it our mission to inspire the world's artists, collectors and art lovers by connecting them with each other and with great art.  Our goal is to provide the art community with technology that is simple to use, empowering and beautiful. And we back our technology with live support powered by people who are passionate about art, tenacious, ingenious and driven to make every interaction remarkable.

 

So, with these goals in mind, a little over a year ago, we embarked on a journey to connect with our customers and learn more about how you view FASO and BoldBrush.   We reached out and had in-depth talks with many dozens of our customers.  We interacted and made notes when taking support calls.  We paid attention to what you were saying.  And we're happy to report we all appear to be on the same page.  "Inspiration" is the common thread that ran through all these discussions.

 

We often asked customers the following question:  "Why did you choose FASO and why do you stay with FASO?"

 

And overwhelmingly, the answer revolved around inspiration and community.  For example , one artist told us that FASO is her "lifeline" to the art world.  She shared with us that she eagerly checks her email every morning for our newsletters, and she loves to connect with other artists in the FASO community.  She was adamant that without her "daily dose of inspiration" from the FASO art community, she would be lost.  Variations of this story were very, very common.  

 

Here's where it gets interesting:  at that point, we actually hadn't built any serious community tools into FASO.  Yes, people can connect via email.  And yes, we have a forum and blog comments.  However, those aren't really a  community (or so we thought).  And yet, over and over, artists told us that the community and inspirational aspects of FASO were of utmost importance.

 

Frankly, we were amazed.  We looked at each other and said, "Wow, our users are building a community and sharing with each other in spite of the fact that we really haven't given them the proper tools."   So, to make long story short, we decided tobuild those tools.

 

We've spent the past year slowly building, testing and quietly incorporating social and community features into FASO. 

 

And today we're proud to announce BoldBrush, our social network.  The features we've built will allow you to connect with other artists, to follow each other, to "like" works of art by your favorite artists, and to receive comments and "likes" on your own works.  You can  comment on each other's artworks.  You can also post status updates and non-artwork photographs.  We've also added a direct messaging feature so you can send private messages to your FASO followers.

 

One of the main pieces of this new social network is the art activity stream.  It is a feed of artworks and art-related activity from the artists you follow.  You can currently see it by clicking the "Activity" link in the toolbar of your FASO account.  However, our plan is to move the art activity stream to the home screen of your FASO account's control panel.  This will not affect your FASO web site in any way.  This change is ONLY inside your account when you log in to your FASO Account.  We know that's a big change, so let us take a moment to explain why we are doing this.

 

We took a look at the FASO Account interface and we realized that as it's evolved, everything you can do from the main area of the home screen can also be accomplished from the toolbar or sidebar.  In other words, the content in the main area of the current home screen is not very useful.  It's just redundant duplication.  And removing it doesn't make getting to any of the site management functions any more difficult.

 

However, think about a stream of inspiration, community, art news, art marketing ideas, stats and feedback from your own site.

 

Now, that seems useful to us.  That sounds like what SHOULD be on your home screen.

 

So that's what we're going to do.  Starting on March 2nd, we're going to start rolling out the new social features to users.  The roll out is going to be done slowly, in stages over the course of approximately five weeks.

 

Here's what the new home screen will look like:

 

 

 

If you're excited about these changes and want to enjoy the future now by enabling the art activity stream, here's how you do it:

 

Click here for instructions on how to enable the Art Activity Stream

 

 

We're so excited about this addition and we think it's a great enhancement for you to augment your art marketing activities and generate more interest in your art and your website.  

 

We've realized art needs a social networking home.   While Facebook, Twitter and friends are great, we need at least one place where art and inspirational discussions don't have to compete with cute cat videos, political rants, and off-color animations.  We need a social network that is all art all the time.  A social network that is all about inspiration and fits with our mutually shared mission to inspire and connect the world's artists and art lovers.  

 

So we created a new, beautiful, art-focused social network where people can actually be inspired by nothing but art. 

 

We hope you'll Share Art and Be Inspired.

 

Sincerely,

 

Clint Watson

 

 

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Editor's Note:  You can view Clint's original post here.

18 Responses to Introducing BoldBrush, Social Networking by FASO

James Griffin
via faso.com
Thanks for the new features coming to our home page! I look forward to networking more easily with my fellow artists and clients. Thanks for all you do at FASO!

Linda Wilder
via faso.com
Wonderful! I can't wait. I have been with FASO for many years and it has been nothing but reliable, informative, and professional, as I'm sure this new social venture will be.

Rita Kirkman
via faso.com
That's awesome Clint!! You guys keep getting better and better!

Hope Barton
via faso.com
It all sounds really good. I have been very happy working with FASO and getting art news and inspiration. One problem I have is when sending a blog which is all about techniques and tips for acrylic painting, I don't see an option for publishing that on the list.

E Lazeren
via faso.com
Not really interested.I spend my time painting, not being more "social". Is this required or do I have a choice?
Thanks.

Clint Watson
via faso.com
@E Lazeren - it won't be required that you follow other artists, in which case the home page feed will only be useful marketing information from FASO and your own artwork. You aren't required to be "social".

We developed this in response to many, many, many artists who wanted more options to promote their artwork to collectors to help them get more exposure and possibly sell more, and we DO plan to open this network to collectors after the kinks are worked out. So, honestly, we are a tad surprised that their are situations where artists don't want to be involved.

However there have been a few requests to "opt out" of the social network and we do currently have an "opt out" feature on the short list of things we are building before this is fully released.

So a bit of a long-winded answer to say "no, it's not required" but I wanted a fuller answer here in case other artists have the same question.

Thanks for asking!


Nancy Bass
via faso.com
Wow! I am excited by this latest addition to FASO. You just keep making it better and better. Pretty much what we artist try to do with our work.

Thanks for helping us artists connect

Anne Bevan
via faso.com
I have always thought FASO is the most perfect artist site on the internet. I thought it couldn't get better, but this new evolution is simply awesome. Thank you Clint, thank you team FASO !

Donna Varner
via faso.com
I did not subscribe to FASO to access yet another social media platform. This feature is irrelevant to my reason for being on FASO. I really don't care what people are saying and I don't care to see a long list of unknown people who "likes this", "likes this","likes this","likes this",ad nauseum. If I wanted such a thing I would seek it out. You should have this as an option, not a default on my home screen. Thankfully, you have fabulous customer support, who as I write this is in the process of helping me turn this feature off. Please, FASO, stick to what you do well: making artistically beautiful websites!

Dr T
via faso.com
Help - How do I get rid of this babble? Happy others want to share their thoughts and contemplations but PLEASE tell me how to NOT HAVE TO SEE THEM. My head is way too full of words -- to the point of needing to SHUT them off. Please understand that we all communicate differently and many of us have only learned to handle a small amount of other people's words.

Patty Schwarz
via faso.com
How do you edit a comment you've made on someone's painting. Facebook has an edit feature. I don't see any here.

Steve Wang
via faso.com
I am glad to be in FASO.Thank you.

Marian Stamos
via faso.com
I would like to UN-SUBSCRIBE to this as I really haven't the time to get involved ....how do I do this?

Jeff Gorrell
via faso.com
I note that several artists feel as I do about not wanting to have that social stream of comments displayed on my page when I open my FASO site. I brought this topic up months ago and got nowhere. Please help me and others by allowing us to get rid of it on our sites. I really don't want to see it.

Clint Watson
via faso.com
Jeff - you can open a support issue and they can disable the social stream. Or login to your account -> gear drop down (upper right) -> account settings -> Labs -> Disable FASO Connect.

Where did you bring the topic up? We've had a way to disable the stream since it was announced.

Roberta Murray
via faso.com
It would be really nice if you could put a link to FASO Connect on the sidebar of the admin panel. I'd like to participate but find it slows down the loading of my admin panel, so I'd prefer to be able to engage with it on my terms through a separate page which is easily found through a link. When I disable the social stream, I don't know how to find it again without being sent an email that someone started following me.


Jim Wight
via faso.com
I am on 30 day trial to see if faso is useful. For me when I post a blog item, I need it to automatically propagate to my Instagram, facebook and twitter pages without my needing to do anything manual like logging in, reposting etc.

Does Faso provide this functionality?

Teresa Dominici
via faso.com
I like this functionality, it is a great way to connect with each other.