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Current. Keep It That Way.

by Karen Cooper on 3/14/2012 9:23:30 AM

This post is by guest author, Karen Cooper.  This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here. We've promoted this post to feature status because it provides great value to the FineArtViews community.  If you want your blog posts listed in the FineArtViews newsletter with the possibility of being republished to our 18,000+ subscribers, consider blogging with FASO Artist Websites.  This author's views are entirely her own and may not always reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.

 

Greetings,

 

Welcome to the Cooper studio, Jefferson, Iowa.

 

Folks, today I've got good news. And I've got bad news, and that's just the way it is. Let's get started. The good news is after a pile of messed up emails, I (er, my paintings) have been accepted to the Geneva Fine Arts Fair, Geneva, Illinois.

 

The bad news, brace yourself. I hopped over to this very website, to add it to that page labeled Schedule, and with horror washing over me, discovered that on this fine March 11th, 2012 THERE in big bold print was my (I am so embarrassed to say this) my 2011 schedule.

 

How do things like this HAPPEN? I, who have written articles about the risk-to-character of artists who let their personal web space run amuck. Fade from lack of attention. Fall behind the times? I have succumbed to the fault of not checking out my very own website.

 

Now in defense of artist-website-owners universal, I can say to you-our-fair-readers-of-the-front-side-of-this-webspace, normally all our viewing happens on the backside. We need to add a painting image so we go to the menu bar, click the button that says "your artwork portfolio" and do the work. Add the painting.

 

And when my favorite events started sending me happy letters (acceptance letters!) this spring, of course I wrote a blog post about that.

 

But I forgot all about the page on my website labeled "Schedule". That place I personally had set up so that my friends and patrons of the summer art fair world know where I, and my paintings will be. And I forgot about it because I had failed to follow my own good advice about reading the thing from the viewer's point of view!

 

There is a pathetic line that goes something like "Don't do as I do, do as I say". Yeah, that means revert to that article I wrote awhile back. The one that talks about how each artist should visit their website from the patron side on a regular basis.

 

As artists, we add things to our websites with a regular (hopefully) and timely routine. And when that happens from the backside of the control panel, we lose track of what's available to our viewers from the front side of that control bar. On days like this, that can become concerning. Dios mio.

 

But now, I've followed my own advice. I've read my website like a regular viewer, from the front side. All of those embarrassing OUTDATED entries have been corrected. You, my artist friend, should go do that to your website, too. Old information is worthless information. And even worse, you just might alarm your fans into thinking you've checked out. Let'em know you're still working this gig. Keep that front page current.

 

Later, Cooper

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

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



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 9 Comments

Sharon Weaver
via faso.com
Checking on links to make sure they still work is important too. Luckily for all of us on FASO the old events are archived when the date is over but it doesn't look good when there is nothing on your upcoming schedule. Nice catch.

jack white
via faso.com
Karen,
We are really old fashioned. We have a print calendar on the pantry wall. This is where we keep our schedule.
Over the years we have had several computers crash, by the time we get new ones and the stuff loaded a week can pass.
If anything is important we put it on the paper calendar. Teeth cleaning, best friends birthday, grass burr treatment. Frankly we don't trust the computer to keep important dates. (smile)
Jack

Carolyn Henderson
via faso.com
Karen: I hear you. ANYTIME I fall down on the job I beat myself senseless, and then I think, "If I'm always this hard on myself, I'm probably inflexible with others as well. Lighten up, sweetheart."

And then I thunk my head against the desk and sob.

Oversights happen. We do our best to avoid them and promise that we won't do it again in the future.

I guess the positive thing about overlooking some things is that you did it because you were really, really busy, and that's good!

Dan Goldstein
via faso.com
GRATEFUL FOR THIS POST. Seemingly such common sense advice but I for one appreciate how important it is to always review the customer side of the site. Can't say how many times I have updated the site, then gone to the front end and discovered broken links. Some say we learned it all in kindergarten. I say 10th grade. That's when an English teacher instilled in me the value of PROOFREADING.

Cathy de Lorimier
via faso.com
Karen,
I was a grade school teacher, mighty good at proofreading, if I do say so myself. I'm glad you wrote this post, because as an artist, when I am looking for a current calendar of a master's workshop schedule, I am usually irritated if I find it is not up to date. Keeping the clients happy is key, and keeping our websites up to date is one fairly easy way to do this! Perhaps linking this task to something else we have to do regularly would help, say, getting the oil changed in the car, or getting a haircut. Note to self: on the days that I get a haircut, I must read over my website to update it from the reader's point of view.

KCooper
via faso.com
We all recognized the syndrome, eh?!

Carolyn, I know busy is no excuse, but I'm using it anyway. Someone way back when, really lied to me when they said life would calm down when we got the youngest child off to college. At least it hasn't yet!

I'm glad Dan and Cathy commented from the teacher aspect. As long as we're still breathin' we're still teachable.

And Cathy, the one step further you suggested-- tie reading your own website to another regular event--genius!

Then we can revert back to Jack's plan and write that GROUP of regular tasks on the paper calendar, so we don't lose track of the whole group... :)

Donald Fox
via faso.com
Like Jack, I frequently write things down. At home we have calendars in many different rooms, each with different themes (dance, art, wildlife). Important items are noted in several places. I do spend a lot of time on a computer at school, but even blogs are often first hand written - the same for other writing that I do. You're talking about a published calendar, though, and as others have noted, that has to be carefully edited and updated. A note to do this monthly or quarterly can help.

Brian Sherwin
via faso.com
Like Jack and Donald, I prefer to write important dates down. The same goes for articles -- I'd say that 95 percent of my articles start with pen and paper. As for key info on your artist website -- I always suggest having a physical copy of that info just in case something happens. You just never know what may happen.

jo allebach
via faso.com
Thank you thank you thank you. I needed to be slapped to get my attention and keep current. There are calendars in every room (even the bathroom) and I depend on my blackberry a lot and that is in sync with the computer. Again thanks.










 

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