Thursday, June 30, 2011

Internet presence

Been working on this a bit recently. I've been blogging for over a year now and had got to grips with my Blogger account and using google reader to keep track of blogs I am following, I do have a website which is still a work in progress so I'm not yet publicising it.

I can't even remember how I came across it now but I stumbled on this site: Lori McNee, fine art & tips, which has some excellent articles about using social networking to raise ones profile and increase traffic to your site. After reading through the advice on there I created my own artists facebook page and twitter account with links back to my blog. I then used RSS Graffiti to feed my blog posts to my Facebook page and twitterfeed to feed content from the FB page to Twitter.

Having done all this it did leave me wondering for a moment if I actually needed a website at all. The blog is a core element of my web presence, my development as an artist, achievements, thoughts are all recorded here in far more detail and in a more comprehensive layout than the website will be able to achieve. The Facebook page has up to date galleries of my art, my contact information is there on all three elements, blog, FB & what's the website actually going to do?....

After pondering it for a while I did realise that it still had a place in the scheme of things. This is the only place I can present a comprehensive, detailed gallery, the FB albums are OK but limited in what they can do in the way of searching and presenting information. There is also the credability of a stand alone website, It's strange to think of something as recent and hi tech as the internet as having respected, bricks & mortar type of entities but that's what websites really are, the fashionable and highly flexible areas of social networking are great but not everyone is comfortable with them, the website is a solid base for all these more intangible, changable applications.

Mind you my website isn't in the equation yet and still my internet presence seems to be doing OK...interesting.


  1. Hi Ben,

    I had the same feelings as you and came to the same conclusions. I find that I use my blog most and the website is really just for the gallery pages.

    I think it is useful to have the website though. It is the one place where I have complete control over the layout and content. I'm also uncomfortable with being too dependant on Google, in case there are any problems in the future.

  2. Aye that's true, there's the control & security of having your own site. OTOH there can be problems with any server, including the one hosting your website. I reckon it's a good 'belt and braces' approach to have these independant, linked elements (including a website) to ones internet presence because of that (as well as the big advantage of reaching a wider audience and generating more traffic).

  3. Hey Ben,
    I enjoyed reading this post. I certainly agree questioning the need for a website with all the free stuff available.
    Fact is, I often visit artists websites after seeing their blogs, only to be frequently disappointed. Many are awkward to navigate and I waste way too much time clicking back-and-forth after viewing an enlargement of a painting. I can't help but wonder just what the artist was thinking when they allowed this to happen. I usually depart such sights quickly and never return.
    I've been quite pleased, overall, with Google Blogger and doubt I'll ever invest in a website. In your case, I'd say you've covered all the bases and doubt a website would add much to that.
    Have a fabulous weekend, Ben.

  4. Look at it like this, one is stagnate and one is interactive. With a website you send people to it that you have already made contact with, sort of a digital business card. A blog is open to the public, anyone can find you and enjoy your work, the problem with blogs is that you are often singing to the choir. You have got to link out to other users of different content.

  5. Gary, I know what you mean, I think a lot of people use the free 'build your own' hosts. I've investigated some of these and been pretty unimpressed with what I've found..and it's often the gallery functionality that really lets them down. I went the whole hog and commissioned a pro to build my site so it should work as I want it to.

    rateyourart, I'm hoping that the links out to and in from the social network profiles I've created will broaden my reach, I'm not pushing for publicity yet, just using these profiles to link to other artists I find nteresting and organisations that are relevant. I've already noticed a small but distinct inrease in traffic, which is encouraging.

  6. I would say alot depends on what kind of artist you are. If you paint for yourself a blog is enough and to have feedback and a following makes the journey much richer. A website to me means you are a more commercial artist who is making a living by selling your work. So the buyer will sign up for updates and when they are building up a collection of an artist's work are able to know when new work goes onto the site. While my buyers buy via a gallery they will always go to my website first to see what is new and then ask me via the email which gallery is exhibiting the painting they are interested in.

  7. I'm certainly not anticipating making a living entirely out of my art, rather supplementing my income to some extent.
    I'm casting wide because I cannot see any possible harm in it, who knows? I may get some work from outside my target audience. Realistically most of my potential market is here in the Falkland Islands, What I want to do is make sure I reach as many as possible in that market. Websites & blogs are fine but here Facebook, for instance, has a whopping 80% penetration (2nd in the world after Monaco) so it absolutely makes sense to have a FB page. I'm still going to do a website though, there's quite a lot of people who I know are on FB but do not use all...and look at blogging as something that journalist and celebrities do, for some only a website will do. I don't what to miss out on potential work for the want of spending a few quid a month on a website.