The Art of the Business

A blog dedicated to artists who are serious about their business.

What happens when Social Media and Visual Arts collide? February 10, 2010

Twitter/Art + Social Media, that’s what.

From April 1- May 1, 2010, the Diane Farris Gallery will be presenting an exhibition called Twitter/Art + Social Media, an exhibition of work by artists who use social media for the inspiration, production or presentation of their work. How cool is this??

From the Diane Farris blog:

Since 1984, Diane Farris Gallery has been known for finding and establishing new talent. In the year 2010, the gallery recognizes the strong role played by social media in the production and/or promotion of artwork. We are particularly interested in how social media is affecting the practice of artists who use it to share feedback on their artwork, to promote their artwork, to organize shows or to produce artwork collaboratively.

Social media may include websites, blogging, instant messenger, rss feeds, social bookmarking, Facebook, Blogger, Flickr, MySpace, deviantART, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Skype and podcasts. Artwork may include painting, drawing, photography, printmaking and three-dimensional work as well as computer-based art, video and performance formats.

Submissions are currently open, but only until Feb 24. Click here for submission guidlelines.

(with special thanks to Lili De Carvalho)

UPDATE, FEB 19: Submission deadline date has been extended to March 5.

add to del.icio.us : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook

Advertisements
 

Are You Connected? Pt 2 February 8, 2010

Last week I wrote a post on how important it is to make sure that your website and all your social media are connected to each other.

I had a few questions after I posted it, mostly along the lines of, “How?”, so today’s post is dedicated to showing you how.

Website: If you have a website, you probably have a contact page. Make sure that your Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media are on that page. Even if you import your Twitter feed to your website, make sure there is some way that people can easily click on a button and go to your Twitter page so they can follow you. A “Follow Me on Twitter” badge works nicely.

Blog: If you are using WordPress, as I am, you can put your contact info in your sidebar. You need to know a bit of HTML code for this, but it’s not too complicated.
You use a simple Anchor tag, which looks like this:

<A HREF="this is the URL of the page you want to link to">the name of the page</A>

So, for example, if I want people to email me, the code would look like this:

<A HREF="mailto:rebecca@rebeccacoleman.ca">Email Me</A>

It would show up on the page as this:

Email Me

One more example, directing folks to my website:

<A HREF="http://www.rebeccacoleman.ca">My Website</A>

And it would look like this:

My Website

You do all of this via a text widget in your sidebar. Here’s a screen capture of how to do it–including directions to how to use click-able icons instead of text to direct people.

Facebook: Go to your profile and click on the Info tab. If you scroll down, you’ll see “Contact Information.” You can add as many of your websites as you wish. Some social media have widgets that can create buttons that link back to that platform. For example, you can use this widget to create a Linkedin badge for your Facebook profile.

Twitter: If you haven’t yet created a custom background for your Twitter page, a great reason to do so is so that you can post your websites on it. The drawback of Twitter is that you are only allowed to post one hyperlink to your profile, so that should be your main page that you want to funnel people to. You can, however, put your URLs for your blog, website, Facebook, and email on your custom Twitter background. People will have to physically type your address into their browser, but at least the information is there. Creating a custom Twitter Background is the subject of an upcoming future post, but in the mean time, you can use a free service like this.

Aggregators: Because we all have at least half-a-dozen URLs or more, Aggregators are gaining in popularity. What they allow you to do is to post all of your contact information on one page, that has an easy URL, which acts kind of like a digital business card. Some examples of aggregators are Netvibes, Flavors.Me, and one I’ve been using with my BB: Dub.

Create a map of your online presence like I did, and see if you have any gaps, then have some fun with it!

add to del.icio.us : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook

 

The Tricky World of Permissions February 5, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, my sweetie, who is a singer/songwriter, got invited with another singer/songwriter friend to perform at an open-mic night. The host was a restaurant. The business-savvy owner wanted to video tape them and put the footage on YouTube.

My sweetie had some pretty big concerns about this: first of all, as with many open-mic sessions, the songs he performed were works-in-progress, so the quality of the songs might not have been at a polished, professional level. Secondly, because they were works-in-progress, they hadn’t been copyrighted in any way, and he was concerned about someone else taking his tunes off of YouTube without permission.

Now, I’m the biggest advocate of using social media to promote your art career. In fact, these days, it’s difficult to get noticed by the big guys unless you already have a built-in fan base of adoring fans. Witness Justin Bieber. Justin is a teenager from Stratford who wanted to be a musician. So, he started his own YouTube channel, and built a fan base. It was only after that, that he got a record deal.

There’s no doubt about it–social media is powerful. So powerful, that you need to be careful with it, sometimes. If my sweetie’s songs had been out on YouTube in their currently unfinished form, it may not have shown his work in the best light. Or worse, someone else could have co-opted his work.

I recently had a conversation with a professor of theatre at a BC University. He was directing a play last year, and the play called for partial nudity. Unsure what to do, he took the question to the students, and the response was, “are you going to confiscate everyone’s phones at the door?” A well-timed photo taken surreptitiously on a phone’s camera cause real damage to that actor if it got out on Facebook.

So here’s a couple of things to bear in mind when you are using other people’s art in social media:

  • Ask permission first–“Is it okay if I use your photo/song/video on my blog post?”
  • Give credit where credit is due: whenever I use photos of a play, I always credit the photographer, even if they were paid for the job.
  • Vet the post past the person before you hit publish: send the person whose work you are using a copy of the blog post before you publish it, to make sure they are okay with what you’ve written.

The bottom line is this: think the golden rule. Wouldn’t you rather be asked if you were okay with someone sharing your stuff before they do?

add to del.icio.us : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook

 

Are you connected? February 3, 2010

The other day I started thinking about what Social Media looks like, and just for fun, I drew a flow chart of my online presence. It looked like this:

Most people participate in Social Media for a couple of reasons:

  • maintaining relationships/connecting with folks they already know
  • meeting new people (potential clients)

Let’s ignore your friends for now. If you were friends before Facebook, you’ll be friends when the next great thing has made it extinct. Let’s focus on how new people, potential clients, can find you.

For me, the vast majority of people ‘find’ me through my blog, and lesser so, through my website. Now, everyone has a preferred way of doing things. Some folks might be on Facebook but not Twitter, or vice-versa. If you want to maintain contact with someone new, you need to make it as easy as possible. So, it’s really important to have your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Flikr connections in a place on your blog or website where people can easily click and find you in their preferred social network.

Let’s now look at it from the reverse. Say someone finds you on Twitter. You want to keep in contact with them. Yes, they’re following your Twitter stream, but make it easy for them to also subscribe to your blog, and become your Fan on Facebook.

I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to someone’s blog or website, and wanted to connect with them on another platform, and not been able to find that information easily. Many people import thier Twitter feed onto their blog or website, but don’t make their twitter handle known, or have a button which makes it easy for me to access them on Twitter.

Make sure, wherever you choose to have your presence on the web, that you make it easy for people to connect with you in other places.

UPDATE: See the second part of this post where there are specific technical directions.

add to del.icio.us : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook