Networking All of Your Media
To summarize what I have said so far pertaining to networking, there are three things to keep in mind for your artist webpage. The first is the “like” and “send” buttons from Facebook and Twitter. The second is a signup form for your mailing list that you will get when you subscribe to a paid e-marketing service like icontact (which is what I use) or mailchimp, constant contact, patronmail or another, they are all the same more or less. The third is widgets that will stream information from your Facebook and Twitter accounts, providing your page with constant updates. And, of course, you have to decide how to handle the text and image layout on your website. If you really want a lot of images on it, I would suggest embedding a slide show that you can easily update and doesn’t unnecessarily clutter the page. Try to keep your text brief, and embed active links to essential information about you or your work.
All You Need Is Updates
That is really all you need to connect and automate your website to your social platforms. You can change the text on your website every now and then to reflect current news, but for most part the website will update itself using your widgets. There are several other sites which let you share and post information and you can always add new widgets to your website to include these as well, but I like a minimal look, as it makes content and aesthetic easier to maintain.
Clean and Simple Single Page Website
Pages that have minimal clickable buttons and links are nice because they are easy to navigate. Think of the Google homepage. It really only has one box, the Search Bar, that a user can interact with. I believe we all want our pages to be that elegant. Google is a good example of how less can be more on a website. I say this because I think that part of my project’s success was due to how easy it was to share online. Our art website was not just minimal, it was easy to read, and because it was also interesting, people “liked it,” shared it, and tweeted it.
News Media Design on the Web
Your webpage should have a similar design as that of an online news article. If you look at an article from the Huffington Post, or any other major online news publication, it only includes the article and relevant links embedded into the text, a few select photos, and “like” and “tweet” buttons at the top. Sometimes the all-inclusive “add this” button pops up to let you conveniently select which of the growing supply of networks you want to share the article on. The point is that these news sites are designed to be read and shared, and that’s how your site should be as well. You want people to understand who you are, what your project is, and what things they need to click on your page in less than a minute. The simplicity of this model means there’s actually less for you to do when you make your page. The hard part is having the restraint to not include unnecessary pictures and links.
To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here. To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.