October 2011 Newsletter
Written and edited by Eric Sparre
We are pleased to report that a major service upgrade is nearly completed. This upgrade is changing the way that your images are stored in our system, providing more storage space and greater security. 3/4 of a million images were moved to this new service, and all new image uploads will be stored there.
During the process of moving to the new service, some images may have been skipped or become corrupted. If you notice any missing images in your web site, let our Help Desk know. Or, to see them show right away, you can re-upload the image or, with a click of the mouse, upgrade the template design to one of the customizeable ready made templates. But this problem only affected a few of the older design sites and by the time this newsletter is read, the problem should be fixed.
Artspan has also seen an increase in traffic. Some of this traffic was caused by search engine spiders, and, combined with our upgrade process, this caused some slow performance for some of our members. The upgrade process is completed and performance should be back to normal, we apologize for the degradation of performance during this time. The real traffic increased 11% this past month.
We have made progress on the new email system which should be "live" shortly. Work on other projects such as the new "in-page" website editor, artspanprints.com, and the calendar features for your sites and for Artspan will be announced soon.
We launched our UK site on the 16 th, www.artspan.co.uk... it is essentially a copy of the North American and global .com site. We are targeting artists and collectors and others in the UK and in other European countries. Here is a link to the release announcing the UK launch.
Next will be a German language version of the website, artspan.de. As a first step, we uploaded German help documents to the Resources section this week. Here is the press release relating to that development.
The other pages are being translated right now, as are French help documents. If our German experience goes as we expect, the French, Spanish and Italian language sites will follow.
As we said in the last newsletter, we aim for Artspan to be more of a global platform and will be targeting both artists and the broader visual arts audience in selected European countries. We think this kind of cross-border reach will benefit members wherever they may be… in North America, Europe or elsewhere. As we envision it, your website will be searchable in and your work will appear in all the different websites, whatever the language may be. Your site itself will of course remain in English.
Many of our members are actively taking advantage of this program with several having two referrals in the first month. The regular referral program gives members a free month each time a referral signs up for a website. But now, until December 31, if you refer 3 new members, you will get a total of 6 free months. That is, two free months for each new member when you refer 3 new members.
The new members will continue to receive one free month in addition to the 30 day free trial they get automatically…. so that is two months they get free when they mention your name or give your referral code (which is found in your Control Panel). Also, for anyone who may already have a website, we will be happy to provide individual assistance in moving images from their current site to their new Artspan site and help in any other way we can. We know that it may seem a lot of trouble to set up a new site (even if they are paying twice our cost with their current site – and getting a lot less). So we want to make the process an easy one. Need some persuasive arguments? Go to the Join Us page.
So you've created a Twitter account, but now you're stuck with the equivalent of a radio DJ's worst nightmare: dead air.
Introducing yourself to Twitter may feel strange at first - without many followers, it's not much different from being caught talking to yourself. But the more frequently you tweet, the more followers you're likely to attract to your thought stream.
In the words of Lewis Carroll, let's "begin at the beginning" - with your first Tweet. Even before you start following other users, take a minute to introduce yourself to the Twitterverse. You can type anything you want into that tempting little white box: a joke, a link to your artist page, the day's agenda, even a simple hello. For anyone daunted by the endless possibilities, check out this roundup of celebrity first Tweets for inspiration…
A fair number of members are putting up site designs with the new customizing tools - really effective and well-designed sites.
We would like to see a lot more. To help that along, we are announcing a contest for best website design.
The prizes are a first prize of a 6-month free membership and $150 cash; one second prize of a 3-month free membership and $100 cash; and three honorable mention awards offering 1-month free memberships and $50 cash for each award. All prizes are for the top level Professional Plus sites. The contest closes on November 30, and winners will be announced with a press release on December 13 and the winning sites links will be prominently featured in the release which will go out across the Internet to 1000’s of recipients. We will also feature the sites in other spots, including the Artspan homepage.
The only requirement is that the website must be designed with our new totally customizable templates. Judging criteria will include (1) excellence of design, (2) originality, (3) how the design works with your work, and (4) how the design maximizes the capabilities of the new tools.
A big benefit of participation in this contest is simply that you will be redoing your website, really focusing on your most important marketing tool, updating and customizing it, and making it work for your art.
There are some custom design tools that no one is using. Mariana, our Creative Director, has come up with some screenshots to illustrate how to use some of them. The Control Panel screenshots are to the left and the website page is to the right.
Site Background . You can upload an image to use as the background for your site (here it is tiled to cover the whole background).
Main Content Area . Again, you use an image instead of just selecting a color.
Site Header Area . Same again
Borders Here you see 2 different kinds of borders… a dotted line and a double line for 2 areas.
Below are a few new sites we have stumbled on, all done with the new tools… this is a very small sampling..
http://bradleyabstractart.com/blog/ (here is a blog sample)
“The photographs included on my website are part of an ongoing series of photographs taken from weekly walking tours. Since 2005, I have passionately dedicated myself to documenting Connecticut's urban centers. I generally find places that are in a state of change and return to them often. The more I return, the more I see. That familiarity provides me with opportunities to create uniques sets of images and themes.
Many of the photographs focus on urban cityscapes with an emphasis on architectural structure and strong lighting. They provide an abstract view of every day structures we often pass by, but rarely notice. I see my photographs as a bridge for future generations to view our present everyday culture and surroundings”
This young English artist is rapidly attracting a following with her work which has been shown the past two years in the London area. She will be participating in the Palace Art Fair from 7 to 9 October. www.palaceartfair.co.uk
It is hard to describe work which is this personal and different. And engaging. And it is, in any case, rarely a good idea to hang labels on artwork. The fit is too often awkward. But, here goes: the work is part dream, part whimsy, part surreal, and part allegory. Take a look.
Copyright 2011. Artspan LLC. All rights reserved.
All /images are the property of their respective owners. The opinions expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect those of artspan.com members.
Thoughts or ideas for future newsletters? email@example.com
Technical questions or problems? www.artspan.com/help
Visit www.artspan.com today!