April 2011 Newsletter
Written and edited by Eric Sparre
We have continued work on server issues and on image upload enhancements, including uploads to the blog section of your websites. Most importantly, we are finalizing the new templates, which are about to be launched and are incredible! You can do almost anything you want to customize your site and it's easy. All of us here will be involved in bug testing for the next week or so prior to the official launch.
We are bringing in a new developer, Jame Grigley, to join our tech team, as we have a long list of additional features and enhancements that we want to add to the sites and to Artspan. James has ample experience and will enable us to more forward more quickly. We will be fortunate to have him on board.
Artspan will be participating in the Trans Cultural Exchange Conference in Boston, April 8-10. Here, from the Conference website, is some background on this important international conference:
Boston becomes the nexus of the international art community with TransCultural Exchange’s Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts: The Interconnected World. From April 7-10, 2011, artists (of all disciplines and career levels), teachers, residency directors, curators, collectors, arts administrators and critics will converge on the city to attend programs focused on opportunities for artists throughout the world.
The Conference is internationally known as the only forum of its kind for networking, showcasing, supporting and promoting artists. More than 70 representatives from around the world will be on hand to present their programs and provide networking opportunities for artists to interact with their international peers.
This is a unique event, and promises to be both interesting and informative. If you are able to attend, you should find it worth your while. Artspan will have a table at the primary conference venue at the Omni Parker House Hotel, 60 School Street, in Boston. If you are there, please stop by and say hello!
In a recent conversation with a member who has been with us for over 10 years, the member mentioned that the only thing wrong with her Artspan website was that it was “second level.” What she meant by that term was that her site could only be reached by going through Artspan.com. This is, of course, not correct. I subsequently learned that a number of other members are similarly misinformed.
Artspan is unique in that all member websites have their own domain names and are fully independent while at the same time being part of the Artspan community with the Artspan.com searches, directories and genre portals, all designed to bring traffic to your website. You get a lot more exposure than with other website providers.
Incidentally, when you tag your images with keywords and categories/subcategories, these tags work to improve your Google placement. Take a look at the URL for any of your individual image pages...note that the URL includes categories and subcategories. See the article below on SEO for more information on this. Clearly, the tags also insure that the images show in the appropriate Artspan.com search results and directories..
To have the proper image type for Prints-on-Demand, you must upload images that incorporate RGB (red, green, blue), not CMYK. If your images are saved as CMYK, you must resave them as RGB.
The inks used are CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and key/black) but this has no bearing on the file format.
Incidentally, you can tweak your image in Photoshop: adjust the colors, contrast, etc. However, if you change the resolution thinking that you going to make the image bigger what you are in fact doing is only “tricking” our software into thinking that the image is bigger. In fact, it is not. It does not add any detail to the file. If your image file is too small to make large prints, you will need to reshoot your artwork to get a larger image file that will work for bigger prints.
For all the Prints FAQ, go here.
The following is the second in a series of three brief primers on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – namely, how to ensure that your site shows higher up in Google and other search engine rankings. Your Artspan site is specifically designed to make SEO easier and more effective.
What Words to Optimize Your Site For
Think of a key word or phrase that someone looking for your kind of work might use in conducting a search, whether it’s on Google or using the Artspan search functions. For example, you may be an impressionistic landscape painter in Sonoma County, California. Two key phrases then might be California impressionist painting or, perhaps, Sonoma County impressionist painting. Be as specific and detailed as you can (but they still need to be phrases that a lot of people might use). Don’t try to optimize for a very broadly used word such as Impressionism. There are simply too many people competing for high rankings for a term like that.
Also, don’t forget to optimize for your name. It’s an obvious starting point for anyone who already knows you or has heard about you.
The Page URL
The Page URL is the domain name for your home page, i.e. www.YourSite.com. Once you have chosen a domain name, stay with it (try to be brief and avoid excessive humor or other names not suitable for a professional). Most people choose a variation on their name, i.e. YourNameStudio (assuming their name alone is not available for the domain). This is fine, as it will help your site come up in the #1 position in searches done for your name.
For your image pages, Artspan page URL’s incorporate the name of the image gallery the image is part of, as well as the categories and subcategories you have highlighted for that image. For example, the enlargement page for an image that is a portrait color photograph could have a page URL like this: YourDomain.com/Portraits/Photography/Color/Figurative.html
Search engines really like this approach to naming pages and you should take care when highlighting categories and subcategories for your images. It’s also a good idea to create separate galleries for different kinds of work, as in this example: “Portraits.” Google images and Google.com itself will see all of the images related to that search term.
The Alt text for each image is also important, Alt text being the words you see when you pass your mouse over an image. Alt text will increase the visibility of the image as well as your name and categories for Google images and for Google.com. Artspan automatically creates Alt text for each image, which will include your name, the title of the work and the type of work.
Color Photography and Painting
A photographer and painter, she is based in Brooklyn but has a foot in L.A. Her work represents an imagery that is very much the American landscape of today but goes beyond that to capture a timelessness and a sensation of physical and spiritual emptiness (see the “America Seen” series).
Other work is more intimate and personal in feel.
Her paintings are mixed media collages with a variety of objects but a uniformity of texture and surface.
She has exhibited her work widely, both in NY and elsewhere.
Dada for the 21st Century
Compelled to create artwork since he was a child, his early endeavors taught him to be resourceful and to think creatively about available materials. Brian currently teaches visual art at Holloway High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee where he uses art to build confidence in and communicate with at-risk teenagers. In his current series, he creates collages to juxtapose a variety of images.
He is creating a unique iconography.
Copyright 2011. Artspan LLC. All rights reserved.
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