We’re in week three of Music Success in Nine Weeks blogging challenge. Yep, still on track with my new year’s resolution: kicking the business side of my music into higher gear so that the music side of my music can find a little more love in the world. All so that I can make a reasonable living as an artist, you know? This week’s task is to look at our websites to check out how they’re working for us as a marketing tool. Topic is maybe a little dry, but it’s never a bad time to do a little spring-cleaning around the homepage.
First of all, let me give a shout out to Carlos Gouveia who built all the backend for my website entirely from scratch last year! Go ahead, check it out: www.karynellis.com. But wait – it’s not a small site – so actually you may want to finish the rest of this article first! :) Tell you what… keep reading to the bottom of the page, and I promise to post the link again there for you.
Footloose and Full of Fancy PHP and CSS and ABCs and XYZeds
I went deep into the recesses of the admin area and ftp site to make several much needed updates. I was wowed to be seeing what all goes on behind the scenes to make a website run. Programming is a whole other art form, in my opinion, that I can only admire from afar as a musician. Things are waaaay more complicated then way back than they were when I built my first, rudimentary site using Notepad and basic html coding. Remember those days? Needless to say, this week there was a *huge* learning curve for me to be able to update the new site myself.
Luckily in addition to music, I love puzzles – yeah, I’m a nerd that way – and so I pulled several all-nighters (three of them, in fact) figuring out how to do simple things like get my “join my mailing list” button to appear on every page and to create a new section on my site called “How To Host a House Concert”. I also had fun working on graphics stuff like the corresponding cute little house concert notices that you see on my tour page and scattered throughout the site as well as the new banner on the contact page. But, my friends, it was worth every late night minute. This is stuff I’ve been meaning to do for ages! And it feels good!
January February Spring Cleaning
So the floors are swept, and the window sills are dusted. Still have to wipe down the cupboards and sort through the coat closet. There are a few more things I’m going to update in the next week or so, once I’ve caught up on my sleep! Like a better way to hear music on the site and those comments from the survey that I promised I’d be posting (turns out I have to build a new page, and I didn’t have a chance in the midst of everything else. But they’re coming…!) [Ed. note: Posted!]
Another *very* exciting thing (in my humblest of opinion)
that’s coming in the next couple of days is the addition of a slideshow on the homepage! Woo! Moving pictures! Like finally hanging up the paintings in the living room. Maybe the slideshow will already be up by the time you read this! The programming is – I admit – beyond my cut ‘n paste abilities, so my friend Nick Stott is walking me through the process of making it live. We have a IM date early this week to do it. I’ve seen the preview, though, and I love it! [Ed. note: the slider is up! Hurray! Nick, you rock!]
“You Know That Cute Little Place On The Corner Of Profile & Page?”
Now, you may be asking yourself why I am doing all this fancy pants work on my website when it seems like all the action these days is to be found on places like facebook and twitter?
Those sites are for sure fabulous for meeting up with people to socialize. They’re like meeting up in a café for a coffee date (or if you’re a super social site user, like holding court in that same café all day). But for myself, I also enjoy the pleasure of good old-fashioned inviting people over to my place for a visit too.
That’s because I want people to come over to my house and thumb through my bookshelves to see what I’m reading, spot a good book and then borrow it. I want them to admire the collection of beautiful, rusty farm implements displayed along the wainscoting, which I gathered while living for a few years on a farm outside of Kingston, Ontario. I want to put the kettle on for coffee and to set out a tray of crackers and hummus for us to nibble on while we sit in the dining room and chat about stuff. Sometimes I just want to play host in my own home.
Yes, I want people to come to understand me / my personality through the space that I live in. Imagine carting all the things that define me every time I set out to meet someone in a café somewhere. Sure, I can bring a snapshot or two… but it is through the particular way things are laid out in my space, that I can share a lot more of myself with you.
The metaphor’s not perfect, of course. Until we have true 3-D downloading capabilities using transport technology through the internet, you won’t be able to feel the weight of those cool rusty farm tools just by visiting my website… but you will get to enjoy a colour scheme that matches them and no ads in the sidebar. Likewise there is not quite enough room in my house here in BC for *everyone* who visits to become my roommate. But, I wouldn’t mind if that same everyone made my website their go-to page when logging into the internet. :))
Here’s that link that I promised you. www.karynellis.com. Find any other dust bunnies during your visit to my website? Any thing that would make it a better place to visit? Anything you especially like about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Next week: “Social Media = Engagement”.
Look for my next blog update Monday February 6th.
Related post: I love!