Home Sweet Homepage (Wk 3)

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.

Photo of Me And My Rusty Things

Those are some of my Rusty Things

Photo of My Bookshelf

Calvin & Hobbs, Six-String Nation and the French / English Dictionary about sums it up.

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!

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19 Comments

Filed under MSi9W3, Music, Writing

19 responses to “Home Sweet Homepage (Wk 3)

  1. Great post – I am impressed by your tech-savy understanding…Plus, I love the shot of your bookshelf. I share the joy of having people over and exchanging books and music. I think your site is amazing. Here’s hoping our paths cross!

    • Thanks Heather! I’m always curious what other people have on their shelves. So many interesting books to read!

      And re tech stuff: it has definitely alternated between fun and frustrating learning how to update stuff on my site! But it sure gives me a fine sense of accomplishment when I manage to get things working the way I like! :-)

      Yes, hopefully we will cross paths soon!

  2. Pingback: Karyn Ellis » Home Sweet Homepage

  3. I really love your website, Karyn. The colours are so pleasing and it’s easy to find things. I really liked that I could find your video for “How the tiger lost her roar” since older facebook postings are hard to find again. The description of hosting a house concert was really well done to show everything you’d need to think about. I’d really like to host house concerts at a point in time where I know I could get enough people to show up.

    • Thanks David! That is good to hear about the website. Sometimes it is hard to step outside of my self and see if what I’m putting out in the world is clear to others!

      About the House Concert page: I can’t take full credit for the content! David Ross MacDonald and Coco Love Alcorn crafted the FAQs, then graciously gave me permission to reprint it! I added my two-cents here and there to make it personally relevant. :) House Concerts do take some work, and that’s important to consider. Though speaking to hosts of HCs I’ve played – some of them really enjoyed the experience. House Concerts seem to work wonders in growing community connections.

  4. Hi Karyn,
    Really enjoyed hearing your songs and watching some of your videos. What a great sound you have. And the website is hoppin’.
    – Best, Tracy
    (SMI9W3 – Vivaldi meets the Dave Matthews Band)

  5. Your website makes me want to have a cup of tea with you! It’s so inviting and beautiful. The care you put into everything you do (blogs, music, videos, etc.) is obvious. Thanks for being truly inspiring.

  6. Your website makes me want to have a cup of tea with you! It’s so beautiful and inviting. The care you put into everything you do (music, blogs, videos, etc.) is obvious. Thanks for being truly inspiring Karyn!

  7. oops – sorry for posting twice! (didn’t see it the first time!!) :)

  8. David Flack

    I just finished viewing a webcast on Ustream by a singer-songwriter in England, Chloe Swaby. Despite the crackling, it was really cool to see to see this musician talking about her life, playing some songs, and responding to messages being typed in by about 20 viewers. It looks like a really effective way for musicians to relate more to their fans.

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