Let's get a little bit techie this week.
Have I told you about my new Facebook Fan Page? I believe it's now called a Facebook Business Page. I recently changed mine from Jan Hurst Calligraphy and Design to Louisville Calligraphy and Art. If you are on Facebook, please go have a look and LIKE my page. (I always 'like' businesses back that like my page.) I read that if I ever get to 1000 'likes', my Facebook page address will become much shorter and more easily recognizable. To paraphrase Sally Field's gushing Oscar acceptance speech, "Please Like me! Please really like me!" I'd love to get rid of all the ding-dang numbers in my FB page address, and I have a long way to go! Urging your friends to also 'like' my page would really be appreciated too.
Have I told you about my Etsy shop? Please visit me there too! Friends and fellow calligraphers Jen Redmer and Terry Gustafson Kempfert urged me to get on Etsy, as did Sandy Wright, my soon to be daughter in law, who spurs me to be more technology oriented. I've also been on Pinterest for quite a while now, but I'm still working on how to integrate all this technology. I haven't tried Flickr yet, but am told it's something I need to do. Blogs, websites, Facebook, etc. - so much to do, so much to learn.
If you're not on Facebook, it is a part of what's called the social media network. As such, it does have a lot of your personal information, which scares many off. As I understand it though, you can control how much you 'put out there'. I find it a wonderful means of staying connected to like minded friends and acquaintances, to stay informed and to inform others, and hopefully it will become a nice avenue to promote my business. I have both a 'regular' page where I interact with friends and acquaintances and the business page.
Pinterest is a free, fun place to see new ideas, lots of recipes, crafty ideas, wedding ideas, home decorating ideas, trash-to-treasure ideas...just a great idea machine all around. A caution - it is a time grabber, especially at first. You can easily get lost checking out so many 'boards'. Pinterest is like a virtual bulletin board or inspiration board where people can 'pin' things of interest to them. There has been some concern of late about copyright issues, but I think if you follow the guidelines you won't be in any trouble. Pinterest's founder is working on clearing up any vagueness. Though it's not meant to be primarily self-promotion, it does have a self-promotion aspect to it and works well to drive people back to your other online sites. (Again, I'm trying to learn more about that.) When I joined you had to be invited by another member. If that's still in force and you want an invitation, let me know.
Blogspot and Wordpress are two of the best known blogging sites. I started with Blogger/Blogspot and have a few blogs. I love to blog. In person, I don't 'talk' so much; online, I can be a talking fool. If you haven't done so already, please visit my other blogs. I have them all listed with clickable links at the top of this page and also top right. To come back to this page, simply press the left arrow button on your tool bar.
I started with one blog. Letterlady is the moniker I chose when I first started playing with online sites. Jan Hurst had a few takers already (You may find my name as a beer afficianado in the UK, a doctor associated with the University of Louisville, and a stripper, among others.) I have kept the letterlady designation as part of my online address in one form or another, incorporating it into the addresses of my main art blog: Letterlady's Letters, which you are reading now (thank you very much!) and my wedding blog: WeddingLetterlady. I have another (my original) blog which became more of a family blog two years ago when I became a grandmother. (If you want to see photos of the cutest two year old boy in the world - yes, I am biased - that is the place!) A few others have taken the letterlady name as well now, including a writer and another calligrapher. As an old tv commercial used to say, 'Do not be fooled. Buy the original.'
I was too slow on the website uptake to get my own domain with the letterlady designation. My website is a commercial one through Kodak called PictureTrail. Now that Kodak is in financial distress, I am not sure what may happen with the website: www.picturetrail.com/letterlady. I would like to learn to build my own website, but PictureTrail is so easy - and it lets you start for free until you outgrow the space. I now may have to upgrade for the second time, or cull my gigabyte-eating photos. Gigabyte is another techie term, but you probably already know that!
Besides social media, by which all of the aforementioned can be designated, I have been a Photoshopper and digital artist for many years. In 2003 I wrote an article for Somerset Studio magazine about my digital collages, which were a fairly new artform at the time. Coincidentally, my outside-of-the-home worklife ended soon after I wrote a story for the prestigious publication, Automobile Quarterly, about another digital artist, Robert Michaels. No, the two occurrences were not related.
Somerset Studio, Nov/Dec 2003:
(Haven't we all learned so much, so fast!) Now, having had Ray Richie, a calligraphy and graphic artist friend to put a monogram I designed (duogram according to Crane's) into vector format so my client could use it in a large size, and seeing the much finer results obtained that way, I am determined to learn Illustrator one day - hopefully sooner than later.
Enough tech talk for one week. Back to the calligraphy desk! I don't know everything about these newish formats, but I will be happy to answer questions if I'm able. Comments and questions are always welcome!
Posted this blog earlier and can't believe I failed to mention the little bird, Twitter! Do you tweet?