Online Promotion

The web is a vast outlet that provides instant exposure for your work to the world. There are a number of ways to use the web to promote your work through websites, blogs, social media and online forums. Be selective about which media you use and how you use it. Treat it as an interface between you and the rest of the world.

Building a Website

A website is probably the most important means of promoting yourself, since it can be a one-stop shop where people can get all the information they need about you and your work. On a website you can host a portfolio of your work including new and past work, personal information, news and updates on your activities and links to friends, peers and collaborators.

For beginners, a blog like ones provided for free by Blogspot or Tumblr can be a free and easy way of posting information about your work. There are a number of free Content Management Services (CMS) such as Wordpress, Drupal or Joomla, which provides a domain name and limited hosting and can provide templates that can be customised and to your liking. Indexhibit is also widely used by artists for presenting their work and portfolios.

Websites do not have to be complicated to be effective. Often something very simple, clear and informative is better than a fancy-looking website. Even high-profile artists like Bill Fontana has a very simply HTML site that is still effective in getting the message across and providing the necessary information to his work. Bill Fontana: http://www.resoundings.org/

My website has everything I ever produced in 10 to 15 years and that’s all I need. If you put my name 'Janek' into Google, I am the number one that comes up on the planet. So that’s my calling card. I don’t think I need any more than that.

– Janek Schaefer, Artist

 

Options for creating your site

Here are a few different options for running your own site. You can use hosted services which means you don't need to instal anything but have limited control or host your own service on your own server.

Domain Name

Select a domain name to represent your work. This can be added to your business card or signature in your emails.

Hosting

Find a service provider to host your website. Upload images, video and sound of your work to the server for people to access. Alternatively, you can upload media to free applications like Vimeo or YouTube for video, SoundCloud for audio or Flickr for photos.

Design

The design of your website is important for giving people the right impression. Find a design that expresses you and your work well. If you are not skilled in design, ask a friend to help. Consider the font, key images/aesthetic, colour and style that will represent you and your work.

Content

  • Content should generally include:
  • CV and biography
  • Past work or portfolio including images and descriptions
  • News on events / performances/ exhibition activities
  • Links to friends, affiliates and collaborators (this will outline your network, which will help people understand where you are coming from)
  • Contact information

Tips for developing your website:

  • Keep your website clear, concise and easy to navigate
  • Make your sure key information like your bio and CV is readily available and up-to-date
  • Have a few images and short statements or descriptions about your work
  • Do not put too much information that may be overwhelming for visitors to your site

Usability

Make sure you are able to easily edit and update the material on your site (especially if using a designer). An out-of-date website will make you look like you aren't doing anything, and not give visitors the information they may be after. Think how your users want to use the site (do they want to wait for animations to load?).

Words of Advice

Getting in contact and making a curator or organisation aware of your work is never a bad thing if you do it sensitively and invite them to an exhibition or send information in an easily transmittable format. I'm just thinking, for instance, some people send huge zip files and it's a bit unwieldy. It may be easier to have a link to someone’s’ website and just go in and have a sense of the work.

It's always good if an artist has even the simplest of websites; it just has to be clear, have their CV on it, sand provide a list of exhibitions and some information about the work and descriptions, documentation and press and things like that. A number of times I've had to scrabble around for someone's CV. It’s nice if it's just clear and concise and you've got images on the website to go with any context.

– Irene Revell, Electra

 

Social Media

Social media is a way to keep in touch with your contacts and to spread a message about an event or your work. Be selective about the media you use. See what applications other people in your network are using. Think about which ones would be appropriate for you, your work and your community. Use social media tastefully when sharing content and engaging with the people in your network. Think about using Facebook for promoting events or Myspace, SoundCloud, LastFM for posting music or Vimeo for posting videos and Twitter for engaging with your community on an everyday. Try starting a blog to post recent updates, discoveries and media.

Online Communities

Online communities are great for linking up and engaging with others in your community; it's important to promote yourself and get feedback on your work, share work and ideas. There are a number of online artist community platforms that can let you connect and share work with fellow artists.

New Work Network
New Work Network supports the development of new performance, live and interdisciplinary arts practices by nurturing arts practitioners through the creation of innovative professional development activities that focus on networking, exchange and collaboration across the UK and internationally. Join their network and begin participating in the community.

Jotta
Jotta is an online and offline community for art, design and communication founded in partnership with the University of the Arts London. Sign up and begin posting and sharing your work.

This is Central Station
Central Station is a Scotland-based online social networking platform for artists, designers and creatives to share their work and meet others. Their network is quickly expanding across the UK and host a number of opportunities to get involved in the community.

Making Music
Making Music represents and supports amateur and semi-professional music groups of all genres throughout the United Kingdom. Connect with some groups in your community and share your work and ideas.

Shooting People
Shooting People is a broad international networking organisation for independent filmakers. It has become one of the most important resources for filmmakers and people working in film. Find opportunities or promote your work here to gain opportunities for work in film.

Node.London
Node.London is London's media art network. Get involved and meet other working in your area and share your work through the network.

Mailing Lists

Keep in touch with your network and contacts – keep them up to date with your work. An easy way to keep track of the people you meet is to start a mailing list. There are many free and open-source mailing list applications out there. If that seems too complicated, you can also keep track of them through Outlook or your local computer's email managing software. However, storing your contacts on your computer can be disastrous if your computer fails. Organise your contacts into groups for instance, have a list for press, family/friends and international contacts. With a mailing list, you can develop newsletters that can be sent out regularly to your contacts.

GNU Mailman
Phplist
Sympa

Additionally, there are mailing lists online where you can post and engage with a community of like-minded artist. This can be used to discuss ideas or share your work.

Sound and art-related mailing lists

Online channels

There are a number of sound, media art and music websites where you can promote your work, events and projects. These are a few that can connect to a national and international community of artists working in the field.

Art Rabbit
International contemporary art community, which allows you to post and share your events with an international community. A good place to find out about events and exhibitions around London and the UK.

Art Review
Magazine, network and calendar for art events internationally. Sign up and post your projects and events.

Mediateletipos
Spanish website for aural culture, sound art, audiovisual activism and new media.

Mute Magazine
Mute Magazine also has a calendar for events and projects related to art, media and politics.

Rhizome.org
Post your events or opportunities and reach a wide networked, media art community internationally. It is also a major resource for opportunities and open calls.

Turbulance: Networked Music Review
Organisation and website based in New York for promoting international projects and research on networked musical explorations.

The Wire
Has an online platform and blog for posting up information on events and projects related to sound and experimental music.

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