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docweathers

Displaying Your Works On The Web

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docweathers    79

What are people thoughts and experience on displaying your work on the web via Facebook, Google+, Picassa,  Flickr etc. or your own website, possibly having your name as part of the URL?

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JBaymore    1,432

I'll hit a thought on the "name" question...........

 

If you look at your work as more of a "commodity"......... production, high volume pottery at lower price points for example...... then you might want to use a "business name" for your efforts.  Like Valley Potters, Lake Pottery, Fantasy Clayworks, or Make Money Ceramics.

 

If however you think of the work you produce as in more of an artistic vein.... then use your own real name for your communications.  For this type of work you are selling you as much as the work.

 

best,

 

..................john

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GEP    863

Are you asking if you should choose one of the established social media sites like (Facebook or Flickr), or if your should build your own website with your own domain name? The answer is both.

 

EDIT: I guess on second thought, it depends one what you're trying to accomplish with the photos. What are you trying to accomplish?

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docweathers    79

 I am just a in retirement hobbyist potter. All of my stuff is one-of-a-kind experiments. I do no production pottery. I thought I might show off and actually sell a few my strange things. I'm not willing to do much website search engine optimization. I do own LawrenceWeathers.com. For some other purposes, I get excellent hosting for six dollars a month.

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Mark C.    1,807

My 2 cents is 

1st save that 6 bucks a month (360$) every 5 years and switch to weebly for free (they host a free web site also a pay one if you need more-stick to the free one like me)

I only have a web site so I do not have to talk color -I dumbed it down to a few color samples.

I am doing shows so that drives folks to my site via a business card.

I'm not so sure how folks would find your site on thier own.?

Mark

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Kohaku    22

I'll hit a thought on the "name" question...........

 

If you look at your work as more of a "commodity"......... production, high volume pottery at lower price points for example...... then you might want to use a "business name" for your efforts.  Like Valley Potters, Lake Pottery, Fantasy Clayworks, or Make Money Ceramics.

 

If however you think of the work you produce as in more of an artistic vein.... then use your own real name for your communications.  For this type of work you are selling you as much as the work.

 

best,

 

..................john

 

So- a follow-up question to this...

 

I'd like to think (on my less modest days) that I fall into the second camp (art pottery). However, I've used a 'business name' (Kohaku River) for my work for about three years now.

 

I've found that people are confused by the name sometimes, however... and that they're likelier to search on my name than on the business tag. So- I think you're correct in your analysis.

 

Is it worth changing at this point? Changing my website, cards, etc.? Cutting into whatever internet presence I've built up?

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JBaymore    1,432

Is it worth changing at this point? Changing my website, cards, etc.? Cutting into whatever internet presence I've built up?

 

You have precisely the same klind of issue with this that every large corporation or business has when considering changing corporate names or the corporate logo.  Ain't NO easy answers to this one.  You can call in a big expensive consulting agency to study the problem ;).  Trial sites.... focus groups...... consumer surveys. :P

 

Yeah.. there is some risk at a "loss of idnentity" on the name recognition and goodwill you've already built.  I'd make sure if you change things to do it slowly and tie the old names and sites to the new information as the "roll out" starts to take shape.

 

But unless you've built a significant business off the OLD identity... and the level of the new marketing / identity effort is going to far overshadow your old efforts in the level of the attention put into it... then likely you have more to gain than to lose.

 

Tough call.  Hopefull others will share some thoughts too.

 

best,

 

.......................john

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Mark C.    1,807

(But unless you've built a significant business off the OLD identity... and the level of the new marketing / identity effort is going to far overshadow your old efforts in the level of the attention put into it... then likely you have more to gain than to lose.)

 

Three years in I may stick with it.

More confusion is never productive as well as the public will always be confuzed to some degree.

I have had the same name for 40 years and still sometimes people ask about my personal name (Liscom Hill Pottery-its a place name where I'm located)  as its not in the title. 

I would stick to the effort you have put in already.

Mark

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Chris Campbell    1,088

docweathers -

Unless you have tons of time to spend on the Internet, I would advise a personal website and ONE social media site. It takes a lot of time to do them well, so concentrate on these two things until you get comfortable with it.

Social Media sites enhance your presence but hard for them to stand alone.

Also, for your website ... you will need some other thing to drive people to it ... few will just stumble onto it.

 

There are excellent reasons to call the pottery by your name.

- Avoid confusion - e.g. "Misty Lake Stoneware Pottery" ... what if you move? what if you change direction with your work?

- You also don't have to spend hours explaining why you called it what you did and why they should care

- They can easily find you and your business on a simple search of the Internet

 

Kohaku -

Change the name if you want to ... business cards are cheap so don't let that stop you.

You could also gently segue into it by using ..."David Roon's Kohaku River Pottery" for a while until everyone knows both names. Also makes you sound like some kind of a famous guest artist which is kinda cool. :D

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GEP    863

For me the question is "what's in a name?" It doesn't matter whether you use your name or a company name, as long as you use it consistently and work hard to build positive associations with the name. I decided to use a company name because my own name is difficult to spell and pronounce. I should know I've spent my whole life correcting people.

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Kohaku    22

 

- You also don't have to spend hours explaining why you called it what you did and why they should care

 

 

This is huge. I get the odd Miyazaki fan who understands what I was going for in the name ('Kohaku River')... but too many people are just perplexed...

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Pugaboo    438

This has,been my experience:

When I started doing pottery this year I came to it as an established artist in other media. I have had a website using pugaboo for art for over 10 years and am established on eBay, etsy, Facebook, and now here as well as Pugaboo. With this history I decided to go by Pugaboo Pottery for my ..well... Pottery lol since it sounded well together and built on a name I have already established for myself. No need to change my cards or website, though I do need to get some pottery items listed on my website. I had a chop made up to stamp my pieces that says Pugaboo Pottery with a little running Pug in the center.

 

I would say pick a name; your own or one you like that works for more than one limited art form since over time you may segue from pots to sculpture then on to painting. I'd leave off stoneware, porcelain, or anyhting too limiting in what you do. I would also try and not name it after where I live since like someone else said what if you move? If you can come up with something that works alone but also with another word that's even better. What I mean by this is: Pugaboo Art, Pugaboo Printing, Pugaboo Pottery, Pugaboo Boutique, Pugaboo Graphic Arts, etc.

 

To me minor the cost of hosting my own domain is a good expenditure so far.

 

Terry

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Chris Campbell    1,088

Of course using my name still means explaining why I am not the man they were hoping to meet ....

 

Social media ... A huge question and trying to fit in everywhere will mean a lot of facetime on your computer rather than in your studio. It's about all I can do to keep up with my personal site, my blog, a Facebook page when I want to be working in my studio.

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GEP    863

I am just a in retirement hobbyist potter. All of my stuff is one-of-a-kind experiments. I do no production pottery. I thought I might show off and actually sell a few my strange things. I'm not willing to do much website search engine optimization. I do own LawrenceWeathers.com. For some other purposes, I get excellent hosting for six dollars a month.

Since you already own the domain LawrenceWeathers.com, then I think you should build a website with this name. $6/month for hosting is not bad, but hosting alone is not enough. You still need to build a good-looking website, one that befits an artist. If you don't have the know-how for that part, there are plenty of free services that will both host the site and provide easy website-building tools. I am also a happy user of Weebly (http://weebly.com). Weebly also provides basic shopping cart functions, that you can tie into a PayPal account so you can accept online payments. However, if you goal is to sell a piece here and there, you don't really need a shopping cart. There are plenty of artists' websites that post nice photos of their work with prices, plus instructions "To make a purchase, please call 555-1234."

 

So the easy part is to build the website. The hard part is to drive customers there. There is a sea of competition out there, you cannot sit back a wait for your customers to find your website. It doesn't work that way. Social media can help, but when you are starting out you will make much more meaningful connections face-to-face. The sales you will make first will be to people you know in the real world, not the virtual world. So I would focus on that first. "Dear friends, I've built a website to show the world what I've been working on these days. Please take a look." It might lead to a sale, it might not, but now your friends have been informed and they will tell other people, and so on. Regardless, this type of outreach needs to be done on a regular basis. It can be done in person, by email, or with social media. If this is a retirement hobby, you might only need to do some outreach once or twice a year.

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oldlady    1,323

yes the public can be confused easily.  years ago i had lettering for my truck done professionally and duplicated the lettering on a sign out on the highway plus one over the transom of my studio door.  i was very pleased with "puddleduck farm pottery"  and i thought everyone in the tiny town knew who i was.

 

until a lady asked me one day when i was getting into the truck "what kind of ducks do you raise on your farm?"

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Mark C.    1,807

(I am not the man they were hoping to meet .)

Chris I never thought you were a man-most likley I never thought about it one way or the other.

 

I would agree that time spent online takes away from studio time-I'm just not into social networking so for me its no brainer-I spend so much time doing shows the past years that thats my social network and sales meduim-it also drives folks to my site which no matter how much I try not to ship it does creat orders-I would go nuts with a shopping cart site-its not what I want to be doing.Maybe when I cannot do shows or have other outlets and am being spoon fed baby food I'll consider it.

It is a way to sell - not knocking it its just not my cup of tea.

Mark

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Mark C.    1,807

Have you trained those ducks to use paddles? -I would like to see that? Or are they swimming in a small pothole of water?

Thats one name you cannot say fast Puddleduckpottery

Cup a puddle without a duck-I can see all kinds of take offs.

Maybe slipcast ducks with paddles?

Jsut kidding here

Mark

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Chris Campbell    1,088

I agree with Mark and Mea ... Probably the best director to your site is YOU ... Face to face in a place where they can see your work in real time. Make sure you have lots of business cards on hand with clear directions on how to buy more.

 

As to website design being crucial ... Ten years ago "click away" time was 8 seconds. That means people would leave your site in 8 seconds if it was slow, boring, confusing, etc. ... that was ten years ago and I can only imagine that number has likely been halved. I know I have zero patience with slow downloads, 'enter' first pages, words, words words ... My click away time is definitely under five seconds.

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docweathers    79

For website development, I have found Joomla! to be excellent. It is open source, easy to use, easy to install, many thousands of free add-ins, excellent support community.  I think they say that 2.8% of the websites on the web are hosted with Joomla!. (www.joomla.org)  and of course it's free. I've used it a lot and I like it.

 

I guess the core of my question is whether fiddling with a website, social media etc. is really worth the trouble for small time potter. I'm potting because it's fun, not to make a profitable business out of it. I'm soon running out of space for my pots so I have to figure out a reasonable way of pawning them off on others. I could just throw them in the trash barrel but some of them are really too nice to end their careers there.

 

Larry

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GEP    863

You won't get any guarantees in advance. You have nothing to lose, so go for it!

 

Also, find local charities who need donated artwork for silent auctions. There are plenty of them. And chances are your friends and family members will be glad to receive your pieces as gifts. It's good that you are thinking ahead and trying to avoid a backlog of pieces in your house. That's an awkward situation, be proactive to avoid it.

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lhgrubbs    0

As a ceramic artist I do have a commercial website and personal sites (FB, Twitter, ...)   The formula for success has two variables.   Production * Time = Recognition.   Making good pottery that is art and functional, as required for stores and shows, remains the greatest challenge.   Leveraging social connections and forums is essential to sucess on the internet.

 

www.claystamps.com

www.commonart.com

www.facebook.com/leroy.grubbs

 

 

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Pres    896

If you are creating one of a kind sort of pieces where the process is of importance to you, you might consider a blog site where you could cover the process from conception to completion. This would allow you time to communicate your purpose, and show pictures of the process. I struggled with what I wanted to do a few years ago, and came to the conclusion that I did not create enough work yet to have a commercial site, and yet wanted to communicate/teach about pottery and what I did, since retiring from teaching in HS. To this end, I found that the blog works for me, even though I get behind at times, and like any other site it does take time.

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docweathers    79

Slow responding here because of recent back surgery, which went well.

 

I like your blog. You are very talented. I can learn a lot from it.

 

You must've been quite an inspiration to your high school student potters. I always learned the most from teachers who loved what they did as opposed to those reading their dusty yellow notes and were waiting for 3 o'clock.

 

At this point, I think I'll just stick with a few things on Picassa.

 

Larry

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Mark C.    1,807

My site brings me customers no matter how hard I try for it not to. It also drive buesiness to my local bagel shop who ship my mugs as well. (about a 1/3 ofthere buiness comes from my site to theres,They ship mugs so it works for us both.

Mark

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