Thanks to a new iPhone app by John Saddington called Pressgram, creatives are able to publish their own images directly to their blogs and — here’s the big concept — maintain ownership of them, by sharing on a platform that … Continue reading
Dear Diary, Just between you and me, I’m feeling a bit unloyal to Twitter, now that the sexy new Google+ is strutting his stuff. Please please don’t share this with Twitter. I’ve been having a blast with Twitter ever since Facebook and I broke … Continue reading
Welcome to 2012. The day that experts’ columns appear with abandon, advising us on New Year preparations and goals. Generally the best recourse is to read these columns, save them in a location where you’ll never find them, and then procrastinate until it’s too late to act on the advice. For the procrastinators among us, here are some timely tech things to do to start 2012 off with a clean slate (or a clean iPad). Most are guaranteed hangover cures—since you’d probably rather have a hangover than do any of these tasks:
1. Take the trouble to actually “unsubscribe” to every junk email you’ve marked as spam and allowed to accumulate by the thousands in your Mail junk folder.
2. Update every person in your Address Book with current phone numbers, emails and addresses, and delete the duplicates.
3. Go to every website where you’ve entered a password that you’ve forgotten, and change them all to passwords you can actually remember.
4. Delete all of the duplicate songs in your iTunes library, delete all of the stupid playlists you made when you were younger, and create new playlists for your current favorite songs.
5. Load every CD you’ve never copied into your iTunes library into your computer to copy over the songs. Then put the CDs on some dusty shelf somewhere.
6. Visit the websites of all of your credit cards, loans and cell phone carriers to examine their privacy policies and opt out, since you’ve already been automatically opted in.
7. Organize all of the apps on your iPhone into meaningful folders and delete all the free apps you downloaded while drinking with friends.
8. Ditto all of the apps on your iPad.
9. Investigate the latest software for erasing your online identity in the (unfortunate) event of your untimely death. Then pick your software poison for making all of your stupid Facebook entries (yes, they were stupid) and your self-aggrandizing tweets (yes, be honest, you were trying to make yourself look good to total strangers) leave the universe with you.
10. Or just clip this list to a safe but obscure location where you’ll never find it again, and pour yourself another Bloody Mary.
(And Your Brand Is Your Image.)
If you’re a visual artist or photographer, your image is your brand. Literally.
You’re known for what you present, and when you present a focused body of work with a theme, or a recurring topic, or a continuing concept, or an identifiable style that’s unique to you, you’re more likely to get known. In a world of endless creativity, with everyone a smartphone artist, there’s a clearer need than ever to present your image in a polished, professional context.
Your resources and energy for presenting your image are limited too, even as the options seem to multiply daily. That’s because you probably want to focus your creativity energy on the art or photography you make, and not so much on your brand. So you’ll need to make informed choices about the avenues you pursue to present your image.
You can default to the ease of sharing your portfolio pieces to your friends on Facebook, where you’ll receive praise and encouragement. You can upload hundreds of photos to Flickr to be lost in the Flickrsphere. But have you evaluated how those choices further your art career, or make photography sales, or get you commissions and assignments, or even give you a reasonable ROI?
ROI is, of course, a business term, used most commonly to refer to the financial return on an investment. But since you are making your own investment of your time and your energy, is there an obvious return in store for you with Facebook or Flickr? If yes, and if it’s lucrative in a measurable way for your career or your sales, then keep it up. If not, consider that:
1. Your image is your brand: what you present is what you become known for (and you must guard your image, nurture it and tend to it).
2. Presentation is everything. What you show the world is what you’ll get known for.
3. Your art portfolio doesn’t need to ever physically leave your studio, but the act of creating it will focus you and your work.
4. Your web portfolio is a must-have, in the way a business card once was—it’s your calling card for the world, and the way you’ll be introduced over and over again.
5. Your business card is still a necessity. You’ll probably print more than you’ll ever need, but your card must be polished and offer all of your contact options—then you can just hand them out like candy.
6. You’ll need some promotional cards. One for each subject or theme you pursue will offer a quick visual reminder to your various audiences about what you do and what your focus is.
7. You work can get a boost in attention when you present it on your iPad. (But not on your iPhone—see Dumb Things Artists Do if this is not self-explanatory.) You can make a short presentation for each body of work, using Keynote on your iPad, and ride the coattails of the iPad‘s popularity by offering it to a client you’re wooing.
9. Everyone else has a video. You need one too. Or several. The better to see you with, my dear.
10. Have a one-page PDF handy to email anyone, anywhere containing your professional highlights and contact info at a glance, and include an image, too, of course. The one that promotes your brand.
- 38 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed (mashable.com)
- Branding Is For Everyone (washingtonpost.com)
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
Flipboard, meet Steve Jobs. Actually, you already have! You’ve created a product for Steve’s iPad that follows his philosophy that good design is about good functionality (“how it works”), and you’ve given us good looks and good feel as a bonus.
And what a bonus it is! Just the act of “flipping” a page makes Flipboard inviting. You’ve got us flipping virtually. We’re flipped out over the way Flipboard makes sense of our virtual worlds and brings them all together in one gloriously designed app, where function overtakes form, and both are champions.
Now we’re connected in one virtual fell swoop to Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, Instagram, Flickr, LinkedIn and more than we can ever save to Read It Later, plus more professional online content than we can contemplate on Instapaper. We can thrill to feeds on Art, Design, Tech, Lifestyle, Oprah and over 30 industry professions, and it will seem just like a lark with a magazine to us.
You’ve made our work seem like fun, Flipboard 1.5. And you’ve done Steve proud.
Twitter, I am madly, deeply, head over heels with you.
Please let’s just keep this our little secret.
Why? Well, first off, Facebook won’t be pleased. In the short time we’ve been an item, Facebook has come to believe it rules my personal and work life with total dominance, and wants me to pay attention to every little inane detail of the meaningless existence led by everyone Facebook ever suggested should be my friend.
And Facebook is so demanding, always suggesting this game or that app or some invitation or something I’m required to like or comment on. I really hated the way Facebook pestered me relentlessly to unlock something or answer a fake-psych question or worse, to go live on a farm–and I mean, get real, I am clearly more a city girl.
Sorry for the rant. I just know Facebook won’t let go of me easily, that’s all.
Second reason, twitter, that we should keep this on the QT, is that most everyone I know doesn’t really understand you. Isn’t that classic? You have so much more to offer than my friends can even comprehend, but they think you’re just a flash in the pan of my life. You’re not all bells and whistles like my ex, Facebook, is–so they underestimate you.
At their peril!
And then there’s the problem with commitment, twitter. If I go public with my insane infatuation with you, well, I could be setting myself up for a fall. I’m still a little raw over the Facebook breakup, if you must know. It was just so public. And just so wrong, the way Facebook revealed all of our sweet little nothings without really asking permission. As if we’d never really meant something to each other.
Anyway, twitter, for now you are just right for me, you know, since it’s never smart to get too heavily invested in rebound relationships. You flatter me easily and often with my many followers–I get a little high every time you alert me to a new admirer. Flattery, twitter, will get you everywhere! Plus–and this is huge–you just get me, and accept me for who I say I am, without that inquisition I always got from Facebook: What are your interests? Where did you go to school? Are you in a relationship? Can I raid your friends’ contact info to cozy up to them, too?
And you’re witty, twitter, very clever much of the time, well-versed on so many subjects, so easy to be around, easy to follow too, always there for me, but you don’t get all deep on me or demand too much of me.
In fact, you really don’t demand anything but 140 little characters, at most, in my time, on my terms, not anyone else’s. And that is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
Until we meet up again later tonight–