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Blog Challenge Week 4 – Social Media

I love that the book Music Success in Nine Weeks addresses that musicians HATE this aspect of being a musician. It takes us away from what we love to do… write, make and play music.

But being married to a computer tech guy for 18 years today (that’s right it’s our anniversary and I’m blogging and he’s working… we love each other but we also love our careers too!), I have been forced into Web 2.0. He was the one who made me tweet. “Just try it… you’ll like it” he said. He is like a internet pusher.

But I did try it and liked it enough to keep going, along with facebook, youtube, reverbnation yadda yadda, yadda.

Really I started with youtube a few years ago, which ended up getting me 3/4 million views on a comedy song called the Childbirth Song, that I performed at a concert. I was always very keen to thank everyone who left comments on that and all the other songs I made vids for and posted.

So then came facebook… again I really like to acknowledge all lovely comments. Then there was twitter, then reverbnation, then MySpace, then, then… there are only so many hours in the day to reply.

But then I read and liked the the way the book describes this all as watering your social media garden. It somehow makes it less daunting Although I am well known for being a terrible gardener, I have managed to grow some tomatoes as well as get new followers on twitter this year!

There is SO much to the social media thing that blogging about it starts my head spinning. It’s one of those things you just have to do little by little and only look at the trees and not the whole forest otherwise you could implode.

So I will keep watering. Most sites will get tended to regularly, some will wither and some will got thrown into the garbage.

If you want to find me on the internet at the places that are blooming (other than this blog!) here’s a list of the places that I regularly update and interact with.

Facebook
Twitter
YouTube

It’s also important to spend some time away from a screen, so I’m off to watch Star Wars for the 56th time with my son! 🙂

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Blog Challenge week 3 : Optimize Your Website

Optimize my website? After reading this chapter of Music Success in Nine Weeks I not only optimized… I changed the whole thing!

The part on having a consistent feel all over the net coupled with having a consistent feel with business cards etc, and the fact that I’d just had some lovely photos done for my new CD, I decided that a makeover was needed. I may have had the same hairstyle for more years than I care to mention, but that doesn’t mean I can’t change my image.

The ‘must load in 3.5 seconds’ is something that has been hammered home to me many times by my iPad software developing, attention to detail, husband. So I do have an advantage having in-house help. However, I do my own website and my husband believes in tough love… ie you’re on your own unless…

So after using the great photos in a large format with half my face cut off (looks better than it sounds!) as a theme, I went about putting into practice the notes in chapter 3. I have added my pitch, have no flash intros (which I hate anyway!) and have added a ‘free mp3 for joining the email list’ to my home page.

I also decided to make the home page my ‘Latest News’ page so people don’t have to scroll through a whole load of writing to find out what I am currently working on. And of course there is the usual easy navigation question which I spent a lot of time thinking about before deciding on my menu items and what takes you where. I hope I have been clear…

The thing that makes me giddy about my website is a little feature that I did get the husband to do for me. I wanted the large pics to re-size with the size of the window which he did and I am very grateful!

So then I set about changing all my other sites – myspace, twitter, reverbnation etc to match my website.

I love a change and I LOVE this one. I am so glad that the book gave me the impetus to really look at my site because I now have one that I proud to point people towards!

www.helenaustin.com

Any comments are welcome 🙂

New website coming soon…

If you have visited my blog before you will have noticed that I have changed the style of it and there is a reason for this. I am getting ready for change…

I may be a creature of habit in many ways (they automatically bring me a glass of wine and spring rolls at the Royston jam every Sunday)… but when it comes to aesthetics, I was one of those kids that changed around the furniture in her bedroom at least a few times a year.

Same with websites. I have changed my website a few times now and the last time was a couple of years ago, so time for change again! And, like reorganizing a room, you get to clear out all the clutter and make it all a bit neater.

So, I couldn’t help myself. With all the lovely pics that Karen from McKinnon Photography did for me I felt that they really should be more of a feature than just snapshots on the page. Here are just a couple of them…

Although I do all my website stuff myself (I even learned how to use CSS …under duress!), there are some things (lots of things actually) that I can’t figure out when it comes to code for websites. This is where my software developer husband comes in very handy. He spends his days (and nights) figuring out how to make things work on iPads and iPhones… so I have set him a task which will be the finishing cool touch to my website. No pressure!

So, when I can drag him away from his iPad, I should have a new website up very soon. I’m very excited about it!