Monday, July 2, 2012

Carnival: The Aftermath

I'd love to hear your thoughts about the Carnival — suggestions, complaints, what worked, what didn't, etc.

I'm planning one for August 1. I've got several ideas for the topic, but if you have suggestions please post them.

Some other questions:

Did we have the right amount of artists participating? More or fewer?

Should we have a consistent graphic for the carnival? Sarah S. made one up quickly, and in the excitement I forgot to include it. Sarah, are you interested in developing that further?

Did anyone have problems with the code? I made it as plug-and-play as possible because we have all levels of blogging experience in the Carnival, and not everyone was comfortable with draft posts and links. I figured anyone who is, can customize as they see fit.

Would you prefer the links go to your home page, or directly to your carnival post?

I know I sent out a LOT of emails and I apologize for flooding everyone. Next time will be simpler, now that we've all been through it.

Thanks again, and please let me know your ideas! 

35 comments:

  1. Marla, I appreciate your willingness to become so involved in this project. I will definitely do it again. As to your other questions, I will have to get back to you. Need to do some thinking. Also wondering if others got comments from unknowns? Most of my comments were from others participating in the carnival.

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    1. It's early yet; I'll leave this post active for probably a week.

      Yes, definitely the most response I had was from the other artists. However, I know from experience that my Monday morning newsletter isn't always read immediately, so it's possible that we're not yet seeing the effect of the "civilians." Of course I'd like the Carnival to get attention from potential customers, but even so it's been fun communicating with other artists. I got a lot of good ideas for my studio!

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    2. Also - for anyone using Blogger: you can check your stats on your Dashboard. Just pull down "Stats" from the same menu where you pull down your "Posts." It will show yesterday's hits and today's hits. For me, a HUGE difference.

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  2. I thought this was a Great idea and have learned a lot already! I would love to participate again!
    Thank You Marla!
    My traffic went from 23 to 246 and climbing!!!

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    1. Yes, my traffic increased exponentially! I'm sure we are all on the road to becoming rich and famous!

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  3. That was fun watching the number go higher and higher. I could imagine what life would be like if that was an everyday event and I though it probably is for some people.
    I did not find making the links difficult at all. It increased my Facebook traffic today too but that could be because it was an "event" and I bought an ad for 'likes". So it all worked out great for me.
    I am all in. Thank you for doing this Marla..it raises all us smaller boats on your "tide".

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    1. OMG, it never occurred to me to buy a FB ad!

      *scurries away and buys a FB ad*

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  4. Thanks so much Marla, this idea was terrific, and I was super excited to be a part of it!!

    My traffic also increased to to 240's also, but I advertised on another popular blog starting today and wasn't sure which the increase was coming from.

    I would love to do this again.

    I thought of a topic if anyone is interested, "A day in the life of an artist".

    The only thing I thought that might make it better is to use the link for the blog post not just the blog home page. This way, no matter when the post may be read, if someone clicks on a link it will take them to the page they were hoping to see, i.e. the open studio post.

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    1. I agree, I would prefer it goes to the specific post. That's what I originally intended, but then decided it was one more complication. We can do it next time.

      One of my ideas was "What do you wear when you're painting?" Because I look pretty much like someone from Deliverance or maybe a crack dealer: elastic-waist shorts and torn, paint-spattered tank top (summer) or sweatpants and torn, paint-spattered T-shirt (winter).

      Just kidding! That would be the worst carnival ever! :-)

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  5. Here's another little tidbit to mull on: when I made up the links, originally I planned to order them alphabetically. Then I thought "That's so unfair to people who come at the end of the alphabet!" So I put them in the order in which I had responses to the invitation. That's another reason I made the link code to be in a table - I was concerned that if it was a big long list, the people at the bottom wouldn't get the same exposure. Comments?

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  6. This was really fun, and wonderful to get all the traffic. I'd certainly like to participate again. I love Joanne's idea to create posts on a day in the life of an artist.

    Other ideas...our backgrounds, where we went to school, our favorite teachers, or if we are self taught. OR name one of our favorite painters from the past, and explain why, or what we do when we get blocked. Not really creative ideas, but I'd love to read other artists thoughts on these things.

    I think many people who visit blogs who don't blog themselves are not comfortable leaving comments.

    It wasn't hard to add the link list. It would probably be better to have the links go right to the studio posts, but I don't know how you could set that up ahead of time. It seems like a post has to be published to be able to create a valid link.

    This must have been lots of work, Marla, and I truly appreciate your efforts!

    Interesting that Michael was the only male...

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    1. Not really a problem to get the direct link - when you make a draft post, it assigns a URL to it. I can put that in the overly-explicit directions for next time.

      Female artists seem to outnumber male by quite a margin! I invited several men, but they all declined for various reasons. They might participate next time, though.

      I'd like to consider ideas that would be conducive to photos or other visual representations - I think that makes the carnival more attractive. So definitely I'd like suggestions on how to work that in to the various ideas.

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  7. Hi everyone.
    I like the concept of a day in the life of the artist. My stats were excellent and I had some new followers. Without that it was worth it because it made my brain work in a different mode for a couple of days. I expect to see visits for the next couple of days. Some more men would be good. Deano for one!

    So count me in and I thank you all..especially you Marla.

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  8. Hi everyone,

    Thanks Marla for inviting me and putting together this idea. I found the whole experience fascinating.

    Thanks also to everyone who visited my blog, left a comment and/or followed me. I didn´t get any unusual bidding in my special sale, but I got some new followers. Every bit counts.

    I´m not sure what would catch people´s attention like a studio tour. I think it should be quarterly rather than monthly and stick with the studio tour. We all add new ideas for storage, paints, substrate, organization etc and could update with what´s new in our studio. A day in the life is my second choice.

    I would say one male participant in 20 is about norm for the Art world.

    I would suggest if anyone has the knowledge to do some kind of rolling links so everyone gets a chance at being at the top. I made a point of visiting and commenting on each blog and it took all my limited spare time. I don´t know if visitors without a goal are so diligent, so if the participants grow in number it would really matter where you are in the link list.

    I also think that if an Artist has a sale or does a giveaway they should be given special recognition in position, wordking, bold or colour because they attract a lot of interest to the entire group.

    That´s my thoughts for now.

    I welcome any of you who would like to be part of my GET YOUR ART OUT THERE Facebook group, which is my passion because it is a great community of Artists helping each other succeed. https://www.facebook.com/groups/GetYourArtOutThere/

    And yes I would like to be involved again.

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    1. not sure if my reply worked - I hope to join the group fb site when I have a few minutes. what a great idea!

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  9. Thanks so much for organizing this Marla! I would really love to be included again. I really wasn't sure what to expect from this, and now I wish I had added more to my post. I will definitely do better next time.

    The only people who commented were other artists. But that isn't surprising. My stats increased quite a bit.

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  10. Thank you so much for doing this Marla. This is the kind of thing I love. My idea is to showcase several pieces of our own art or to each do a video of us creating a painting. They are pretty easy to do from stills and Picasso. They could each be under 3 min and then maybe offer a special discount or free shipping on that painting.

    Hope this is ok here, but I have guest poster Mondays and I have other artists write a guest post, add a photo of themselves and a pic or two of their art and email it to me. Then I put it in a post and we both publicize it on Facebook. It drives new traffic to each site. If anyone is interested email me at slgraves6@gmail.com.

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    1. Love that idea of a painting creation and a special discount or free shipping to a buyer of it. Sort of an educational blue light special all in one! Count me in if you ever do this...with advance notice please! Very cool idea Sharon. And yes, will do an exchange blog with you!

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  11. Thank you Marla for including me and thanks to the other artists who made encouraging comments! No comments from civilians but I don't always comment on others and never of I have to do a "verification." So stats are more reliable indicators of visits.
    I put in my own links as code was confusing ( to my pea brain) but I used a block so no one would appear at bottom. The more photos ( for future topics) the better.

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    1. Next time I will supply the links both in HTML code and as a simple list that people can format however they want.

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  12. I like the link to go back to carnival post so it is valid for days afterwards if that is do-able. I think no more than 3-4 times a year is good. Yes, make a number limit and first come first serve so that you Marla don't have to scramble if we miss deadlines. That's a lot of work! I preload a lot of my blogs so I can go on to other things! Can't do last minute fixes.
    I like educational topics for civilians so suggest one on what artist influence do you like, a day in the life is good, what is your favorite subject and why.....
    Again, my hats tipped to you for the great idea and all your work. Many thanks!

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  14. Thank you Marla for all of your efforts. My traffic did rise to its highest level yesterday 299, wow! I am thrilled. I don't have any brilliant ideas or thoughts but would like to join future endeavors.

    Thank you!!!

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  15. I'd like to add my thanks and admiration to Marla for putting this together with such speed and efficiency! I am always happy to have someone else come up with something for me to blog about - :) - and I've enjoyed visiting all of your studios. I got feedback from several readers saying how much they did too!

    Please count me in for future carnivals!

    As far as the graphic - I wanted to use it as a permanent part of my blog sidebar, with a link back to the studio tour post. If anyone has graphic design skills, they should tackle this. Mine are extremely amateur!

    A couple thoughts for the future:

    1. Love the idea of "A day in the life." This will be interesting to our regular readers, and to other artists, especially because we are all at different life-stages. Some retired, some with young children, some who teach, etc.

    2. Size of the group should be limited. Several people have commented on how long it took them to visit each studio. I say limit it to 20 - either by first come/serve, or by invitation. If Marla is running the show, I say, let her curate it too!

    3. Although this was fun, once a month might be too frequent. I'd love to do this "A day in the life" post immediately, but I think we will run out of cool topics if we try to do it that often going forward. If a huge pool of people do want to participate, maybe there could be a rotating carnival with 20 artists each month? Sounds complicated!

    OK, thanks for reading this far! I'll go now. Promise.

    Sarah

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    1. I think I'm agreeing with limiting the size. Once past a certain amount, no one is going to work through that giant list. 20 is probably a good number. I see where you're going with the rotating carnival, but frankly that seems like too much administrative work to me!

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  16. One more note about the links - the list I sent out Thursday was for all the artists to verify that their name was on the list, that it was correct, and that they were participating. I received responses from a few people that they couldn't join after all, and a few late-comers who weren't on that Thursday list. So please wait for the confirmed list of links on Friday (or whatever day we end up doing this next time). We're working out the wrinkles this time, so everything should be smooth sailing next time :-)

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  17. I'm not sure how patient people were about looking at all the blogs. My comments were all from other artists. I certainly would not add more people, it takes a long time to visit each blog. Of course, this is coming from a very impatient person! My stats did go up. I feel a couple times a year might be enough for this, and in reading about "A Day in the Life of an Artist" I had to laugh, because mine would be me painting two hours, then sitting at the computer the rest of the time. I want to create, not sit at the computer! Yet how do we market without it?
    You did a great job, and I can't imagine how long YOU were at the computer to accomplish this! Thank you.

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    1. LOL, my "day in the life" would be pretty dull too.

      Yep, it was a lot of work, but I loved doing it, and now that the groundwork is done, it will be much simpler next time. I think it was a character in a Robert Heinlein book who said something like "a happy life is working hard at something you love." Couldn't agree more!

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  18. Hi Marla,

    Thank you so very much for letting me be a part of the Blog Carnival. I had over 200 hits the first day! and many more the days afterward. (for about a week). I am still getting hits from links on other artists' blogs, it has made a difference, I got some new blog followers and also a few more newsletter subscribers. Thank you so much I enjoyed this experience so much! Looking forward to future carnivals :)

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  19. to Marla's 7/7 comment - I heard the trick is to "put yourself where good things can happen to you" and the Carnival's are just that! WAY TO GO! While I can't do the day in the life, I will put the links on my blog for my folks to come visit you. I cannot wait to read them!

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  20. If anyone has ideas for "day in the life," feel free to share them! I'm a little stymied by it; my day is fairly dull. Therefore I plan to document a plein air painting day, rather than show photos of me drinking coffee, getting dressed, feeding the cat, etc.

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  21. Discussion about Carnival 2, A Day in the Life, start below this comment.

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  22. Discussions about Carnival 3, Tips and Tricks, start below this comment.

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  23. Marla... you are amazing! Not only did you successfully organize and implement this Blog Carnival, but you did it while working full-time. You don't need to apologize for little snags, or that there weren't more participants. If it weren't for you, we would not have this activity. So, THANK YOU.

    I'm looking forward to the December Carnival. Well, I'm not as technically advanced as you, but I'll come up with something.

    I liked the idea of posting in the evening, around 9pm, as you suggested. Fortunately, I was at home the next day to take care of the minor adjustments. Do you think posting early in the morning would be better? What does everyone else think?

    Thanks again, Marla!



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  24. Marla, thank you so much for organizing another great carnival...oh, and congratulations on beginning a full time job. I hope you like whatever job it is :)
    I guess I wouldn't mind publishing in the morning, but if most people prefer evenings I'm fine with that.

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I love to read your comments - thanks for your feedback!

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