The Art Galleries of SL List is available at http://sasun.info/ArtGalleriesOfSL.htm.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Kiosks Back to Normal - Soon

Good news - I've successfully tested a new web host with the kiosk system and it seems to be working fine. I have not had time to do extensive testing, but the system is on the way to working again. It will take a day or two before the LL servers "catch up" with where the new website is, but they will just start working again... soon.

I decided that waiting on LL to fix this problem was simply too risky. It's been a week already, that's one week too long for the whole system to be down. The solution basically involved a ton of work to evaluate, find, and configure a new web hosting site, which means, it's a new IP address that, luckily, the LL servers don't have a problem communicating with.

Does this mean the same problem won't happen again? I have no idea, since we don't know the cause. Once LL figures this out, I suppose they will fix the problem so it doesn't bite anyone else, or me, again.

It's been a long night, I'm tired. This whole ordeal has fried my brain completely. But I think at this point the light at the end of the tunnel is rapidly approaching... it's just a matter of time before things start working again.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

LL Punts Me to JIRA

Got a reply back from LL support today. They said that I am not the only site affected by this problem, but gave me no details on that (which would have been extremely helpful) and that the solution is to file a JIRA. This is a significant blow and it looks like we are not out of the woods yet. I am disappointed that it took LL 5 days to tell me "file a JIRA". I have no idea how long it will take for them to investigate the new JIRA bug and fix it.

Today I tried one good potentical technical solution today (a fixed IP for you geeks out there) to no avail, that IP address is blocked by LL as well, so that didn't pan out. Plan B is to move to a new web host, which I am in the process of doing. With any luck they won't be blocked and the kiosks will just start working again.

I have created the JIRA bug and hope that all of you can go vote WATCH that bug (LL ignores votes, apparently!) to show that you care about art in Second Life and don't want to see this list and all the hard work I put into it over the years go down in flames. As well as my entire SL business and reason for being here :(

I am also sending out a personal message to everyone that owns one of my kiosks, so you may be receiving that as well, with an explanation and link to the JIRA to encourage everyone affected by this server bug to go vote on the JIRA. By demonstrating that this affects a lot of people I hope we can get this bug the attention it actually deserves. Thank you.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Linden Labs Shuts Me Down

Four days ago for reasons unknown, all communication between any scripted object anywhere on the grid and the IP address of my web application (that runs the Galleries of SL kiosks) at http://sasun.info stopped working. Testing shows that my web app is functioning perfectly fine and is in fact working for kiosks on the Avination grid. Avination is able to communicate to my web app, no problem. HTTP communication to other domains from the SL grid work fine. The only combination that does not work is http requests from SL to my website's IP address.

The only sensible conclusion is that either LL or my web host are blocking these http requests. A quick call to my web host confirmed that they do not block any IP addresses from their shared hosting IP addresses at all, it is up to their customers to block IP addresses on a doman-by-domain basis. In other words, if someone is trying to hack into http://sasun.info (which in fact just happened yesterday, unrelated to this case), I have to block any such offending IPs in my application myself. So... no blocking going on there.

So the obvious conclusion here is that LL is for some reason blocking all http requests from any and all of their servers (which means, the entire grid) to my web app. It may be possible that there is something in between that is blocking these, or some technical issue on LL's end that's not blocking them on purpose but some bad side-effect of the recent OS upgrades (hint, hint, LL) that's stopping http requests from working to my domain (and possibly many others, I have no idea).

All of this is perfecty understandable, though unfortunate. Software is buggy, problems crop up, upgrades cause problems, gremlins sneak into the wires and make things go crazy. I may be just the unlucky victim of bad luck somewhere between LL and my web host.

Or am I? It turns out I am not the only IP address that has been blocked by LL. One person I talked to had a very similar story and their solution was a lot of work on their part to move to a different IP address. For me, that would involve quite a bit of expense and work but is something I am going to investigate today since there is no way for me, or any of the "regular" support people at LL, to even tell me what the status of my issue is.

So here is the frustrating and critical failing of LL in this whole debacle - their unbelievably bad handling of this problem so far. As soon as I filed the case I jumped onto a chat session and was politely told that they would escalate the issue to from a normal "case ticket" to a "technical assistance" issue, meaning that it goes to the real support people that don't solve the stupid questions. Great! It's obviously critical to me and a bunch of other SL business owners so this should get fixed soon, right?

Days go by and I hear absolutely nothing. Every day I start a chat session to find out what is going on, and every time I tell them how critical this issue is and how vital it is that I get some kind of update or acknowledgement that it's being looked into. It turns out that the front-line chat support people have NO WAY to communicate with the "technical assistance" people working on any particular support case. From today's chat session:

You: It has been 4 days and affects well over 6,000 kiosks across the grid. Is there any way to get an ETA when this issue will be fixed? Every single scripted object (approximately 7,000) across the grid that communicates to my web site has not been working for 4 days. I've been in the dark this whole time.

RebeccaH: I do apologize but I don't have access to the technical support operations information.

You: so you guys are cut off from them, there's no way to update customers on what is going on?

RebeccaH: I'm sorry but that is correct, I don't have access to their information or a way to communicate with them.
Uh, what? Support team A has no way to communicate with support team B? Seriously, really, the live chat support people have no access to support information or any way to communicate with the technical assistance people?

Furthermore I was told that the technical assistance cases are unprioritized - there is no way to prioritize them. So every non-critical issue is in line with every severe "my business is down" case and is prioritized fist come, first serve. This is a disaster! Any support business in the universe needs to prioritize cases and get to the high-impact, "server down" cases first!

I can guarantee you that LL's own internal IT support department, for example, doesn't prioritize strictly by first-come-first-serve basis. So if an LL intern requests a different colored mouse from the IT department, he's ahead of the CEO whose video card died and is stopping him from getting his job done? I seriously doubt it!!

So why in heavens name would they refuse to prioritize customer cases and make the critical cases that are going to have wide-spread negative effects on the success of Second Life (there are products and content creators that falling into this category, obviously) higher priority? In effect what they are saying is that if LL stops your entire business from functioning, we don't consider that more important than anything else, so you'll need to wait a week for us to get around to it. Great!

I can't begin to express how frustrated I am with LL. I have been sweating over this the whole time, and working like crazy to supply customers with some level of functionality for their broken products. I'm obsessively checking to see if things are working again, since it drives me absolutely nuts to have so many customers unhappy and unable to use my products like this.

I have done some work to port my kiosk network to other grids such as avination and inWorldz, which so far as been very successful. This incident has convinced me I need to step up those efforts so that I can help them compete with LL as much as possible. Having a list of art galleries on avination, inWorldz, and other grids would be very cool and help them grow, not to mention put some products up for sale on those grids as well.

Furthermore I'm taking a hard look at my involvement in such things as the Linden Endowment for the Arts, which I put a rediculous amount of work into for no benefit of my own. I am boycotting any such voluteer work for a company that won't even give me the courtesy of a "hi we got your issue and are working on it, sorry about that" response until such time as this issue is fixed. If that is never, so be it. I don't know why I should work so hard to benefit a company that when the rubber hits the road, really doesn't care, and if they do, they have completely failed to show it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hot This Month

One thing I have added to the list just recently is a "Hot This Month" checkbox that shows galleries that are getting a lot of ratings in the past 30 days. It's a nice snapshot of which galleries are movin' and shakin', maybe they had an event recently and garnered a bunch of new ratings, or it's by an artist that's gotten some notoriety lately and is getting visitors, whatever it is, people are visiting and rating. It's experimental but so far I like it - please let me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Art Galleries of SL facelift

I have finally done a full on redesign of the Galleries of SL list. The more you learn the more you realize how much better you could have done something you made in the past so... time for a makeover!

Leave your comments here on this blog. If you'd like all the gory details about the redesign, read on!

The intent of the redesign was to make something much more pleasing to the eye, yet still functional and intuitive to use.

First, the website has a distinct 4-color scheme (a tetrad of some warm and cold colors to contrast) and a simple 4-color bar logo used to present a pattern to the eye. The site is laid out in a simple grid format, and is fluid - if your page gets narrower, the columns resize, then the site will pop into a 2-column format, so it looks good no matter what size browser you use. Try it!

The options are now arranged nicely in 4 boxes on top so it's much easier to see where they are and set them.

For you web types out there, it uses pure CSS, HTML, and jQuery so it loads fast. I converted it from an aspx page and got rid of all the server-side code and replaced it all with javascript and jQuery. It uses ajax to get more galleries to display when you scroll to the bottom, so there is no longer a "page size" setting, you can just scroll forever! It does not use postbacks like the old .aspx page did, it's all ajax, fast and light(er). I'm using a simple fluid column layout for the grid rather than a fixed width.

I am using some modern browser features such as fill gradients, nice rounded corners, and dropshadows, so if you are running an old browser, or IE (god forbid), the experience may not be as nice, so UPGRADE your browser!! So many good websites are taking advantage of HTML5, CSS3, and modern features, you're missing out if you have an old browser. And avoid IE like the plague, it's just NOT compatible with so many modern browser features. Or upgrade to IE9 at least, it's not as horrid, but the gallery list will still not look right, for sure, due to the missing feature support.

The gallery reviews are still there, click on the images to get a popup. I plan on doing some more thinking on the review presentation, possibly redesigning that simple dialog box, but that works pretty well as it is.

I also plan on replacing the "Slurl" line with a simple and familiar orange TP button. I think people don't care what the slurl address text is, they just want to go. Having a TP button will remove some text, which will de-clutter the display a bit more which is a Good Thing.

If I do decide to revamp the rating system (see previous post) the rating stars will be replaced with a simple display of the current "like" count for that gallery, and perhaps a "likes/month" number to help sort them more appropriately (or perhaps some weighted combo of both, not sure yet).

So far I'm very happy with the new site, it looks much better and more pleasing, and much less cluttered to the eye. Less like a spreadsheet and more like a list of Art Galleries :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gallery Rating System revamp

I have been doing some thinking on the current gallery rating "5 star" system and I am seriously thinking of doing a complete overhaul some time soon.

I would like to dispense with the star ratings and instead have a simple Like model, similar to Facebook. The star rating graphic on the kiosks and tour HUDs will be replaced with a simple "Like" button and if people like your gallery, they can click it.

One advantage is that it's very simple and will match the same model that LL uses on the Destination guide.

I will convert all 4 and 5 star ratings to a "Like" in the new system when I make the change and simply delete all 1, 2, and 3 star ratings. On the gallery list page (which is also going through a complete redesign btw) all you will see is the  number of Likes, just like facebook does. There will no longer be 1-5 star votes - only likes.

This means that a gallery that does a good job of getting people to Like them on their gallery kiosk will be high on the list, so it's more a simple numbers game than trying to get 5-star votes and no bad votes. The current system is just too problematic in that the vast majority of the votes are 5 star votes, so one 4 star vote can send someone tumbling far down the list. In effect, everyone is giving galleries either 5 stars or nothing already. The big difference in the sorting order is that the raw number of votes will now be very important, and in the current system it is much less important than the average star rating, which is what they are sorted on now. The current system uses a Bayesian rating system which "penalizes" galleries with a low number of ratings so that a single 5-star rating won't plop you at the top of the gallery list.

This will also completely remove any griefing done by people rating galleries 1 star for personal reasons, and there are, for reasons I can't comprehend, a few people that give out nothing but 1 star ratings. Which is just completely pointless and it pollutes the database with garbage. Why go visit galleries if you just hate them all and give them lousy ratings? So this will completely solve that problem too.

The new system is not perfect either, since galleries that are strategically placed in very high traffic areas will probably get more clicks than a gallery that's great but is out of the way. So both systems have their faults but I think the facebook Like model is going to work out better in the long run. I'm still gathering feedback on that idea, so it's not set in stone yet, but that's my thinking. I'd love to hear what you think!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Talk at Palais "Marketing Art and Photography" Symposium

Earlier this week I did a talk on Running a Successful Art Gallery. I stole a few tidbits from previous talks on the same topic, best practices and such. Hopefully you'll find something useful here!

Big thanks to madison  Arnahan who came up with the idea of the talk series and organized the whole thing. I love it!

madison Arnahan: hi all .. what a great turnout ... and I think it underscores the relevance of the topic .. and what our speaker tonight can lend to that topic
madison Arnahan: Sasun has been in the eye of the storm .. on the forefront of the battle .. what other metaphors ?
Sandra Lee (sandralee.palianta): dead center of the cross hairs
GeeJAnn Blackadder: Leading The Parade
Sasun Steinbeck: more like Lead Clown of the Crazy Circus!
Sasun Steinbeck: and I wouldn't want it either way, you creative peeps are the best :)
madison Arnahan: Her drive to elevate art and art galleries in reknown .. Palais SL Magazine is honored to host this event and to have Sasun lead it off .. who else could fill the bill . so please welcome Sasun Steinbeck
Sasun Steinbeck: aw thank you!
Em Larsson: clap clap clap
Skylarian Isachenko: Waves a sparkler
Devilana Nirvana claps and whistles
Lyrilen Moonshadow applause
Sasun Steinbeck: thanks again to madison for putting this whole series together
GeeJAnn Blackadder: Applause!!
Sasun Steinbeck: we've got some other kick-ass speakers for later talks in the series
Sasun Steinbeck: well welcome everyone, I know lots of you are very experienced gallery owners
Sasun Steinbeck: I'm not going to stand her and drone on for 60 minutes, I'd like to get LOTS of comments from all of you
Sasun Steinbeck: since you have a lot of good stuff to share and best practices, I know
Sasun Steinbeck: so chime in with your thoughts or tidbits please!!
Sasun Steinbeck: I'd like to put in a plug for my group as we get things rolling here. I want people to know that help with this topic is available from quite a few sources - your fellow gallery owners are always willing to help, and asking questions of this sort are exactly what the Art Gallery Owner's group is for, so please join and ask about how to build and manage your gallery :)
Sasun Steinbeck: over to my right of the stage are 4 little kiosks, the one on the right will help you join the group if you are interested
Sandra Lee (sandralee.palianta): being an "experienced SL Gallery Owner" is kinda like a homeless person being a proud box owner
Sasun Steinbeck: hehehe :D
Armany Thursday: smiles
Callipygian Christensen waits for someone to say ohh..with only 42 groups I am afraid I don't have room
Em Larsson: he he he
Armany Thursday: lololololol
Sasun Steinbeck: if you are a gallery owner and NOT on my gallery list at http://sasun.info/artgalleriesofSL.aspx, click the 2nd kiosk to the left of that one, t hat will give you a kiosk requester
Sasun Steinbeck: so that's my first tip on being a successful gallery owner
Sasun Steinbeck: get on the list! Get a kiosk, set it up, and you will immediately be added to the list
Skylarian Isachenko: Yep, very helpful
Sasun Steinbeck: once you're on the list, work those gallery ratings to your advantage
Sasun Steinbeck: encourage people that say nice things to you to rate your gallery! that pushes you up the list
Sasun Steinbeck: the galleries on the list are sorted by rating, so it's good to move up the list
Sasun Steinbeck: if someone says your art sucks, don't mention the rating stars! lol
Skylarian Isachenko: Its a great way to spend an after noon also, just clicking through the galleries
Sasun Steinbeck: while I'm talking about the kiosks, I have two more, with some freebies in them, one is my free art resizer, click it to get one, and to the left of that is a little kit you can use to make kiosks to advertise events
Sasun Steinbeck: the latter is open source and free, so look at the scripts to learn a few tricks and pass it along to others
Sasun Steinbeck: so... onto the main topic
Sasun Steinbeck: how to be a successful gallery owner
Sasun Steinbeck: obviously the definition of success here is important
Sasun Steinbeck: For many artists, just the fact that people want to view their work is more than enough. What is important to you? Your personal statement? Cash flow? Maybe both? That's OK, but you should think about what it is so you can set expectations for yourself. If you take the time to nurture and maintain your gallery, it will bring you the satisfaction you desire - you will only get out of it what you put into it.
Skylarian Isachenko: Meeting your personal goals as a gallery or artist is one
Sasun Steinbeck: yes exactly
Sasun Steinbeck: and those are for you to set
Sasun Steinbeck: if you are happy making no sales, and you are tickled pink by talking to people that love your art, you'll be happier than someone trying to earn a lot of money selling art
Sasun Steinbeck: because trust me, you will NOT make a lot of money! If you want money, you're in the wrong business!
Sasun Steinbeck: But if you create art for the love of it, and you pour yourself into it, maybe the money will come. But you need to be in a position where you just don't care if it does or not, since it won't at first, I can guarantee that! Eventually you can work on the marketing aspects and get help from others to do that, and next thing you know you'll be making some money.
Skylarian Isachenko: It can however be very useful as a tool to get people out there looking at your RL art and you can and do make sales there.
Sasun Steinbeck: absolutely true
Sasun Steinbeck: It's a great way to cross-pollinate between your Deviant Art page, or commercial art sales website. Just the other day I was talking to someone that made a RL sale from an SL customer, so it definitely happens. Make sure your customers are aware of the fact that they can buy your art for RL too, and where your website is. Take advantage of the free visitor counter in your Galleries of SL kiosk to give out notecards with your website on it or an email address to contact if they are interested in buying something in RL.
Skylarian Isachenko: I am making quite a few sales of rl calendars for the St Tiggywinkle animal hospital via the Isle of Wyrms
Skylarian Isachenko: created from the avatars of the dragons, doing pretty well actually
Sasun Steinbeck: The Gallery listing also lets you configure a website link with your listing, so people can click it and go to your website, hopefully make a sale or two from the traffic
Sasun Steinbeck: So as a new gallery owner, what are some of the key things you can do to "get plugged in" and start down the path to a happy and successful career as an art gallery owner?
Sasun Steinbeck: I've got a few ideas and would love to hear yours :)
Devilana Nirvana: is that listing solely for art galleries or also for photo studios that have a gallery to the front of their shop?
Skylarian Isachenko: That does bring up a point you might want to make clear to people, because sl has the whole anonomus thing, explain to them if, its true of course that their information cannot be be connected back to their sl selves
Sasun Steinbeck: I would consider a photo studio with a gallery to be an art gallery, sure
Sasun Steinbeck: yes that is a good point
Sasun Steinbeck: if you want to make RL sales, then don't count on staying anonymous, is my advice
Skylarian Isachenko: I have complete transparnece, rl and sl, but customers like to stay hidden
Skylarian Isachenko: so I use a service that sells my work for me
Jewle Rae: Frankly, almost every aspect of SL is "Art"
Skylarian Isachenko: I never see who buys stuff
Sasun Steinbeck: yes absolutely, so that's a real good thing to think about. you know all those annoying "privacy notices" you get in the mail from banks and whatnot
Armany Thursday: so true, Jewle
Lyrilen Moonshadow: I made that point just the other day Jewle
Sasun Steinbeck: it would be great to make a simple one so that people know exactly where the boundaries are when it comes to them puchasing RL art
Em Larsson: What service do you use, Skylarian?
Sasun Steinbeck: yes make it clear that, if you have things set up to where you never see thier RL info if you make a sale, that potential purchasers know that
Sasun Steinbeck: so they will feel safe to buy something
Skylarian Isachenko: Deviant Art Prints, mostly, some Zazzle
Em Larsson: Thanks.
Adair Chauveau: Selling art online by PayPal helps to keep both seller and buyer private.
Sasun Steinbeck: very good point, yes. They will see your paypal email though, I suppose
Sasun Steinbeck: and vice-versa
Adair Chauveau: yes
Skylarian Isachenko: yes, and you get their shipping address too
Sasun Steinbeck: privacy is a very good thing to understand and make clear, one way or another
Sasun Steinbeck: yes
Sasun Steinbeck: even still, there are many people that want to buy from you in RL and will do so
Sasun Steinbeck: so if that's a goal of yours, put some thought into marketing that to potential customers in SL
Skylarian Isachenko: I do get those that buy from me direct because they want my signature, and then its pretty obvious its open informaiton
GeeJAnn Blackadder: Sasun , Have you some advice on how we can have our Gallery better known ?
Sasun Steinbeck: that's a great question
Sasun Steinbeck: there are quite a few good ways
Sasun Steinbeck: I would say probably the traditional, tried-and-true method is via hosting events
Sasun Steinbeck: Events - are the key thing that help promote the gallery and bring more buyers in. If you have a huge friends list, one tactic is to just spin it like a party for friends and invite everyone in your friends list. If you know how to DJ music, or have a DJ friend, that's perfect.
Sasun Steinbeck: Another is to throw an event every time you have a change, such as a new guest artist on display or if you own a multi-gallery area, when a new artist rents a spot as a way of introduction. I would highly recommend you talk to some of the larger gallery owners about throwing events, I'm sure they will have a lot of great tips for you.
Sandra Lee (sandralee.palianta): wine & cheese
Sasun Steinbeck: events are time-consuming, but they can be a lot of fun
Sasun Steinbeck: and doing an event from time to time will keep people coming in
Araminta Kroitschov: and you meet fantastic people
Skylarian Isachenko: Fit the event to your resources too, its not good to have people not able to get there because your venue cannot support enough agents
Sasun Steinbeck: yes absolutely, it is a great way to meet other artists and gallery owners and pump them for info :)
Sasun Steinbeck: Yes thank you Skylarian, good point
FreeWee Ling: I've found that most peope who come to an event are there for the party rather than the art. Good parties though.
Callipygian Christensen: Free - I avoid that by not making a music act the focus
Sasun Steinbeck: There are a lot of details to attend to. Now that I think about it, I don't really know where a checklist of things to do for an event would be
Sasun Steinbeck: I think that would be really great to have
Sandra Lee (sandralee.palianta): indeed
Skylarian Isachenko: Each type of event has its own issues
Sasun Steinbeck: yes
Skylarian Isachenko: as IOW events planner, trust me, I know.. grins
Em Larsson: I agree with Calli though - music call actually distract people from the art.
Sasun Steinbeck: That's an interesting point, the music. I think it's been really effective in most cases to meld a music event of some sort with a visual art event
Sasun Steinbeck: for one that brings in people that may not have come purely for the art
Jewle Rae: There are wonderful classes on conducting events every other Sunday morning in SL
FreeWee Ling: Yes
Skylarian Isachenko: careful choice of music helps
Sasun Steinbeck: oh where is that Jewle?
Araminta Kroitschov: It's great for my space at the Chelsea, it doubles the visitors
Callipygian Christensen: I disagee mostly Sasun, but will be happy to debate that after or another time :)
Sasun Steinbeck: tell us what your experience is Calli, that would be great
Cat Boccaccio: and you can hire people to organize and host the events, also
Sasun Steinbeck: yes Cat VERY good tip, if you're not good at event planning, there are people that are - hire an expert!
Skylarian Isachenko: An art auction is a lovely means of doing things, but the most effective I have seen personally was when it was done for a charity, you get a lot of other people promoting the event for you.
Callipygian Christensen: IME very few of the fans that follow a musical artist take time to look at the art..at your next event see how many can name an image or two from the exhibit once they leave..
Sasun Steinbeck: I have seen events where the music is a bit *too* much the focus... for example having the stage be *away* from the art - well that could make a nice music concert but not help market your art at all :(
Callipygian Christensen: but their presence slows down rez and the chance to etiehr get into the sim or see the art when they are there for those who are there for the art
Jewle Rae: The classes are run by NCI. I have a folder of notes and SURL
Jewle Rae: How to share with everyone is the question I have.
Sasun Steinbeck: Oh yes that is a good point, many of your guests will be members of the performer's group
Callipygian Christensen: so if you want a party, go for it- if you want people focussed on looking at the art, stream your own music..that lets you even talk to those attending too
Skylarian Isachenko: DJ who are also artists are very good for such events
Callipygian Christensen shuts up now lol
Em Larsson: I totally agree CAlli
Skylarian Isachenko: they understand the challenges
FreeWee Ling: One key is to plan events carefully so you develop a reputation for quality. That goes for the art, too, of course. But you want repeat traffic. Devotees
Sasun Steinbeck: yes you can definitely tone down the music, I would say especially if you have a very compelling theme for your exhibition... something that you don't want to detract from... having a "big show" might not be the right thing to do
Dyce Underwood: Yes and a lot of the times People that come out for a music event and see the art, Have a better chance of returning then if there were no art...
Dyce Underwood: No one knows who loves art
Cat Boccaccio: when I had two well-known performers at my Beach Gallery opening, I had a huge turnout, people looked at and bought art, and I got many new group member... Just my experience
Sasun Steinbeck: yes FreeWee, that's true, I know from my own experience that I have certain people that I love to go since I know it will be fun
Armany Thursday: if anybody has a resource list....DJs, performers....streams that are good for openings..would really appreciate if they were willing to share ?
Skylarian Isachenko: Its a delicate balance too as you really cannot run a music event all day, yet you would like to have folk visiting through out the day
Sasun Steinbeck: balance is right, and I think you need to talk to others to get some perspective, then just learn by doing, figure out what works for you for the type of art, the venue, and your style
FreeWee Ling: That's another question. How do you plan the time for an event in a global environment?
Skylarian Isachenko: I can give you a name, Gwen Carillon marvelous DJ that is also an exquisit artist
Sasun Steinbeck: oh very good question. I can tell you that any time you pick is the wrong time.
Armany Thursday: awesome...ty so much Sky ?
Callipygian Christensen: arranging a jint exhibit is a good way to expose nw people to your art - both artists benefit from having the othrs' regulars attend and view
Callipygian Christensen: 'joint'
Sasun Steinbeck: I would say that one possible time when most people are only are approximately 5pm-ish SL time
Sasun Steinbeck: but then that's real late for Europe
Sasun Steinbeck: 10am is not so great for USA, but that's roughly 6pm-ish for Europe
Sasun Steinbeck: really the only solution is to run TWO events
Sasun Steinbeck: one for USA, one for Europe
Skylarian Isachenko: Fishing events can be quite helpful also, believe it or not, you can set art around the fishing sits, and they become captive audience, especially if its sea type art
Sasun Steinbeck: or just stagger your event times
Callipygian Christensen: or try saturday or sunday afternoon
Sasun Steinbeck: yes, just be aware that a lot of art events are usually packed into saturdays and sundays
FreeWee Ling: or Australia.
Callipygian Christensen: 1 PM SL time covers a large poart of the world
Sasun Steinbeck: chances of a collision are higher
FreeWee Ling: UWA is in Perth, which is SLT*15 I thi8nk.
Bobbi Laval: really it's all a double edge sword, you can't be all for everyone, if you do prime time events, then there is also so much more competition from all the other events
FreeWee Ling: +
Bobbi Laval: so sometimes off hour events have a great draw, just from less competition
Skylarian Isachenko: Consider doing a day long event that is mostly audience participation so they come, they are entertained by the exhibit, have some buffet set out and a nice stream running
GeeJAnn Blackadder: Sasun are there other methods to improve the traffic to the Gallery ?
Sasun Steinbeck: yes I was going to talk about advertising
Sasun Steinbeck: there are some key art groups to join and advertise on
Skylarian Isachenko: Hunts can improve traffic but may not make sales
Jewle Rae: According to the experts in the classes I took and the top event promoters and producers I interiewed over this past year most successful attended events start on half hour.
Sasun Steinbeck: the ideal way is to advertise your event well before hand, at least a few days in advance if not more
Lyrilen Moonshadow: but, if you only display, and not sell - do you qualify for hunts, really?
Sasun Steinbeck: then, send out another notice right before the event starts
Sasun Steinbeck: you'll get a lot of drop-ins that way
Skylarian Isachenko: uummmm depends on the hunt rules I suppose
Skylarian Isachenko: each one is different
Skylarian Isachenko: One other quite good point, Multi language notes
Skylarian Isachenko: advertise in many languages
Sasun Steinbeck: so I would recommend joining another group that I help manage, the Art & Artist Network
Sasun Steinbeck: it is invite only to reduce spam
Sasun Steinbeck: and a great place to advertise events
Sasun Steinbeck: also, check out Open This End
Mathilde Vhargon: I have been running hunts every month for several months and got no sales from them, even though they are one of the best hunt organizer's hunts, we give a nice gift, and we get a steady stream of hunters every day.
Dyce Underwood: Sasun may armany and I have an Invite please
Sasun Steinbeck: and another group I joined recently, .:SL Art:.
Em Larsson: I think hunts ecourage people who like freebies. At least that is my experience.
Sasun Steinbeck: yes for the A&AN group I'd be glad to invite you, please IM me and I'll get to you after the talk is done
Dyce Underwood: Thank you
Sasun Steinbeck: so those are some key groups to spam event info
Em Larsson: SL ArT?
Sasun Steinbeck: i would also recommend you take one of my free event kiosk kits
FreeWee Ling: I go on hunts and I always look around the shops. Often buy stuff.
Em Larsson: Is that the name? Or do I need the punctuation?
Sasun Steinbeck: hm maybe you do
Sasun Steinbeck: the punctuation is part of the name
Em Larsson: Thanks
Sasun Steinbeck: the kiosk it is stage right, furthest on the left there
Sasun Steinbeck: it says "Sassy's advertising kiosk sample"
Ginette Pinazzo: Id also mention to think abut groups that may not be art groups per se, but may relate to whatever theme yoru show is about
Adair Chauveau: What about themes and niche art?
Sasun Steinbeck: so use that kit to create a kiosk that gives out yoru event info and LMs, etc.
Sasun Steinbeck: and send that kiosk out when you make an event announcement
Sasun Steinbeck: also give it to your friends to have them help advertise
Sasun Steinbeck: and set it up everywhere you can
Sasun Steinbeck: that will help get word out
Bobbi Laval wishes she had friends
Sandra Lee (sandralee.palianta): my bf would wear it on his head
Sasun Steinbeck: LOL Bobbi
Lyrilen Moonshadow waves at her friend Bobbi
Callipygian Christensen: Bobbi..phhht
Sasun Steinbeck: heheh perfect
Bobbi Laval giggles
Sasun Steinbeck: another general tip - use the Gallery Owner group, the group's purpose is for group chat about things relevant to gallery owners (not event announcements!)
Sasun Steinbeck: so that's a great place to ask for opinions on really anything we've been talking about today
Adair Chauveau: Are people in SL who go to galleries as educated about art as people who go to galleries in RL? Would educational events help that?
Skylarian Isachenko: its the real world, just disquised
Araminta Kroitschov: Educational events always help in RL and SL :)
madison Arnahan grins
Skylarian Isachenko: unless its an erotic gallery.....
Lyrilen Moonshadow: oh - I like that Sky
Armany Thursday: educational events are a huge community service imo
Adair Chauveau: Thanks
madison Arnahan: Like this maybe ?
Sasun Steinbeck: Adair that's a great question, I don't really know, and don't think any studies have been done, but I would have to hazard a guess that there are a lot of "hobbyist" artists and art lovers in SL
Adair Chauveau smiles and nods. This is great!
Skylarian Isachenko: People forget, this is still the same people, we do not transform just because we come here
Sasun Steinbeck: I can tell you that for me, I was never interested in art until my rez day a long time ago
Lyrilen Moonshadow: is there some separation... some labelling or anything between galleries who show RL art in SL and those who show SL art in SL?
Skylarian Isachenko: A nit wit will still be a nitwit
Sasun Steinbeck: hm no Lyrilen, I don't have any kind of categorization like that, but that would be very cool
Skylarian Isachenko: Hmmm I show RL in SL, SL in RL, SL in SL, and mixed in both.
Adair Chauveau: I know some University Art classes in SL but they seem to not know much about groups like this.
Em Larsson: I became an artist in SL.. then a RL artist after that.
FreeWee Ling: Anybody selling SL art in rl?
Skylarian Isachenko: oh my yes
Armany Thursday: wow Em....awesome!!
Sasun Steinbeck: Yeah you know one consistent problem has been that group A doesn't know that there's a group B doing the same darn thing just abouit
Em Larsson: I do
Skylarian Isachenko: my calendars are one example
Mathilde Vhargon: I also became an artist in SL
Em Larsson: Just recently at a local show I had in RL I sold SL art.
Sasun Steinbeck: I think SL is a great place to spread your wings and become an artist
Skylarian Isachenko: in once sense SL is like using Poser and Bryce
FreeWee Ling: Cool. Calendar is a nice idea.
Skylarian Isachenko: the avatars are a lot harder to mange though
Skylarian Isachenko: they have minds of their own
Sasun Steinbeck: I think we have a bajillion ametuer photographers in SL :) which is a good thing
Armany Thursday: lololol Sky
Sasun Steinbeck: separating the junk frojm the good stuff can be challenging
Sasun Steinbeck: that's why I created the gallery ratings
Skylarian Isachenko: that is the case in anything,
Sasun Steinbeck: yeah true :)
Jayjay Zifanwe: there will be a unit called '21st Century Art' at UWA, and one of the lectures will be about art in SL
Skylarian Isachenko: splatter paint on a canvas and call it art
Krishanna Magic: Just like RL, Sasun ;)
Skylarian Isachenko: sigh
Sasun Steinbeck: excellent Jayjay that sounds very interesting
Lyrilen Moonshadow: my Exhibit Hall is for the 80% of the bajillion that don't show anywhere else - just to share the thrill of sharing their photos
Sasun Steinbeck: one thing I would love to see is more RL press about SL art... it happens from time to time, and efforts like Jayjay's at the UWA are doing wonders on that front
Mathilde Vhargon: Do you have any suggestions on how best to get visitors to rate the gallery and maybe leave a review on the kiosk. I get quite a few comments, but none seem to get put on the kiosk thing, and people aren't hitting the stars eigher
Mathilde Vhargon: either
Sasun Steinbeck: but it's been a long tough climb to legitimze virtual art as a real art form with RL critics
Sasun Steinbeck: I have a special rating kiosk I can give you
Sasun Steinbeck: the intent is to put it near the "exit" of your gallery so people see it on the way out
Skylarian Isachenko: yes, well you can blme some of that on the people using the programs to create garbage....
Sasun Steinbeck: and remember to rate the gallery
Sasun Steinbeck: also in your visitor counter, encourage them to click the stars to rate your gallery!
Lyrilen Moonshadow: people don't "leave" galleries in SL though... they port out
Sasun Steinbeck: so Im me and I'd be glad to send you one of those rating kiosks
Mathilde Vhargon: That will help
Em Larsson: I did a simultaneous RL SL event.
Mathilde Vhargon: Mine is at the entrance
Sasun Steinbeck: yeah that is a good point, Lyrilen
Em Larsson: Got an article in the local newspaper about it.
FreeWee Ling: It's all about building a reputation. Once people know what you do and like it, they'll start coming to you for interviews in the mags and blogs. .
Sasun Steinbeck: but having a few rating kiosks around will only help
Armany Thursday: gosh Em...love your story ?
GeeJAnn Blackadder: Sasun, before we end, could you comment on ways we could have the Artist be better known ?
Skylarian Isachenko: if you do not mind me advertising a little I will give you the link to the calendar?
Sasun Steinbeck: stick one in the back so people see it while they are exploring, that sort of thing
Jayjay Zifanwe: there will be more soon
Jayjay Zifanwe: in the Artists Chronicle
Jayjay Zifanwe: which is an RL publication
Skylarian Isachenko: I did do a presentation at an art club and computer club on sl art
Skylarian Isachenko: was rather fun actually
Skylarian Isachenko: http://skiesofchaos.deviantart.com/#/d35zw53
Jayjay Zifanwe: we have the editor Lyn DiCiero as a judge for the art challenge, and she's done one article in the december magazine, and a larger one now that she has immersed heself a liuttle
Skylarian Isachenko: mixed SL< RL
Adair Chauveau: Some arts like pottery and fiber arts some consider just crafts and not art at all. And SL is like technology same fight to be legitimized as real art.
Lyrilen Moonshadow: yes, my point is that you have to think carefully about where to place things like kiosks... because the traffic pattern is different than rl
Skylarian Isachenko: too bad you can not set exit points like you can landing points
Skylarian Isachenko: :)
Sasun Steinbeck: GeeJAnn I think lots of the things we have been talking about will help artists become better known. One thing I didn't touch on was the value of networking - if you're not the social type, I understand it's a chore to chat people up, but really it's SO important to talk to other artists, learn about them - they will remember you. And learn from them.
Sasun Steinbeck: Go to events. Socialize. Meet some gallery owners, find out if they are looking for an artist. Join the Art & Artist Network and look for notices for free or cheap gallery space. Get into more shows. Learn how to market yourself. It's hard, I know!
Skylarian Isachenko: Use FAcebook, Blogs and other media tools also
GeeJAnn Blackadder: Thank you, sound advice
Sasun Steinbeck: You have to stick with it and keep meeting new people. It will result in more invites to big shows, larger galleries, that sort of thing. Yes good point on the social media, leverage facebook, and you REALLY SHOULD have a blog for your gallery
Jayjay Zifanwe: yes
Ginette Pinazzo: yes other online presences are very important..offworld
Jayjay Zifanwe: until it was forced on me
Jayjay Zifanwe: io resisted having a blog
Sasun Steinbeck: if you put your blog's address into your Galleries of SL Kiosk config, I will automatically pick it up for my consolidated gallery feed at http://sasun.info
Jayjay Zifanwe: but its an integral part of the identity now
Sasun Steinbeck: so I'm helping on the blog front! take advantage of it
Bobbi Laval: I find one problem, is there are no common points of contacts for doing press releases in SL, there are so many bloggers and such, but unless you know them personally, if is difficult to send press release to bloggers you don't know are out there
Skylarian Isachenko: there are networked bloggs
Jayjay Zifanwe: Bobbi, what you need to do with bloggers you want
Sasun Steinbeck: Yes Bobbi that's a good point, it kinda come down to knowing which art blogs are the most popular that month. And they do come and go, so it's not easy
Jayjay Zifanwe: is to write to them personally
Jayjay Zifanwe: and talk to them about why what you're doing is interesting/important
Sasun Steinbeck: +1 for Jayjay, he's right
Jayjay Zifanwe: just sending press releases etc won't work too well
Sasun Steinbeck: they appreciate being notified of possible interesting things to write about
Jayjay Zifanwe: needs to be personal follow up
FreeWee Ling: Definitely. The personal encounter is key.
Sasun Steinbeck: just inc ase you do want to go the press release way, check out ow-To do a Press Release: http://www.publicityinsider.com/release.asp
Bobbi Laval: but thats what I mean Jayjay, there are hundreds of ppl out there blogging, and not so easy to find them
Jayjay Zifanwe: if there are hundreds
Jayjay Zifanwe: pick 5
Mathilde Vhargon: I am wondering what percentage of your time you 'successful' gallery owners and artists are spending on promoting and marketing, as opposed to creating and exhibiting the art. It would help to have an idea of proportions that work.
Jayjay Zifanwe: and work with them
Skylarian Isachenko: Chatting up Prim Perfect is a nice way to maybe get an article too
madison Arnahan: Here is one
Ginette Pinazzo: running your owj blog also helps you get into that circle, so to speak
madison Arnahan: http://palaisorleans.blogspot.com/
Adair Chauveau: I'd like to see a RL Gallery and SL Gallery mashup event. with screens of SL at the RL one and screens of the RL one in SL.
Sandra Lee (sandralee.palianta): http://2ndlife5.blogspot.com
Jayjay Zifanwe: chat lag... here is what i said 'If there are hundreds, pick 5 of your favourites and work with them'
madison Arnahan mastering the Art of Shameless Self Promotion
Em Larsson: I wish you had coem to my event Adair
Sasun Steinbeck: Good question Mathilde, I would guess most gallery owners and artists spend very little time promoting, so the people that do can really get ahead
Sandra Lee (sandralee.palianta): shamelessly
Em Larsson: It's not easy though.
Em Larsson: Does anyone use an agent?
madison Arnahan pretend to blush
Sasun Steinbeck: hahah shamelessly is right. Marketing and art do not necessarily go hand in hand. Either learn how or... work with someone that knows how
Em Larsson: Someone who can brag for you?
Skylarian Isachenko: I have in the past but in order to do so, I had to verify them in RL
Skylarian Isachenko: Never, ever trust anyone that will not verify with you in RL
Sasun Steinbeck: I'm getting short on time and I wanted to share this link, a random assortment of resources and tips that may be useful to you
Sasun Steinbeck: https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B0v5Imt1nZ9PYjdhMjcwOWEtODFkOC00NGRjLWE3ZDQtMzQzMTdmYzNkODgy&hl=en
Callipygian Christensen: It goes back to 'what are your goals'..between promoting andd creating it can eaisly beccome a full time job..so youhave to decide for yourself how important the two sides are and allot your time accordingly
Lyrilen Moonshadow: the networking starts with blog and flickr - you "follow" each other or become members of each other's groups
Sasun Steinbeck: Yes, get your art up on flickr, Deviant Art, Moolto, whatever works for you
Devilana Nirvana: I'm sorry I had to step away for a moment so I hope this is not a repeat question, as I try to scroll through what I missed....but is there a list of all the SL magazines other than just randomly finding them?
Sasun Steinbeck: It can be time-consuming to stay up to speed on all the social networking sites, but pick a few and stick with it
Adair Chauveau: Do those SL mags really help promote art?
Mathilde Vhargon: Do some of you have info or links regarding how to protect art that is pictured in a blog or on Marketplace, etc. or elsewhere for sale... to try to keep the image from being copied?
Sasun Steinbeck: hm Devilana, I would love to have such a list. One thing - you might search for this place called The Rack
Sasun Steinbeck: it has tons and tons of magazine kiosks
Sasun Steinbeck: it's the next best thing to a list
Lyrilen Moonshadow: I have the same question as Adair
Skylarian Isachenko: Low rez, its the most effective, and hidden watermarks
Devilana Nirvana: oh thank you, I will check it out.
Skylarian Isachenko: nothing can stop it being copies by screen shot
Sasun Steinbeck: advertising in magazines is something we haven't touched on, and I don't have much experience in myself, but that is a very interesting option
Devilana Nirvana: well designed watermarks help a great deal
Jewle Rae: I stepped away also ~ I highly recommend anyone interested in learning SL events attend those NIC event classes. Resources provided in them are updated for each session and yes, on the magazines, etc.
Sasun Steinbeck: oh thank you Jewle, does anyone have a website or other reference to the NIC classes?
Jewle Rae: You can IM me for the SURL. I'm such a ditz at this.
Adair Chauveau: Do watermarks and like COPY over the piece help with theft?
Mathilde Vhargon: Is there a place I can get info on how to make a good watermark that is effective?
Lyrilen Moonshadow: you can google it
Callipygian Christensen: I thinkit's NCI, new citizens incorporated, if anyone is earching for it
Lyrilen Moonshadow: there are lots of tutorials on watermarks
Skylarian Isachenko: you have to remember in here, is mostly low rez anyway
Callipygian Christensen: or searching..earching might be painful
Devilana Nirvana: there are several articles online that I have researched and found myself regarding watermarks
Sasun Steinbeck: I purposefully avoided the whole topic of IP protection, copyright, etc. etc. since we could easily spend a few hours on that alone :) But that's also a great topic area to research, how to protect your art
Skylarian Isachenko: so there are very few things you can really do if you put it on the net
Devilana Nirvana: I have a small program called Watermark that can watermark videos and pictures
Sasun Steinbeck: unfortuantely I'm out of time and wanted to thank anyone that needs to go
Jewle Rae: My friend who conducts the sessions is Any Gnoid
Skylarian Isachenko: maintaining proper legal records can help
GeeJAnn Blackadder: I think this is great dialog, and as Sasun said, would be well to discuss this in the group chat
Sasun Steinbeck: I will stay here for a bit but thanks for attending!
Jewle Rae: I've got to get to the machinima meet.
Clovis Luik: very good seminar
Araminta Kroitschov: thanks!
Adair Chauveau: Thank you for this class Sasun.
GeeJAnn Blackadder: Very good Sasun
Sasun Steinbeck: I will post the chat log in the ARt Gallery Owners group and on my blog
Mathilde Vhargon: Thank you
Devilana Nirvana: thank you Sasun..this was very helpful
Sasun Steinbeck: so it will be on record
Dyce Underwood: Thank you Sasun very much for the amazing info.
Sasun Steinbeck: thank you everyone I hope you learned a few things! And thanks for those of you that shared your experience
Lyrilen Moonshadow: Thank you Sasun!
FreeWee Ling: Thank you Sasun :)
Skylarian Isachenko: Your talks are always useful
Adair Chauveau: I was wondering about themes and niche art? Like styles trends ethnic? If there is a market for that in SL?
Jayjay Zifanwe: one day we want to hear sasuns voice too in the talks :)
Sasun Steinbeck: my next talk will be for the Art Gallery Owner's group and I'm trying to line up a feedback session with the other memebers of the LEA (Linden Endowment for the Arts) committee
Skylarian Isachenko: must be, there is market for ethnic avs and clothing
Clovis Luik: Niche art works very well for the adult art market
Sasun Steinbeck: the LEA was a bit dead for a while but is back with a new mission and we'd love to get your feedback!
Adair Chauveau: Good point Skylarian. Thanks
Sasun Steinbeck: Lots of cool plans and I hope we can share all that with you at an upcoming meeting
Callipygian Christensen: oh.is the mission posted somwehere?
Ginette Pinazzo: yay LEA!
Sasun Steinbeck: there are old links to the LEA announcement I can dig up, hang on. Our mission is still pretty much the same, just scaled back in a few key areas
Callipygian Christensen: oh, I have the old one somewhere..sorry, I misunderstood there being a new one
Em Larsson: Sasun.. thank you so much for doing this.
Sasun Steinbeck: no, we have not actually made a public announcement since the LEA was revived
Sasun Steinbeck: I expect that to show up on some official LL blog somewhere, so stay tuned
Callipygian Christensen: ah ok, thanks :)
Sasun Steinbeck: you're very welcome, thanks for coming and we can just keep on going for a little bit more unless there's another event we have to leave for, madison?
Bobbi Laval: I was kinda wondering what had happened with that
Sasun Steinbeck: yeah I'm actually very excited about it coming back to life, we are making progress and I know it sucks to be completely in the dark, but progress has been a bit slow
Sasun Steinbeck: it's just crazy difficult to coordinate a dozen people with RL jobs and schedules
Em Larsson: Thanks for all you do on behalf of art
Sasun Steinbeck: but we're doing it
Sasun Steinbeck: well thank you Em ;)
Sasun Steinbeck: I've been so excited to see the art community in SL grow in the last 5 years
Sasun Steinbeck: and mature
Em Larsson: I need to run.. but thanks again Sasun.
Sasun Steinbeck: thanks for coming!
Sasun Steinbeck: I had a great time
Bobbi Laval: take care Em
FreeWee Ling: Me too. Good night all. Thanks Sasun :)
Ginette Pinazzo: thanks Sasun!
madison Arnahan: big hand for Sasun Steinbeck
Mathilde Vhargon: Goodnight. Thanks for the great session!
Kalie Fang: me too, htnak you so much Sasun
madison Arnahan: thanks so much Sasun
Sasun Steinbeck: my great pleasure!
Elbereth Exonar: thank you
Sasun Steinbeck: thank you madison for coordinating this!
Luvi Unplugged-Lichlore (luvi.unplugged): Thank you, Susan
Callipygian Christensen: thanks Sasun, Madison
Sasun Steinbeck: madison when is the next talk?
madison Arnahan: Most welcome .. it is an honor
madison Arnahan: Elizabeth Weinberg will speak tomorrow. She is nicknamed the "Promotion Princess" good reason. She will speak on networking, some basics "effective cattle calls " ..and Event Planning.
Sasun Steinbeck: I'm so there
madison Arnahan: While she was curator here .we were selected as an SL Destination Guide pick ..
Sasun Steinbeck: excellent
madison Arnahan: Everyone would want someone like Elizabeth Weinberg on their team . thanks again to all .. please come again
Sasun Steinbeck: we didn't talk about that, I really don't know what the magic formula is for getting into the LL destination guide, which is another great way to promote your gallery
madison Arnahan: thanks once more Sasun
Luvi Unplugged-Lichlore (luvi.unplugged): Thanks, Madison
Clovis Luik: TY
Sasun Steinbeck: thank you madison!