This is the 1st quarterly Creative E-Marketing/Advertising/PR Meeting of the minds.

This is the 1st quarterly Creative E-Marketing/Advertising/PR Meeting of the minds. No animals were harmed in the execution of this meeting.

Welcome to the 1st Meeting of the Minds. I love services like Linkedin, facebook, etc….but those are only online. Everyone types their answers. I’ve wanted to create a community of creatives that would like to share information about how to best use this vast space we call the internet. It’s funny, but I sometimes only look at sites that I’ve bookmarked. I fall into a pattern of looking to the same sites, the same information all the time. The truth of the matter, is that there are sites going up every day that are putting up new information and new technologies. In my own bubble, it’s really a lot of work to keep up with all of these very informative and cutting edge sites/applications. So, that’s why I decided to start a quarterly Physical meeting(SHOCKING!!!) of creatives to share what we’ve all learned collectively. I think I keep pretty good tabs on what is going on, but there is SOOOO much out there. I feel I can educate others on what I know, but I would love to BE educated on what others in my and related fields know…

SOOO…myself, my friends, and creatives came out tonight to put out some helpful information on what programs/services/websites/tips/tricks, etc…we can all use to better get ourselves and our work out there.

You can click any of the images below to see the full size screen capture.

I’ve listed below some of the things that I started off the evening with. These are some websites, tips and applications that I use and think that most people would find helpful.

www.linkedin.com

Linkedin is of course, a great resource that most of us know about, but the tools within the site that have just come online recently can make it a better resource for you.

New application using Google Docs for linkedin. http://docs.google.com/
-Google Docs, (add .pdfs and other files from google docs…great for showing your portfolio). The only issue with this one is that you can only show one presentation at a time. You have to sign in to google docs, create a presentation, and then publish it. Once this is done, it will show up in your linkedin profile. In my example below, I exported a .pdf I had made of my work.


www.slideshare.com
– Slideshare is another .pdf application program for Linkedin, but what’s nice about this one is that you can have many .pdfs loaded and shown all within Linkedin. You have to sign up with slideshare.com to use this service. There’s really a lot to this service beyond it’s linkedin partnership, you should check it out…

– Blog Link: If you have a blog, you can now link it to your profile so it shows the three most recent blog posts. Just another way of adding to your profile and adding to your audience so more people view your blog.

– Also, for Linkedin, join groups and answer questions. It leaves your profile at many places where relevant people can randomly find it if they are browsing the groups. It’s important to really get into linkedin and find relevant groups where you may be able to network with the kind of people you want your profile to be seen by.

Just from my experience, linkedin referrals to my website tend to view more pages than the average viewer. I think this is because linkedin viewers are more likely to be business minded and interested in researching you or your company, so it’s a website you should try to explore and get the most out of.

Google Analytics: ( www.google.com/analytics/ )

Speaking of Visitors/page…how did I know that my linkedin viewers viewed more pages and spent more time on my site? Google Analytics. It’s a wonderful free service that tracks all kinds of information. Where people come from when they view your site, time on your site, which pages they viewed, what city/state/country your visitors came from…the list goes on. Suffice it to say that if you have a website, you should be tracking your traffic somehow. This is a great tool to better understand where your traffic is coming from and which websites are giving you the best visitors. If you have e-commerce(which I don’t), that’s a whole separate tracking issue that Google Analytics tracks that I’m sure would be invaluable to your business.

www.swiftpage.com

Swiftpage.com is a service I use for tracking the effectiveness of my email campaigns. Used correctly, you can really glean a lot of information from your email campaigns from when the user opened it to whether or not they clicked on your links(and how many times they clicked on your links).

ACT! by Sage (Contact Management Software): www.act.com

ACT! is a very good contact management program that, when used right, is an amazing tool. It takes a little while to get used to, but is another tool that I think is needed for anyone trying to keep track of hundreds, even thousands of contacts.

Swiftpage.com has a plugin that works with ACT! that makes sending mass emails out a breeze. You must have an account with swiftpage before doing this. Using both of these programs together has been very important for me to keep up with my data. It’s not a program for the feint of heart though. Prepare to spend some time with it, as it is a VERY robust program. Like most tools of it’s nature, the more you put into ACT!, the more you get out of it.


http://www.vimeo.com

Vimeo is a service I found recently through Rob Haggart’s blog, www.aphotoeditor.com (a must read!). I checked it out…added one of my videos and it looks to be a great service if you’re a videographer, or have videos that you’d like to get out there. You can also create video groups(communities). I found one that was interesting. It’s a collection of videos made on the Canon 5d Mark II. http://www.vimeo.com/groups/5DMarkII/videos. I’m personally looking to get the camera, so it’s nice to see the capabilities and what others are doing with it.


http://www.facebook.com
.I’m not going to go into this one too much except to say that if you’re not on here, get a profile, invite your friends. It’s strangely addicting and an excellent tool to keep in touch with friends. Just don’t accept everybody that adds you…becomes a mess after a while of people you don’t care about. I give people I don’t know my myspace.com address, which I don’t really use that much…lol. 😉

http://artefactstudio.com/
The vertict is not out on this service yet. I just signed up…looks to be one of the better self-publishing book services out there. I’m going to do a book with them and test out their services. I’ll post more after I’ve done my book.
http://knol.google.com/k
It’s a new service by google where people write about and publish whatever they like. A quick search here on how to make a photography book produced this article by Kent Ninomiya.

http://knol.google.com/k/ehowknol/how-to-get-a-photography-book-published/3a9e8hggiw4cz/259#

http://www.stumbleupon.com
Ok, this is just a kind of fun site that you can check out from time to time. You pick a category, say, “photography”, click “Stumbleupon”, and it takes you to one of the sites randomly. You can upload your own site to be in their listings as well. Effective, I don’t know, but it’s one of those things that once you do it, it doesn’t take any upkeep. Sometimes a fun site to visit and be surprised at what’s out there…

Ok, so that’s what I wanted to put out…below is what some of the group came up with.

Chris Miggles, a great photo assistant, if anyone is looking for one(http://www.chrismiggelsphotography.com) added these nice websites:

http://www.borrowlenses.com
A great resourse if you want to rent/lease lenses for long term use and don’t want to buy them…check it out. Sounds like a great service.

http://www.dripbook.com

Dripbook offers its worldwide community of professional visual artists the easiest, most stylish way to display, promote and distribute their portfolios online. It is also a very powerful networking site for many different types of creatives and resources in various industries. With the option of a premium account it allows you to have various ways of sharing your work by exporting beautiful flash websites, slide shows for HTML inserts, and export individual books as widgets you can place in blogs, and other Web sites. When you change your books on Dripbook, all your widgets, website etc. will change, too. It’s an easy way of managing your website fast and efficiently, without the headache. For an example of dripbooks final product check here www.chrismiggelsphotography.com

James thanks for the last night again man it was a lot of fun, and a good learing experience. So good to have so many creative people in the same room at the same time.


We discussed a few other portfolio sites….

http://www.aphotofolio.com, This is the service I use. You can see an example at my site, http://www.jamesweberstudio.com. I Love the site for it’s ease of use and large imagery. Administration is very well designed and intuitive. It has thumbs that come in from the side if you like browsing images like that. The entire left of the image when clicked will take you back, and clicking the right side of the image takes you to the next one. Very simple navigation. I hate those sites that make you click in the bottom right hand corner(some magazine sites). Customer service is quick and very accessible. I’d highly recommend it…also, they just added video capability to the sites. Look in the behind the scenes section of my site to see it(also can go full screen).

www.viewbook.com

www.foliolink.com, looks interesting…


I’ll be updating the blog later with comments from James Sullivan on:

http://www.1prophoto.com : A great resource for Photo Assistants and Digital Techs

http://www.trucemag.com : An online magazine for photographer’s personal projects…let the art flow…

– Search Engine Spider techniques on how to utilize keywording better in your html files so that your ranking goes up faster in google and other seach engines.

Robin Zachary of www.robinzachary.com
brought to us,
www.delicious.com, a social bookmarking site.

Hey James-
Thanks for all the great info Tues. nite.

So Delicious….www.delicious.com….

It’s a great way of collecting your favorite blogs and websites in one place and also sharing with others who have similar interests.

You can bookmark sites you like, categorize them by keyword and then through the delicious network others can see what you have bookmarked and check them out. You can search on a keyword through the entire delicious network too. It picks up a lot of blogs in addition to websites. It can suck hours of my time when I get going! But it’s been a lot of fun traipsing through cyberspace with it.

I have my bookmarkes organized according to type of stylist resources for my blog www.propcloset.com.

My account is under Robinbeth so you can look up me or any other user if you have their username.

I enclosed an image of my page. I’m sure you can do so much more with it than I even know. You can have your bookmarks visible on your blog and visitors to your blog can click on a delicous icon to bookmark it that way too.

You can write comments in your bookmark to so others can see.

That’s all for now!

Robin


Charles Flores, Creative Director at Jordache Jeans will be adding some great insight to what he sees from the client side…and in some cases, what he would like to see.

So that concludes the first, “Meeting of the Minds”. Look back later to see the last few presentations as James and Charles add in their Articles. I’ll be gearing up to do another one in two months. If you’d like to be on my list to be invited to the next one, email me at james@jamesweberstudio.com and I’ll put you on the list. The more the merrier. I’d love to get more people out that want to share their thoughts on our industry and things that can make the journey a little easier.

James Weber
http://www.jamesweberstudio.com
917-882-3724
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