Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snow Day & Advertising Online

Why I'm Home Today

Yakima got about 6" of snow yesterday morning. Yakima Valley Community College cancelled school around 4pm, we came home and played and shoveled but by then it had pretty much let up.

Snow. it looks white. They don't plow here.

I got up early this morning to get some things done (I ordered new media business cards for Larson Gallery) and ended up running just a bit late. As I ran upstairs to wake up my daughter, it occurred to me that I'd better check that her day care was open. I checked the YVCC homepage (which doesn't actually help me find out if her day care is open, since they follow Yakima School District closures) and was very surprised to see we were closed. After checking my e-mail and calling in (since I really couldn't believe we cancelled for 6 inches of snow that fell while I was on campus yesterday), I went back to getting ready and let my girl sleep in.

ooh, ahh. What a lovely (draft) of a new media business card you have there.

It has now been showing since 8:30 or 9:00 am and we've got about a foot total maybe. It was supposed to turn to freezing rain, but so far I've just seen the fluffy white stuff. Hopefully it stays that way. I heard a rumor that Yakima doesn't plow until there's at least 6" of snow, but I've also seen no evidence of snow plows on the roads around here.

I use the truck to gauge snowfall levels.

I have, of course, had a wonderful day home. My daughter and I tromped through the snow to the pharmacy and stopped to write her name and draw smiley faces in the fresh snow. On the way back, we made funny footprints and followed the freshest footprints home while trying to find our old ones that were almost covered in new snowfall by the time we got home an hour later.

Advertising & Marketing (as an artist and instructor)

I didn't do any real school work after I discovered it was a snow day, but in the early morning I talked to my mom, who had seen the new videos I posted on YouTube. I've had the YouTube page less than a month but I'd posted some throwing demonstration videos and some other clay demonstration videos I made this month and in the summer.

I had been envisioning the YouTube page as primarily a teaching tool. I have been thinking of the blog as both a teaching tool and a personal/art journal of sorts. As a professional artist I would direct people to both my website and my blog. As a teacher, I would direct students to the blog as a way to access particular demonstrations or explanations and also as a way to link to other interesting content.

With this school use in mind, I had linked my YouTube videos to my "Quick Links for Clay Classes" page on the blog but I hadn't bothered to include my name or information on the videos. I labeled them as throwing videos and figured they'd be used by just 10-30 students a quarter, depending who did their suggested homework.

My mom suggested that the videos were part of the overall marketing of the "Rachel Dorn Ceramics" brand. Okay, she didn't really say that. But as an artist, its important to remember that my online presence is one important way that the world can see me/my art. I haven't been doing this blog/YouTube a long time, and I certainly don't have it figured out entirely, but I keep discovering, in little "Ah Ha!" moments, that easy little things like labeling can make a big difference. (At least I think they can, I guess I haven't been doing this long enough to know.)

Maintaining the blog, linking to demonstrations, videos, interesting stuff, updating a YouTube channel or a website or a Facebook page, all of these are easy little things to do, but they're also difficult and large and multi-faceted. I remember reading a few months ago that to get stuff done you need to keep something really big and unpleasant on your "To Do" list so that in procrastinating that thing, you'll do all the other things. There seem to be a million little pieces that go into maintaining a useful online presences (I have no idea what half of them are and I haven't gotten around to doing most of them), but just keeping some of the plates spinning seems both exhaust me and give me a great sense of accomplishment when I do some of the tasks (like labeling my videos).

Somedays I would like to just take a personal snow day (or snow week) to get ahead. I'd spend some time linking and advertising and trying to bring more traffic to my new and improved blog and website. But I actually like what I spend most of my time doing. It's nice to have this hungry little monster as a supplement but I suppose if I did give it all my time, it would take all that and more.

One more snow pic: the mailman was here, like, 10 minutes before I took this picture, his tracks are already filling in.

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