Online Tools

List of current Resources

A Blog for your website

Why?
- a window into the daily life of your residency
- a tool for storytelling
increase your ranking on online search engines
- create press instead of waiting for people to write about you
immediate publishing, no waiting for your webmaster
- easy dialogue with your online audience with comments to your blog

Who?
- encourage your visiting artists to contribute, at least a few times during their stay
- anyone in your organization, not only the one taking care of the website

Which service?
The two most popular tools are:
- blogger.com (blogspot)
- wordpress (.org and .com)

There are many online articles that compare these and other services.
A good comparison article here: http://alternativenayk.wordpress.com/2007/01/03/which-blog-service-is-the-best-wordpress-vs-blogger-vs-livejournal/

Tags: storytelling, ranking, contribute, blog

A Blog for your website
 

Adobe Photoshop Express

What is it?
A free and simplified version of Adobe Photoshop (a high-end photo editing program). It allows you to crop, rotate, resize and adapt your photos. You can store them on their website (up to 2 GB) or on your own blog or Facebook page.

Why is it useful?
There are many places on the web to store your photos, but this site also allows to you improve them a bit. Very easy to organise photos and link them to other pages and has a very large amount of free storage.

Limitations
The editing tools are very limited. This does not replace a full-scale editing program for more advanced computer graphics people. Also, this program is still in BETA. (this means they are still working out a few things)

Link: http://www.photoshop.com

Tags: photo, online storage, edit

Adobe Photoshop Express
 

Being found on search engines

Search engines (such as Google, Yahoo or MSN) are the tools that most people use to find content on the internet. There are a few easy things that you can do in order to make it easier for search engines, and the millions of people who use them, to find the information on your site.

- submit your site directly to Google or Yahoo (www.google.com/addurl , http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.htm)

- encourage others to link to your site; related organizations, local arts councils, past residents’ personal pages (see who is linking to you now by typing in ‘link:www.yourwebsite.org’ into goggle search)

- get listed with arts and culture databases in your region and internationally; for example www.labforculture.org or www.communityarts.net or www.transartists.nl

- identify key words for your page, for example ‘artist residency Mexico’ and place these keywords in prime locations on your site, such as headlines and section titles, linked text and metadata (which has to be incorporated with the html coding of your site, ask your webmaster about this)

- update your site often, adding new news, stories, images and other content to your site often will encourage the engines to visit frequently and boost your rating.

For more detailed information see : www.idealware.org/articles/found_on_search_engines.php
Or do a search yourself for ‘search engine optimization’

Link: http://www.idealware.org/articles/found_on_search_engines.php

Tags: website, traffic, search engine

Being found on search engines
 

Being Found on Search Engines 2

Are funders, artists, potential collaborators, participants and volunteers finding the information on your website?

Here are a three simple things you can do to improve the visibility of your website:

- Check that your website is listed in appropriate online directories and databases - city guides, nation-wide art space directories, global/regional information databases. If these sites require that you have a profile, make sure the texts and contact information are up to date. Also, ask related organisations, friends, project partners to add a link to your site. The more connections you have to and from your site, the more likely it is to be found

- Regularly update your website - search engines seek out new information, they will visit your website more often if there is something new to find.

- Target specific key words and use them on as many pages within your site as possible. Use these key works in headlines, titles, within linked text, in the page URL or as metadata.


For more detailed information, here is an excellent article written specifically to help arts and culture organisations be found online : Article : 10 Steps to Being Found on Search Engines

(the above graphic is a visualization of the Res Artis website using an applet by Marcel Salatjhe. Create an graph of your own site here : www.aharef.info/static/htmlgraph)

Tags: website, traffic, search engine, directories

Being Found on Search Engines 2
 

Doodle

A web-based tool to find suitable dates and times among a group of people. The creator chooses the possible dates and times and sends a url web link to the participants. The participants can choose the times that work for them. The results are visible to everyone. There is also a choice of many different languages and time zone support.

It is incredibly simple to create polls and respond to them. There is nothing to download or sign up for. The results are available online as a chart, visible to all participants. You can also use Doodle for any other kinds of polls.

Link: http://www.doodle.ch

Tags: meeting, application

Doodle
 

Facebook - groups and pages

What is it?

Facebook is one of the most widely used social networking websites. Users can create a profile, link to friends, send messages, join groups and networks and use integrated tools such as the calendar, photo posting and dozens of other 3rd party applications.

Facebook is widely used in the international art and culture world as a way to spread information and attract new audiences. One can create a group or page for an organistaion, easily posting upcoming events, links, photos and news which are accessible to the global facebook audience. Facebook users can join your group, or become a fan of your page, receiving all the latest updates to your page in their own profile and email box.

Facebook Group vs Facebook Page

Facebook Pages were created so users could directly connect to brands, artists and organizations. Pags have ‘fans’ while groups have ‘members’.

Both Groups and Pages allows posting of photos, videos, upcoming events and news. Both have a wall and discussion board.

Pages:
- logo more prominent, able to maintain a professional distinction and profile
- most visible content is coming from the organization, not from your ‘fans’
- pages let you measure your traffic
- updates are listed as being from the organsaion, not from you as an individual
- you can have an RSS feed on the page
- you can send 'updates' not messages to members
- supports external blog updates and applications


Groups:
- more focused on the group members and their activity
- ‘invite friends’ function for group members
ability to message all members, up to 1,200 members
- searchable by keyword

Link: http://www.facebook.com

Tags: social networking, pages, groups

Facebook - groups and pages
 

Google Alerts

Google Alerts are a good way to understand your presence on the web. You can set an alert for your organisation's name, the title of your latest exhibition or any other word or phrase. The alerts will come to you in your email inbox. The emails will let you know every time your chosen phrase appears in a website, blog or news feed

By understanding who is writing about you, it is easy to monitor and update your information online. Also, it is always interesting to know about others also using your name or phrases for other purposes.

Link: http://www.google.com/alerts

Tags: alert, email, internet

Google Alerts
 

Newsletter & emailing services

Once your email list gets larger than a few hundred people, it becomes time consuming and inefficient to use a normal email program. There are some things to consider when choosing a program or service to send bulk mails.


Free Services
- Advantages: no commitment/subscription, free
- Disadvantages: advertisements at the bottoms of emails, limited number of recipients and emails per month
- A good choice: the free versions of Sendblaster (http://www.sendblaster.com/) or Your Mailing List Provider (http://www.yourmailinglistprovider.com/)


Monthly fee services
- Advantages: no limit, no advertisements, many styling options, ability to send attachments, good reporting
- Disadvantages: reoccurring cost
- A good choice: Your Mailing List Provider (http://www.yourmailinglistprovider.com/)


Purchasing software
- Advantages: one-time cost, many sending options
- Disadvantages: high one-time cost
- A good choice: Sendblaster (PC Only)(http://www.sendblaster.com/), 1st Mac Mailer (Mac Only)(http://www.softheap.com/1stmacmailer.html), and Listmessenger (http://www.listmessenger.com/)

Tags: service, newsletter, email

Newsletter & emailing services
 

Newsletter & emailing services 2

If you are tired of sending out your newsletters and emails ‘249 per hour’ from your regular email account, here are some programs and services to consider. These allow you to maintain statistics, use email and newsletter templates, track who is opening your mails and have many options for maintaining and organising your mailing list. You can also allow visitors to your website to directly subscribe and unsubscribe to your list.

There are two basic options

Monthly Services
services for which you pay a set amount each month according to your list size

A good choice: Vertical Response
www.verticalresponse.com

- newsletters, emails and surveys
- marketing calendar
- connections to Yahoo, Google, AOL to ensure delivery
- email design and creation tools.
- tracking and reporting of mailings
- 10 USD per month for lists up to 500, 28 USD for up to 2000, see website for other prices
- special NGO program, up to 10,000 mails per month for free. (any registered NGO or association in any country will be considered)

Also consider www.constantcontact.com
And www.mailchimp.com

One-time-download program
downloadable programs which generally allow you to send unlimited mails to unlimited number of people

A good choice: phplist
www.phplist.com

- custom subscriber fields integrated into your website
- free download
- unlimited subscribers
- import/export tools
- multiple administrator accounts
- email tracking and analytics
- a bit tricky to set up

Here is quite a good list of all options at this time:

Link: http://www.allwebdesignresources.com/webdesignblogs/graphics/email-newsletter-and-mass-email-sending-services-sites/

Tags: newsletter, email services

Newsletter & emailing services 2
 

Skype

Free services
(with online Skype users worldwide)

- Chat sessions (instant messaging), live typed-out conversations
- Phone calls
- Video calls (voice and video)
- New! : Live screen sharing (the other person can see your computer screen)
- File transfer (no size limit)
- Conference calls for up to 10 people, can also include people using land-lines or mobile phones

Cheap Services
(to anyone worldwide)

- Phone calls from your computer to landlines and mobile phones (pay-as-you-go, or subscription)
- Sms messages from your computer to mobile phones
- Forward your skype calls to your mobile when you’re not at your computer
- Your own online phone number, based one of 25 countries. Others can call this number from their regular landlines or mobile phones
- Voice mail, retrievable anywhere in the world
- You can use Skype calling services on your mobile phone

Other tools and services

- Skype for Business
- there are several downloadable programs to record your voice and video conversations (both free and paid software)

Link: http://www.skype.com

Tags: phone call, online, conference call, chat

Skype
 

Survey Monkey

A site to design and distribute online surveys, with either a free or low-cost subscription. (professional subscription is $19.95 / month) The survey is stored online, so you can simply send a link to your mailing list instead of a large file.

Why is it useful?
The interface is very easy to use, you can create a basic survey very quickly. You can set up the survey to skip questions based on the responses to previous questions. It offers email lists for custom invitations and many choices in exporting the data.

Limitations
There are a limited amount of question types and you have to download the results in order share them. The free account is limited to 100 responses per survey and lacks accounts for multiple users.

Other options
Zoomerang - more advanced, very expensive, excellent data analyzing (http://www.zoomerang.com/)
StellarSurvey - inexpensive, no design templates (http://www.stellarsurvey.com/)

Link: http://www.surveymonkey.com

Tags: survey, tool, online

Survey Monkey
 

Tech Soup & Tech Soup Global

Tech Soup is 'The Technology Place for Nonprofits' offering discounts, discussions, an extensive learning center, news, a blog and a free weekly newsletter. They provide consultation to select, implement and sustain the technological needs of organisations.

Tech Soup offers the 'Tech Beginner's Guide' and a Free Downloads section. TechSoup Global helps NGOs obtain donations of essential technology products. This program is quite similar to their North American program: TechSoup Stock which distributes donated and discounted technology products.

You may join Tech Soup and then register your organisation.

Link: http://www.techsoup.org

Tags: tools, software, online tools, nonprofits, downloads

Tech Soup & Tech Soup Global
 

Vimeo

A video hosting service with community.

Most videos hosted on Vimeo are original content; artists videos, films or documentation of events and projects.

Features:

Free service:
- 500MB/ week upload space
- 1 HD upload per week
- waiting time (usually about 30 min)

Upgrade service: $59.95/ year
- priority upload
- 5 GB/week upload space
- unlimited HD upload
- unlimited groups, channels & albums
- no ads
- full player customization

Advantages:

- very high quality viewing, easy upload, easy embedding
- ability to create channels, groups, forums and albums
- intimate audience, mature artistic community
- videos stored and played in original format (not encrypted like on YouTube) (h.264 or mpeg is best)
- clean design, well organized, good statistics
- only 1 advertisement (free version) (ads not inserted into videos)
- no time limit for videos, though a size limit for free accounts

Disadvantages:

- not a huge audience like Facebook and Youtube
- a waiting time for video upload (in the free version only)
only in English, users can’t choose the language they use

Link: http://www.vimeo.com

Tags: website, video hosting, video, service, community

Vimeo
 

Zamzar

A free online file conversion service for documents, videos, audio files, images and zip files. You can upload a file to their website, and receive a link to the converted file later in your email in-box.

Zamzar handles online conversion of practically every type of file into any other type of file. Instead of downloading many different conversion programs for specific file types or paying to have them converted, using Zamzar, there is no programs to install, it is free, you can convert files up to 100 MB and there is no sign-up required. It can also convert web video directly from sites such as YouTube

Link: http://www.zamzar.com

Tags: website, file conversion, file, conversion

Zamzar