Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Web hits and eyeballs

A free webcam came with a used computer I bought four years ago. It came with a collection of cables I didn't need and a bundle of stuff the seller told me was a webcam. Sure, whatever.

My friend Jennifer is a professional web manager and she kindly offered to take on my website as a volunteer project, she's performing SEO (search engine optimization). Just imagine, I'm being optimized. Just about every teacher I even had at school tried that on me as well. It never worked. I remained un-optimized for the duration of those boring years shut up in school classrooms. It's different with my friend, she's engaged in optimizing an area I'm passionate about: my art sales.

Nurturing and increasing art sales directly from a website is a wonderful goal. I'd like to see those sales grow along with sales through galleries. Both are important in the same and different ways. Giving exposure to my gallery partners via my web site helps them and sales from my web site helps them and me.

The work I'm doing with my SEO-wise friend looks like this: some days I don't have to do a thing and other days she actually wants me to work. That's all well and good but this is all new to me and I have very little clue about what I'm doing. My part is to just answer her questions to help her understand the vision I have for my art on and off the web. Anyway, she was willing to do this mysterious SEO work and I'm very grateful that she wants to play around with it and wave her magic wand over my life-on-the-web for the eventual good of my art life and online art sales. It's all about hits. Who ever thought the day would come when we would want hits? I thought we wanted to avoid hitting. Sheesh.

Next, my friend suggested we cam-conference. It sounds harmless. I think, "Crikey! what the hell is that about" but I'm game. I tell her I think I've got one - a web camera. I hunt around to find my webcam (looks like someone lost an eye). Next I dig around on the web and download Skype (even my New Zealand grandmother's been using Skype for about six years). Then I go to the Logitech site and download the XP driver for the eyeball. I'm all prepared now. I'm wondering why. But I am prepared. I install the eyeball driver, then Skype, sign on, answer questions that will affect how the Skype world deals with me...like, whether my eyeball is always watching me...or not. That's a big one, hey? I chose "not" but keep looking at it to see if it's following me.

I waved my mouse over the whole shabang, including the eyeball and, wonder of wonders, my ugly mug showed up on my computer screen. Well, I never!

My SEO-wise friend and I ended up phone conferencing after all. Her eyeball wouldn't work properly. How do I feel? Well, honestly, I feel more complete as a human being and, anyway, grandmother Kuia Marion will be so proud of my new technical skills.

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