January 10, 2013 | Volume 43, No. 1

Classes focus on websites

A local website specialist is seeking to share his expertise with Haines artists interested in either breaking into the online market or increasing the effectiveness of their sites.

James Alborough of Bear Star Web Design will conduct a series of four, free one-hour classes through February. Each class will focus on a different element of web marketing such as search engine optimization, how to best use social media like Facebook, and website creation and maintenance.

“We’re giving artists a way of getting their work advertised and sold, and maybe they can get some money out of it,” Alborough said.

Debi Kennedy owns the Forget-Me-Not Gallery in Fort Seward, where she sells her sterling silver jewelry, sculptures, and other crafts. Kennedy has a website for her business, but for some reason it isn’t getting the traffic she had hoped for, she said.

“You can get a wonderful website made, but getting those things to work well...that’s where the problem comes in for me. It’s so much more complicated than one would think, playing the game of Internet sales,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy said one of the things she is most interested in learning about is how to use Facebook to maintain connections between her business and customers.

“When tourists come into my shop over the summer, we start talking and talking. There’s a great connection, but how do I get it to stay?” she said.

Kennedy signed up for the class when she heard about it through Carol Tuynman, who organized the workshop. The project is a collaborative effort initiated by the Alaska Arts Confluence and 7 Echoes Homestead.

Interested artists can sign up for the workshop at the library. Classes are limited to 15 participants.