"Every exit is an entry somewhere else." —Tom Stoppard

Email by Jason Peter Brown on April 12, 2007
Categories Filed Under: AISG WEBSITE

As you have noticed, the AISG website is undergoing a transformation. Of course, the obvious sign of this is the new site layout and design, but there are some other new features as well (with more to come as soon as we can muster it).

One of the main goals has been to add more value to the artist memberships. The old site had been more or less languishing for a while, and the justifications for renewal were limited by this. As a result, you may have noticed that our active artist list has been whittled down to just under half the amount it appeared to be only a few days ago. We think that this is only temporary as we have been working on a number of new features to help increase membership, including:

  1. The Galleries section is now organized into regions, which allows visitors to find stained glass artists in their area easily. The option still remains to view all of the artists for those who are browsing.
  2. The individual artist gallery pages show contact information right up top, including a link to your website. This means that visitors get the information they want right away, without having to scroll past images, biographical information, etc
  3. The individual artist gallery pages now feature a link to Google™ Maps so that visitors can quickly figure out how to reach your studio.

Other features that will be implemented shortly include:

  1. A random slideshow on the home & about pages of active artist work. This will allow visitors to access your gallery page if they should stumble across an image of your work that interests them.
  2. More information about each of your gallery works will be presented to vistors in a consistent format across pages, including Title, Dimensions, Materials, Year of Completion and Additional Comments.
  3. You will soon have the ability to update your biographical & image information online, whenever you have the need.

It is also our intention to keep the home page "buzzing" with new articles & information on a frequent basis. We also intend to publish articles and news items from the artists. A site with frequently updated content will attract more visitors, which means more eyes for your artwork (we currently average over 12,000 visits per month).

The most controversial move has been the introduction of Google™ AdSense advertising on some of the pages on the site. The current situation at AISG demanded that we look at different ways to support the continued development and maintenance of the site, as member support alone (currently 22 registered artists) could not justify those costs. We are aware that the displayed ads are not always relevant, and can distract visitors from the site, and as such we are doing the following:

  1. Experimenting with the colour, size and positioning of the ads to make them blend in as much as possible without affecting their effectiveness.
  2. Not placing any ads on any individual artist gallery page. We do not want to distract users from your work and contact information.We will continually monitor the advertising program against our statistics from previous years, to ensure that it is not pulling people away from the site prematurely.

Finally, we understand that any change in the status quo can be difficult to adjust to, especially initially. We hope that you understand that this is a work in progress and that all of these changes are being implemented to increase the value of this site for our artists & visitors. Please feel free to discuss the re-design at the forum, or by email with the web manager.