Today’s post examines and tosses around ideas for what didn’t work for Michelle Otero’s ArtSpark campaign while she was writing her memoir, Vessels.

In ArtSpark’s quest to discover how the internet and social media + face-to-face connections lead to sustainable artistic creative success, we made mistakes and overlooked the obvious. Here’s what Michelle offered to ArtSpark which, in turn, is offered to you in the spirit of learning along the way:

1. Technology: ongoing snafus with her WordPress blog and not having the time and expertise to fix it. Also, Michelle didn’t have the time to get up to speed on technology before her campaign started.

2. Social media: cross-posting – when/how to do it most effectively on Facebook and with other bloggers? Also, how to use Twitter successfully?

3. Tracking: no system to track the effectiveness of her campaign except Google contacts and notes. Michelle wants a system like tracking progress and contacts using Excel and exporting the file into Google docs. She also wants to learn more about analytics (e.g., Google analytics and Facebook insights) – both how to use them and what they mean.

4. Funding: no easy funding mechanisms for an individual artist. Paypal doesn’t allow many options, and none around donations to individual artists (who aren’t a nonprofit).

5. Start up: Michelle spent a lot of time on campaign development in November – it would have been helpful to have a system or template set up to guide her.

6. Timing: December was a crazy time of year to launch and carry out a campaign because of the holidays. It also would have worked better for her to end the campaign at the end of the year instead of the end of January.

7. Community: Michelle wanted more time to do in-person events with her community/team, like talking about their devotion practices and creative experiences over dinner (or even smaller gatherings more often).

Thanks, Michelle, for this feedback. You were the second ArtSpark project and campaign (516 ARTS Street Arts was the first). Like all kids that are born first (or second), there’s a learning curve that relaxes for the 3rd, 4th, or 5th child. Luckily, you’re game to give it a go again and have some really exciting plans in the works.

Stay tuned for Michelle’s suggestions for how ArtSpark could serve artists and their fans even better in the future…

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