2021 AFI Redesigned ... What do you Think?

9438310492?profile=RESIZE_400xTechnology is relentless. The company that hosts Art Fair Insiders said it would disappear if we didn't update the site with their new software. We built this site in 2011 and it was easy to edit and stay in touch. It certainly has been helpful:

  • 16,500 members from across the country in all media, pros and newbies alike sharing information
  • 7100 blog posts covering every topic you can think of
  • Oodles of discussions, really helpful information, including my favorite when members helped the police track down someone in Minnesota who was passing bad checks.
  • Over 50 podcasts with guests who really knew their stuff.
  • Friendships made and tents sold

The bad news: Change is a bitch and now you have to learn a new way to navigate the site.

The good news: Some changes have been made that should make it easier to share your information, some that you have asked for over the years.

A few the good things: 

  1. Members can edit their comments in the discussions and blogs (not just us folks who run the site)
  2. In the forum/discussions it is necessary to choose a category to publish your info. In the past discussions were often posted in the "wrong" categories. What works well now is that you write your article and then at the end you can choose the correct category, there is a place to click. I like that.
  3. Supposedly we'll be able to give "star ratings" for the good stuff. I haven't seen this function yet, we'll see if it actually works.
  4. It is easier to write "tags" for your blogs and discussions so others can find your fine work.

Not, one of the good things, because it will cause some work on your part. When you go to "My Page" it looks kind of bleak. This is your chance to be a designer ... not only can you upload an image of yourself, and we hope you do, but you can also add a large image of to show off your work or some other meaningful object to personalize it even better. Here is "My Page" ...  How do you do this? See the "options" in the upper left hand corner? That's the place. 

Let us know in the comments below how this is working for you and any changes you'd like us to make. We really need your help.

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  • Connie,  I am fine with old fashioned.  The one thing I don't like about the new site is that there are next to no margins. A little white space around the edges is somehow easier on my eyes.  And it should be very easy to implement. 

    • Thanks, Frank. I've really tried to clean up the clutter here and continuing to search for ways to streamline.

  • this does not make me want to jump in an look around, you should try to be a little more positve and excited about the changes. Just think about it like this, yes change is a bitch as you say but if we don't change there would be no such thing as a podcast and yet you are prooud of the "over 50..." that have grown from the site. 


    Embrace the new tech and USE it to help us! 



    • Good points, Eric. Very good. A reminder from the once upon a time when I had a job and had that same critique. Hmmm.

      • well, we are creatures of habit, LOL. Thanks for all your work! 

  • Updating to new tech is always a pain and never fun,... unless you are a tech nerd like my son.

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to go through such an arduous process
    I am not sure yet about the functionality yet as I have not played around enough to know if anything is missing but I do have some (hopefully) constructive criticism about the appearance. 

    The site still looks old and dated. I has the appearance of a website that was made in 2005. I would suggest designing it with a cleaner fresher look. It feels very cluttered. take out all the unnecessary things like the paper texture move all the social media and share buttons to the bottom all on the same side. Consolidate all the link heading at the top of the page. use a drop-down menu if you want more options than fit in one row. I just did a google search for " clean modern websites" and a lot of good examples come up. Also, I think the art fair industry is suffering a bit from "oldness" most artists in this business are getting pretty up there in years. There are not enough younger people entering. One reason is that when you go to a fair and look at the artists, most seem to have beautiful silver hair. This would be good news if the attendees are looking for wisdom but it tends to make younger artists think that this is something you do when you retire.
    This is exactly what a young person would think when visiting this site, "old"
    Anyway, that's my 2 cents. Thank you, Connie! I do appreciate all that you do!

    • Thank you, Eric! All good suggestions. I'll see what I can do to streamline this. I am hampered by the widgets built into the software that will make some of those ideas tricky. I've tried and tried to get that paper texture out of there. You took a lot of time to come up with these ideas. I'll do follow up on these.

      Last year we rebuilt our site callsforartists.com and used Squarespace and we're pretty pleased with the results of that. There was a lot more freedom for design on that one.

      • Seems strange to me that the host updated the technology but that does not come with a modern way to make your site like Squarespace or WIX? 

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