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Just Plain Flash

Member: Jodi Krangle Email: jodi@musesmuse.com

Jodi Krangle is a singer/songwriter from Toronto Canada and the creator of The Muse's Muse Songwriting Resource: www.musesmuse.com. She's been performing and writing songs in her quirky folk group, Urban Tapestry (www.inkspot.com/ut) for over 6 years. In her day job, she's Advertising Manager & Webmaster for a small high-tech computer company in Silicon Valley North. In her spare time, she can often be found doing studio vocals, writing songs, though not as often as she'd like (join the club!) and working on her web site until the wee hours of the morning.

As I considered adding some Mentors to Just Plain Folks in areas that we didn't have covered, I wanted to find someone who had knowledge of web site work as well as an interest and involvement in music and songwriting. Jodi, who created one of the best songwriters resource sites was a perfect candidate. So I called her up in the nether regions of North America (Canada to be exact) and tried hard to convince her that she should become our "All Things Canadian" and "Musical Website" expert by explaining my philosophy that you don't have to know the answer to everything, you just have to know where to find it. She relented as I hoped she would and I am proud to introduce her as our newest Just Plain Mentor. We are all using the Internet, and many of us hope to incorporate a web site into our marketing plans for our music. Below Jodi offers her thoughts and some actual tips to help your pages!

It's Not About Flash by New Mentor Jodi Krangle

If you've been reading around, both on the Internet and off, you'll probably have come across a lot of people giving you a lot of advice about how to make the best web sites. Web sites that *work*. Everyone has a differing opinion, but I'm going to reiterate something I feel is extremely important for you to keep in mind as you modify your existing sites or create new ones. Content is king. It's a simple concept. A lot of people ignore it in favor of what I call "flash." That is, they have lots of animated images, sparkly bits and blinking text that draws viewers' attention away from the information they came to the web site to see in the first place. On the Internet, it's all about appearances. It's a horrible thing to say - but then, you guys
are in the music business. You know precisely what I mean. A professional web site says a lot about an artist, just like a professional photo or a series of rave reviews. But making a professional web site doesn't have to be difficult. Simple graphics that highlight the content will work wonders. Depending on what you want to do with your space on the Internet, one page may even be enough to accomplish what you need to. For instance, a bio, upcoming engagements listing, a series of reviews, photos and song samples can all be included on a single page. The trick is to make that page easily navigable. Use what I call "anchors." Have a menu at the top directing the viewers to the various sections of the page through one click of the mouse. The HTML code for this is very simple. Say your title is "Upcoming
Engagements." You have a graphic for this title. Just before this title, insert the code:

and you've created yourself an anchor beside that image. You could, of course, call that anchor anything you like - but make sure it's only one word. The menu link on the top would then be:

Upcoming Engagements

and if someone clicks on that link, they'll be automatically brought to the place in your page where the #upcoming anchor had been placed. This method works well for any pages on your web site that might be a bit lengthy. Make sure that you also have a link at the end of each section that will take the viewer back to the main menu with the click of a mouse - and voila! You have a web page that has all your information in it and is very easy to get around in. No flash needed. You give your viewers what they want to see - information about you.

Obviously, not everyone will be happy with one page, but if you're starting from scratch, it's certainly a good place to start. For an example of how this works, take a look at my own Recording Resume at http://www.musesmuse.com/jodi.html or another page I put together for Sam Baardman at http://www.musesmuse.com/sb/. Look at the source code for the pages. Feel free to copy that source code and input your own information and graphics if you think it'll help.

I look forward to answering your questions in the future!