Running a website can be a interesting experience. I don't consider myself a blogger or as someone who runs a website, but these are some of the tings that go along with being a professional photographer. My website and blog are marketing tools for me. My goal with them is to increase awareness of my photography, or my brand if you will. There are a lot of tools that Squarespace, my web hosting service, have to help me know what content is most popular and where people are coming from. One of these tools tells you the searches used in Google that lead them to my site. Apparently I'm funny because the one person that got to me had "funny" as one of the search criteria.
A bit about search engines, when you start a website, the very first thing that happens is you start to get a shit ton of phone calls from companies offering to get you to be a first page search result for google. Now, you can get to be a first page search result without paying somebody, but it takes a long time. My site will become a first page result when it is popular enough to be a first page result. Today the only way to get me on a front page of a search is to ask for me by name. But there is one other way, I guess you can get me as a front page result for the search term "annanaked an d funny". I have to wonder what exactly the person was looking for, but I'm glad they tried to find it here, I can use the clicks.
Becoming a well known photographer is not that different than getting well known at anything... you just have to practice and keep doing it. Want to get your photography noticed, it isn't about taking 1 amazing picture and kicking back, it's about making good photos over and over again for a long time as you slowly build a following. Getting a following for you photography website isn't any different. It's not about having the 1 great portfolio shot and that 1 really well written blog post, you have to grind away for a long time. This is sad in that I've only been at this for a few months at this point, but it's hopeful in that if I do this long enough then I will definitely build something worth following.
Something that has been going on for a while now and is absolutely worth following is the Portland comedy scene. For years now, the scene has been building itself with better venues, better events, and has become both the home of some amazing talent grown locally and also a must stop market for national acts.
I've always been a fan of stand up comedy. Growing up in Portland, if you wanted to see or hear a good comedian you had to follow the New York or LA comedians. Not to fret, they will eventually make it to Portland if they're a big enough act, after all I saw Pauly Shore and Jim Carey do stand up here in the very early 90's. Everybody else that came to Portland seemed to be full of hack jokes about how much pot we smoke in Oregon. This got me in the bad habit of only following the biggest acts. Or maybe it is the sense of humor that I learned in the Marines that got me to only follow the raunchiest and most offensive comedians out there. I was finally able to break that habit this last year when I finally discovered Portland comedy had changed.
It started with the Bridgetown Comedy Festival. This has only been going on a couple years now, and it is destined to be huge in the future. For a long weekend in the spring, several venues all around Portland become the home to some of the best stand up available. This festival is great not just as a draw for national acts like Laura Kightlinger (who was big in the early 90's and is still just as good looking as she was then, not that that matters), Todd Glass, Dana Gould, Reggie Watts, and many others, but it also serves as a showcase for our homegrown (not a pun, enough hack stoner jokes already) talent.
Since that awakening, I've had many other chances to both photograph and see perform a little bit of the Portland comedy scene, and man is it going good. We are currently at a time that will be remembered as either the great flash in the pan when Portland was hip and comedy was world class for just a bit, or we're at the beginning of the golden age of Portland comedy. If we support the scene it will grow, if we ignore it will travel to LA and NY. Act now and you can see the next big national act before they are cool in true Portland hipster style!
Enough about comedy for now. Go check it out. In the mean time, keep coming back here for the best in annanaked an d funny!