How to prevent email spam when putting your email address in your website

I’m a web designer who created and manages a fairly large and well-visited directory website promoting the art community in my region, the Southern Oregon Artists Resource, and its companion blog, Art Matters!. Both sites, but particularly the directory site, have a lot of other people’s email addresses in each page, and from the outset I wanted to protect them by obfuscating their email addresses.  I use a script written by James Crooke for this, and use a plugin called “emOba” (for “email obfuscator”) in the WordPress sites I build. Of course, making sure you pay the extra little bit for domain privacy when setting up your website’s domain name is also extremely helpful, and I recommend doing both to protect your identity and reduce the time it takes to manage your inbox.

If you’d like to try the technique I use at soartists.com, first copy this chunk of code and place it in the <head> section of your page:
<script language=”JavaScript” type=”text/javascript”>
// Script Originally by SSI Developer (www.ssi-developer.net)
// Modified by James Crooke of CJ Website Design (www.cj-design.com)

function protectmail(name, address, link, subject, body) {

document.write(“<a href=’mailto:” + name + “@” + address + “?subject=” + subject + “&body=” + body + “‘>” + link + “</a>”);

}
</script>

Then, in the part of the code corresponding to where you would like the email link to appear in your page, place this chunk of code, edited to reflect your own email address and without the line breaks you see here:
<script language=”JavaScript” type=”text/javascript”>protectmail(“webmistress”,”hannahwestdesign.com”, “Click here to email”, “RE: I found you at the Southern Oregon Artists Resource and wanted to ask a question”, “Hello Hannah,”);</script>

You can see there is no “@” in the email address, the key feature that tips off the spambots to an address they should harvest. It also gives you the opportunity (as addressmunger does) to put custom text for the link, custom text in the subject line and a greeting in the body of the email that will pop up when a visitor to your site clicks the link.

There is another service online called addressmunger.com. Nice service, very similar technique, and easy to use for those who want to generate some code to use, but as a web designer who is also concerned about the amount of code in a page that is not readable by good web bots (like Google’s) I think it’s a little code-heavy.

Workshop Update – Week One Feedback

Hannah West Design logoThe first few workshops in my new roster (image editing & working with WordPress, both for beginners) have gone sooo well this week! I’m getting great feedback on the quantity of information I’m offering, patient and effective instruction, value of the information presented for the price, and even my teaching style. It’s so rewarding to see artists move from apprehension and self-doubt to having fun using their newly acquired skills so quickly, and I’m proud of the progress last week’s participants have already made.  Check out my calendar for current workshop dates and, whether you plan to DIY or need to feel more confident when dealing with your own webmaster, let me help you take control of your online presence!

By request of two of last week’s participants, I’m announcing that the Image Editing Practice Session for Beginners has been extended  to include two dates each month indefinitely, on Thursdays from 10am – 12:30pm. Those who need help with their image editing skills can drop in for a practice session whenever they can, or join the two current participants for a weekly session where supervised practice will hone your skills and help commit them to memory. I will be happy to add an additional ongoing practice session where you can bring your questions, learn more, and practice your image editing skills with me there to help you on a different day/time, as I’ve heard from several artists who can’t make it on a Thursday.

Please email me or use Doodle to request a new date and/or time and I’ll add it to my calendar.

Image Editing Software from Adobe and Corel

I have affiliate relationships with both Adobe and Corel, which I initiated simply to make a few bucks if anyone who would like to attend a workshop wants to purchase the image editing software they need. Most are inexpensive, but there are premium selections here too. Some are for downloadable versions of the software, some are in the box; follow the links to the company website to order them in the version you prefer.

Photoshop Full Version  $699.00
Adobe Photoshop
Photoshop Elements Full Version $99.99


Photoshop Elements-Full

Corel PaintShop Pro Ultimate Download $69.99
PaintShop Pro X5 Ultimate

Corel PaintShop Pro X5 download $59.99
PaintShop Pro X5

Adobe Special Offers page:

Adobe

Why Art Matters in Jacksonville

Hannah West, Anne Brooke & Arlis Duncan

Three years of promoting the arts community of southern Oregon through the Southern Oregon Artists Resource and of Jacksonville as a board member of Art Presence and curator of the art exhibits at GoodBean Coffee have shown me that the arts bring more benefits to our communities than many realize. I’d like to share what I’ve learned about how art affects our community and hope this will rekindle an appreciation that becomes a deeper commitment to supporting the arts in Jacksonville.

The arts have been made and practiced as long as there have been humans. They are key to children’s cognitive and physiological development, and the expressions of abstract thinking, sequencing, and eye-hand coordination needed to make art prepare young minds for mastery in reading, language and mathematics. Integrating the arts into core subjects helps students achieve better understanding, learn faster and retain information longer. Creative problem-solving and collaborative skills gained through training in the arts give kids the edge they need to succeed in the new knowledge-based economy and participate in the rise of the creative class. A new emphasis on the arts in education reflects the fact that creativity has become a valued asset to employers in many industries.

Art also has proven value in healing, and we are fortunate to have some incredibly effective nonprofits putting art to work on behalf of the most vulnerable in the Rogue Valley. From children recovering from abuse and kids battling cancer to adults with cognitive challenges or contending with degenerative diseases, art therapy is providing relief from symptoms, positive self-esteem, better communication, recovery from physical and emotional trauma and open doors of opportunity. All these contribute to a healthier community.

Results from the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV™ study in June 2012 showed that economic activity generated by the arts results in $135.2 billion in total economic activity to the nation’s economy and supports 4.1 million full-time jobs. After reading the study’s results, the U.S. Conference of Mayors urged mayors across the country to invest in nonprofit arts organizations as a catalyst to generate economic impact, stimulate business development, attract tourists and area residents to community activities, and improve the overall quality of life in America’s cities.

Additional 2011 and 2012 studies have so firmly established the contribution of the arts to the economy that government at every level has implemented programs for investments in the arts in education and nonprofit art centers, as well as entrepreneurial support for individual artists.

In Jacksonville we know cultural tourism is essential to our local economy, but it turns out that arts and cultural tourism is the fastest growing segment in the entire industry. Half of all Americans take at least one trip per year, of which 80% seek cultural or heritage opportunities; 15.4 million overseas cultural heritage travelers came to the U.S. in 2010, outpacing the average growth of all overseas arrivals to the United States. It’s so important to the national tourism industry that new commitments to support cultural tourism have been put into place at every level of government.

Communities which embrace the arts enjoy higher property values, which are more likely to remain stable during economic recessions. Jacksonville has benefitted greatly in property values and new residents with higher average incomes in the past twenty years. When residents would rather stay than move away those property values can be sustained. Though we’ve taken a hit with everyone else, we weren’t hit as hard as many other communities and have bounced back with greater resilience than most.  Southern Oregon is one of the top three regions where people moving out of state choose to relocate, and Jacksonville is one of the most desirable spots in the region. The evidence I’ve seen makes me think we have the Britt to thank for much of the gentrification we’ve enjoyed, but to sustain this we need to remain mindful of two things:

  • • As a city becomes more prosperous in terms of property values, artists are less likely to afford living and working there, and
  • • Arts & culture need active and ongoing cultivation to sustain property values, retain high net worth individuals and families, and give visitors a satisfying arts experience.

Art Presence was founded by artist Anne Brooke four years ago. Partnering with local businesses to provide venues for artists to exhibit and sell their work and attract visitors with a variety of outstanding events and displays, the group has helped bring revenue to our business community, supported local talent and is making strides toward contributing to art education, in schools and through the Art Presence Art Center in Jacksonville. With Arlis Duncan’s help, Anne achieved nonprofit status for the organization under the umbrella of the Arts Council of Southern Oregon, which in turn made the Art Presence Art Center’s new home in the former Children’s Museum possible. Soon after celebrating this accomplishment, our situation there became tenuous and finances strained. Some are concerned about the organization’s ability to survive 2013.

I’ve spoken with transplanted residents who love our gallery. They love Jacksonville, yet many left major arts & cultural centers to make a new life here and miss this vital part of their former lives. Their support shows that in its short existence the Art Center has already improved the quality of life for many of our Jacksonville neighbors and has the potential to do much more.

Communities that fail to support the arts suffer from its neglect. If we would continue improving quality of life for residents, increasing property values, building an attractive destination for our visitors and increasing revenue for our businesses, we must do more to support the arts in Jacksonville. We must make sure that our city seeks out and obtains its share of available funding for the arts in education, nonprofit art centers and cultural tourism, and makes a commitment to do whatever necessary to support artists and cottage industries as a key strategy for sustaining Jacksonville’s economy. The numbers are in: a healthy and sustainable local economy needs a thriving art center. Art Presence has proven its commitment to our city’s prosperity and stands willing to contribute everything the arts have to offer toward that end. We urge our Mayor to answer the call of the US Conference of Mayors to invest in Art Presence, our own nonprofit arts organization, as a catalyst to generate economic impact, stimulate business development, attract tourists and area residents to community activities, and to improve the overall quality of life in our city.

Art matters to everyone in Jacksonville, and we ask our neighbors to take action in whatever way you can:

• Visit the gallery and attend opening receptions and artist demonstrations. If you can’t buy art, leave your contact information in our guest book. Proving local support is crucial to obtaining grants and donations.

  • Go to art-presence.org: comment on posts, make suggestions, subscribe to new posts & our newsletter, and view our committees to find an area where you can contribute and who to contact. Share our content with your social networks.
  • Contact us if you’re a grant writer who’d like to help us acquire funding. We will often be required to match grant funds with locally obtained funds, so…
  • Donate to the Arts Council of Southern Oregon with “Art Presence Art Center” in the memo line. Contact Arlis Duncan or go to artscouncilso.org for more information.
  • Write a letter to the Jacksonville Review’s editor, the Mayor and/or City Council and tell them why the arts in our community are important to you and your family.

Thanks to the Jacksonville Review for publishing my piece in Jacksonville’s local newspaper and at their website!

Thank you all so much!!

I simply could not be more humbled, honored and grateful for the kind and thoughtful letters of recommendation that artists and clients have written to recommend me for the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Champion of the Year Award. With six letters, I believe I’m ready to complete the forms and send everything in to the SBA’s Portland office. BUT, I don’t want to get ahead of anyone who might want to add their voice, so if you were planning on writing a letter for me and just haven’t had time yet (or if this is the first you’ve heard of it and you want to jump in, too), please let me know and I’ll be more than happy to wait for you.

Hannah West Design nominated for SBA Small Business Champion of the Year! Help us win!

Wow! Hannah West Design, parent company of the Southern Oregon Artists Resource, was nominated for the SBA Small Business Champion and Home-Based Business of the Year and they have accepted our nomination! YOU can help us win this prestigious honor! Just write a letter telling the SBA how SOAR has helped your business or has otherwise positively impacted the community and email it to soar@soartists.com, and we’ll include it in the info package we send them. They tell us that the sooner they receive everything, the better able they will be to review it by decision time, so if you could take a little time at your earliest convenience to write something nice for us, we’d be very grateful! To help you with the details of your letter, here are the elements that Champions will be judged on (for my beloved artists and art-related businesses/organizations, just translate “small business” into “artists and art-related businesses” to understand what they’re looking for and tell them something about your experience with me as a web designer/workshop instructor/champion of your art business through SOAR):

· Volunteer efforts beyond business/professional responsibilities to advance small business interests within the community, state and/or nation

· Demonstrated efforts to improve conditions in the small business community as a whole, not solely for individual personal advancement; Volunteer efforts to provide professional services to the small business community in a legal, legislative, managerial or financial capacity

· Demonstrated accomplishments in advising small business groups of opportunities within the overall business community

· Other accomplishments demonstrating the nominee’s merit as an effective advocate for small business interests.