Another update on progress with sending the first “official” newsletter for The Panache Orchestra 

I just spent a most exasperating two hours (!) attempting to arrange the newsletter I had composed over a month ago into the ReverbNation “FanReach” newsletter template, along with a few photos and links, formatted into at least a vague approximation of how I wanted it to appear, testing, tweaking, re-testing, tweaking some more, etc., etc., and I’ll bet my procrastinating with this task was due in large part to what an absolute pain in the ass I suspected it would be.

I’m afraid this cookie cutter presentation biased for indie rock bands may not work for me after all, so either it’s back to the drawing board to identify a newsletter service with sufficient flexibility to accommodate what I want, or I’ll have to impose a little more on my new webmaster and see if he will take RN’s blank template (which is specially marked “For Advanced Users Only!”) and create a form for me that I can save and then modify the text and embed links, photos, music players hosted elsewhere that have better customizability, etc. (That’s another gripe I have with RN – their widgets seem to be one-trick ponies!)  Am I asking for the moon here??  Maybe I am, given that it’s for the most part a free service, and to be fair, they do a pretty good job on a lot of things and have decent user support.

One of the things I have found most frustrating about the newsletter template, and for that matter, my RN profile itself, was getting the links to point to what I want them to instead of whatever RN’s server feels like defaulting them to, and putting them in the order I want them to appear in, so in the end I just gave up and removed that part of the template and put in links by hand instead.  In fact, for that matter, I removed most of the default stuff.  Not as nice as having cute, readily recognizable little icons, but at least the links go to the correct place and are in the order I want them in…Arrrrgh!

Hopefully my skill level with this stuff will increase as time goes on, and perhaps RN’s templates and widgets will improve (like they did on Network Solutions), but in the meantime, this is all very tiresome and wasting a phenomenal amount of time I desperately need for other things!!  (WHEN is this going to get easier, or at least MANAGEABLE??!!)

Now for the good news – my five little victories for today:

1. Got the newsletter formatted acceptably and sent at long last!  (HUGE victory!!)

2. Sent out two strategically relevant bookings contacts (after “meaning”  to do it for days on end!!  Now I just have to catch up with all the others piled up at the top of my nauseating “to-do” list!)

3. Reconnected with at least three helpful “industry” contacts who will hopefully (re)urn into good friends

4.  Managed to have two consecutive “good” days with Chi, which included productive rehearsals and getting yet another new piece “officially” onto the workbench today (what that means is, he actually wrote out a score/chart while I was at my day job [I’m afraid only professional instrumentalists will get this part] and we worked through it constructively instead of just getting into a big fight and tabling the piece forever after)

5. there are two #5’s, and they’re both a work in process at this very moment, so I’ll let you know how it all turns out tomorrow, which is in two minutes in my time zone.  (In the meantime, I have to finish my last two posts for the MSiNW Great Blog-off!)

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