Ari Kissiloff 90, M.S. 94: Fresh Is Key

By Jennifer Campbell

Step into the lively pavilion at the Ithaca Farmers Market and it’s immediately evident that this place is as much a town commons as a food market. When assistant professor of strategic communication Ari Kissiloff redesigned the market’s web presence last year, he set out to capture that community energy.

“The farmers’ market is a dynamic place, a different experience every time you visit” says Kissiloff. “Their website needs to reflect that.”

That means fresh content. Kissiloff added announcements and an e-newsletter signup on the home page. He also brought the market into the social media universe — creating an online community to parallel the one at Steamboat Landing. The market now has a Twitter feed on its home page and a fan page on Facebook. Kissiloff notes that fans of the market had created a Facebook page, so he made sure the market linked to this organically grown community.

Another key: color.  “You can’t replicate the smells and tastes of the market,” Kissiloff says, “so you need to think about how to convey those in a different way.”  Fresh photos and videos of the people, place, and products, supported by a bright palette, engage the senses.

Among the courses Kissiloff teaches at IC is Websites That Work. He credits projects like this with keeping the course fresh and relevant. “What I learn and create with clients comes back to the classroom, and vice-versa,” he says. “This feedback loop creates a good dividend for the students.”