we’ve heard about cases where using social media inadequately can you in “serious results” as my parents used to say. But this is the first time I am hearing that liking an Instagram post got someone suspended. Actually, not just someone, but over 20 students from Bradford Preparatory School in Charlotte, NC. According to WCNC, an Instagram post referring a school shooting was uploaded to Instagram and every student who liked the post got suspended.
A dog is for life, not just for likes.
It’s a variation on the nearly-40-year-old slogan that’s impressed on us every Advent by the people at the Dogs Trust. But now it is becoming ever-more pressing as research conducted by the Blue Cross–another animal charity–suggests that there’s a chunk of people who would predicate their choice of dog or cat on the number of social media likes it is expected to garner.
Just let that sink in for a minute. One-in-seven of the 1,000 people questioned in the survey (carried out on behalf of the Blue Cross by OnePoll*) said that they would choose a specific breed of dog or cat based on an assumed arbitrary approval rating casually meted out by a gaggle of people, most of whom are likely strangers.
That’s not the pet which, practically, best suits your living circumstances, activity levels, or family circumstances, or the pet that, emotionally, you are going to let into your home and your heart and will love you unconditionally in return, but the one whose photos are going to prove most popular on social media.
Photographers join photo-sharing sites for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s as simple as a need for recognition and the occasional pat-on-the-back. In fact I suspect that’s the reason most people join these sites in the first place; a little bit of recognition is worth big dollars in the feel-good bank. Sometimes they join those sites to promote their work for financial reasons, either to sell prints or services. In the post-Instagram era I suspect that many people join in the hopes of growing a sizeable enough audience to attract sponsors, and trips and cheap booze.
Whatever the reason, the simple fact is that once you started posting, you are in competition with every other photographer on the site. Whether you like it or not, your photograph is judged alongside those of the entire membership, rank amateurs and seasoned pros alike. The aim of the game is to get your photograph in front of as many eyeballs as possible and that means playing the like-you-like-me game, getting involved, interacting, posting comments, replying to discussions – you know the drill.
However, after a recent spike of ghost account followers and image views on my 500px account, I have been trying to quantify an actual real world business value of social media followers.
Does a huge number of fake social media followers have value? Surprisingly, yes I think so.
Does connecting with real people on social media matter? Probably less than you think – depending on your business.
Launched and subsequently acquired by Twitter in 2012, Vine has been a valuable outlet for many creatives. The service that let you post your life in six second chunks announced its closure in October, and now it’s finally moving onto the next step in its evolution. Vine will not go away completely, but it will become a camera app. With 200 million active users before its end, users can now publish their short clips straight to Twitter.
Today, though, is the last day that users have to be able to download their Vine videos from the site. So, if you don’t have your clips backed up safely already, you’ll want to hurry. They’ll all be disappearing very soon. Vine haven’t stated the exact hour or timezone that this option will finish, though. While the site says the downloads are only available until the 17th, today is the 18th where I am, and the option is still there.
Japan’s National Institute of Informatics (NII) recently warned the public about taking and publishing photos with popular two-fingered pose. They claim that flashing “V” sign in photos may lead to your identity being stolen. The reason is that fingerprint recognition technology became so advanced and widely available, that a simple snapshot of a person holding up the “peace” sign may lead to someone stealing their identity.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest… When you start thinking about social networks, your head starts to spin. There are so many of them, and it’s not easy to decide which ones you should use as a photographer. Using them all takes a lot of time. It’s sometimes hard to distinguish what makes the use for business and what’s just for fun. In this video, Joe Edelman gives you an A to Z of social media use for photographers. Meet their pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, and learn how to prepare images for social networks without wasting too much time.
If nobody cared, would you still take pictures?
I’ve been posing this question to myself for a while now, this idea of “If nobody cared about my work, would I still create?”. Am I creating truly for myself, or is it a hybrid between the audience’s and my own enjoyment combined?
It stems back to this idea of value. More specifically self value. Whether it comes from respect, love, friendship, art etc.
Everybody knows that all the most important business discussions are made on the golf course. Even if that gold course is sometimes just a back yard putting green. This is exactly the setting used for RGG EDU’s series of shorts with world renowned sports & commercial photographer Tim Tadder. In the videos, Tim talks about several different aspects about the photography business. Fantastic information for newcomers, but also some good tips for those who’ve been at it a while.
The focus is more towards commercial, but much of it can also apply to other types of photography business, too. Breaking into a new market, figuring out pricing, what to do with downtime, should you specialise? It’s a fantastic series of topics. It not only answers some questions, but helps you start figuring out which ones you need to ask yourself next.