One Screenshot To Show How Getty Images' "Free" Offer FAILS - And Why I Will Not Use It

Much has been made over the past few weeks about Getty Images allowing the free embedding of over 35 million images from Getty's vast library. The Verge ran a glowing piece and Neville Hobson summarized a good bit of the early coverage. While I commend Getty Images on trying to evolve their business model in the era of the Internet, here's the reality:

I will NOT use this service - and I can't imagine why anyone else would who wants their content found via social networks.

Here is one screenshot to show why Getty Image's service fails.. I used a Getty Images embed in my last post here and this is what happened when I tried to share the link on Facebook:

Getty embed facebook 2

Here's a second screenshot of sharing the post out in Google+:

Getty embed googleplus

Do you see the problem?

WHERE IS THE IMAGE FROM GETTY IMAGES???

That's right... IT'S NOT THERE!

The image appears in the post itself, of course, but it doesn't appear when you try to share the image out in social networks.

Which is... often... THE ENTIRE POINT of why I am including an image in a blog post. I want something visual that will illustrate the points I'm making in the post - but also that will be attractive when the post is shared out on social media.

So for me this is a reason why I will pretty much never use this new offer from Getty Images.

There are host of other issues, as well, as outlined by Brian Krogsgard in a recent post, but for me the one that kills the whole deal is the lack of the ability for the image to appear in social sharing.

Again, I commend Getty Images on trying to figure out how to evolve their business in the Internet age, but this implementation needs to evolve before it will be useful for people like me.

What do you think? Are you planning to use this new service?


I recorded an audio commentary on this issue as well:


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Google+ Changes Cover Photo Size Again - Removes Huge Image, Moves Profile Photo to Left

If you haven't looked at your Google+ profile or page for a bit... you might want to do so because Google has changed the image size again. It used to be a huge image that took up a great amount of your screen - and then "collapsed" in a funky way when you scrolled down the page. Your name and your profile photo appeared at the bottom of the photo and the photo was greyed out a bit.

That's all gone.

Now your photo is a good bit smaller and does not collapse as the page scrolls... it just disappears off the page as you would expect it to. Most significantly, though, your profile photo and info is on the left side of the photo, taking over about a quarter of the image. Here's what my Google+ page looks like now:

Dan York Google 2

You'll note that the profile photo and info now blurs the image behind them. But... if you had taken the time to create a cover photo with something centered in the middle of the photo, you'll probably want to adjust that to shift the image over a bit.

I've not seen any formal specifications out of anyone at Google about this new image size. The only real note I've seen is this Google+ post by Google engineer Karthik Nagaraj just indicating the change was happening. He indicates that basically any 16:9 image should work.

On my Mac using Google Chrome I did a screen capture of that part a G+ page and that told me that the overall image was 1060x438 and the main visible (non-blurred) part was 780x438 (which math then says leaves 280x438 behind the blurred part. That, however, is just how it was displayed in Chrome on my Mac... I don't precisely how it will appear on other browsers on other operating systems.

The main point is that about the leftmost 25% (actually 26.4% if those numbers I measured) of the image will be blurred, so keep that in mind when choosing an image.

Given that I find myself using Google+ a good bit more these days, I do like these changes... it just would have been great if Google gave all of us a bit more of a clue about the change rather than just waking up to find that it had been done. Ah, well... given how much I've paid for Google+ (i.e. nothing) I guess I can't really complain, eh?

What do you think of the new cover photo size? Do you like this better?


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Fashion Designer Chris Benz, Copyright, Photography - And Watching The Social Web React

Jessica nicholsRight now a part of the social web is in full reaction mode to what they see as a strong injustice... and we can watch it unfold right now in Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more.

Photographer Jessica Nichols has laid out her case in a lengthy post that begins:

I have been fighting an infringement of my work since July and it is time to share my story. Fashion designer Chris Benz used my Loads of Ranunculus photograph without my permission and without compensation on his Spring 2012 line.

She goes on to show photographs, including one where a reader matched her photograph pretty much identically to one of Chris Benz's purses.

Having received no response from Chris Benz or his sponsors, she has put out a call to action for people to let Benz and his corporate sponsors know what they think through their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. That post was echoed by others and spread into social networks. I saw one such post of support on Google+ where it was spreading virally through friends of mine.

And it's happening... I can see the comments on Chris Benz's Facebook page filling up... and the "Posts by Others" on the Saks and Lancôme pages seem to have posts there.

As a (casual) photographer myself, I certainly understand why Jessica Nichols is upset - and I do hope some resolution can be found sometime soon.

In the meantime, the social web is responding... and unless there is a response from Chris Benz and his sponsors sometime soon, I don't expect it to go terribly well for them...


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Yet Another Skitch / Evernote FAIL - Image Sharing/Uploading No Longer Works

In the continuing saga of Evernote's destruction of Skitch, a.k.a. how-to-really-badly-screw-up-a-product-loved-by-its-users, I grabbed a screenshot in the old Skitch 1.x (a.k.a. the version that works) and hit the "Share" button. I hoped to get back a skitch.com URL that I could then simply pop into Twitter to reply to someone.

Instead I got this:

Screen Shot 2012 11 01 at 5 30 41 PM

"Skitch.com sharing has moved to Evernote."

Now, in fairness, they have been mentioning that this transition was going to occur for the past bit. So it's not a tremendous surprise.

But here's the FAIL - the "Click here" link takes you to a page on the "Skitch.com Transition to Evernote". But this page simply tells you how to transition your old Skitch.com images to Evernote.

It tells me nothing about how to actually now share an image.

Zip. Na da.

I am left with the mockery of the first sentence: "Skitch is getting even better."

I am guessing that Skitch 1.x users who refuse to upgrade to Skitch 2.0 because it is an incredible downgrade in functionality are probably now just simply... screwed.

I am guessing the easy "Share" function that I use on pretty much a daily basis will now no longer work with Skitch 1.x.

I am guessing that I need to find a new screen capture program that does what I need.

(And yes, I've tried the new Skitch 2.0.1 but it still continues to add many more steps to the easy way Skitch 1.x worked and it still doesn't do all that Skitch 1.x did.)

I am guessing all this because the link that Evernote/Skitch takes me to tells me nothing about how to actually share an image.

Further, I went to look in the Evernote forums to see what users might be saying there and... the site is down for me.

:-(


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Evernote Destroys The Old Skitch With New 2.0 "Update"

This morning brings a collective "What the ______?" moment to the world of many Mac OS X users as we try to absorb the impact of the new Skitch 2.0 released by Evernote. Perhaps the reaction is best summarized by tweets like this:

Skitch2

[Screenshot of that tweet taken, by the way, with Skitch 1.0, immediately resized by dragging the corner, and dragged/dropped into MarsEdit where I'm writing this post.]

And articles are popping up on this same theme:

Evernote's support forums are full of criticism and tweets are exploding with commentary.

Perhaps more importantly for Evernote, existing users are well on the way to decimating the app's ranking in the MacOS X AppStore:

Skitch ratings 1

Note the difference from before - and realize that those 200 one-star ratings at the bottom includes the 135 from above. So basically you are seeing a complete inversion of the app ranking going on right now.

There is somewhat of an irony to this as Skitch is getting heavy rotation right now as a "featured" app in the Mac AppStore.

A Very Happy - And Paying - Skitch v1.x User

I should preface these comments by saying that I have valued Skitch so much over the years that I have been a paid "Skitch Plus" user. I am also a paying user of Evernote. So this is not a rant of someone who expects something for free. I've paid for this software because it is so crucial to what I do.

Skitch is one of the applications that I use each and every day. Constantly. I take screenshots for blog posts and articles. I resize images and change their formats. I drop them into PowerPoint presentations. If I have a JPG and need a PNG, I drag an image into Skitch v1, change the format and drag it back out. If I want to crop an image, it's a simple action. If I want to show someone remote something on my screen, I snap it and then copy/paste the URL into an IM or email message (or tech support web forum).

I use Skitch all... the... time!

And over the years I have turned many people on to the tool... as have many others judging my the fact that there have now been over 10 million downloads. Skitch has been truly one of the absolute best tools for Mac OS X.

The "Paring Down"

The issue is that Evernote didn't just "update" the application - they pretty much recreated the user interface. As they state in the blog post:

We pared the application down to it’s most-loved, most-used, most-essential features, then made those features as great as they could be. We also focused on creating a unified experience across all platforms. So, whether you’re using Skitch on your desktop or mobile phone, you’ll know exactly what to do.

The problem is that the list of "most-loved, most-used, most-essential" features apparently doesn't include the ones that many of us use. :-(

As an example, here are four features I use the most that are simply gone:

  1. Ability to rapidly resize images - In Skitch 1.0, all you did was go to the lower right corner of the window and start dragging it. Boom! Resized image. Super simple. Super FAST! Truly awesome.

    Now it's hidden under Tools->Crop/Resize where you have to go through a dialog box to do the editing. Also, it seems I no longer can enter numerical values if I have an exact size I want to enter. (At least, I couldn't find it.)

    So what was an instant task now becomes a series of dialog boxes and menu choices (or pressing "Option+Command+K" to get to the window).

  2. Ability to rapidly crop images - In Skitch 1.0, all you had to do was go to one of the sides or corners of the image and start dragging to crop an image. Super simple. Super FAST! Truly awesome.

    Now you have to go yet again into this Crop/Resize dialog box and go through the steps.

  3. Ability to rapidly change image types - In Skitch 1.0, there is this wonderful drop-down menu box that lets you choose the type of file you want to export:

    Skitch export

    With this one menu, you can export an image to whatever format you want. If I want a JPG, PNG, TIF or even a PDF. Just choose the type and drag away:

    Skitch export 2

    Super simple. Super FAST! Truly awesome.

    Now this, too, requires additional steps. You have to go to File->Export where you then go through the standard Mac OS X dialog box to save the file. The choices have also been dropped to PNG, JPEG, TIFF, GIF and BMP... although those were honestly the ones I pretty much always used.

  4. Ability to take a timed screenshot - In Skitch 1.0 there was this truly awesome capability where you could hold down the Shift key while taking a screen shot to get a countdown timer:

    Skitch timer

    This is tremendously helpful if you want to do a screenshot of a menu command, a pop-up or hovering menu, or just anything you want to re-create using the pointer.

    In Skitch v2.0 I can't find this feature at all.

These are just four of the features that I commonly use that I have seen in the 2.0 version after I upgraded one of my systems. The forums are full of other features people used... the menu bar icon... custom hotkeys... the ability to share to your own SFTP server... the list goes on...

Destroying the Speed

Now, as I noted, with the exception of the timed screenshot these "features" are not truly "gone" from Skitch 2.0. They are just now buried in menus and take extra steps.

And that's the point.

The most awesome part about Skitch was that it was insanely FAST.

In a few moments I could have screenshots that were resized, cropped, annotated and then dropped into articles or shared online. Simple. Fast.

And that's gone.

Did We Ask For A Unified Experience?

Why would Evernote do this to Skitch?

I think the answer can be found in part of that blog post that I quoted earlier:

We also focused on creating a unified experience across all platforms. So, whether you’re using Skitch on your desktop or mobile phone, you’ll know exactly what to do.

And therein lies the problem.

I completely understand what they are trying to do - and on one level I applaud them for trying. Make it so that an app can work on the iPad and iPhone very much like the app on Mac OS X. Provide a common look-and-feel so that users can move between them easily. Even better, with Evernote syncing (more on that below) you can edit and use the same images across your different devices.

A very solid strategy that sounds great on so many levels. Consistent user experience. Consistent support requirements (ex. documentation, tech support, etc.)

It's a perfect plan..... for a new application.

And for new users.

Anyone completely new to Skitch will probably try out the app and perhaps love it.

The problem is that to get to that "unified experience", the Evernote/Skitch team had to pare down the Mac OS X app... to get it down to the least common denominator across all the various platforms.

And so we who had come to love Skitch on Mac OS X so much have to lose many of the features that were the reasons why we used Skitch in the first place... so that iPhone/iPad users can have a consistent user interface.

The Evernote Connection

One of the big features of this Skitch 2.0 release is that all your snaps are stored in Evernote. In fact, you can't store them anywhere else... gone is the ability to (S)FTP images to another server. No more WebDAV... no more Flickr support... it's all stored in Evernote. (Well, you can choose NOT to use Evernote and only store your images locally, but the only way to put the images up online where you can share them is through using Evernote.)

This makes sense from Evernote's point-of-view and may very well be attractive to many users.

For me personally, though, there's this basic issue:

I do not need (or want) to store my images!

The vast majority of time my usage of Skitch is to take a fast screenshot to drop into an article, blog post or presentation.

They are disposable images.

I don't need to save them... or in fact I have saved them by using them in an article or presentation. But the image itself is no longer necessary.

So why do I want to clutter up my Evernote account with these unwanted images?

Now I guess that if I proceed with the upgrade I'll have to plan some time to go in and occasionally delete out all the useless images.

I will admit that in some situations it would be helpful to be able to obtain the image from other systems... so I can see some value in the Evernote sync. But I still can't think why I want all my images in Evernote.

What's Next?

So now what?

I should note that Skitch 2.0 does bring some new features that are positive:

  • The new "pixelate" tool is something that I've wished Skitch would have for ages. It's excellent to see! (Although I can't seem to figure out how to undo/remove pixelation once it's done. The standard "Undo" command doesn't seem to remove it.)
  • The highligher tool is another excellent addition.
  • The way you can change the font size by dragging is nice.
  • The simple sharing to Twitter and Facebook is welcome.
  • As noted earlier, the Evernote sync (and search) may be welcome by some.

Will we as users come to appreciate those features as being useful enough to warrant all that is lost? Will the Evernote team come out with a 2.1 release that adds some of these features that we all are missing?

We've certainly seen other companies make similar moves. Apple did it with iMovie many years back and then recently with Final Cut Pro. Skype made a huge change with move from 2.8 to 5.x on the Mac. Twitter completely rewrote Tweetdeck. In all those cases a great amount of functionality was lost even while new features were added.

New users of Skitch may again find much to like in the new capabilities.

But what about the long-time users? Will they stick around to see if a newer version of Skitch 2.x comes out? Or, as I'm seeing in the Twitter stream, will people search for alternatives:

2 Twitter  Search  skitch  All Tweets

For me, I'm sticking with Skitch v1.x on my primary laptop where speed is essential. On another system I use less I've made a backup copy of Skitch 1.x but then have gone ahead and upgraded to Skitch 2.0. I'll try it out and see if I can learn to like it (really not sure on that) - plus I can use the pixelate tool.

But... if some other tool does pop up that delivers the power and speed of the original Skitch, I could very easily see myself moving to that other tool.

This "upgrade" has completely burned any loyalty I had to Skitch... and I can no longer really recommend it as strongly as I once did.

It's too bad. Skitch is a truly awesome tool that is an integral part of my daily workflow. It's truly disappointing to see all that power and speed destroyed for the sake of trying to get to a unified cross-platform experience.

What about you? Are you disappointed in this new release? Or do you like the new Skitch 2.0? Are you going to stick with it? Or hunt for a new alternative?

P.S. All the images used in this post were touched by Skitch v1.x. The two tweets and the AppStore image were taken using Skitch, resized and dragged out of Skitch. The three images of Skitch itself were taken with the native Mac OS X screenshot keyboard shortcut that dropped an image on the desktop. I then dragged those screenshots from the desktop (individually) into Skitch where I then cropped, resized and annotated (in one case) the images before dragging them out to MarsEdit for this post. Super simple. Super fast. Truly awesome!


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Images/Photos Alone Do Not Make A Content Strategy

Thisisnotacontentstrategy

Credit: C.C. Chapman

Lately, it seems, the social media world is all abuzz about "images" in various forms. Photos, pictures... Instagram... Pinterest... infographics... plus Twitter, Facebook and Google+ all enhancing their capability to handle photos... and now this intense fascination with posting images with words and sayings on top of them!

I get it. I do. Visual storytelling is incredibly powerful. Evocative. Inspirational. Images and photos can transcend words and cut right to the emotional core of an issue. I personally enjoy photography, and you can usually find me shooting photos at events I attend. I'm sharing photos all the time into Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.

But...

... lately we seem to be seeing in the corporate PR / marketing / social media space a really severe case of "bright shiny object" syndrome. All over the place... large enterprises, small startups... and everyone in between.

Oooo... let's post a bunch of photos to Instagram because we'll look hip and cool! Hey, clearly we need to be pinning all the photos we can to Pinterest boards, because "everyone" is doing it! Hey, look, another new mobile app that lets us do _____ with our photos - cool! Wow, look how cool we are because we can post a photo with some pithy quote written on top of it in a funky font! And let's not even jump into the cesspool of poorly done infographics...

All of this without answering a fundamental question:

WHY?

WHY are you posting those images? Why are you using that service? How do the images help communicate your message to your audiences? How do they help get your message out? How do they facilitate sharing? How does posting the images to ______ increase your interaction with your audiences?

Now, don't get me wrong... experimentation is awesome and necessary. And I'm the last one to talk about chasing bright shiny objects... that's what I love to do (and in fact write about). Experimentation is really required if you are going to stay on top of the insane pace of new products and services appearing on a daily basis. But there is a difference between experimentation and trumpeting the fact that you are now using these services, as if the use of those services will somehow make you cooler and help you communicate better.

They might help you communicate better, and you won't know unless you experiment... but as you experiment you need to think about the why.

Ultimately these services are all tactics that need to line up with a larger strategy.

Why are you using them? Why are you posting the images you choose to post?

Do the images help educate your audiences about your products? your mission? your services?
Do they help humanize your organization and show a more personal side? or show the people behind the name?
Do they entertain or amuse people and help build your community?
Do they inspire people because of how beautiful or artistic they are?
Do they promote your brand name or social account? Will you gain more followers/fans/etc?

How does posting images to service X fit within your larger strategy? Now, maybe you are posting that LOLcat image purely as link-bait to build your followers... that's okay, just call it what it is. And this doesn't mean that every image needs to be serious and "on message" - images can certainly be posted "for fun"... and maybe that's one of the purposes they serve.

The point is that some conscious thought needs to be given to the use of images and the use of the various services... rather than just doing it "because everyone is doing it"!

As I was thinking about this, a trio of posts yesterday on this precise topic caught my eye:

First, in "Pictures With Words", C.C. Chapman provides this awesome photo that I've included here and hits the point:

If your brand is thinking about diving into this because everyone is doing it, remember that it is a tactic and not a strategy. Where does it fit into your other marketing programs and what can you do with this trend that is unique and relavent to your business? Always ask why before you do anything. Make sure it is a fit and that you are not doing it simply because everyone else is. Following the herd rarely gets you noticed.

We as a society love shiny new toys and are scared of doing the grunt work. We see other people doing things, so we have to do them. If there is a shortcut that looks like it’ll make things easier we take it.

Exactly!

Second, in "The Rise of the Junkweb and Why It’s Awesome or At Least Inevitable", Chris Brogan talks about this new love of images as the "junkweb":

It’s the Junkweb. Why “junk?” Because the original intent of the Internet was that links were gold, that searchability was key, that this ability to find anything and use resources from wherever was magic. And this new web? The web of pictures with text over them? They’re junk. They’re a dead end. The picture is the payload. They don’t lead you elsewhere. They are the stopping point, the cul de sac.

But goes on to say that maybe this is okay in our new world and that the new tools we have access to have in fact made it easier for anyone to participate and share. He concludes offering three suggestions for people to engage in the "junkweb":

1. Make interesting graphics worth sharing.
2. Make it easy to share them.
3. Evoke an emotion.

And for Chris the "why" is because this world of sharing images is where the sharing and interaction happen between "regular" people and thus is worth investigating. Good article and, as with many of Chris' posts, the comment stream is well worth a read, too.

Finally, in his AdAge column titled "The Revolution Won't Be Televised; It Will Be Instagrammed" and subtitled "Businesses That Bank on Photographic Storytelling Will Win", Steve Rubel discusses why businesses should pay attention to what is going on with the rise of visual storytelling through photography. Inadvertently aligning with Chris Brogan's "junkweb", he writes:

Visual storytelling today is blissfully cliche. Photos are deliberately over animated, over filtered and even over exposed. They ignore all the rules. Just as the proliferation of texting arguably made the written word less formal and YouTube did the same for video, the ubiquity of smartphones has changed the expectations of what's considered "good" photography.

On this last sentence my professional photography friends can definitely agree! Steve goes on to basically offer suggestions for people involved with advertising to get involved with this space. Earlier in the article, too, he makes some interesting points with regard to why photos will be more important that videos, particularly with regard to mobile devices.

He doesn't touch on the "why", though, beyond the fact that this is the "new normal" and businesses need to be embracing it.

Which goes back to my original points... WHY are you embracing the use of images? Or perhaps more HOW are you going to embrace them? How does it help you?

Are you asking these questions?


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Tumblr's Awesome Error Message

Lately I've been using Tumblr a bit for a project and overall it's gone quite well and left me quite impressed with the service. Today, though, while working on the site Tumblr had some problem because suddenly I couldn't get to the site.

However, Tumblr did give me a great laugh with this error message:

Tumblrerror

And with that laugh, I gave them a bit of a break and went to do something else for a few minutes before checking back.

Lesson - if you have a technical problem, at least try to amuse people with your error message...

(And just a minute or two later my Tumblr site was responding again.)


UPDATE: My colleague Justin Dupree pointed out the origin of the Tumbeasts, as did someone named Daniel (nice name!) as a comment to this post. Thanks to both Justin and Daniel for pointing out the origin!


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"The Daily Shoot" gives you daily practice in becoming a better photographer...

dailyshoot-1.jpgDid you get a new DSLR camera over the holidays? (I did!) Or do you have one and want to get inspired to do more with it? Or do you not have a DSLR but just enjoy photography? Do you want to push yourself to try out more ways to make images?

If so, grab your DSLR, point-and-shoot camera, iPhone, mobile phone or whatever other camera you have and head over to "The Daily Shoot" at:

http://www.dailyshoot.com

You can naturally just browse through the pictures that other photographers have taken, but it's also very easy to get involved yourself:

  1. You start by following @dailyshoot on Twitter.
  2. Each day at 9am US Eastern a new "assignment" comes out.
  3. You take a picture and upload it to Flickr, Twitpic, yfrog, The Best Camera or a couple of other photo sharing sites.
  4. Then... you tweet out the link in a reply to @dailyshoot with the assignment's hashtag, like I did here:
    danyork-dailyshoot-ds43.jpg
  5. Your picture will then be added to the pages of the Daily Shoot website.

That's it. See the assignment, take a picture, upload it, tweet it.

There's no time pressure... you don't have to have it in by any certain time. You can do it today, tomorrow... or whenever. You can go back and do past assignments and post them. You can just do scattered assignments whenever your schedule permits or when you have the interest. It's all about self-motivation and giving yourself a reason to play with your camera and push yourself to do more with photography.

It's also about learning from other photographers. You can go to the Assignments page and browse through the photos that are contributed for each assignment. The site nicely opens each photo in a new tab so that you can easily keep going back to the assignment page to see the other photos. (In Chrome I'll command+click each photo (I'm on a Mac) to open a bunch up in different tabs to look at them.) Here was the assignment about "yellow"... it's fun to see the different perspectives on the assignment.

You can also view the pictures from each individual photographer, so if you find someone's photo you really like you can then see the other photos by that photographer (hint: click on the name of the photographer underneath a thumbnail on the Daily Shoot site). Here's my page of photos. Here's Duncan's much better page.

It's fun to do... and a way to learn more about and practice the art of making images.

duncandavidson.jpgThe Daily Shoot is the brainchild of photographer Duncan Davidson (pictured on the right) and programmer/consultant Mike Clark. I've been a fan of Duncan's photography back from when I first saw the great photos he shot at eComm 2009. I've enjoyed his writing on his blog about photography. Here are a couple of his posts I liked:

I've also met him at a couple of events now and he's just a really decent and great guy. He recently wrote about how the Daily Shoot site has evolved and I look forward to seeing where it goes.

Meanwhile, today's assignment is out... I'll have to see if sometime today I can find something interesting to shoot that is circular...


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USA Today: 750 photos per *second* uploaded to Facebook

usatodayfacebookphotos.jpgIn today's USA Today was a story which was posted online as "Facebook's 'tagging' option is a big hit with photo sharing" ... but I preferred the print headline:
At Facebook... 1 second = 750 photographs

By whatever metric you want to use and whatever headline you like, the number is rather staggering. Consider the larger numbers mentioned in the article:

Some 2 billion photos a month — or nearly 70 million a day — are uploaded to Facebook. By comparison, Yahoo's popular photo site Flickr gets 3 million uploads a day.

Two billion photos a month. Given Facebook's recent news of crossing over 300 million users, that's roughly 7 photos per month from each user. Considering that many of those 300 million users are "casual" users who may only login occasionally - and in some cases very occasionally, it's probably much more likely that a smaller core of people are uploading larger numbers of photos. Again, however you measure, it's an amazing number of photos.

The USA Today article talks about the "tagging" capability within Facebook as driving this growth in photo uploads. That may well be a contributing factor, but for me a large part of why I've uploaded photos to Facebook is:

Simplicity

It's incredibly easy to upload images into Facebook, either through the website or through mobile apps like the iPhone app. Right at the top of your Facebook login screen is this:

facebookphotosharing.jpg

Right in my iPhone app is the ability to take a photo and instantly upload it. I've used this on a personal level to upload various photos I've taken directly into my Facebook account. On a business level, I used this a great deal at a recent trade show and uploaded the photos directly to Voxeo's Facebook Page. It's simple and easy. It's also incredibly easy to organize the pictures once they are up in Facebook.

It's also easy to upload pictures and organize them in Flickr, too, but I do admit that I've found myself doing that less and uploading to Facebook more. A large part of that is the new Facebook app on the iPhone which is a great all around app. (And no, I haven't tried out the new Flickr app yet.) I do admit, though, that there is an element of truth to the USA Today piece... part of the allure of uploading to Facebook is the social element and how others can easily see and comment on your photos.

Again, though, amazing stats in terms of numbers of uploads...


I will miss Kodachrome (though I haven't used it in years...)

kodak.jpgI was sad to learn recently that Kodak has ended the 74-year-run of its Kodachrome film. The Wikipedia page on Kodachrome has some good info and links - and Kodak themselves put onlne a tribute site to KODACHROME.

In my younger years, I was seriously into photography and shot tons of rolls of slide film. When I was the University of New Hampshire in the mid-1980's, I used to put together slide shows for public events for the NH Outing Club (an outdoor activity group, i.e. hiking, canoeing, skiing, etc.). Admittedly, working on the typical student budget, I shot mostly Ektachrome in those days due to the cheaper cost of processing, but in later years I did use Kodachrome quite a good bit. I used it on various trips out west... on a trip to Greenland... in many different places. There was just something about the colors in the film. Great to shoot with.

The reality, though, is that I haven't bought a roll of Kodachrome, Ektachrome or really any film in probably...

fifteen years.

Maybe even more. Now, between jobs, family and other activities, my photography activities dropped off and the 35mm cameras and lens all sit in the basement... as do the many, many trays of slides... waiting for the mythical time when I'll have the cycles to scan them all in to my digital photo library.

I'm obviously not alone in that. Here's question #1 in Kodak's FAQ:

Why has Kodak decided to stop offering KODACHROME?
Due to declining customer demand for KODACHROME, continued production of this film in no longer viable. Over the years people have moved from KODACHROME to other methods of capture, be it new films or digital. Simply put, not enough people are shooting KODACHROME for us to continue offering it.

And that's the thing, isn't it? We've all gone digital with our photography. When was the last time any of you actually bought film?

Let's be honest, too... how many of us really want to go back to using film? The convenience of digital photography is just far too great to even remotely think about going back. Even now, I'm watching the prices of DSLRs continue to drop and keep waiting to jump back into doing more photography with higher-end gear...

Still, it's sad to hear of the passing of such a great institution within the world of photography.

I may just have to find a roll of Kodachrome before it all is gone, dust off the camera and lenses and go off for a picture-taking spree... just for old times sake...

R.I.P., Kodachrome...


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