Monday, May 14, 2012

The Future

We all know the internet is a vast and complex web of information. We have seen trends such as, viral videos, websites, memes, etc., rise and fall since we first discovered how to dial in to the internet. What person in 2000 would have thought that AOL dial-up internet would one day be considered slow? What pre-teenager would have predicted the demise of AIM or MSN messengers? And no one thought that MySpace would one day have a competitor that would take over the social networking market. The internet ebbs and flows like waves, but those few giants, such as Yahoo! or Google, have stuck around. So, here are my predictions for the future of the great bank of knowledge we call the internet:

  • Social media will be come exponentially more incorporated into our every day lives. Facebook that connects to your DVR box and lets people know what you're watching? Possibly. Twitter connected to your refrigerator that can "tweet while you eat"? Maybe. A chip that is implanted into your head and tweets all of your thoughts as they happen? Probably not... but no one knows what the future holds for us.
  • With the constant impending doom of the SOPA laws, I expect some sort of restriction will eventually find its way into censoring the internet. I also predict that if/when this happens, the outrage of the people will be heard far and wide.
  • Some sort of merger/consolidation between websites. For example, if Facebook is around in 150 years (I'm not saying it will be, and I'm also not saying it won't be, this is simply a hypothetical statement), who will really need My great-great-great grandchildren could just go check out my Facebook and see exactly what I was thinking/doing/etc. at any exact moment in time. would be obsolete, except in the cases of family members who weren't around during Facebook's time. I expect something similar of other websites as well.
  • You know the lack of privacy that celebrities always complain about? With the internet heading the direction it is, I'm guessing that lack of privacy will soon be the same for all of us. Right now I can google anyone I want, and I'll probably find at least a small amount of information on them. In 10, 20, 50 years, when the internet has had more time to collect its goodies, who knows what information people could find about others.
It's hard to tell whether the advancements in the internet will be positive or negative. Or even if there will be more advancements. Who knows, maybe the world will be okay with where the internet is now, and just let developments stop. That's pretty unlikely to happen though, humans are curious creatures, always striving to do something bigger, better, and more awesome than the last person. Only time will tell!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Access and Equity

Despite the fact that the internet is growing before our eyes, there are still quite a large number of people across the globe who don't have access, often or ever, to the internet and social media. This inequity in access to the world's most useful form of communication, creates a gap between those who are "wired" and those who aren't. I mean think about it, how many things have YOU found out about through social media? Here is an EXTREMELY short list of the events I remember learning about through Facebook/Twitter/MySpace (what's that?)/etc.

  • Osama Bin Laden's death
  • Whitney Houston's death
  • Michael Jackson's death
  • Brittney Murphy's death
  • Deaths of long lost friends from school/work/etc
While it might be depressing that everything I just listed is about me finding out people are dead, it proves the point that, 1. these events stuck in my mind, and 2. I learned of these events on the internet. So many more things I have learned through my extremely easy access to the internet. It is amazing to think that there are people across the world who don't even know who Michael Jackson WAS, let alone the fact that he is dead. Access to the internet in today's world is necessary for me. The week that my computer was in the shop felt like torture. All I could think was "Thank GOD I have my iPhone." What about all the people in the world who don't have a computer, an iPhone, or internet access at all? How do they interact with people in their lives and learn their important information? Think about that the next time you're complaining about your 3G connection being slow.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Social Media and Learning

Social media is becoming an integral part of every day life for the younger generations of this world. Now, it can be integrated into so many aspects of life, including learning! With the information on the internet, as well as the ways to share this information, growing exponentially every day, it makes sense that social media could be used to boost learning! This easily translates into photography! There are so many photographers using social media, and social media sites directed towards photographers, it is easier than ever to learn about photography, whether you are a new photographer or a seasoned photographer!

Friday, April 6, 2012


Social media has exponentially changed the business world we live in today. With smart phones, Facebook, Twitter, high speed internet, etc, people nowadays expect instant gratification in the form of fast, easy, immediate results. As a photographer, and essentially business person (you ARE trying to get yourself and your photography out there! That makes you a business person!!) social media will affect your business and the relationships you have with your customers and potential clients. Make sure you are checking all social media sites you use daily-- your customers will enjoy the immediate response they get from you, and the longer it takes for you to respond, the more time they have to find someone to take your job! Also, the phrase "the customer is always right" comes into play a little bit here, as today's business world is driven by consumers. Your customer service online can and WILL affect your relationships with them. Also, social media makes it possible for you to directly connect with customers on a one-on-one basis. Someone complaining to you about something? You have the ability to directly contact them through social media and address their complaints. Something that will gratify them, solve your problem, and reap positive benefits. A happy customer who feels that their needs are being met will come back to a photographer who takes their photographic needs into consideration!! Definitely something to always keep in mind when dealing with customers online!

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Photography and politics have always gone hand in hand. Photographs can bring out the best or worst in a person, and politicians have used this to their advantage for centuries. Through social media, politicians can take advantage of photography even more.

The following photographs can have a positive effect on a politician's campaign:

Obama's photograph on Facebook advertising entry to a raffle to win "Dinner with Barack" for a campaign donation of any size.

However, photographs such as the one below can have a negative effect on a politician's campaign:

A very important thing to remember in this day and age is that with social media, photographs such as these affect politics more than ever. Now, it is not only the politicians that can use pictures to their advantage. ANYONE can post a photograph to the internet. ANYONE has the ability to edit or change the photograph to meet their agenda before posting it publicly. It is incredible the amount of influence a picture from an average citizen can have on a person's campaign!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Advocacy for organizations, causes, and issues around the world are seen in the media often these days. A big part of this advocacy is photography! As the saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words," and when it comes to advocacy, it couldn't be more true. Something as simple as a single photograph is enough to spark talks and debates from people around the world. Here are a few examples of photographs that advocate a cause or purpose, or have sparked international debate:

This picture was taken anonymously during the Vancouver riots last year. It sparked an international debate about peace and love being essential to overcoming human nature's draw toward violence.

This image was taken by Eddie Adams during the Vietnam War. It is one of the most iconic and controversial images of the 20th century. It speaks of human nature and sparked international debate about the atrocities committed during war time.

This photograph was taken by Nick Ut during the Vietnam War Napalm bombings in the village of Trang Bang, Vietnam. The image speaks of the horrors of war, and caused international controversy. The picture is said to have "ended the Vietnam War," and became one of the icons of the 1970s Peace Movement.

This final image was taken by Mike Wells in Uganda. It speaks as a reminder of the huge wealth gap that separates developed and 3rd world countries. It also shows the extent of the poverty and starvation that plagues most of Africa's population. It created international controversy about the need for food and aid in Africa.

As you can see, 1 picture is enough to advocate anything you stand for. This doesn't mean that with one photograph you are guaranteed to start a revolution, change national policy or completely change the world, but it does mean that you are capable of speaking to a large audience of people and impacting someone by harnessing your talents and using them for good!

Monday, March 12, 2012


This week I am going to give you some insight into the world of Crowdsourcing and Collaboration. Crowdsourcing is a lot like outsourcing... it involves every day people, like yourselves, using the internet to create content and solve problems. Crowdsourcing also involves a website I touched on briefly last week, iStockPhoto. Like stated before, iStockPhoto is an online stock photography website where you can sell your photographs to people who need them for a reasonable price. iStockPhoto has a few competitors, including Shutter Stock, and Dreamstime. Businesses use these websites to crowdsource some of their work for a cheap price. This provides an opportunity for you to make some money and have your photographs shown in a professional environment; whether in a company's office lobby or on their website. Furthermore, there are websites available for you to discuss stock photography with other photographers, such as the Stock Artist's Alliance.

Collaboration is also a big part of online photography. If you remember the social networking site I mentioned a few weeks ago, Picture Social, that is a great way to collaborate with other artists. Perhaps photography isn't your strongest suit, but Photoshop is. Picture Social is a great way for you to find photographers who perhaps are better at the act of taking the pictures than the processing necessary afterwards. This allows you to collaborate with those other artists and combine your strong suits to come up with some amazing photographs. Don't be afraid to try new things!! You never know, but helping someone with what they are weak at may in turn help you improve your weak points!