Tag Archives: blogging

Tips for Starting a New Photography Blog

Rocket Launch Sequence
Creative Commons License photo credit: Zoramite

Blogging about photography and photo blogging are great ways to improve yourself as a photographer, give back to the community, make new friends and contacts, and express yourself. Not every photographer is interested in starting a blog, but I’m sure there are a few of you out there.

[tweetmeme]Epic Edits is getting to be an “old man” in the blogosphere (over 3 years running!), but I’ve recently launched a new blog (FeelingNegative.com) and I was reminded of all the things that new bloggers have to deal with. As I prepared this new blog for entry into the Web, I found myself making decisions based on my experience here at Epic Edits. Some of these decisions are not so obvious to folks with no prior blogging experience, so I’ve written down a few thoughts to consider if you’re planning to start a photography blog or photo blog.

HAVE A CONCEPT

Start 3 months before launch.

  • Identify some specific audience that you can relate to.
  • Find untapped opportunities and niches.
  • Blog about what you know and shoot.
  • Blog about what you want to learn.

That last point is a big deal. Teaching others about photography or displaying your work to a growing audience will force you to learn and grow at an accelerated rate.

PLAN PROFUSELY

Day 41:What's on your mind?
Creative Commons License photo credit: L S G

Start 2.5 months before launch.

  • Identify your overall site message or theme.
  • Think of possible site names that fit your theme.
  • Choose a blogging platform: WordPress.org, WordPress.com, Drupal, Blogger, etc.
  • Look for possible themes and styles (but don’t pick one yet).
  • Determine a posting frequency that you can keep up with.

Again, the last point is important. Blogging takes a lot of time on a regular schedule, so don’t assume that you can hit 3 posts per day with 1 hour of work. Just be realistic.

OUTLINE THE STRUCTURE

Start 2 months before launch.

  • Lay out 3-5 main topics/genres (should be vastly unique).
  • Use sub-topics to further separate content.
  • List several theoretical post topics/titles for each category.
  • Evaluate the outline and refine the structure.

Getting the site structure is key — you don’t want to be reorganizing a bunch of posts or photos a year down the road because you failed to plan ahead. Of course, leave yourself room to expand the categories and sub-categories.

TECHNICAL STUFF

Start 1.5 months before launch.

  • Set up your platform and theme.
  • Find and install useful plugins and widgets (depending on platform).
  • Do some customization… graphics, colors, etc.

If you’re not familiar with blogging platforms, this might take some time to figure out. In that case, keep it simple and choose a platform that works for you. Otherwise, use what you know!

WRITE, WRITE, WRITE

Start 1 month before launch.

  • Write 2-3 articles for each main category (so about 10 total).
  • Proof, edit, and improve your articles.
  • Test your platform, theme, and plugins with the articles you’ve written.

After you write the articles, check out your site and make sure things are displaying correctly and linking up the way they should. You should be just about finished tweaking the site at this point.

START THE SOCIAL ENGINES

BMX Engine
Creative Commons License photo credit: chilsta

Start .5 months before launch.

  • Get on Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, etc. Find 2 or 3 that you like.
  • Leave out site links if you want to launch the site on a specific date.
  • Connect with other bloggers and photographers in your niche.
  • Invite a few friends to get the site going on launch date.

Social media can be a great source for spreading the word, but use these communities as a sincere participant — pure self-promo is considered spamming in many circles.

PRE-LAUNCH ANNOUNCEMENT

Start 1 week before launch.

  • Post 5+ of your pre-written articles, pull remaining into draft for post-launch.
  • Make the site viewable to the public (if you were using an “under construction” plugin).
  • Contact friends and fellow bloggers for a preview (and tell them the launch date).
  • Take a break! You’ve put in a bunch of work, so take a breather before things kick off.

If you’ve done your homework and spent the time to make a few contacts in the blogospere, you should have a few friends willing to give a hand with the launch party. Just don’t push too hard for promotion and try to connect with other bloggers and photographers on your level. The “big dogs” get a lot of “check out my new site” emails every day, so don’t expect them to act on every single one (they’re not being rude, they’re just trying to keep up with their own affairs).

LAUNCH ANNOUNCEMENT

This is the big day!

  • Make it official and mention your new baby every chance you get!
  • Remind the previewers that today is the big day for you.
  • Watch for comments and stats — this is the exciting part of early blogging, so enjoy it.

Site launches are always different than what you expect, so don’t expect anything and just enjoy the ride. You might get a flood of visitors and you might get a dozen. Just stick with the plan and the word will get out eventually as long as you have something interesting to say or show.

POST-LAUNCH

Weeks after launch.

  • Publish on pre-set schedule and try to stick with it.
  • Seek promo opportunities: guest blogging, links in social profiles, etc.
  • Announce your social extensions on the blog so new visitors can connect with you.
  • Accept feedback on your work and make an effort to improve your blog.
  • Refine your schedule, focus, and intent. Keep an open mind to change.

It can take months to grow into a new blog, so don’t give up after two weeks if you don’t have 5,000 visitors and 50 comments per day. Your blog will grow at a rate proportional to the effort you put into it, but even the best bloggers started at the bottom and worked their way up.

FIND YOUR GROOVE

Months after launch.

  • Split your time between writing, interacting, and promoting.
  • Reach out to other niche bloggers with links and mentions from your site.
  • Give, give, give… and take very little. Blogging is about giving, not taking.
  • Re-evaluate the plan frequently, make sure you’re on track with your goals and ambitions.

Blogging is like playing the stock market — you have your ups and downs. Sometimes it’s your fault, sometimes it’s just how things go. Get into a groove and find your place among the community. Get to know your readers and other bloggers in your niche.

HAVE FUN WITH IT

Blogging and photo-blogging is a rewarding experience if you have the right attitude. Give it some time, share your knowledge and your artwork, participate, build the community, and have fun with it.

Anybody out there thinking of starting up a new photography blog, photo blog, or personal blog? How about the new bloggers on the block? Where are you guys? Throw out some links in the comments if you just started a blog within the last few months. And for you seasoned bloggers, what other tips do you have for starting a blog?

Full Feed, or Not Full Feed…

Half Empty or Half Full?
Creative Commons License photo credit: jaxxon

In my recent post about my photography resolutions for 2010, a couple of you suggested moving to truncated rss feeds for the blog. One suggested that it could make the site more attractive to advertisers by “forcing” readers to visit the site, and another mentioned that a truncated feed might also encourage comments and interaction here on the blog.

The common theme between both comments is that the feed consumers aren’t visiting the site very often. While making the blog more profitable is on my mind, I’m more concerned with the amount of interaction on-site. In 2009 we had around 2500 comments and pingbacks. But in 2008 we had around 4300 comments and pingbacks. My only guess is that a bunch of the old base-community has migrated over to the feed reader and assumed that the conversations would continue without them.

Then again, it could be a lot of contributing factors: feed readers are getting better, people’s lives are busier, my writing is turning to crap, etc. At any rate, I’d like to try a little feed experiment for a while and see what changes.

From here out, I’ll be syndicating partial feeds on most of the articles — but I’ll be setting the breakpoint manually on each post, so I’ll give you guys enough content to get a feel for the article. I’m not really a fan of the too-short partial feed, so I’ll try to avoid that whenever possible.

[UPDATE 1/12/2010] Looks like I’ll be keeping full feeds after all. Most people prefer them (myself included) and there doesn’t seem to be a good method for setting a breakpoint manually.

I’d also like to hear from you feed readers on this subject. Does it matter to you one way or the other? Will you wash your hands of Epic Edits once and for all? Or would you actually prefer to have condensed feeds in your reader/email?

Visit the site to leave a comment and vote on the poll

My Photography Resolutions for 2010

New Year’s Resolutions… so cliche, I know. But you can’t deny that the turn of the year is a good time to evaluate your life and make some goals for the next year. I’m in the process of defining my photography goals and resolutions for the upcoming year, in part thanks to Andrew Boyd and his list of “Photographer’s New Year’s Resolutions” (and it seems as though his goals are very much in line with my own). I find that writing them down helps me out, so here are my big ones for 2010.

TAKE MORE PHOTOS

Shooting the Argus C3

After pulling together my favorite photos from the past year, I realized that I had been very passive about taking photos. Several months were filled with family photos, but no art/commercial photos. The reason for this is because I didn’t make the effort to get out and take photos of new things. So this year, I’m planning on getting out there more often, either by myself or with friends.

I also want to get the kids taking more photos. They both shoot 35mm now, and they love to print their stuff in the darkroom. The problem is that I don’t take them out enough to have a good base of negatives to choose from.

WHAT’S THE PLAN?

At best, I can probably afford to get out once each week with the the cameras. At worst, I should be hitting twice per month. I’ll be making an effort to head out each weekend, even if just for a local walk-around to fire off a single roll of film. I’m also going to be bringing the kids with me more often so they can start building up their archive for printing. And every one or two months, I want to do a bigger outing that requires me to be out most of the day shooting.

PRINT MORE PHOTOS

The Darkroom

I’ve been investing a lot of time and money into my darkroom, so I should make better use of it. At first, I was getting in there a few times each week learning how it all works. Lately, I’ll be lucky to print something once every two months. This sucks, mostly because the chemicals go bad before I can finish them and I waste even more money. And now that I’m almost ready to print color in addition to b/w, I’ll need to be a lot better about conserving money for those expensive chemicals and papers.

WHAT’S THE PLAN?

I think at least one night per week is a reasonable goal. This will allow me to keep producing a constant flow of prints (most of which are for my personal portfolio or living room wall). I’ll probably also have to allot one of these nights per month to develop film since I’m doing my own b/w and color stuff now. The rotary processor will allow me to run more rolls at once, so a month’s worth of film in one night shouldn’t be unreasonable.

NO NEW EQUIPMENT

I Don't Have A Problem...

I have a confession to make… I have G.A.S. Yes, it’s true. I can’t help myself when I see a good deal on a great piece of equipment — I just have to buy it. I do use most of the stuff I’ve purchased, but I also have a cabinet full of cameras that rarely get used because there are so many of them. At this point, I pretty much have all the cameras I could need. The only thing I’ve been craving lately is a large format camera, but that needs to be put on hold for a while.

I’m also just about there with the darkroom and I don’t anticipate needing any big ticket items. The last outstanding item is a power supply for the dichro head. After that, I’m all set for b/w and color, film developing, and prints up to 16×20″. This is another reason I don’t want a large format camera yet — my current setup is only good up to medium format (large format will require a whole new enlarger).

WHAT’S THE PLAN?

Well, hopefully I can resist the temptation to buy new toys. I’ve been really good about it lately, and the last purchase was the rotary processor for the darkroom. I haven’t bought any cameras for a while, so I think I’m in a good position to keep it up. I’ll have to keep buying film, paper, and chemicals, but the cost of developing my own color film should go down from $4/roll (at the lab) to $1/roll (in my darkroom).

TURN MORE PROFIT

Analog Fruits

There are two ways to turn a higher profit: make more money, or spend less money. So this resolution includes a little bit of both. I’ve been doing the photography and blogging thing for a few years now, but I don’t have much to show for it. My hobby barely pays for itself at this point, but I’m also spending every bit of my free time doing it. I wouldn’t mind making a few extra bucks by the end of the year.

WHAT’S THE PLAN?

The “spend less money” part is basically the point above: no new equipment. If I can manage to follow through, my profits should be considerably higher. The “make more money” part needs to come from selling photos and selling advertising space on the blog (I actually make more with the blog than with my photos). I’ve been slacking on my ImageKind uploads and Fine Art Photoblog posts (I don’t do stock, I just can’t get the hang of it) — so I need to spend more time on those things. I also need to make this blog more profitable because I know it makes far less than what it could. I have a plan for this point, but I’ll lay it out later this month.

MAKE TIME FOR BLOGGING

Brian Auer

I spend far more time blogging about photography than I spend actually taking or working on photos. This thing is a huge time-sink, but I won’t give it up anytime soon. I’ve learned so much and met so many awesome people through blogging. My problem is having enough time to do it. I would love to spend every night with a clear agenda and a head full of ideas to write about, but that just isn’t the case.

WHAT’S THE PLAN?

First off, I need to be more productive and more organized about my time spent blogging. I usually just get around to it whenever I can, writing up the articles right before I publish them. This is not a good way to blog. I need to set aside at least 2.5 nights per week to write content, answer emails, update software, brainstorm, proofread, feed-read, etc. Eventually, I need to work my way back up to having a few finished articles in the queue at any given time.

MAKE MORE TIME OFF

Jake

I have a full time job, a family, plus all this other junk. So I thoroughly enjoy my time off when I can afford to take it. Every once in a while I’ll just drop everything and lay around for a few days watching movies or playing video games… then I spend a solid week catching up on things. This sucks. I need to give myself breaks and nights off here and there so I don’t burn out and go AWOL.

WHAT’S THE PLAN?

It ultimately boils down to the fact that I need to schedule my time better. Work time means work, lazy time means no work. I’ve scheduled my time in the past, but it never stuck because it was either too aggressive or too inflexible. Having a family to look after means that my time comes second, so I have to be flexible with it. But seriously, I love turning off the computer and wasting time with movies and video games.

THE FINAL VERDICT

It’s obvious to me that I need a schedule of some sort. Like I said, I want it to be somewhat flexible, but I also want to cover my bases each week so I don’t put off the important things for too long. What I came up with is a method of blocking off 2 or 4 hours at a time for individual tasks (and the day job eating up 8-9 hours). Some of the pieces can be moved around from day to day so I can adapt to my seemingly chaotic life. Here’s a sample of what my week might look like… keeping in mind that “day job” and “family” time blocks are universal constants and completely inflexible.

I’ll have to give it a shot for a few weeks to see if the time blocks work out for me. But the idea is that each block of time can be moved around to any day of the week to accommodate my life at that time. Oh, and this is also assuming about 16 hours of blocked time, 6 hours of sleep, and 2 hours of “who knows what” time that manages to escape me every day (probably eating food or something else stupid like that).

What about you guys? Do you have any “New Year Resolutions” for 2010? And are you so busy that you have to schedule your time with chunks of paper?

How To Participate in Photography Projects

weekend07_04.jpg
Creative Commons License photo credit: smallritual

Photography projects are a great way to improve your skills and expand your creativity (plus they’re fun). These projects can take many forms and have many different requirements for participation. It seems like everywhere you look, there are group projects being hosted by bloggers, forums, and other online clubs.

Online projects can be vastly different from one another, but they all have one thing in common: you need to publish something. Sometimes the host will publish for you, and sometimes they require you to find your own avenue for publication. If you have your own blog or website, it’s pretty easy to meet the publication requirements. But if you don’t have your own site, things can be a little more difficult.

This article will show you a few of the methods you can use for self-publication when it comes to these projects — even some free ones. We’ll also take a look at some general points to remember when participating in projects. So if you’ve been holding back from participating in online photography projects, pay attention and take notes.

HOW TO BE A GOOD PLAYER

First and foremost, you need to be sure that you read the project requirements and rules very thoroughly. If you don’t follow the guidelines set by the project host, you’ll run the risk of disqualifying yourself from the project or having to do it over again the right way. Hosts set the rules to ensure that participants produce similar project entries and keep everybody on the same playing field. Hosting a project is a very big task that requires a lot of work and organization. If you submit a project entry that doesn’t conform with the project requirements, you’re making more work for the host and for yourself. So read the rules 2 or 3 times before you even begin the project.

Secondly, you need to make sure that you meet the deadline set by the project host. Late entries cause a lot of hassle, especially if the host will be publishing the results of the entire project. Aside from just hitting the deadline, it’s also a good courtesy to submit your entry prior to the final days before the deadline. A lot of people submit entries on the last day or two of the project and it puts a strain on the host. You may run the risk of getting overlooked or having your project get lost in the shuffle. Besides, most of the post-project publications from the host will be in some sort of chronological order — so if you’re an early bird, you’ll get a top spot on the list and your work will be seen by more people.

And the last topic is more of a suggestion than anything. It’s always nice to have project participants post a link to the project requirements with their entry. It allows your audience to be informed about the project and it will give them a chance to participate too. Like I said, it’s a nice thing to do but it’s generally not required by the project host (unless they specify that it is).

The following points are a few methods for self-publication of project entries. Like I said before, each project will require different things of the project entry — some will be completely published by the host, while others will require you to publish something yourself.

PUBLISHING ON YOUR BLOG

It’s my opinion that a blog provides the best avenue for project publication. You have total control over what you publish, how you publish it, and how it looks. The ease of self-publication is downright scary. The project entry can be published as a regular post and it will have its own unique URL that the project host can reach easily.

Even if you have a blog, this may not be the best route for you to use. If your blog topic is very much different than the photography project or even photography in general, you may have reservations for what you publish. If this is the case, read on for some of the free options that may suit you better.

If you don’t have a blog of your own, also check out some of the other methods for publication. What I wouldn’t suggest doing is starting up a blog just to publish the project entry, especially if you have no intent of keeping up with the blog. This will eventually result in broken links and non-existent project entries if you ever decide to delete the one-post blog. But if you’ve been meaning to start up a blog anyways, then I say go for it!

PUBLISHING ON OTHER BLOGS

Oh no, here come the Bloggers
Creative Commons License photo credit: Brett L.

If you don’t have a photography blog that you can publish your project to, that doesn’t mean that you can’t publish on another blog out there. Most bloggers are fairly open to guest posts, and their audience is usually full of other photographers like yourself. If you want to guest post on another blog, make sure it’s one that fits well with the content you’ll be providing. It’s also a good idea to go after a blog that you read and interact with on a regular basis. The blogger will be much more open to your post if you have an existing relationship with them.

There are a ton of photography blogs out there, so don’t limit your sights to the big mainstream sites. Bloggers with smaller or newer sites will generally be more approachable because they’ll be less tied up with running a large website. It also helps if you get your project finished early and have your publication written and ready to go before you approach them.

PUBLISHING ON YOUR WEBSITE

A typical website would be the next best option to the blog. Publishing something like a project entry isn’t quite as easy, but it’s not totally impossible. If you’re accustomed to creating your own web pages, then posting a project entry should be no problem. The nice thing about a standard website approach is that you can post something and have it remain unseen by the rest of your website. Why would you want to do this? If the topic of your website isn’t photography, it might seem a little out of place.

PUBLISHING ON FLICKR

Friday Night Tribute to Flickr! (a.k.a. Things To Do With A Mobile Phone) :)
Creative Commons License photo credit: dsevilla

Flickr is actually very accommodating to publishing a project that requires photos and/or written portions. Obviously, Flickr is built for posting photos, but you can also post text and links with those photos. Add in the ability to tag your photos and create sets, and you’ve got lots of options for publishing a project entry.

If the project requires only a photo, then just post the photo to Flickr as you normally would. Like I said before, it’s also a good idea to write a little about the project (or why you took the photo) and possibly link back to the project page so other people can participate. You can just post this text in the description for the photo, and now you’ve got your own project entry on a single web page.

If the project requires more than one photo (like a portfolio), then a Flickr set is the way to go. Include all your photos in a set, and you can also describe the project in the set description. If the project requires a larger portion of written work, then include that text on one of your photos in the set and link to it from the set description. You want to make sure that the project host can find your entire project entry easily.

If you don’t want to include the project photos in a set (because the free Flickr accounts limit the number of sets you can have), then a common tag will also work. Then you can submit your project entry as the collection of photos with that common tag. To do this, you just add the following text to the end of your photostream URL: “/tags/[tag name]” — here’s an example.

PUBLISHING ON FORUMS

Forums are another great avenue to publish content for free. You can start a new thread, post some project photos, and complete the written part of it all in one spot. Other photographers will then be able to comment on your entry piece, and they’ll also have an opportunity to participate if they choose.

Just like guest posting on another photographer’s blog, posting project entries on a forum will go over much better if you have an existing presence there. Don’t just use the forum as a way to publish the project and never return.

PUBLISHING ON OTHER FREE SITES

Now I’m going to turn the discussion over to you. I’ve presented a few methods of publishing photography project entries, some free and some not. I think it would be useful if some of you offered up some additional suggestions — the cheaper the option, the better.

Social Photography Tips From Around the Web

Our (extended) group writing project has officially come to an end. Back in January, I posted the project requirements and guidelines. Over the course of the past two months, we’ve had 12 entries into the “Social Photography” portion of InspirationBit’s Social Media Mega Project.

Posted below are some excerpts from the 12 articles. Many of the entries were centered around Flickr, but there are a few that touch on other social sites and services. It’s always great to hear thoughts from other photographers on the websites that so many of us use. I’d encourage you to read through the articles linked below — the authors put quite a bit of effort into their writing and they’ve published some very useful and insightful information.

Social Media as I See It

Social Media as I See It

… The one that has had the biggest impact on me is http://www.strobist.blogspot.com or strobist.com. David Hobby has created a community with his site. He has selflessly shared his knowledge with all of us to improve our lighting. He unknowingly pushed me to challenge myself in areas I have always wanted to tread but didn’t know where to start…

Social Media In My Way

Social Media In My Way

… Flickr is not only a photo sharing tool. With the possibilities of commenting pictures, joining groups and participating in group discussions it is a lively scenery of photography related discussions… Jumpcut and Animoto are newcomers comparing to Flickr but it’s worth to keep an eye on them… photographyVoter.com- an other great social media example – is the Digg for photographers… I’m sure others leverage social media tools at a much higher level than I do. Some people are even making a life with and off them. And if you are one of those you can work location independently. But there is one thing to note: it is hard work and requires time…

Blog Writing Project

Blog Writing Project

… Flickr – it has caused me angst and confusion! I guess that’s not quite the opening you were expecting? Let me explain… The thing is, I didn’t “get” what Flickr was about. Being kinda new to the social web I’m not really “into” it, and nor it seems, are many of my friends and colleagues. My philosophy has tended to be that if I’ve got something that’s worth saying then I will, but otherwise I tend to look, not touch. Even on forums I tend to lurk. But that’s not what Flickr (and blogs) are all about…

Utilizing Flickr as a Photoblogging Tool

Utilizing Flickr as a Photoblogging Tool

… I happen to now host my images on Flickr… My favorite use of Flickr, however, is the ability to use it as a blogging tool. I have a photoblog for projects and I can dump my images onto Flickr then easily blog straight to my wordpress site… Using Flickr as a blogging tool has helped simplify my work-flow…

Help me flickr! I want to be a better photographer!

Help me flickr! I want to be a better photographer!

… By following this advice you can create an online portfolio of your best work… Restrict your uploads to one or two a day, but don’t feel like you have to upload something everyday… Haven’t shot anything recently, but still want to share some work? Cruise through your archives… Groups are probably one of the most important facets in your development… Spend time in the pools that most interest you. Comment on the photos in the pool. Insightful comments… While fav’s may reflect your moods to a certain degree, on a wider scale they reflect your aspirations…

Socializing

Socializing

… So I will share with you here MY experience with social websites, the ones I use, the one I love and the ones you could really help me make a change with!… Flickr offers unlimited storage and bandwidth so I use it to host various images/icons/logos that I use here… PhotographerVoter is a digg like community specialized in photography links! Luckily the people are much nicer than at digg… the most important part of socializing is not the social websites but it is rather to meet and make friends from readers and other photography bloggers…

photophlow: A Social Experience for Flickr Photographers

photophlow: A Social Experience for Flickr Photographers

… Photography is becoming an ever increasing social event with the onset of digital cameras, widespread Internet access, and great new websites springing up every time you turn around. Flickr has been a pillar community for photographers across the globe, and it’s an amazing place to share your work, view the work of others, and communicate with other photographers. But social media and other social websites have given us a taste of what it really means to connect with people who share common interests, and Flickr just isn’t cutting it (socially) for some of us. This is where photophlow comes in to play — adding a whole new level of social interaction to Flickr… photophlow is a mixture of several concepts and existing services…

Twist & shout!

Twist & shout!

… I looked at several services before opting for Shutterchance and my blog ‘eclectic’. Flickr seemed too huge with the number of ‘photographers’ and in some cases they seemed far too pompous! Zooomr was finding its feet – and still is; I wasn’t keen on the layout of Aminus3 and Blogger was a non-starter… I certainly felt most at home on Shutterchance…

Virtual community becoming real

Virtual community becoming real

… “Web 2.0″ is all about online community. But sometimes we want more. We want to meet the real people behind those avatars and icons. A small group of Ann Arbor photographers, first met on Flickr, has been meeting semi-regularly in person… We know each other online by our Flickr “handles”, such as Boston Wolverine and Capntoo. In person, we become Sam and Dave… our online community becomes a personal community, which in turn strengthens the online community…

Flickr is the key to my social photography experience

Flickr is the key to my social photography experience

… I joined Flickr in October 2006… I still kinda “lurked” around Flickr at first. I put a few photos up and spent hours viewing other people’s images… then I got a comment… then someone invited me to post a photo to a group… then someone added me as a contact… then someone asked to use one of my photos on their website… Before I knew it, I was an active member of the online photography community… My contribution back to the online photography community is to write posts on my own website; stumble photography posts and websites when I can; bookmark articles on del.icio.us and vote for articles on PhotographyVoter… Flickr is definitely the key to my social photography experience. In fact, if I had not discovered Flickr, I may still be “lurking” my way around the internet.

Things to Consider Before You Join a Flickr Pool

 Things to Consider Before You Join a Flickr Pool

… Photographers and Designers need a social media website that would help their artwork visually targeted. Flickr has the powerful tool to bring a visual masterpiece uncovered to the millions of viewers. If you’re a photographer or a designer who blog, why not starting out a Flickr pool?… Here are things to consider before you join a Flickr Pool… Create a nice screen name url… manage the usage rights… set the content type of your graphics… Watermark your photos with your blog URL… Tags your uploaded photos…

Social Media As A New Way Of Doing Business

Social Media As A New Way Of Doing Business

… It is easy to get overwhelmed by hundreds of various social networking sites… For some of us social media presented the ways to express ourselves, make friends, escape the troubles of the real world or simply feed our lifelong desire to learn. For others social media became the perfect tool in growing and conducting business…. I thought of interviewing Rastin Mehr, a successful entrepreneur, talented developer and an open source advocate… Flickr… My most favorite of all social networks that is. I’ve been using it for 2 years I think. I use it every hour as a way to reduce my stress, or trigger my imagination…

And remember to check back on InspirationBit in a few days if you want to see the results from ALL the different social networks and websites.

Take a Moment and Give Me Some Love

OK, this is totally off topic and completely self-promotional. But hey, somebody’s gotta do it.

With the social photography project running right now, I just got to thinking about some of these networks and how they can be used to support your favorite bloggers. If you’re anything like me, you probably have a few social networks (and blogging networks if you’re a blogger) that you utilize from time to time. But also if you’re anything like me, you might forget to show your favorite sites and bloggers some love — not just the posts or articles, but the root site and the authors themselves.

WHAT AM I GETTING AT?

I guess what I’m saying is that I DO appreciate it when you guys share the love and help boost the authority of the blog. A higher authority can lead to more visitors, which can lead to more great community members, which can lead to more great discussions, which can lead to more interesting article ideas, which can lead to a higher level of enjoyment on your end. So you see, it’s really more about you than it is about me. I rarely, if ever, push this self-promotional stuff on anyone, so here’s my entitled once-a-year “give me some love” reminder for those of you involved with the following networks.

I heart FeedBurner

First and foremost, if you haven’t already subscribed to the feed and you use a feed reader, DO IT NOW. We bloggers love to see those subscriber numbers increase, plus it’s a great way for you to keep up with the daily happenings here on the blog.

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is my favorite network. For those who use it, I don’t need to tell you how great it really is. For those of you who don’t, what the heck are you waiting for? If you’re on the network and if you like this blog, don’t forget to give a thumbs-up to my home page (and review it if you’re feeling extra giving) and a thumbs-up on my StumbleUpon profile (also open for reviews).

Also for you stumblers, if you’ve added me as a friend you can jump on your home page and use the “Share this page with friends” option to remind me to consider your site for a thumbs-up. I can’t guarantee I’ll give it a vote, but if I like it and if I haven’t already done so I’ll give it a thumbs-up.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Technorati is kind of an interesting one… it’s more of a bloggers-only ranking thingy than a social network. But it does give you the ability to add other blogs to your “favorites” and I’m guessing that adds to their authority and ranking (but maybe not, I’m not sure). At any rate, it’s always nice to see that a fellow blogger likes this blog well enough to take the time and add it to their favorites list. So if you’re on Technorati and you like this blog, use the button above or head over to my Technorati page and click on the heart.

Join My Community at MyBloglog!

MyBlogLog is another bloggers-only group, but it’s a little different than Technorati. So again, if you’re on MyBlogLog and you like the site, head over to our community page to join in and don’t forget to stop by my author page and add me as a contact.

So that’s it folks — I won’t bother you with this silly stuff again until next year around the same time. We’ll get back to the standard photography-talk tomorrow.

WRITING PROJECT: Social Photography

Photography has become a very social pastime with the uprise of digital cameras, the Internet, and photo-sharing websites. Photographers from all around the world are sharing their work, viewing the work of others, and making connections with people they would have otherwise never met. It’s an amazing thing how social networking and photography have almost merged into one big culture: Social Photography.

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

  • Write a post on a blog and share your experience with social photography websites. See below for more details and examples.
  • Go to the form at the bottom of this page and send me your name, email (kept private), and link to your project entry. If you don’t have your own blog, you can always ask to write a guest post on one of the many photography blogs out there.
  • Once I collect the links from the participants I’ll publish them on my blog. You can then write another post and link to either all or only your favorite articles by other bloggers.
  • Limit one article per author for this particular project. You are more than welcome to visit other participating blogs hosting projects dedicated to other social media sites and take part in those projects (I’ll explain more below).

DEADLINE: MARCH 22, 2008

This project is actually part of a larger project being termed “The Social Media Mega Project“. InspirationBit is hosting the mega-project, and I’m hosting a small portion of this project on photography related websites. Several other bloggers are hosting similar mini-projects to fill the gaps in the mega-project. These projects span the following topics:

So if you can offer up your experience in any of those social sites listed above, feel free to visit the project pages and participate.

WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT…

As photographers we have a lot of options when it comes to social-based websites. We have the photo-sharing sites like Flickr and Zooomr. We have social media sites like photographyVoter and PictPicture. Then we also have some interactive sites like photophlow. Simply pick your favorite social site and choose a topic to write about that you feel comfortable with.

This topic could be how you integrate this social media site into your blogging, photography, or daily life. You could tell us about your good or bad experiences, how would you compare this social networking site with others, what do you like or don’t like about it, how you benefit from becoming a frequent user of this site, what secrets have you learned about it, and/or what tips or warnings would you like to inform others about. It can really be anything related to that site — just share what you know.

As a couple of examples right here from the archives of Epic Edits, Martin has already written about his Top 10 Flickr Hacks, and I’ve written about Flickr Etiquette. I’ll actually be following up soon with a new article on photophlow, how to use it, what it can be used for, and the benefits of using it.

So start thinking about those social pholography sites that you use, and put together your thoughts on how you can share your experience with other photographers.

PROJECT ENTRY FORM

Sorry folks, the deadline for project submissions is over. Stay tuned for the project results on the 24th.

2007: A Great Year of Photography and Blogging

WOW — 2007 was great! I started up the blog in mid-January last year, and it’s been an awesome experience since that time. I had been involved with photography a few years prior to the blog, but nothing like that of the last year. The blog has caused me to really focus on my photography and building relationships with other photographers and photography bloggers. All in all it’s been great, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. A BIG THANKS to everyone who sticks around, reads the articles, links to the blog, makes comments, and especially to those with whom I’ve become friends (you know who you are).

This blog has grown far larger than I had ever expected. In the course of a year, we’ve had over 825,000 pageviews, 513,000 visitors, and 443,000 unique visitors! That’s a lot of people. The blog has a PageRank of 5, an Alexa ranking of 42,139, and a Technorati ranking of 6,481! We’re up to almost 2000 subscribers (it jumped to 2001 a few days ago and dropped back down) and the site gets around 2,000 to 4,000 visitors per day on average. We’ve also had 7 articles make it to the front page of Digg (which certainly accounts for a good chunk of traffic and growth)!

So if you’re fairly new around here, check out these articles from the past. I’ve picked out two from each month (excluding January) that might be worth checking out if you haven’t seen them before.

JANUARY

Not much really happened in Jauary — I was just getting the blog off the ground and trying to learn the ropes.

FEBRUARY

MARCH

APRIL

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

NOW ON WITH 2008!!!