Tag Archives: facebook

Social Media and the Death of the Web (Morning Musings 9/27/14)

Dan Mitchell 1977 Website Screenshot
Dan Mitchell 1977 Website Screenshot *

How many of us have considered the ways in which popular social media services — which admittedly are hugely appealing in many ways  — are doing an effective job of killing the world wide web and undoing the early promise that it offered of direct and open access, along with visibility proportionate to quality, and critical disintermediation?

A few years back there was this astonishing, exciting, powerful, accessible thing called the world wide web, on which virtually anyone could share their story, their creative work, their business — and we saw the beginnings of the great disintermediation as boundaries were broken and the middlemen who had stood between content producers and consumers began to disappear. This was a world filled with promise. Those who produced valuable and interesting content (as differentiated from those who simply channeled it) could connect directly with a world of people who found that content compelling, and those looking for content could easily find it and follow it. Word got around, and it did so fairly directly, with little or no intermediation by those who had controlled traditional media.

Social media applications are seductive things, especially during their start-up phase, when the typical approach has involved giving away (or at least appearing to give away) a great deal of access by means of what seem like very open platforms. In fact, many who jumped onto these platforms early on did manage to leverage their initial power to their advantage. However, virtually without exception, these applications have morphed in directions that do not enable our own control over what we see and who we connect to, but which instead take control out of our hands and begin to determine for us what we will see, most often based on generating advertising revenue — a old model that takes us back to (to coin a term) nondisintermediation. Continue reading Social Media and the Death of the Web (Morning Musings 9/27/14)

A Little Story About Posting Daily Photographs

First, why the heck do I post a new photograph every day?! I have been doing this now for more than five  years, believe it or not. (I don’t know for certain when I started, but by dividing the number of photographs in my online gallery by 365, it looks like it may have been almost seven years now!) I have no illusions that it is possible for me to post something close to an incredible photograph 365 times each year, so for this purpose I’ll settle for merely credible! One impetus for this project probably comes from my background in music, where practice is regarded as central to developing and maintaining the ability to function artistically – and a goal is to do the thing so regularly and so often that the doing becomes almost intuitive and the technical stuff becomes less and less daunting – though it never quite disappears. So my daily photographs are essentially the part of my “practice” that I’ve chosen to make public.

Since I’m almost continually producing new photographs – continuing down familiar paths and trying to improve the results or trying things that are new to me – I generate a lot of photographs. My primary goal is to line them up for posting at the blog on that new-photo-per-day basis. I often have at least some photographs ready to go and queued up for posting well ahead of time.

Typically, I might have a week’s worth or so in the pipeline, though there is some variation. On a few occasions I have had nothing ready and I actually had to go out and make a photograph for posting on the day it was posted! On other occasions I’ve had a much bigger line-up of photos ready to go. (Right now my “problem” is that I have too many in the pipeline! I’ve already selected and lined up photographs through the end of March! This makes it hard to post work that I’m doing right now that I would like to share. For example, I have more work from a recent shoot at Point Lobos, some long-exposure work from early January,  and there are still photographs from my extensive photography in Utah last fall. (I’m also working on a long term project to photograph musicians, and none of that work has appeared here yet.)

When a new photograph is ready, it becomes part of a “sharing workflow” that accomplishes the following:

  1. I queue the photograph up at my blog, scheduling its appearance there weeks or even months in advance. I write the descriptive text at the time I put the image in the queue.
  2. Out of habit, I also post the image to my old Flickr account as part of the process to queue it at my blog. (Hint: you can often see my photographs at Flickr before they show up elsewhere, since I have no way to delay the posting there.)
  3. On the day when the photo finally shows up at my blog, I do a quick bit of copying and pasting to create the daily posts at Facebook and Google Plus. The Facebook posts are rather minimal, usually containing little more than the image and the title and basic description, along with a link to the blog. I incorporate more information with the Google Plus posts, including an excerpt from the full post at my blog along with a link back to the blog post. A blog plugin also automatically shares a message on Twitter and a very brief one at Facebook.
  4. From time to time I may also share some photographs at 500px or Pinterest, though that is not a regular part of my workflow.

There are a few variations on this process. At times I’m in places where I simply cannot go online and post – perhaps I’m backpacking or just too busy. When this happens, Facebook may only show the tiny thumbnail image that is automatically posted from the blog, and I may have to forego the usual larger image. I can use a Chrome browser plugin to pre-schedule new Google Plus posts on those days.

Sometimes people wonder how it is possible to find time to do all of this and whether it is worthwhile. The first question is easier to answer. At this point, I have the whole process simplified to the point that it actually takes me very little time. The second question is a bit trickier, but on balance it is worthwhile – though there are days when I think about how it might be a bit easier to simply not post every day… but then I do it anyway! :-)

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

New facebook username-based URL

I just saw that one can now have a custom facebook URL… and I grabbed mine. At facebook I am now found at: www.facebook.com/gdanmitchell.

Even if you can’t imagine why you would want such a thing right now, just do it. There is nothing to lose and potentially something to gain. These short and logical URLs are much easier to remember (or even guess!) than the odd ones formerly used at Facebook. If history is a guide, the good ones will go fast!

Me. Elsewhere

Thought I’d share the updated list of other places where I post, etc. on the web:

I find that it is always useful to have a lot of distractions on days when I have a lot of real work that I should be doing… ;-)