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Too many social media

Too many social media

I think I have hit the social media wall. How much is too much? I’m all over it: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Posterous and my own personal blog along with posting on L.A. Times Framework.

I forgot to mention email. I just went on vacation for a few days and now have a hundred unopened email messages.

And now there’s Google+. It seems so popular; everyone’s talking about it. I can’t even get an invitation. It all over the news. It must be great. How can I live without the latest and greatest and most talked-about social networking idea from Google? It all seems so special. Really, how can I live without Circles, Hangouts and Sparks?

Turns out there’s a snafu at Google+, so I can’t join the club. “Google+ is in limited Field Trial.” I guess they’re testing it out.

I left my email address, and they’ll let me know. I clicked on “Keep Me Posted.”

Their reply: “Thanks for stopping by. We’re still ironing out a few kinks in Google+, so it’s not quite ready for everyone to climb aboard. … But, if you want, we’ll let you know the minute the doors are open for real. Cool? Cool.”

Who signs off a note with “Cool? Cool.”? Only Google+, I guess. Come to think of it, I’m already socializing with Google’s Picasa, which is my photo-sharing  media of choice. I mostly use it to share family photos. I forgot to mention Flickr; you can always find a few of my photos there. One of the newest photo-sharing sites is the popular 500px. It’s really a quality site, but I’m not a fan of a photo-sharing services that feature “like” and “dislike” buttons. I just don’t need that kind of attention. Feel free to take a look, but who needs all this voting?

I’m also losing my focus with Instagram. How many more discolored square photos with artistic frames do I need to look at? In fact, I’m going to rethink my social options. I really need to stay focused; the more diversified I get the more the disorganized I become.
In order to remain focused, I need to decide what works best and then cast off the rest.

Keepers:

Picasa – This is my choice for sharing photographs from my family from various events. It very simple to operate, downloading photos from my iPhoto library is a breeze and then it’s quick to add the necessary emails. You can organize the photographs into events and they display quickly.

Facebook – No question here who is king. I’m sure Google+ will try and knock Facebook off the top spot, but it has a long way to go. Facebook has way too many users. Everyone seems to be very comfortable with its interface posting photos, leaving comments and the like, posting a quick note or chatting away. It stays simple enough for so many to use.

Posterous –  I use Posterous as a place to post my favorite photo from what I take each day. I tend to stumble a little on this. Posterous is what I call a “mini-blog”: It’s simple to post to; all you need to do is send an email with text and the photo and you’re done. It fits between Twitter and your full-featured platforms like WordPress or Blogger.

WordPress – Now you’re ready for the full-feature blog. All the power you need along with all the creative customization possible — depending on the time you want to spend. They have done a great job of giving you simple to incredibly complicated, depending on your needs. WordPress is free for anyone looking to start a blog. They will even host it for you on the Web version. I used this for my own personal site and do pay for Web hosting. It’s very simple to use and is themed-based, making it easy to change the look of your website. Many companies offer custom website for a fee, but there’s plenty of free options available.

Twitter – People talk about Twitter like they understand it. It’s my favorite of the social systems. I do wish creative thoughts would pop into my head more often, then it would really be perfect for me. Until then, I guess people will continue to be posted when I make my daily coffee run. I need to do something interesting enough to be worthy of a 140-character tweet. That’s how it started out, but it changed into more of what ‘s going on in the news, what’s the new humorous, quirky YouTube video, a link to your new Instagram photo masterpiece and maybe a cool saying from a long-deceased philosopher. I really prefer the old-school of what you are doing and a more personal touch to being social.

It’s also nice because you can go at your own pace, contribute if you want to or  let the endless drone of tweets roll by.

Casting off:

Instagram – I gave it a try, but I need to throw in a vertical or horizontal image. It’s too much faded grunge for me. I’m in the minority here. Instagram is where it’s at.  Give it a try. They do make it easy to post creative-looking photos from your smartphone. There’s not enough features for me. I can’ figure out where my photos end up. Maybe in the Instagram cloud.

On the fence:

Flickr – I gave Flickr a good try. The principle is great. Easy photo sharing for free, with a limited available space and going for the reasonably priced upgrade for more space. Flickr has integrated well into most programs, like iPhoto. A few simple clicks and you’re off sharing your photographs with friends and strangers. It’s really about getting your photographs seen by many. It’s easy to join photo groups and comment on photos, making this more of a photo-sharing community. I have stopped using Flickr, but I’m not sure why. It’s just the limit on time available, so it drifted out of my usage pattern.

Google+ – To be continued.

500px – Nice quality here. Be sure to click on the popular photo on the website if you need some inspiration. This website has great design and great photos, but I’m not a fan of the rating system. I’m not sure every photo needs a rating. It’s just a little too much for me.

One thing to remember: Read the fine print when you’re sharing your photographs. Recently there has been plenty of press on sites including Fotofocus and the Washington Post about Google +. It ‘s always important to realize that once you post your photos to the Web or cloud, you lose some control.

Cool? Cool.

Photos: Google.com, Posterous.com, Facebook.com and Flickr.com

Read more reviews and photography tips by Robert Lachman

2 Comments

  1. July 27, 2011, 11:19 pm

    Hope you'll be on Google+ soon. It's a great place for photographers. So many good photographers with awesome photos. I love it.

    By: Håkan Dahlström
  2. July 28, 2011, 7:38 am

    great post. i'm right there with in all this. been thinking a lot about social media and photography, and you've put it in to words for me. thanks!

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