Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Be More Social
Pros and cons of the major websites and services for sharing your photos with the global online community
As photographers, we all want to share our photos with an audience, be it our friends and family, clients who hired us, or other photographers. Social media has provided a tool to bring everyone together for sharing, commenting, and sending photo and video content instantly. Through the years, these networks have grown, changed, expanded and multiplied, giving each photographer the ability to pick and choose a network that will best fit his or her own connective style. Here's a look at some of the major players to help you decide which network matches your style. In addition to Facebook, there are other community-based and photography-centric options. Many photographers are active on several networks in order to connect with many people and take advantage of each network's pluses.
It's nearly impossible to talk about social media without starting with Facebook. The simple truth is that almost everyone has joined Facebook, making it a very convenient
way to share photos with friends and family. But in terms of the type of images that make it to the social network, Facebook tends to be a reservoir for snapshots as opposed to technical and artistic photographs. There's not a specific photographer community based on the network, and even among the general public, the enthusiasm for Facebook seems to be dwindling. www.facebook.com.
Flickr gained its community-oriented roots from its development as a feature to the multiplayer online roleplaying game Neverending by Ludicorp. Yahoo acquired the company in 2005, bringing Flickr to the masses and adding additional features, such as more storage and different account options.
Flickr recently came out with a redesign, keeping their community feel but incorporating some new features with their free membership. Flickr now has a different look, including larger photo presentation and a photo activity stream. Instead of spending time clicking, this pulls attention to photo browsing. Another key feature is storage. Flickr now offers one tera-byte of free storage space, allowing high-resolution photo uploads and high-definition video uploads (up to three minutes). If you're unsure about how actively you want to share, you may still want to join for the backup storage space. Flickr still offers the ability to create multiple levels of security for your images, letting you decide just who you share with.
Staying true to its social community roots through the years, Flickr has become known as a top photography community where connection, comments and critiques from other photographers are the norm. As a leader in this type of social exchange, Flickr also has a large number of active members, making it a key resource for feedback. www.flickr.com
500px started out as a feature within the LiveJournal blogging site in 2003 when 500 pixels was considered a good web display standard size. The site started out as a moderated photo showcase for the blog site, but separated and re-launched in 2009. Currently with over 1.5 million community members, the site is known for a stylish and photocentric display based on a mathematical algorithm that uses votes, likes, dislikes, favorites and freshness to create a photo "Pulse" and get your photos in front of others. 500px provides portfolio sites for members, as well as the ability to monetize and sell your photos as prints and digital downloads. www.500px.com
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