Thursday, June 28, 2012

Did Facebook Kill The Photoblog?

So....did Facebook kill the photo blog?

Do photographers even want to blog when the quick adrenaline hit of acknowledgement is met so quickly on FB? And even if you feel your ideas are best suited to blogging rather than status updates, its really the audience you can get on FB that is the treasure. That and the tricky systems it uses to wind viewers into your world and spoon feed them your new work...before they even know they are being fed anything! Now that is seductive. Who needs to read an essay?

And then there is tumblr, that can present the work with all of it's elegance...all the presentation you ever wanted really. Is that the new wordless blog to work with? Should everything shift over to that?

If the photo blogs aren't dead they certainly are quiet. My favs: Andrew Hetherington's What's The Jackanory? clocks in at April 11th, 2012. Ground Glass by Cara Phillips, December 7th, 2011. Juliana's Lovely Land of Neurosis, May 16th, 2012. Chase Jarvis, A Photo Editor, Strobist, all are still going along as if Facebook never happened. But the personal blogs, the ones that let you into the personality of the photographer, their likes and dislikes and tastes and process...the social blog...that seems to have have been dented by the FB bullet, as has this blog as well. Ahh...even as I say that I realize Chris Buck's blog is relatively new and has the buzz of enthusiasm that these things need. And Little Brown Mushroom's mix of commerce and art...oh yes, and now we have Straylight Press evolving out of Tony Fouhse's Drool. So I dunno...just as much rebirth as death? Should I have saved this post for Easter? Did Facebook initiate a rebirth of the photoblog?

But for now, I'll leave you with two dimensional and three dimensional recreations of the game Angry Birds. It just seems appropriate.



Forrest MacCormack said...

Tim - I think you are on to something here. Since I joined Facebook last year my blogging has trailed off. Hmm - interesting.. very interesting.

Another reality for me is the fact that there are just so many places on the Internet to keep up with. Where do you spend your energy? Back in "the day" (ohh prior to about 1993 or so depending on who is counting) - we made pictures on film and paper - if we wanted someone to see them - they got printed, published or passed around. Now we have the instant gratification of the digital universe and the explosion of "more and more". Not to mention the logins and passwords! I keep track of something like 50 sites each with a login and passwords!!

Unknown said...

Oh...for sure. So many many vehicles to share your work. You gotta choose or do them all. And when you do too much...something's gotta suffer...

Tony said...

In these days of accelerated (and accelerating) culture options are where it's at. But way back when, that great Canadian thinker Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase: "The medium is the message". What you choose to deliver your message says as much about what you are trying to communicate as what you actually say.

If all you want is audience, then Fb and Twitter are swell and all you need to fulfil that goal.

And I think it says a lot that, these days, it's all about merely shooting your junk all over the place and hoping that some of it sticks.

Stella Kramer said...

It drives me crazy that people comment on my blog on FB as opposed to on the blog itself. But I soldier on. FB isn't good for deep thoughts, but it's good for short comments. So in that way, the exchange between blogger and commenter (is that a word?) works.

Douglas Ljungkvist said...

For me as a photographer/marketer a blog is not needed. FB is just fine.

Now if you're a writer on the other hand, full time blogger, reviewer, curator, etc, then a blog might make sense.

I'm also an introverted and private person who doesn't have a need to share everything about my life with everyone. I think that blogging is the ultimate extroverted activity and therefor does not interest or work for me.

I try and let me photographs do my talking as my writing is not very good. Every now and then I write something photography related that I want to share. Then I try and partner with an online magazine instead.

If blogs are dying there is a reason for that. Perhaps there is no great need for most blogs. Perhaps the "I'm starting a blog because I can" time has passed and few have enough visitors making it worthwhile.

Eye balls and critical mass are leftover 90's internet buzzwords that are still applicable today.

Oh, and few have figured out a sustainable revenue stream from blogs.

Jeff Singer said...

I said the same thing about Tumblr a while back:

While I agree there are many photographers I'd love to see shut up and only show more work (which I'm sure most would say about me, minus the wanting to see more work part), unfortunately there have been quite a few photographers who once had great blogs with great writing who moved to Tumblr and mostly post instagram snap shots. Not an improvement to be sure.

I think it's just another form of people getting lazy due to convenience. Just because it's easy to quickly post a photo and move on doesn't mean you should ONLY do that. There's no reason people can't use Tumblr or Facebook for that matter to do more than post a pic... It's a choice to be lazy and not do anything more.

Brian Rose said...

I've been keeping a photography blog since 2006 and do it not just for an audience but for me. It is an incentive to think and write, to do new work, to stay focused. It can take a lot of time, but I feel that it is time well spent.

The Facebook ecosystem gives me the creeps, and it's getting worse as FB gets more commercial. It feels like a virus. I think it is inevitable that the whole thing will eventually crash and burn.

Anonymous said...

My own blogging frequency has certainly taken a hit lately....being too busy with work is a good excuse, as is moving the World Headquarters, but then good old laziness is also to blame....

Anonymous said...

Joe McNally still does a great job with his blog, new content every few days. His is always a good read.

Feel free to stop by and check out my photo blog - - 659 posts and going strong.

~ Mark

bird. said...

I like what you said, Brian. Foto blogs should be the incentive to keep a photographer on track with his/her project. Watching Echolilia unfold day by day was perfect in blog format. I loved it.

I also agree with the latter of what you said. I can't stand FB... I took myself off over a year ago (maybe two now?). I know everyone is there, everyone is connecting, marketing, "Like"ing things. It IS too commercial, though. It's also scary that there's that much information about every single person on there, all in the hands of one powerful man, and many other naughty ones. The CIA is having a field day with all the info that used to take them YEARS to collect... When it becomes easier, they start watching more people, and so forth. But saying all that makes me sound crazy, and "like, totally paranoid, man." It was in the news for those of you who scoff.

But I digress. T.A., as long as you blog, I know I'll be reading. But then again, I'm not on FB.


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