Blogs?

Discussion in 'Website Creation' started by robschultze, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. Does anyone else run a blog as well as a portfolio website?
    I feel that it gives me a chance to show off my knowledge of photography as well as my ability to write and show my opinion on the industry. http://somephotographer.wordpress.com
    Anyone else? Comments?
     
  2. i was thinking about makeing a blog
     
  3. I use pixelpost and plan to have a porfolio up soon as well. I like the blog because there is some level of interaction.

    Www.chadlatta.com

    and

    www.chadlatta.com/blog

    neither are completely finished and the blog is not quite functional yet, I'm still finishing the template.
     
  4. My first objection to blogs in general is that "blog" is an ugly word. As Jerry Seinfeld said, "It sounds like something that came out of your nose!"
    You may feel free to dismiss the above as just the contrarian opinion of a crotchety old coot. (Which I am.)
    But seriously, I think a blog is a big waste of time. Most blogs have fewer than three regular readers, and most are updated regularly for the first few months but are then abandoned when the authors become discouraged about the fact that only their family and a few friends ever visit.
    Your blog has some chance of success if one or more of the following is true:
    1) You are an expert on some aspect of the craft, and have advice to share. Here's an example: http://hdriblog.com
    2) You have decades of experience and have achieved a significant level of success and you'd like to share your insights with those new to the profession. (Even if this is true, it will only work if you have some way of publicizing it. And if it is true, you're better off writing a book.)
    3) You are famous or infamous.
    A blog is sure to fail if it's not updated at least weekly.
    Here's a quick test: Make a list of 52 relevant topics on which you can write at least four paragraphs. These must offer fresh insights, not just a re-hash of what others have already written on the subject. Now actually write at least twenty of those essays. If you can do that you may have a chance of surviving the first year. Otherwise I think you're much better off spending your time and money taking pictures.
     
  5. Oh I have to disagree with you Greg, having a blog was probably one of the best things I've ever done for getting myself out there. On top of that I have a twitter page which updates every time I make a blog post. Might seem like overkill, but the key is really to just get involved in a community and get people knowing who you are. I get new readers to my blog every single day. Blogs are ubiquitous these days, you can't really ignore the impact they can have on a business.
    I used to write a music blog, and after about only a year I had about 200-300 visitors per day, and after two years I had about 500+ people, depending on what I posted on each day, which I know is not on par with some of the bigger sites, but still not too bad considering I barely knew what I was doing at the time in terms of marketing it. I have taken the blog down, but I still to this day get emails from readers asking me about it, and people in the music business asking me to post stuff about their bands.
    I recently started a photography blog (photodevotion.com ), and I've been at it for a four months now and my numbers are steadily climbing, I have about an average of 50 unique people per day checking it out, and they're not family and friends. I know it's not huge at the moment, but I also know the numbers will continue to grow.
    The key is really to market it in the right way and update it frequently, so I do agree with you that a blog that is not constantly updated will definitely not do as well. I think what makes a blog successful is a lot more simple and a lot more attainable though- just put yourself into it. I don't mean like a personal diary or something, but put enough of your personality and yourself into what you write and what you post about, and people will be interested. I noticed that when I started being less formal and giving readers a glimpse into my personality, my traffic really started increasing, and people started coming back more.
    You don't have to aim for being on par with a huge site that has tons of writers contributing to it daily and thousands of hits per hour, but keep in mind that most blogs start small and take time to grow depending on how you maintain and promote them. I don't think it's a waste of time at all! In fact, quite the opposite. Plus, if you enjoy doing it, why not, right?
     
  6. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Alli, "your" photoblog appears to be photos lifted from other sites. Why is that?
     
  7. Mr. Darling,
    If you enjoy doing it, well then good for you.
    But most of the photographers I know - even the very good ones - are struggling to keep their businesses going, and I just don't think that keeping a blog up is the best use of their time.
    How has "getting myself out there" worked in terms of actually getting assignments?
    And I too would pose the same question that Jeff asked.
    - Greg
     
  8. The blog that I linked isn't currently my own work, I didn't claim it was. It's a blog where I post about photographers I find that I like or admire, photo gear, news, tutorials, events, photo news, etc. I'm not "lifting" anyone's work or making any sort of profit off of the photographers I post about, my goal is to call attention to some great photography out there and be one of the resources people can go to find out more about photography. That said, I will be adding a section in the future that contains my own personal projects and work, but it will be an offshoot of this main blog.
    Why? Because I love photography, always have, it's an interest, a hobby, and a job. I don't know why it's implied I have some sort of ulterior motive?
    In the four months that I've been doing this blog, I've made contacts that have led to actual photo jobs, met other photographers, started fine art projects with one other photographer that I met through the blog, and basically just become more involved in the online and local photography communities. All in all I'd say not bad for a few months and about an hour of work each day. It does work for me, so I guess it is good for me! I'll stick with it until I don't see the point, and I think it's valid to let the original poster know that there are people who find blogging comes with positive results.
    Oh, and it's Ms. Darling. Not Mr. ;)
     
  9. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I think all the other posters were discussing using a blog for pushing one's own work out there.
     
  10. Like I did say, my blog will also in the future include my personal work. However, the original poster wrote, "I feel that it gives me a chance to show off my knowledge of photography as well as my ability to write and show my opinion on the industry," in which case, my blog relates to the original question. Plus, it's gotten me work and contacts, so it's relevant to the question of whether or not a blog is a worthwhile use of a photographer's time.
     
  11. Ms Darling,
    I apologize for the gender confusion. Today is my 69th birthday, so I'll blame it on incipient senility!
    It's great that your blog has served you so well, but I submit that you are the exception. I remain skeptical about the cost / benefit ratio of photographers maintaining a blog, at least given the current economy.
    But keep up the good work, and I wish you the best of luck.
    PS
    A site not unlike yours, but focused on major league fashion photographers, is http://www.touchpuppet.com - worth a look.
    -GP
     
  12. As a boomer, I started out visiting and posting at text only newsgroups (remember those?) and settle with forums like these here. But I never quite figure out what makes blogs so special.
    For me, forums have many advantages that blogs don't seem to have or support. Forums are much better organized: the subjects are categorized and the posts are nested. These result in concise pages that are easy to read and easy to respond to posts, while blog pages can get extremely long and take forever to load, and the posts are not nested for easy responses. Searching in blog archives is also a problem. While you can search for posts by subject, author, dates, etc., in forums, blogs don't seem to support them.
    For my site, I would install forums instead of a blog.
     
  13. Thanks Greg, I will check out that site, it sounds like something I'd like. And Happy Birthday :)
    I do agree that the time and energy put into it may not yield the best results for everyone, and thinking on it more, I should probably add that blogging may be something that is not for everyone. I don't find it to be an effort but I know it can be for others. But I would say that if someone's thinking about trying it, and it seems like an appealing idea, to definitely give blogging a shot. If you have the time and interest, you never know if it'll get you a client or contact that could be useful. If you go into it with the purpose of just enjoying doing it, anything else you get out of it will just be a bonus!
     
  14. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I would expect that the touchpuppet blog is a major copyright violator. Not a good thing...
     
  15. I would expect that the touchpuppet blog is a major copyright violator.​
    Jeff,
    I feel dumb, but that never occurred to me. I just queried one of the the kids who run the site and asked about his sources. I'll report back.
    -Greg
     
  16. About TouchPuppet: Here's what Zachary Cameron, the guy who does most of the on-line articles, had to say about their use of photos:
    A lot of the time we are sent the images from the company/publisher in question, especially for ad campaigns. Sometimes we are sent work directly from a photographer or magazine. Other times we just publish what we think is acceptable use (meaning we don’t publish high resolution images that could be used in printing).

    I don’t know the exact legality of some of the published work here, but if someone does have a complaint they can email us and we’ll take the work down. However, the site has been up for almost a year now and we’ve never had any requests to pull content.​
    I'm told by a friend who works as a stylist in New York that the site is very popular among SOHO photographers. So it seems that nobody is fuming about getting ripped-off.
     
  17. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    That's not really the point. It doesn't matter if people are fuming or not today. The images are obviously being used, from what you have posted, without any copyright licensing, and the copyright owner (presumably the photographer) can sue them at any time. The fact that it is sent for an ad campaign does not mean they have the right to display it wherever they want. The bad thing is that they are encouraging other people, maybe Alli based on what I have seen, to infringe copyrights. This is not a good thing...
     
  18. It's called fair use, and it is a part of the copyright act.
    Fair use is a copyright principle based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials forpurposes of commentary and criticism. For example, if you wish to criticize a novelist, you should have the freedom to quote a portion of the novelist's work without asking permission. Absent this freedom, copyright owners could stifle any negative comments about their work.​
    Zachary from touchpuppet.com is correct in that he is free to keep up the content unless it is requested to be taken down. If he, or I, ever did get such a request, we could either decide to fight our legal rights in court, or the more likely and less costly scenario, just take the content down.
    I'd venture to speculate that the reason that he's not received any such requests, nor have I for my photography blog (and I should note nor for my music blog which I kept running for 2 years and posted music almost every day) is that these photographers, musicians, artists, etc., actually benefit from the online exposure.
    Fair use disputes often result from the question of whether your use of their materials will deprive the artist of income. I don't see that being the case in either of our blogs, or any other similar blogs I visit. In fact, I'd love my work to be posted on as many blogs as possible, so I could get as many people as I could seeing my work. I'd consider that a great thing!
    I think it's time to look less at what's mine and how can I keep it to myself, and start looking more towards building an online community where everyone benefits. The more photography is out there and the more people can see, the better quality photography there is going to be. The more people can connect and share resources in a community, the better each individual photographer can be.
    Here's a great article on fair use as it relates to photography blogs:
    www.aphotoeditor.com/2008/09/10/fair-use-of-photography-on-a-blog
     
  19. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    You don't understand fair use at all. You are doing copyright infringement, plain and simple. You can use a thumbnail with a link, you can be an educational institution. The nonsense about "free to do it until someone tells you to take it down" is like saying you can steal from the corner store until they notice. Financial issues are only one of the "four factors" that determine fair use. They are in no way the determining usage.
    Basically, you are a copyright infringer and should be shut down. Sorry, that's the facts. Let's check with your web host on this.
     
  20. Wow, did I do something to personally offend you Jeff? If I did, that was not my intention. I think I do understand fair use, and I don't think I'm doing anything different than what a lot of other people did before me and are currently doing, and will continue to do on the Internet. If you have a problem with the terms or use of fair use online, it's not me you should be taking it up with. Like I've stated many times now, I'm just interested in being a part of an online photography community, and getting good photographers the recognition they deserve. I'm not sure why my intentions need to be questioned in such a hostile manner, and I don't really want to have to repeatedly defend myself.
    I appreciate your opinion but we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. I don't think I'd like to continue this discussion though when I'm being insulted and threatened.
     
  21. ". . . Does anyone else run a blog as well as a portfolio website?"
    Yes, I have a blog. I don't take comments on there anymore; but, rather just put up whatever; few people wrote back anyway. Meanwhile, I found I had, on average, about a dozen readers per day. To my surprise, they came from all over the world. It's nice that people stop by sometime. I have settled into updating about quarterly.
    I simply like generally writing about photography and putting up my pictures. It's not a moneymaker; but, it's been a nice aspect of communicating.
    I don't use other people's photos on my blog; I use mine or skip it. If I know somebody personally who wants some help publicizing their project, I might link over to their stuff or embed their video; but, I limit this to people I've met face to face, and don't generally do a lot of it.
    I like putting up my content. There are so many re-hash sites out there that bootleg this or that; it's not only wrong, but it's pretty much lame.
    I mean, come on. You can make your own pictures, or type about someone else's that you know without ripping them off. If you've gotta cut and paste someone else's stuff, just break out the camera instead. It keeps you honest and is relatively easy.
    Check out some stuff at copyright.gov if you have usage questions. They've got some pretty good FAQs over there. And, hey, it's just easier and better to use your own stuff anyway.
    The blog's been working out okay for me as a supporting device; but this is the stuff I'd be typing or thinking about anyway. Standing on the side of the road with a cardboard sign is probably more profitable. I enjoy the blog, but you hear these jail-to-Yale stories about how some dude was raking it in because he was the first to come up with repackaged widget number 46; that hasn't been the reality.
    It's a web page. You put your content on it. Next page.
     
  22. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I'm not sure why my intentions need to be questioned in such a hostile manner​

    Because you're violating other people's copyrights and don't seem to care. You don't even question your own behavior within the context of the law. Speaking as a photographer with commercial work, it's really unsettling to see such a cavalier attitude about copyright infringement, especially on a photography board. And you really don't understand fair use if you say that you are within the guidelines. You don't pass the "four factors" test. It's that simple.
     
  23. Jeff,
    In most cases the copyright owner (the photographer or ad agency acting on behalf of their client) is sending the pictures to TouchPuppet, so there is no concern about any legal action, and one can infer permission to publish, just as with pictures sent to Photo.net.
    But sadly, when it comes to copyright infringement, there just isn't any "plain and simple."
    The fair use doctrine, incorporated into the Copyright Act of 1976, might seem straight forward on its face, but the case law that has come from that doctrine is a real mess. In one case, copying entire television programs was upheld as fair use, while in another quoting fewer than 400 words from President Ford's memoir in a magazine article was interpreted as infringement! (For more on all this see Wikipedia - Fair Use.)
    So I put the following on my web site:
    Warning: Any unauthorized use of the photographs on this site will result in a visit from my nephews, Vinnie and Little Frankie. (Big Frankie will come too, soon as he gets out.) They will have a "talk" with you about showin' the proper respect. Capiche?
     

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