Blogging 201: Set Three Goals

With the start of the New Year in September, I decided it was time for me to try something new too. Even though this is an established website with some popular posts, I feel the need to stretch and see how I can make it better for both of us.

So while I am already late to the party, as usual, here are the 3 plus goals I’ve set for myself:

  1. Spend an hour each week visiting and commenting on other people’s sites. Without a doubt, this goal is the most important to me and I hope to continue it well beyond 1st of April.
  2. Establish a regular weekly feature. Posting consistency is my biggest challenge. (I currently maintain three active sites and they are all suffering.)
  3. Within 6 months, invite 3 guest authors/photographers to post and/or interview those photographers.
  4. Increase ongoing traffic to my site. Since I prefer organic growth, I won’t say “by X% and by when” and trust that this will be a result of 1, 2 and 3.

While looking at the goals others have set for this challenge, mine are decidedly less ambitious, but certainly attainable for me with the very limited time I have available. When I shoot for the stars, I usually fall on my face. :)

Stay tuned!

Blogging 101 and Photo 101 Start November 3

Photo 101 especially for phonographers! Can’t wait to see what the WPcom Daily Post is cooking up for everyone. Sign up now.

The Daily Post

If you’ve new to blogging and missed September’s Blogging 101, never fear — a new offering starts up on Monday, November 3rd. We’re also excited to announce Blogging U.’s first photo course, Photography 101. Learn more about each and register:

Photography 101

This November, we launch a new track in Blogging U.: photography! First up: Photography 101, a photo-a-day challenge that combines a daily photo theme with photography and photo editing tips. You’ll publish new posts, make new friends, and hone your photographer’s eye.

Photography 101 is a month-long course, starting November 3 and ending November 28. This is an intro-level course open to all, from new bloggers and hobbyist photographers to veteran photo challenge participants and pro-shooters. Use the camera you like — a phone, a point-and-shoot, or a dSLR.

A note on cameras…

If you’ll be shooting mainly from your iOS or Android phone or tablet, download…

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Pics or It Didn’t Happen: The New Crisis of Connected Cameras – Atlantic

In days or weeks, when the United States again drops bombs on the Islamic State, it will commence its first war shaped and driven by networked photography—the twinned phenomena of ubiquitous, Internet-connected cameras to take pictures and screens to view them. The gruesome video of ISIS militants executing U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff seems to have upended American public opinion, and now even almost-isolationist politicians have embraced intervention abroad.

Right now, almost every major news story turns on a single set of unresolved ethical questions: What should we do about the new proliferation of cameras? What should we do when the images they capture wind up on the Internet?

It is a debate about a distinctly new technological phenomenon, and we can see aspects of it everywhere: from the imminent war against ISIS to the leaked nude images of female celebrities; from the proposal of police body-cams to the NFL’s treatment of domestic abuser Ray Rice.

via Pics or It Didn’t Happen: The New Crisis of Connected Cameras
(Featured Image courtesy of Pasu Au Yeung on flickr, released under a Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 License)

If you look at this year’s Photokina windup, it seems camera manufacturers are finally responding to the demand for DSLR cameras that are connected to the network. This article from the Atlantic takes a pointed look at the ethics involved when shooting with networked devices with a lens.

“With great power must come great responsibility,”-Voltaire

(Bonus: click through and read “Goodbye, Cameras” which, for camera buffs, is as interesting and thought-provoking as the main article.)

Have you ever taken a photo only to stop yourself from uploading it to a publicly accessible website? What made you question your initial decision?

Reexamining the Reblog

Apologies to my regular readers for yet another post on the new Reblog, but this is my current bugaboo and with good reason.

It’s all well and good to discuss reblogging netiquette and karma, but the nuts and bolts of reblogging are broken and we community members cannot fix this. Besides the written content in a reblog still being overly long, the current iteration of reblogging a post with visual content pulls every image in that post into the reblogger’s Media Library whether it’s used in the reblog or not. I’ve discussed this on this site and at length on WPcomMaven.

Further aspects to consider: what are the ramifications if someone reblogs a post that contains purchased stock images which are licensed only to the original site? What about posts where a person has permission from the original content creator to post their content (not a reblog), but then someone else comes along and reblogs it? There are too many aspects of reblogging that WPcom doesn’t seem to have thought through to the end or perhaps that their Terms of Use absolves them of any responsibility.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been on WPcom now close to 8 years and continue to recommend it to my colleagues and clients. However the new Reblog needs some tough love that only Staff can give.

The Daily Post

The last time we discussed reblogging, your opinions in the comments were mixed:  some of you felt that reblogging was a great compliment, and others felt that it was something akin to theft.

We here at The Daily Post love a good etiquette debate, so let’s wade back in, shall we?

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Flickr ending Share to WordPress option March 25th

For the full story: [Official Thread] Welcome back HTML Embeds! Goodbye to some sharing options.

The salient part is:

Secondly, we are announcing that we are deprecating the support for our built-in sharing options for WordPress [Ed: spelled in the original with a small “p”], Blogger and LiveJournal on 3/25. Deprecating features is never an easy decision, but we have seen that all of these services combined are now adding up to less than one percent of daily share volume from Flickr.

Which I understand to mean that this method will no longer be supported: http://en.support.wordpress.com/images/flickr-photos/#blogging-your-photos (link to Internet Archive)

Meantime, the flickr HTML embed option is being brought to the “new flickr experience” in addition to the current iframe embed, which we cannot use here on WordPress.com.

Of course, this does not affect the WP o-embed method of copying and pasting the link of the flickr image page on its own line in your post or page. Or at least I hope not!

Ocean Liner, SS St Paul
(HTML embed from the original flickr experience coming soon to the “new flickr experience” near you.)