Lately, I have been trying to get a better understanding of how social media can be used to become part of a photographic community as well as to increase people’s awareness of my photography and blog. I’m 52 years old, so the whole idea of on-line social networking does not exactly come naturally to me….however, very few of my non-photography friends seem to really have an on-line presence, so perhaps I am more technologically tuned in than I give myself credit for!
At any rate, wrapping one’s arms around the whole social media scene can be a bit difficult and has led me to have sometimes conflicting opinions about it.
using these media
In many ways, the ‘older versions’ of on-line community have opened up opportunities that I never would have otherwise had. The ability to get answers to questions regarding photography and technology is truly amazing, be it from Yahoo groups, company sponsored forums, or message boards/mailing lists. Though we don’t typically think of these as ’social media’ they certainly, to me, seem to be a form of it. I do know that information is disseminated very rapidly using these media, allowing me to do things and solve problems much earlier than if I had to wait ‘for the book to come out’. I would certainly not be able to solve very daunting hardware and software problems without these outlets.
But what about the ‘newer’ methods of ‘Social Media’….Facebook, Twitter, Flickr etc? My feelings are a bit more conflicted about these modalities. On the one hand, I feel they are great ways to become involved with a photographic community. On the other hand, sometimes I wonder about the ‘you follow/comment/promote/award me and I will do the same for you’ mind set. At times it seems to me that quantity may be put above quality.
But I am still very new at this and, as I said, am still trying to ‘wrap my arms’ around it all. In fact, I am trying out a number of these newer modalities. Hence, you can find both the “Follow Me On Twitter” and the “Follow Me On Facebook” buttons located on the right sidebar of this blog! One ‘guide’ that I did find useful if you are interested in exploring the new social media as it pertains to photography and photographers, is this free guide put out by PhotoShelter and Adorama entitled “Social Media for Photographers”. You can download your free copy here.