Would you pay $108 for Social Media?

The search to share my photography on a suitable social media platform has been ongoing for some time and along the way I discovered some unusual platforms like Vero and MeWe, only to realise they were either clunky or didn’t suit me or my needs. There are the usual suspects such as Instagram and Facebook but due to the ever-present privacy issues surrounding Facebook reminded me why I’ll never go back to Facebook.

Storage here on WordPress is also starting to become a problem where I will either need to upgrade my account or find alternatives such as cloud storage or share directly from social media accounts. Neither of these options interested me due to likely ongoing associated costs, quality control etc. It was about the same time that I learnt of the open letter from Don MacAskill, Flickr CEO about their financial situation.

Prompted by Don’s open letter to take a look at Flickr left me wondering why I originally left. Was there something else that was (perceived to be) better come along or was it because all of my family and friends were on platforms like Facebook, without any real answer I signed up for a free account.

Screen Shot 2020-06-07 at 2.50.30 pm

This solved the storage problem and Flickr is a pretty good alternative to Facebook, not to mention the perks associated with a pro account like discounted Adobe products, camera bags and 50% off SmuMug Subscription so after a week or so, I signed up for a Pro account.

And I didn’t want to see a social media company such as Flickr fall only to leave Facebook owned platforms. That would be boring and quite frankly horrible.

But I have one gripe which hits me in the wallet, the true cost of a Flickr Pro account.

For reference, costs for a Flickr Pro account have been taken directly from Flickr’s pricing FAQ

  •  The USA – The price for an annual subscription is USD $59.99, plus tax
  •  International – (where the countries currency is not yet supported) is USD $71.88, tax inclusive.

However what is not considered in the pricing structure is the exchange rate and for Australia, an annual subscription cost is normally over $100. When I signed up In February this year the cost was just over $108.00. At the time of writing, the cost of a Flickr Pro at $103.18.

I also know the folks at Flickr have as much influence over the exchange rate as I do but we live in a global online community where we should be all charged the same amount to sign up regardless of where you live.

Now before you go jumping on your keyboard sending me all sorts of angry comments, let’s look back to the past. For e.g. Adobe charged more for software (Photoshop) that was digitally downloaded. A considerable amount more which resulted in Australians becoming well known for pirating the required software and licenses. Thankfully, for the most part, this has changed as companies adopted a subscription business model.

So I would like to ask Don MacAskill, Flickr CEO to take a similar approach to Adobe, Nextflix and Spotify to consider charging the same amount regardless of where we live in the world. The result may be more people becoming a Flickr Pro members if we all pay the same ultimately saving the company.

Would love to know your thoughts so drop us comment below

Until next time

 

Goodbye 2016 and Hello 2017

Goodbye 2016 and Hello 2017. Hope everyone had a great NYE. The first blog post of 2016 2017 is going to be about resolutions and like most people I’ve got some. Originally I wasn’t going to share these with anyone but rather work on them myself as they are more goals and areas of focus rather than resolutions but then I read Chris’s post (Page Pics) about his resolutions. Some of them not only struck a cord with me but also made me really think about what my photography goals are and where I was headed as a photographer in 2017.

Deciding to put my thoughts down on paper to see what was not only realistic but also achievable resolutions goals and focus areas. This is where I need to be honest with myself because I’ not expecting to nail all of these because we have these little events that I like to call “Life got in the way” moments. For the majority of, these are unavoidable events or hurdles that will try to slow you down trying but this year I’m determined to achieve more than I would normally achieve. Anyway these are the goals and focus areas that I will be working on in 2017. 

Improve my photography skills

As one good friend of mine said to me. Look at the corners of your frame before you press the shutter button which is something that I need to not only consider but also to improve. There are distractions in the corner of some of my images.

Rockn

No Distractions Here 

Chris is right that we, us street photographers, (I make that sound like a bad thing, being a street photographer) need to photograph other genres such as landscape to improve our photography skills and not forget that the world is a place filled full of colour.

I’ve also been a member of The Arcanum for about 18 months now and my photography has improved significantly however I need to complete Sphere 2 and if possible Sphere 3 in the next 12 months to improve beyond my limits.

Film (Analogue) Photography 

I have recently been given a Nikon F75 Film Camera. Its a lot of fun to learn how to use it but I want to take this further in 2017, maybe even develop my own negatives and learn how to develop photos as well. That’s pretty ambitious since I haven’t even got a role of film back from the lab yet!

Work on this blog thing.

I like to blog, I’ve been doing this on and off now for a number of years. I find that its a way to write what I’m thinking/feeling/going/trying about photography and to get it out there. I’ve also developed a mind set of “Blog like no one is reading it and the fear about blogging will vanish”, seems to be working because I’m pretty sure no one is reading it! I’ve also spent some cash to improve my blogging skills and hopefully that will pay off.

Work out what the name of my photography blog and business should be? 

Thief Images is a good name, its catchy however it doesn’t really make people think “Photography” at all. Some research needs to be done and a decision needs to be made on what this creative beast of mine should be called.

Define my social media presence and develop a social media strategy.

There are so many social media platforms today and I seem to have a quite a few of them but there is one I don’t have…….Facebook. There is a genuine fear that I’m missing out by not having Facebook but do I really need all of these social media platforms.

  1. Google Plus
  2. Instagram
  3. 500px
  4. Pinterest
  5. Linkedin
  6. Twitter
  7. Viewbug
  8. Blog

I’m pretty sure that’s not all of them either but being active on all of these takes time and effort which I think it needs to be maximised. This approach will at the very least maximise the interaction with my intended audience. With that in mind, some of these accounts will be deleted, just need to work out which ones.

Read/Watch/Listen/Try/Learn – Rinse and repeat

There are so many learning resources available that are accessible thanks to the Internet such as Creative Live, podcasts and other blogs that are well worth reading. This year I want to read, watch, listen, try, and learn from these resources.

These are my 6 goals and focus areas for 2017 and if I continue to call them exactly that I should achieve quite a lot of them in some way or another.

Do you have any goals or focus ares for 2017?

How much Social Media is to much ?

And you thought this blog was just about photography didn’t you, well  I have noticed a disturbing trend and that Social media platforms are increasing and its starting to become overwhelming. I am constantly thinking about the responsibilities of social media while I sit in traffic and now I am dreaming about it which is now becoming a large distraction from my photography.

The responsibilities of social media sucks up quite a substantial amount of your waking hours, especially when you start counting up the forms of social media that I currently have. But, and there is always a but, as a photographer social media is a necessary evil. Its a way to share the images that you have captured, communicate with like minded individuals or groups, provide a glimpse of the images that have been taken from a particular shoot etc

I seem to have quite a lot of social media accounts, so I recently started to add it all up and then delete some accounts but before I hit the delete button on quite a few of them lets have a look at what I actually have and I wouldn’t be surprised if you have something similar to what is listed below or a lot more:

  • Personal Facebook Profile
  • Business Facebook Profile
  • Google Plus Personal account
  • Google Plus Business page
  • Twitter account
  • LinkdIn account (something I have never grasped how to use)
  • This blog
  • Flickr account (no longer in use)
  • RedBubble Account (about to be deleted)

and now I have been introduced to another form of social media and its called Empire or something like that. Not that I will be using it but rather deleting the account. Now some people may argue that sites such as RedBubble are not Social Media, it may not be in its true form however there is a thriving community that is sharing, providing advice etc which is the same as Flickr and I believe that it is a form of social media. However many people would argue that social media is really just sites such as Facebook or Google Plus but I beg to differ, Blogging was really the first and probably the original form of social media because you could share your thoughts and ideas and engage people, then come along sites such as MySpace which was quickly followed by Facebook, and that’s where the downhill slope started.

The question I have to ask, is really how much Social Media is to much? but the questions don’t stop there either. You have to sit down and ask yourself the following:

  • How many Social Media accounts do you actually have.
  • Do you have access to it at work?
  • Do you have access to it on a mobile device everywhere?
  • How much time do you spend on Social Media?
  • do you have notifications on your phone to it, and are you guilty of waking up when they go off at night?
  • Or do you wake up in the morning and check it to see what has been posted online?
  • and ultimately how do you manage your time on all of these Social Media platforms?

To add to all of that I receive updates from blogs that I read on a regular basis and one that appeared in my inbox today sparked my interest. The blog is written by Gem Nicholls who is a very Tech Savvy person, younger than I am and I would say that she is well and truly across social media because people Gem’s age have learned how to use it effectively where people my age didn’t grasp it as quickly.

Gem has made a valid point in her blog post Social Media is the Devil…..and I’m getting old ! and that is how do you turn it off to achieve the things that need to be achieved in your life. Just where do you draw the line in the sand and then not crossing that line in the sand. Gem managed to draw that line to achieve getting her assignments completed on time and she didn’t cross that line she had drawn in the sand either. The problem Gem had was that she had a lot of outside input from social media platforms which created large amounts of frustration and equally, distractions. I must admit I know how she feels, this blog post has taken me over three months to write because I was getting distracted by social media platforms.

So, I believe that I will have to put some rules in place to manage all of my social media accounts or commitments to be able to effectively achieve what I need to get done every day in life. I am really curious to see how everyone else manages their social media, what rules people have in place to  be able to achieve goals or tasks.

Oh, well off to check Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and LinkdIn, RedBubble, Flickr and Empire to see what I have missed ………

Happy Shooting

Not a Welcome Message After All.

This didn’t turn out as I originally had intended. I set up a Google+ business page and thought I would post a Welcome message.

I decided not to post it on Google but rather post it here instead and I remembered why before I hit the Publish Button.

Welcome to the Thief Images Google+ page.

It has taken some time to set up as I am not that good at using or even setting up these kinds of pages, quite frankly I get rather frustrated with it all. You should have seen me setting up the Thief Images Facebook page but as I keep getting advised (told) that Social Media such as Google +, Twitter, Facebook etc is necessary to have these days as it is one of the best ways to promote your business.

My wife also asked me “Why am I using a photo of myself and not my logo?”. There are two answers to that and the first one and to me the most important one is that I am Thief Images, I am the photographer, the Owner, the Accountant, the Social Media Team, The Point of Contact for it all, etc, etc. So why not a photo of me.

The second reason is because the Thief Images logo is being updated. It needs to be me, it needs to represent what Thief Images is about which is Stealing those precious moments in Life !, It needs to be modern, and it needs to scream Photographer, and it needs to be memorable. Not much to ask of the team designing it.

Now I have to ask, how much Social Media is to much. I mean lets take stock of what I actually have at present, Obviously a Facebook page, a Google Plus page  and both of these require you to have a personal page as well if you want a business page. The downside to Facebook is that you get friend requests from people that you didn’t like when you met them, and now all of a sudden they request that you be friends with them, and I don’t care what they had for dinner or how their day was. At least with my personal Google+ page I can put them into a circle labelled, “I don’t like them!”. There’s Twitter which restricts you to 140 Characters or less and the question I ask is, is a space in my sentence counted as a character? I actually don’t know the answer to that one. Then there is Linkedin which allows you to network with other like minded people, and Linkedin also hold group forums on a vast number of topics which you can have updates emailed to you just like the rest of the Social Media platforms.

and the final reason why I decided to get “Online” was for my blog because I figured that this is where I could express myself, let the creative juices flow, read other peoples blogs and interact with them or readers of my blog through the comments posted and I like it. I spend days thinking about posts, some days I will have three or four on the go and then all of a sudden none for a week or more.

So where do you draw the line with it all. You could possibly spend so much time just keeping these up to date that you could forget about your core business and in my case being a photographer. But here’s the conundrum, the Gen Y as they are called use Social media to communicate with everyone. They organise parties, shopping trips, meet ups, business meetings and the list goes on. So if I or anyone else who has a service to offer needs to be on these Social Media Platforms to be able to promote yourself and reach out to potential customers or clients that Gen Y has to offer. Gen Y don’t reach for a phone book, they reach for their PC mouse to log on to Facebook to get recommendations.

So where does Social Media become to much?. What I have signed myself up to is only using all of my Social Media for no more than 2 hours a day otherwise I will either spend my day/ evening sitting in front of my PC banging away on the keyboard and not doing what I should be doing. Being a photographer and a Creative Genius.

But it all gets just a little worse, rumour on the street is that Microsoft is also working a Social Media Platform. I have no other information than just that and I do really hope the rumour is false.

Do we really need another Social Media Platform?, I certainly don’t, I don’t have enough time in the day to deal with more Social Media.

Oh, if you were wondering, I decided not to post this to the Thief Images Google+ page was because it used to Promote my Business, not contemplate my Navel.