Tag Archives for sharing
The other day my uncle and I were emailing about a recent family trip, and posting pictures online. Perhaps not knowing exactly what he was getting himself into, he asked me: “How concerned are you about matters of privacy regarding Facebook, Picasa, Twitter and others? Your dad told me not long ago that he had stopped using Facebook because of that concern. For example, are you concerned, as I am, that my photos on Picasa will remain in the hands of Google even if your aunt closes her account? Am I being too sensitive about this?”
Since I feel this was somewhat apropos to the release of Google+, I thought I would share how I responded to him.
So, I somewhat accidentally wrote you two answers since you asked what was perhaps an unexpectedly interesting question. The first one is short. The second one might require a beverage and a place to put up your feet, but hey, it’s practically the weekend!
Short answer: yeah, you’re probably being too sensitive, but that’s OK. Share whatever you feel comfortable with. If Facebook creeps you out, don’t join. We can always email. But if you’re looking for an easy way to share family photos, you can’t beat Picasa albums — and you can always delete them later if you want.
Long answer: My feeling is well you’ll always have a copy of the photos you post — or you should — so if Facebook or Google goes out of business or crashes or whatever, you’ve got a backup. That’s just common sense and I imagine as a photographer you have quite a bit of hard drive space laying around so it’s not your concern.
Secondly, you are allowed to delete stuff , so if for whatever reason you want to delete your Google account you can. Just take down your photos before deleting your account. Facebook is worse about this, so for photos I’m a little more wary there. Google or Flickr don’t concern me as much. They are more explicit about not taking ownership of your content. Facebook actually states they CAN use your content without asking, so that’s where the concern lies. They are also quite sinister about allowing you to leave (they “helpfully” lock your profile in carbonite Han Solo style — if you ever rejoin, BAM it’s back up like you never left).
I’d imagine a site like 500px, that is tailored to photographers, would be respectful of your content. Often times you can poke around the site for more info about ownership and copyright stuff and it will be clear. Smaller companies usually try to set themselves apart by explicitly saying they’re better than evil corps like Facebook and Google.
Finally, for me, it is inevitable that my life content will be shared on the web because not only will it be more and more impractical for stuff to be on my local drive for various technological reasons (why keep stuff in one spot, when you can access from anywhere!), but also because I am just coming up in the world when that’s what’s being done. I see value in sharing stuff with family and friends and even strangers that outweighs the risks inherent in putting things out there. This is maybe because as a young person I have a desire to meet new friends and have networking to do — but it is also somewhat philosophical, in the sense that I feel there’s more to be gained (socially, mentally, maybe even spiritually) from being open than constantly stopping myself from taking advantage of this incredible opportunity just because something could “go wrong” (whatever that means).
I think you have to start to see that value before it makes sense to pile your life’s work into a piece of software that may not survive a year from now. 500px is a good example because it’s new and its future is far from certain. Some people might be devastated by that. Me, I would shrug and start over somewhere new because the sharing is what’s important, not the tool. There’s a real possibility you would be pleased and surprised with the amount of feedback and exposure you could get in a place like that, but you have to want it.
If you read this far, pour another drink, you deserve it.
Last week I attended an event called Pecha Kucha Night Vancouver. The idea is similar to TEDx, where a local organizer puts on a series of talks for a general audience. The twist with pecha kucha is that every presenter has 20 slides and only 20 seconds on each.
This particular night was Vancouver’s 16th pecha kucha night (pronounced correctly, I think, as peh-CHUK-cha) but my first time attending. It struck me at first as a series of what were essentially advertisements: a speaker would arrive to the stage and spend the next 6:40 talking about what they do (be it in fashion, art, design, whatever).
In and of themselves, these 7 minute product pitches would be fairly entertaining since they are from local business people doing things they love, and generally finding success. The truly great pecha kucha presentations, though, take their pitch and elevate it to a message. The one that brought down the house for me was by a designer named Carson Ting, and his talk resonated because he spoke about what we try to do when we practice social media, but in the context of making commercial art. His message was, to use his words (and pardon my French): “share your creative s***.”
Essentially he explained that as an artist, he uses social and multimedia online tools to not only produce his commercial artwork, but also to document and share the process of creating it. By sharing his creative process so that others can learn and benefit from it, his art becomes much more than just the final product.
This is such an important message in social media and healthcare. We are so often caught up in not only concerns about proprietary projects (because of funding competitions) but also concerns over privacy. Sometimes, we simply “forget” to be open, or we simply get caught up in doing things the “old way,” and we default to a mode of hiding everything until there is some “success” or “final draft” that can finally be shared with the outside world.
That way of doing things hides our true thunder. It keeps others from fully knowing what we do, how we learn and improve, and plays down the fact that we are truly passionate about and creating things that can improve other people’s lives. True success today, to my mind, is when someone is able to take what you’ve done, replicate it, and build upon it. Not sharing the process shows that we have at the core a personal motive, rather than a lofty goal: improving the health system.
I’m so glad to have been at this event because it allowed me to see engaged people outside of health care who grasp the importance of social media, and the significance of being able to share the process of their work. I hope I can be better about this myself, and I hope the people I work with in the future will be, too.