Inflection Points

I am now well past my 60th rotation of the sun. I recently attended a former teachers funeral and this has me thinking about lots. I’m planning on posting a little more often here as a consequence. Also, I recently read over on cogdogblog ways to use a blog as an aid to your memories. This current blog only dates back to 2020. So to really get a sense of what I have done since the internet arrived in 1995  I’m listing several other blog and social media activities  that have formed part of my creative online life. As best as I can remember. Here’s a list on my static site. The idea with this post is to hopefully have an archive of this activity.

a screen grab of my blower.com page
My blogger.com page I posted a phone camera image daily , in a curated and interconnected way from 2004 to 2010

From 2004 to 2010 I blogged on blogspot.com, now a google property, and used a phonecam to achieve this. It was called s2art’s mophone photography blog. I was at the same uploading regularly and frequently to Flickr.com. Then I used tumblr for the same ends called lo-res daily. This was just before Instagram became big. The tumblr still exists but my posting frequency is spotty at best. This particular  tumblr was actually a Sub-Tumblr as I had already setup a tumblr in 2007 [s2z.tumblr.com] which mainly hosted links and other text snippets; in the beginning anyway.

A screen grab from my Tumblr page taken on 22nd of January 2024
A screen grab from my Tumblr page taken on 22nd of January 2024

Somewhere in all of this was a self hosted movable type, blog thanks to Cos. I blogged there from 2006 to 2011, thanks to the way back machine [internet archive] you can still read it.

My Movable type site archived at the internet.org
My Movable type site archived at the internet.org

Instagram became a huge focus for me around 2010. My original account is long gone however. Flickr and Tumblr at this stage were figuring highly in my life anyway. In amongst all of this were dalliances with Facebook, [I have deleted my data at least twice from that space]. Posterus, also sold and rebooted. ello.co now defunct and twitter a site that never really captured my attention. For all intents and purpose twitter has become colloquially, a ‘Hell Hole”. I still have an account there but rarely login to it.

Screengrab of my old free wordpress site
Screen-grab of my old free WordPress site

In 2015, I had setup a free worpress blog, [s2zart.wordpress.com], this I ran until 2019, I briefly switched back to blogspot.com for 2 years, then setup this blog on my own server. My concerns over ‘data’, ‘search‘ and ‘privacy’ drove this change, along with ideas about the small web which were beginning to percolate though the internet generally.

a screen grab of my pinboard.in links page taken on 22 January 2024
A screen grab of my pinboard.in links page taken on 22 January 2024

All the while I am uploading content to Flickr very frequently. Although these days not chronologically, and of course the ‘Camera roll’ part of flickr forms a part of this process these days too. [This may form the content of a future post.] Other online activities include a Mastodon account, a pixelfed account [an alternative to instagram], a public listing of links/bookmark on pinboard.in a notion website of notes links and other digital artefacts a pika micro-blogging account and a threads account.

Why I do all this has shifted since 1995 when I began, it’s now about leaving a legacy, a digital footprint if you will.

☛ Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | s2z digital garden | Tumblr

Instagram Alternatives?

screengrab of Vero for desktop
screengrab of Vero for desktop

A while back I blogged about an alternative to Instagram. The service called glass is good and as it uses a paid model doesn’t rely on advertising or algorithms. A recent tweet, by Andy Adams reminded me of another service, vero.

So to recap, I have 5 social media photo accounts:-

Vero has announced a beta desktop app.  Glass has a dedicated tablet app, unlike instagram. Vero has no ads and no algorithm as far as I can tell at this stage,  pixelfed.social is volunteer run and an “instance” of mastadon. So all these services are in my mind superior to Instagram, while offering the familiar smart phone experience, without the “influencers” and the algorithms.

Flickr occupies the most of my online time however. It’s really a big screen experience though. [It has a mobile app and good integration between the website and the smart phone app.] Or at the least a tablet one. So if you were to include flickr I really have 6 social media accounts dedicated to photography.


About the author.
Stuart Murdoch is an Artist and Part time Photo Educator, with over 30 years of teaching experience. He contemplates many things photographic. His ruminations include his own work as well other’s and the aspects of technology that impact on the sharing and consumption of Photographs.

☛ Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | s2z digital garden | Tumblr

Instagram or some other platform?

my instagram page on 28-08-2022
my instagram page on 28-08-2022

Recently there had been some consternation regarding Instagram’s user interface changes. There was a concerted effort to drive photography based traffic to other platforms including, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr.

I don’t understand why there has not been an overwhelming response to these ideas. Even so, photographers managed to connect and make meaningful work BEFORE Instagram, so why not migrate to another service?

I guess one part of the problem is signal to noise ratio. This is especially difficult if you are new to a service like Tumblr, or Flickr. Personally speaking I have never cracked Tumblr’s algorithm. And while I’m no Flickr super star I certainly have in my “friends list” on Flickr, plenty of good photographers whose work I enjoy all the time.

So how do you find these good photographers? There’s a couple of ways.  Look at someone you know already is a good practitioner. Their contacts and favourites list will point you in the right direction. Also look at the albums they have created, this gives you a quick insight into their thinking about their photography. For example are they just focused on cameras equipment or places, or other more esoteric ideas about what a photo can communicate? Lastly, look at my favourites or someone else’s you know already.

Here’s a short list of photographers; in no particular order. Well actually in the order that they uploaded work to Flickr, while I wrote this post. Also bear in mind I am heavily biased towards, Urban Landscape, and New Topographic styles of photography.

Then there’s groups. These are groups of people whose interest are shared, whether it be subject matter, or genres or some other connective creative tissue. Find a group whose ideas align with yours and then scroll through and find some photographers whose work resonates with you. Follow them and look at who they follow and before you know it you have consumed a large chunk of time and in the process discovered some great photographers and photography.

Here’s a small  list of groups that reflect my own photography interests; again heavily biased towards urban, landscape and street photography.

Either way the social connections that make the web a great place to connect is never more than a few clicks away.

If you decide to give flickr a go let me know and we can connect there too.

*A caveat in these groups I am administrator

 


About the author.
Stuart Murdoch is an Artist and Part time Photo Educator, with over 30 years of teaching experience. He contemplates many things photographic. His ruminations include his own work as well other’s and the aspects of technology that impact on the sharing and consumption of Photographs.

☛ Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | s2z digital garden | Tumblr

Glass

screenshot of the glass.photo website
my page on the website glass.photo

About a year ago, an app surfaced that was attempting to usurp Instagram. It was using a paid model from the get go making it one of the more reasonable options. I was lucky to grab an account. A year later things are still a bit quiet in there, but that’s not a bad thing really. Some other tweaks that were recently brought to my attention are that there is now a web interface. The other changes have been, the ability to simply “appreciate” a photo, a bit like a like on Facebook or Instagram. Lastly they now have a broad range of categories to add your photo to to help its get found.
So its going to be another 12 months for me on this platform as yet again Instagram changed how it presents itself.

There is another free service called pixelfed.social, I of course have an account there as well [s2art]


About the author.
Stuart Murdoch is an Artist and Part time Photo Educator, with over 30 years of teaching experience. He contemplates many things photographic. His ruminations include his own work as well other’s and the aspects of technology that impact on the sharing and consumption of Photographs.

☛ Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | s2z digital garden | Tumblr

Geekiness

I have been searching for alternatives to the big gatekeepers of the internet of late over the last 2 or 3 years. Driven mainly by Facebook’s abuses of data. I have found a number of services, applications and tools that are operating outside the walled gardens of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Google.

Some services replace platforms like Instagram, others are hybrids of Twitter and Instagram and Facebook, and others are a retro step back to the early days of the internet, where text reigned supreme. Most are run by volunteers who have the tech skills to run and organise and moderate these things.

Screengrab of my account on pixelfed
Screengrab of my account on pixelfed

These services are for instagram pixelfed.social, [free open source] Glass [glass.photo] a subscription model. Mastadon is a Facebook replacement, the platform runs “instances” I am connected to two. AusGalm.space you will need to “apply” to join and mastodon.social. Joining is simple easy and quick. [I’m hoping to merge the two soon]. And lastly discord. This is a social space where people with common interests congregate. The groups are called servers, currently I participate in several from my own specially created one for flickr users to others much more general in scope, like iPhone photography and online music listening.

A screen grab of the gemini browser showing my "site"
A screen grab of the gemini browser showing my site

Lastly a new internet protocol has been developed, this is super geeky and requires a special browser to read, I’m using Larange. It also requires access to a server that is configured to allow it to run if you want to write your own pages. The protocol is called gemini . This protocol is unlikely to ever take off the way the internet did in the mid to late 1990s, but for me this is fine. It is, I hope, going to be a space to build my writing skills. As it is text and hyperlink only protocol.  At least it’s bit more user friendly than the gopher protocol.

Here’s a description from the documentation page of the project:-

Gemini is a new application-level internet protocol for the distribution of arbitrary files, with some special consideration for serving a lightweight hypertext format which facilitates linking between files. You may think of Gemini as “the web, stripped right back to its essence” or as “Gopher, souped up and modernised just a little”, depending upon your perspective (the latter view is probably more accurate). Gemini may be of interest to people who are:
Opposed to the web’s ubiquitous tracking of users Tired of nagging pop-ups, obnoxious adverts, autoplaying videos and other misfeatures of the modern web Interested in low-power computing and/or low-speed networks, either by choice or necessity Gemini is intended to be simple, but not necessarily as simple as possible. Instead, the design strives to maximise its “power to weight ratio”, while keeping its weight within acceptable limits. Gemini is also intended to be very privacy conscious, to be difficult to extend in the future (so that it will *stay* simple and privacy conscious), and to be compatible with a “do it yourself” computing ethos. For this last reason, Gemini is technically very familiar and conservative: it’s a protocol in the traditional client-server request-response paradigm, and is built on mature, standardised technology like URIs, MIME media types, and TLS.

☛ Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | Twitter | Tumblr ☚

bloglovin’?

my blog loving feed
screen grab of my blog loving feed

In the vein of resurrecting older technologies to circumvent, GAFA, [Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon]. I’m adding this blog to blog lovin’.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin  or use an RSS newsfeeder


About the author.
Stuart Murdoch is an Artist and Part time Photo Educator, with over 30 years of teaching experience. He contemplates many things photographic. His ruminations include his own work as well other’s and the aspects of technology that impact on the sharing and consumption of Photographs. And of course the act of making and taking photographs in the 21st century.

☛ Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | s2z digital garden | Tumblr

Social Media in the time of the pandemic?

NetNewsWire's Splash screen
NetNewsWire’s Splash screen

Earlier this year I noticed callout for a shift in approach to social media. Andy Adams, Bryan FormhalsJorg Colberg Noah Kalina and Alec Soth all are writing and distributing via means outside of Facebook or Twitter. Lewis Bush began the year by advocating for a shift away from Twitter. I am still predominantly reading online via an RSS news reader called NetNewsWire. Combined with my Alumni access to RMIT‘s online resources and the SLV’s online collection there’s no shortage of reading material. Yesterday’s quote by Teju Cole came from Bryan Formal’s newsletter for example

The reader view of NetNewsWire
The reader view of NetNewsWire showing Petapixel’s RSS new feed

About the author.
Stuart Murdoch is an Artist and Part time Photo Educator, with over 30 years of teaching experience. He contemplates many things photographic. His ruminations include his own work as well other’s and the aspects of technology that impact on the sharing and consumption of Photographs. And of course the act of making and taking photographs in the 21st century.

☛ Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | s2z digital garden | Tumblr