If you’re into Instagram or are curious about alternatives, see this guest post I wrote for Inkifi, a print maker of Instagram images. I cover five decent alternatives in detail (for bonus points, add me as rsmithing if you’re already on ‘em: 1,2,3,4,5). And please take a moment to comment at the Inkifi post if you can — thanks!
Train conversation further cements Twitter as a social media/mass media, real-time, citizen-journalism news outlet.
Amtrak passenger Tom Matzzie live-tweeted an on-background interview between news media and former NSA director Michael Hayden (also ex-CIA director) from a commuter train known as the ACELA. It was fascinating to watch this play out, minute by minute on Matzzie’s Twitter feed, and later by traditional media. As this was happening, Hayden was alerted by his team, approached Matzzie offering to chat, and even posed for a photo.
The entire episode is now secured for the ages in the form of tweets and the ensuing news coverage.
Former NSA spy boss Michael Hayden on Acela behind me blabbing "on background as a former senior admin official" Sounds defensive.
— Tom Matzzie (@tommatzzie) October 24, 2013
On Acela listening to former NSA spy boss Michael Hayden give "off record" interviews. I feel like I'm in the NSA. Except I'm in public.
— Tom Matzzie (@tommatzzie) October 24, 2013
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 24, 2013
So apparently I was on maddow
— Tom Matzzie (@tommatzzie) October 25, 2013
— Tom Matzzie (@tommatzzie) October 25, 2013
“I’m not a reporter,” Matzzie replied. “Everybody’s a reporter,” said Hayden. http://t.co/1VTv3Y90Vo
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) October 25, 2013
The Rest of The Story: Cocktails?
Here’s more from Matzzie, himself, by phone, via Soundcloud, speculating as to why the former official may have been so candid:
It’s particularly mind-blowing that the former head of an organization whose focus is security would be so loud on a train, but hey, Hayden is, in fact, now a public speaker — even if, in this case, inadvertently.
What do you think? Have you ever followed a live tweeting of news in real-time? Have you ever been a citizen journalist, or cited by the media for your social media activities? Let us hear from you in the comments.
- A guy on Amtrak spied on the former NSA director (dailydot.com)
- Tom Matzzie on Why He Live-Tweeted a Former CIA Director’s Private Conversation, and Whether That Made Him Nervous (New York Magazine)
- Former Head Of NSA Michael Hayden Overheard On Train, Twitter World ‘Listened’ (Caffeinated Politics)
- The Acela Spy – The shocking things I’ve learned by eavesdropping on Amtrak (Slate.com)
- Twitter = Citizen Journalism (chelsmeyer73.wordpress.com)
- Citizen Journalism Vs. Traditional journalism (abigailnaadjanie.wordpress.com)
- Ambient Awareness & Citizen Journalism (ginafaustini.wordpress.com)
- Former NSA Director Advocates Chinese-Style Internet (Conservatives Against Tyranny)
- Citizen-journalism (brittanymarie19.wordpress.com)
- Michael Hayden, the Voice of Terror (Gawker)
Many thanks to Lensblr.com for featuring my photomontage art today! The folks there were kind enough to highlight my recent piece, “Find What You Love,” which I created earlier this month. Here’s what it looks like at Lensblr:
Lensblr is a site that, in its own words, “advocates the original photographers on Tumblr — the ‘creators’ in the Tumblr world.” The site focuses specifically on Tumblr, where it seeks to “bring more attention to the creative works of the content creators on Tumblr.”
Social Media, Art and Blogging All In One
This is great for a Tumblr newbie like myself, since only recently do I understand Tumblr – which is exciting for more reasons than just having my artwork featured. I never would have discovered Lensblr were it not for the direct suggestion of another Tumblr user at Darkdisturbingbeautiful, who suggested I submit my art to Lensblr after having followed my blog and then messaging me through the site. Thanks again, Jason!
Adding to the experience, Tumblr user zombodystripe messaged me asking about how I created the piece. My reply made for a neat post on Tumblr all by itself, since adding images and links in replies is just as easy there as blogging. Here’s what I said about my process:
Q via zombodystripe: How did you do Find What You Love on your iPhone? Is there an app? What is it called? I’d love to try it!
A: For Find What You Love I took three photos with the Hipstamatic app: the treetops, the peeling paint and the flowers. I put them all together in a now-extinct app called Photoforge2, but you can use any app that supports layers (like Filterstorm, Superimpose, others). I set layer modes according to light/dark for blending — mainly using overlay mode. Finally, I masked out areas I wanted to keep or erase, then merged all layers and did overall sharpening/exposure adjustments to bring it together. I use things like vignettes and textures to unify also, so everything has a similar feel. If you like this, definitely check out more of my photomontages at 500px, and especially the work of Jerry Uelsmann - he is the grand master of montages and my inspiration. And he does all this by hand with film in the darkroom. More on him at this post I did at my blog: “Learning From The Masters.”
Sites like Lensblr greatly enrich the Tumblr experience – and I don’t just say that because they featured my stuff. Definitely check it out if you’re into creative photography and images.
What do you think? What’s something you’ve been turned on to by way of social media or a blog? Was it a temporary interest, or did it further a lasting connection? Let us hear from you in the comments.
- Exercise: What makes a good blog? (jodiequach.wordpress.com)
- How to Use Tumblr for SEO and Social Media Marketing (moz.com)
- Fun photography masking tools on iOS (reviews.cnet.com)
- New To iPhoneography? Here Are The Best Apps The App Store Has On Offer (makeuseof.com)
- MIA reveals new album ‘Matangi’ artwork (digitalspy.co.uk)
- I made a Tumblr! (thebookofhan.wordpress.com)
- Is Self-Hosted WordPress A Good Tumblr Alternative? (nexcess.net)
For the longest time, I’d been baffled by Tumblr. I didn’t understand how it worked, or its popularity. Now, I’m getting it.
What’s in your Tumblr? And what is that, anyway? Obviously we get blogging and social media, but Tumblr — while interesting — has never held my interest for very long until lately. I only started posting to the site when I started using Instagram because it’s easy to post to Tumblr while uploading to Instagram — basically, checking a box. I reasoned having something at Tumblr just in case I wanted to pursue it one day made sense.
Then, I discovered Pinterest, and have come to love that site for all the art I discover there, much like Flickr, 500px, iPhoneArt.com and several others. I kept on noticing a ton of images there via Tumblr, so that piqued my interest even further. And now I’m using Tumblr as a collect-all for my activity on these and other sites. The best part is, it happens with no extra effort on my part.
I’m using these automated actions through If this Then That (more on this later) to add content to my Tumblr whenever I like a photo on Instagram, Flickr, 500px, or create one myself, as well as other things like Pandora, Last.fm or Pinterest activity — stuff I’m already doing anyway for my own entertainment.
— Richard Smith (@rsmithing) August 7, 2013
It’s nice to see all these things I like and ponder them in a different context in one place — where I’ve even customized my experience by modifying the html of a stock theme, and building in commenting functionality via Disqus. I’m also checking out who likes what I post, exploring to find content there that can re-blog right on my own Tumblr site. And so the cycle continues.
For me, Tumblr is another flavor of art discovery and expression through curation, which is what I enjoy so much about the aforementioned sites. I don’t think I can have too much of that in my life, and Tumblr makes a nice addition.
SNL’s “Drunk Uncle” on Tumblr, via special guest, Peter Drunklage (at about :45)
What do you think? Are you on Tumblr? How do you use the site? How did you to figure it out? Let us hear from you in the comments.
- How I taught my mom to love Tumblr (dailydot.com)
- Benefits of Tumblr for Your Blog (business2community.com)
- “Drunk Uncle” on SNL Mocks Tumblr (Mashable.com)
- Making a case for Flickr (and why unlike everyone else, I like it better than 500px) (dadspixels.com)
- Tumblr~ (starsssss.wordpress.com)
- Tumblr web traffic reportedly on a sharp decline (theverge.com)
In an interview with Marketplace, The CEO of auction house, Christie’s, Steven Murphy, put forth one of the best justifications for businesses getting on social media there is. It stood out to me for its utter salience and logic. Here is the exchange:
Marketplace: Christie’s on Twitter? I think the world just exploded.
Murphy: Yes. Well, why not? Our customers are on Twitter. We should be too. Our clients are spending 60 percent of each day online with some screen, so we need to be there too.
Simple as that.
On the surface, a company founded in 1766 wouldn’t seem to be the case study for social media, but if that’s where your customers are — well, that’s a pretty good justification.
Christie’s is also on Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook, among others. I think these highly visual networks are the perfect showcase for the treasures coming through Christie’s that much of the public may never have the chance to lay eyes upon. Check out their profiles for a look at some highly compelling art.
Going once, going twice….
— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) July 16, 2013
What do you think? Do you know of other companies making strong use of social that might not “fit the mold” on the surface? Ever purchased anything at auction (besides eBay)? Let us hear from you in the comments.
- CEOs Avoiding Social Media Are Missing Out (domo.com)
- Christie’s Sales Rise 9%, Boosted by Record Auction (bloomberg.com)
- Keep Your Divorce Off Facebook and Other Social Media (judithconte.wordpress.com)
- Lessons From Fast-Growth Company CEOs Go Beyond Social Media (domo.com)
- You Can Participate Today In Christie’s First Online-Only Jewelry Auction (donnellyunh.wordpress.com)
- Record art prices fuel Christie’s sales boom (independent.co.uk)
Big thanks to Minus Manhattan for featuring my artwork today!
Readers of rsmithing.com would likely enjoy this well-curated and prolific visual blog by Chase Turner, with a huge selection of “links and stories on photography, art, politics, design, advertising, technology, music, and culture.” The site has been featured on The Daily What, Gizmodo, Jezebel, American Photo Magazine, The Village Voice, Boing Boing, BlackBook, and Buzzfeed.
Thanks again to Minus Manhattan for the feature!
- Lessons in modern witchcraft, minus the broomsticks (cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Persio Pucci (MinusManhattan.com)
- Collage art & Illustrations by Sammy Slabbinck (www.sammyslabbinck.be)
- Never Less than ‘Fascinated’ in Manhattan (urbanhallelujah.wordpress.com)
- Learning from the Masters (rsmithing.com)
Exploring Instagram for what matches your tastes requires effort, but it’s worth it.
I’ve found some compelling art through Instagram, but it takes an effort to seek it out. I always peruse the galleries of those who like my stuff, and see what else they like, or other sites they’re on, for example. And commenting or interacting with originality also goes a long way. I also freely follow folks but will quickly unfollow if their images don’t hold my interest. So, as in the example of exploring selective hashtags: the reward is there, but you get out of it what you put in.
What do you think? Are you on Instagram? What tips would you suggest for a rewarding experience there? Let us hear from you in the comments.
- New To Instagram? Top Tips For Newbies (makeuseof.com)
- Starting Out with Instagram (aliciaroberts31.wordpress.com)
- Designing Instagram’s Logo (Instagram’s Blog)
- Pinterest for Instagram Images (rsmithing.com)
- This Instagram Photo Got Two People Arrested (huffingtonpost.com)
“It’s as much a research and educational tool as a source of inspiration & a way to keep track of art.”
– Ezra Konvitz, co-founder of ArtStack.
Lately I’ve come to enjoy an image-sharing site geared specifically toward art: ArtStack. To say ArtStack is like “Pinterest for artists and art fans” is at once accurate and also a gigantic undersell.
Yet, I wouldn’t have found ArtStack if not for seeking out artsy images on Pinterest, many of which happen link back to their sources at ArtStack. It’s true that Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr and so many other sites have genuine art mixed in, but that’s not their specific focus. ArtStack fills that niche, mixing an appreciation for the arts with social functionality and discovery.
And here’s another cool thing about getting in on an up-and-coming site like ArtStack: I had a technical question and emailed for help. Who writes me back but one of the site’s co-founders? Ezra Konvitz personally answered my query with a detailed and thoughtful reply (Jack Dorsey of Twitter does not often do this, I would guess). So I took the opportunity to find out more about the site directly from the definitive source. I hope you enjoy our conversation, and definitely encourage you to check out ArtStack for yourself.
Interview with Ezra Konvitz, ArtStack Co-Founder
rsmithing: ArtStack seems similar to, though not the same as, other image-based curation sites like Pinterest or Instagram. What are the key distinguishing philosophies setting ArtStack apart?
Ezra Konvitz: ArtStack is a community dedicated to art – so the content, design and features are all focused on making it the best place to discover, share and remember art. The platform is used by artists and art professionals, so you can follow leading museum directors, artists, curators, gallerists, collectors and other art lovers to see the art they like and find more works by your favorite artists.
A key element of the platform is that each work is categorized by artist – that means you can see all the works by the artist on the platform and stay updated when new works by that artist come onto the site.
Similarly, works are labelled by the community with other relevant art information, like the year, museum, gallery, etc. – giving you infinite possibilities for exploration. It’s as much a research and educational tool as a source of inspiration and a way to keep track of art.
rs: You’re a relatively young destination on the Internet. How have things been going as a new venture?
EK: It’s hugely exciting to see people engaging with art online and often having offline art experiences as a result.
rs: Has public reaction to the site been as you expected?
EK: We’re thrilled that the community is now in 170 countries – art is a fundamental across the world and people love to share and discover new works, wherever they are. We’ve now launched the platform in English, Spanish and Chinese!
rs: Has the backlash to sites like Instagram (Terms of Service issues) or Pinterest (copyright issues) brought traffic to ArtStack?
EK: Yes. More and more people are making ArtStack their daily go-to window for art and inspiration, and we’ve heard from some artists and curators that they now refuse to use any other social platform. That said, Instagram and Pinterest are great generalist sites – we’re simply dedicated to making it easy for more people to see more art and we’re happy to be helping people who are passionate about art. We’ll always do that in the best way possible for artists and the ArtStack community.
rs: What’s been the biggest surprise for you so far with the site?
EK: The popular appetite for discovering art! We set up ArtStack because we wanted to find more art and thought the best way would be through the people we know. We started out by just inviting our friends and it’s really blossomed!
rs: Without giving away too much, what can we look for in the future? Any new features or promotion plans?
EK: We’re working on more languages and seeing huge appetite for our mobile app. You can download it free here:
Thanks, Ezra for an inside look at ArtStack!
What do you think? Ever heard of ArtStack? Have you been turned off/on by image-based networks like Pinterest or Instagram? What are other sites you frequent for visual inspiration & sharing? Let us hear from you in the conmments.
- A Thank You From ArtStack (artistmarketingresources.com)
- 100 Magnificent Collages – From Creepy Creations to Collage Art Pieces (TrendHunter.com) (trendhunter.com)
- Can Pinterest Help Your Art Get Better? (willterry.blogspot.com)
- Bring Art into Your Everyday Life: 7 Tips to Art it Up (psychcentral.com)
- ArtStack: making collectors of us all by Matthew Caines (guardian.co.uk)
Blogger, hack photographer, artist, pet wrangler. Content does not represent views of my employers, clients or pets. My art site: http://rsmithings.com
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- rsmithing on In The Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran – Audiobook Review
- Jackie on In The Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran – Audiobook Review
- Flannery O’ Connor, Just Like Me | Author Edna Stewart: Deep Writings on A Good Man Is Hard To Find Read by Flannery O’Connor
- rsmithing on Saturday At The Gas Station
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- rsmithing on Saturday At The Gas Station
- Paula on Saturday At The Gas Station
- ironhelix2048 on Get Thee To The Getty
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- Robert Hubbard on Get Thee To The Getty
Previously on rsmithing
- My Art Website: RSMITHINGS.com
- Inside McDonald’s: PR 101
- Tonight the Streets Are Ours: Recent Musical Obsession
- Photo Synthesis – Jerry Uelsmann Review
- Immaterial Angel
- In The Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran – Audiobook Review
- Instagram Alternatives: A Guest Post by Me
- Bass Solo at Gibson Tent, CES
- Anchorman 2: Mediocrity, Alas
- Lost At Sea by Jon Ronson: A Review
- Saturday At The Gas Station
- Recent Musical Obsessions
- Social Media, All These Years In
- Guest Post: Protecting the House
- Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor Video Chats Onstage With Fan Dying of Cancer
- Rob Ford Time Bomb Has Taken Months to Explode
- KISS in M.I.A. Sample
- Get Thee To The Getty
- Crossroads, Onward