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!
Over the past few years of exploring art and developing my own creations through Instagram and smartphone apps like Hipstamatic and Dynamic Light, I’ve come to appreciate the merits of different websites for purposes of expression and curation. Here’s a look at my top 5.
On each of these sites I house some variation of images I make, and I also explore them daily for inspiration. Following is my take on what makes each special and how I get the most from them with their unique characteristics:
500px: The Premiere Gallery
I use 500px.com exclusively to house all my photomontage art. It has the fastest, cleanest, and overall best display, where the focus is on the art with the community and everything else coming after that. There’s a simple mechanism for favoriting, liking and commenting if that’s what you’re into, but primarily the site is about experiencing the art, and there’s generally more refined content than other image-sharing websites. http://500px.com/rsmithing
Pinterest: Mass Consumption Imagery
Pinterest is where I tap into a huge image-appreciating community, sharing my montages and other creations that happen along the way on a board called “My Creations.” Not everything there is totally fleshed out, but it’s decent enough to be on display, and interesting enough to repin and share across other boards. lt’s more transient and fleeting than other venues, but feedback in the form of repins and likes helps keep me interested. Plus, I follow a ton of cool boards there along the likes of what I produce, so it’s great visual candy for when the mood to browse strikes, or if I just want to curate some dreamy images or other photomontages. http://pinterest.com/rsmithing/my-creations
Instagram: Keeping Things Fun
It’s funny; Instagram is what got me started on this journey of creation and exploration, yet it’s not the ultimate destination for me that it once was. Don’t get me wrong; I find and enjoy many great creations there, but I don’t share my most refined stuff there. The site has so quickly become so saturated, complete with spam and terms of service issues, leading me to keep a certain kind of profile there, and that’s fine. I’ll occasionally post a fully completed photomontage, but I tend to keep it light and more experimental on Instagram. http://instagram.com/rsmithing
Flickr: The Mother Lode
For me, Flickr has truly evolved into a fantastic tool and a force to be reckoned with. My photostream there is a hodgepodge of montages, original source material, experiments, and a running log of stuff that may or may not fall into any of these categories or even see the light of day. I’ve had a Flickr account for many years, but have only recently delved into the full experience it offers – chiefly because it’s such an excellent tool to share Instagram images on Pinterest and other sites like Tumblr. Plus, you can’t beat its sets/galleries/collections organization, curated groups, favorites browsing and full-size resolution viewing options. http://flickr.com/rsmithing
Tumblr: A Curated Garden
And finally, there’s Tumblr, the place where I highlight everything I like, pin and favorite on all these sites, mainly through automation and RSS feeds via ifttt.com, but also through the occasional upload and reblogging of something cool I come across there. It’s taken me a while to get into Tumblr, but I’ve found a ton of great stuff there and have managed to be featured at some cool Tumblr-based blogs like Lensblr and Minus Manhattan, which is always a great feeling, reaching folks with an interest in the kind of art I like to make. http://rsmithing.tumblr.com
What do you think? Do you employ different websites along the same reasons but for different executions? Are you on any image sharing websites? Have you heard of these already, and what’s your experience been like on them? Let us hear from you in the comments.
- 10 Reasons to Use the Flickr App (momathonblog.typepad.com)
- The 10 Fastest Growing Apps This Year (mashable.com)
- Woman gets deleted from Instagram after posting controversial photo (huffingtonpost.com)
- Point, shoot, share: 10 alternatives to Instagram and Facebook (macworld.com)
- Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram Available on Home (newsroom.fb.com)
- Flickr Commons – My destination for cool free images! (organiclyricism.wordpress.com)
- My Social Media Strategy: Pinterest and Instagram (christainnewyork.com)
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)
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)
What an honor! The good folks at iPhoneArt.com feature me on the home page today:
By the nature of the site’s name, you can probably guess what the site is about, and this is the second time I’ve been featured there, the first being in early 2012. My style has evolved greatly since then, becoming more refined in photomontage, and it’s wonderful to be noticed, especially among the ranks of so many other talented artists. This really makes my day.
I’ve written about iPhoneArt.com before as an alternative to Instagram, and the site continuously impresses me with all the compelling creative work shown there. And I’m not just saying that because they featured me, either. Definitely check it out and be amazed by what can be created with just a phone, some apps and creativity.
Big thanks to iPhoneArt.com for the feature!
What do you think? Have you been featured at a website before? Are you into Instagram or mobile photography? Let us hear from you in the comments.
- Learning From The Masters (rsmithing.com)
- Instagram (trevscompart.wordpress.com)
- iPhoneography and Instagram (fashionwonders22.wordpress.com)
- 3 Instagram Alternatives: Beyond Facebook’s Instabillion Buy (rsmithing.com)
- InstaStock wants to turn your selfies into a business model (digitaltrends.com)
- iPhoneArt.com – the Next Level of Mobile Photo Sharing (rsmithing.com)
- The changing face of mobile photography (reviews.cnet.com)
I dig the convergence of technology and time here in one brief second, now extended to the world and infinity. Here’s a snapshot of one of our modern photographic ancestors I modified with the amazing ToonPaint iPhone app, after shooting with Hipstamtic (a modern-retro simulator, no less). I found the camera at a sweet vintage shop called “Ideas” on Burke Street, Winston-Salem, NC. Original here.