Goodbye Twitter, Clubhouse and Glass
I’ve tried to like Twitter.
Years ago, I had a pretty big following on Twitter. One day, after too many trolls commenting on photographs and the craziness of politics invading every thread, I shut down the account.
Five years later, I decided to give it a go-again.
Yesterday, I responded to a thread and suggested a YouTube channel that caters to specific audience. It was given as an example on how someone could grow a channel to close to 200K viewers in just a little over a year. The response, was a bit shocking, and honestly, quite rude.
So, I un-followed and blocked them, along with the others in the thread. I also decided to block them on Instagram.
I thought about the old Steven Covey quote, “Begin with the End in Mind”. What was my end goal with Twitter? Was it to build audience, to find a market for fine-art prints or share or connect with other creatives? I’m not sure.
However, after reading the angst-ridden comments of film only photographers and their personal grievances against all who dare think differently from them, I decided, I don’t belong there. Probably, never did.
Clubhouse was interesting, there was so much hype around it, with people trying to get invites to the new social media darling.
I received an invite from a fellow member of The Photo Society who was part of a panel discussion. That panel discussion was evocative, challenging and thoughtful — but not different than any other presentation.
Also, APA National was getting involved with Clubhouse and I thought, maybe with their seal of approval this would be worthwhile to explore.
Over the next few days, I checked out several Clubhouse “rooms”, gathering places for people interested in the same subject. The ratio to qualified to unqualified ratio is tilted toward the unqualified.
What I found was a lot of talk, not so subtle selling and a bit of bullying. Life is too precious to spend time on listening to people trying to outsell or outsmart each other. Leaving Clubhouse within a week was an easy decision.
Glass is the one new social media app/community that I feel may be of genuine use to many people. I signed up for their trial period, posted a few images and followed several photographers from around the world.
Most of what I saw, were iPhone pictures of places – the normal, traditional everyday snapshots that make-up the backbone of micro-stock libraries. People who I followed on Glass were making considerate and thoughtful comments on images.
The question, for me, is, what is the end goal of participating on Glass?
Is it; the fun of sharing images, possible portfolio avenues, searching for print sales or assignments? Maybe, but is it worth my time and effort to try, once again, a new social media app and construct a look and hope for a following?
In the end, the answer was no.
However, I had a brief conversation with a person from Glass and they were positive and thanked me for trying the app.
I appreciated that, and it tells me, that the culture of the group behind Glass is positive, welcoming and looking forward to growing the app in a respectful manner.
I think they will succeed.
What is my goal with Social media
I have started to define it. Instagram is important, even though the company is now focused on video (reels) plus Instagram stories.
They have said, they are no longer a photo-sharing app. I will still post, but most likely, not as much and more personal work.
I have found that LinkedIn offers the most in terms of value against my time. I get real client engagement and even though it is not needed, encouragement and appreciation for the images I post.
However, the most important thing, to me, is personal connections. Just dropping a note to say hello, hand-written thank you notes to clients and crew, postcards from on the road or even a short email to say thank you.
When I first shot for Vanity Fair, way back in 2007, I was surprised and delighted to receive two hand-written thank you notes after the assignment. The first was from the director of photography, Susan Smith and the second was from Graydon Carter, the editor.
I appreciated the thoughtfulness of the note and have kept them along with others in a folder in my file cabinet. Those notes remind me, that regardless of the importance of yoru job or station in life, it is always good to thank the people who help you.