Tumblr is the hub of the creative web. Their platform has found a way to intuitively include multimedia content creation from across the whole web. Tumblr’s image is of cat photos and animated GIFs, but the platform itself is much broader than that. You can shape your Tumblr to reflect yourself as a creative person.
Twitter is the best way I’ve found to attract a creative audience. Facebook can generate content views among your friends, but Twitter is public facing. When you create content and broadcast it through Twitter, there is no telling who it can reach. Audience building is a core requirement of any creative person looking for more opportunity. Twitter can get you there.
Facebook is great for contacting your pre-established network and base of loyal supporters. They can be your messengers and evangelists. Facebook Pages provides a way to establish a more outward facing front to your creative web presence.
LinkedIn has become a vital part of how I operate on the creative web. For some, LinkedIn is seen as little more than a resume, but I see it as a way to network with creative talent, share inspiration in groups and even make yourself available for job opportunities and collaborations.
Google+ is new to the game, and I’m still working on building my initial audience. But I’ve already seen the value of how it is set up. I don’t see Google+ as a competitor to Facebook. Google+ is a social network based on shared interests. Facebook is a social network based on existing relationships. I see Google+ as valuable moving forward as a way to connect with a vast network of creative individuals. The possibilities feel much more open than on Facebook.
Visiting Klout has become a part of my morning routine. At first it was just my early adopter friends on there, but now I’m seeing a lot wider base of people. Klout seems to be the place to go if you want to be known for something. I think this will prove valuable moving forward. On the creative web, it’s vital for people to know if you are a photographer, a director, a writer, etc. I see Klout as a way to help people connect the dots about you. It gives people a snapshot into what region of the creative web you hang out in. What conversations you engage in most.
Instagram has redefined what a social network can be. They have effectively fired the warning cannons of Web 3.0. They are mobile, social, intuitive and now officially validated with their 1 billion dollar sale to Facebook. The upside is unlimited. On the surface it’s ‘just a photo-sharing app,’ but within its experience lies far more than that. It’s a way to share real time experience in a more visceral way that moves beyond the tired confines of status updates. It lets you connect lightly (likes) or deeply (comments and discussions that can unfurl beneath a single image). It’s searchable, it’s scaleable and for some reason, the photos always look great. Look for more companies to erect social networks around deceivingly simple premises, that engineer a ton of depth and emotion into the user experience.
Since the Internet proved it could attract a mass audience, companies have been looking for ways to lasso its unlimited potential. However, during the short history of the Internet, no company’s lasso has proven big enough. AOL tried to reign in the potential by sending out trillions of CDs promising hours of free dial-up access. The strategy worked for a while, but in the end, free choice and competition burst AOL’s lasso by proving people had mail elsewhere.
More recently, social networks have been hiring the smartest minds, coders and magicians they could find to construct intelligent lassos. MySpace burned out fast and bright in a twinkling animated GIF of glory, but the system it presented promised a new, possibly sustainable model.
Facebook entered the game and learned from MySpace’s mistakes. They kept more control of their visual identity and provided a more neutral way for people to claim their online presences. They extended their product beyond the walls of their garden by passing out ‘Like’ buttons that we can install at will on every bit of content on our blogs and personal sites. The ‘Like’ button became the political yard signs in Facebook’s campaign to win the Internet.
Google took note of Facebook’s intelligent lasso, and put an army of Googlers on a crusade to build a bigger, more Googley lasso. Google has already conquered the Internet’s search game, turning itself into a non-ironic verb in the process. ‘Google me, dude.’
But Google’s success at building the world’s best search lasso didn’t quell their ambition to build an ever better lasso. With the Internet now segmented, total control and gatekeeping of it’s information, memes and all the cats is proving to be an intense battle.
Startups emerge overnight that win legions of dedicated users, and threaten to offset the delicate balance of corporate Internet ownership. Instagram gains millions of followers in a matter of months and becomes a billion dollar asset.
Facebook swallows the photo-sharing asset, and must not find a way to incorporate the intelligence of Instagram (and whatever intelligence they buy) onto a working part of their new Internet lasso.
Meanwhile Google is scheming to not be out +1ed at their own game. They are quickly iterating their own product Google+.
While Facebook and Google see each other as mortal, virtual e-enemies, I see them, as a consumer of their products, as serving two vastly different needs. Facebook is the tool that organizes my inward facing life, friends and family. Its Timeline marks the roller coaster of my personal life. Google+ is proving to be about connecting with EVERY ONE ELSE. Google+ represents the outward facing world, the people I haven’t met yet. Potential audience members. Potential employers. Potential partners.
For now it makes sense to keep my accounts with both Facebook and Google+ active. They serve two distinct needs for me. However I think in the future, that connecting with the larger world, and the people you don’t know yet, but perhaps need to to accelerate your personal arc, will prove to be the more valuable service.
So for now I will keep all social media lassos twirling. And I’ll judge their effectiveness as this crazy rodeo called the Internet evolves into a bull.Tweet
With Instagram launching for Android, the popular photo-sharing app will now be flooded with photos from regular people.
When Instagram was exclusively on iOS, it was the privileged domain of artists only. It’s stream showed non-stop inspirational images that stirred our collective soul. We got a window into modern life. We got careful studies of clouds against stunning rainbow gradient sunsets.
There is no telling what kind of images mere commoners will upload. There is effectively no quality control now that non-artists have been granted access to the revolutionary app.
Were Steve Jobs still with us, I’m certain he would have taken measures to keep Instagram an iPhone exclusive. He understood the particular madness and sensitivities of the artist.
Instagram is not just an application, it is a community. It was a community. And every community comes with its own set of standards. Its own tastes.
Now, sadly, it has been relegated to a mere service. It’s like a calculator now. The Instagram developers have sold out and in the process exposed their taste, or lack thereof. Android users don’t try to capture their images with any degree of artistry. They capture their images factually. Robotically, just like the tiny green robot that symbolizes their brand.
‘Here is what I am eating.’
‘Here is what I am looking at.’
‘This is my place of work.’
Efficient. Sterile. Without personality.
Instagram was once a haven a wit, inside jokes and lessons in cinematography. Instagram, when it was on iOS exclusively, was a posh mobile art gallery. It was a virtual gallery that fit in our pockets and we were free to contribute to its walls when the muse descended upon us.
Now Instagram will turn into Facebook. Mark my words. The magic is over. It will become a factual stream filled with literal, soulless images, simply taken with little thought, simply to pass time. Images not captured to inspire or move.
Instagram just had one million users join in the past 24 hours that will turn the tides and tendencies of this once proud community into a stream of visual status updates.
It will become TwitPic 2.0/ It will be a pure visual Timeline.
It’s fine for a service like that to exist. In fact many do. It’s just said to see a once proud artist colony like Instagram open the floodgates to the wider internet.
Cue the cat photos. Ready the memes.
It’s only been 24 hours, but my soul has already been crushed by the army of one million Androids. I already pine for the once walled garden of the iOS only Instagram.Tweet