Google+ for photographers

Google+ logo
Much has been made of Google’s new entry into the world of social media and their attempts to topple Facebook. (personally I think they are trying to topple Microsoft but that’s another story)
Techdigest reported that Google+ now has more than 10 million users and in the 10 days or so since that was posted it has almost doubled.
Now I’m not really that interested in how G+ fares against Facebook as a social media site.
What I am more interested to find out is how Google+ shapes up for photographers.
I think it has something really cool hidden up it’s sleeve.

Now first off, I’ll make a confession to you.
I hate Facebook.

Can’t stand it, I can’t stand the whole culture of everything having a ‘status’ and I have serious reservations about the amount of personal data they want from their users.
I mean, why do you want to know what school I went to or my D.O.B.
Do you want my national insurance number and my credit card pin as well?

Well tough, ’cause you’re no getting it.

I also don’t like the way that businesses use Facebook.
They seem to be putting a lot of their eggs into the basket of a foreign owned corporation, thinking that if we set up a page and get some followers that automatically sales will follow.

This post will very quickly become a list of things I hate if I am not careful. Oops too late.

Straight away Google+ doesn’t ask me for such things and straight away I can set my privacy settings the way I’d like them to be.
How this will pan out when it is properly opened up I do not know.
(Maybe it should never be opened up to the public and always be an invite only site.)

Social media sites all pose a similar problems and risks to each other when it comes to your photographs.
Facebook’s terms of service aren’t the greatest but equally they aren’t the worst.
Google+ has similar terms, better in some respects and the same on others.
OK but not great.

Posting images on social media sites raises all sorts of questions about things like being able to still use those images for rights managed licenses.
In the past I’ve had images taken from Myspace and used elsewhere without my permission.
It annoyed me intensely and I lost out financially at a time when I was monumentally skint so it was a hard lesson to be learned.
If like me you want your work to be based on ‘exclusivity’ then the solution is simple.

Don’t put your images on social media sites.

And that possibly also includes things like flickr or 500px.
Seriously, if you don’t want them shared just don’t post them.
Embed them from your own site, store them from your own site or use something like photoshelter to host them.

I want the visitors to my site to interact and experience my work in the that I choose instead of the bland sameness you get on social media sites.
I want to show that my work is unique and special and try to give people something of a tactile experience with my images (which obviously is hard to do on the internet but hey, we can but try.)

What’s the ace up the sleeve I mentioned?
Hangouts.
Basically easy group video conferencing.
I think this could be a great tool to use.
Imagine having little client discussions where you could walk them through all sorts of options or even if you were offering tuition or use it for networking.
Sure, Facebook/Skype offers similar functionality but I’m not sure all of it is free or indeed if it works as well.

I’ve seen some other examples of how others plan on using this feature, from Dell to hackers and innovators or educators and it looks really cool.

More to follow.

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