I was browsing at Staples this week and considered buying some photo paper for my inkjet printer. I used to love printing my favorite photos, especially letter-sized. And recently I went on a photo-shooting binge. But the urge to print was gone. There are just too many sharing options now that don’t involve paper. I upload pictures to Facebook, Flickr, and Imgur. I use Instagram and Picplz, which also allows me to share on Twitter (and Facebook and Flickr). I post photos to Tumblr, which is the best blogging platform for images. With the exception of Flickr, all these options are free. I have a Flickr Pro account, which I paid for so I could liberate old photos the site was holding hostage. I also store some photos in Dropbox and Gmail. My video needs are met for free by YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook. Every week there seems to be a new photo-sharing or storing service being launched. Wherever there is an Internet connection and a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, anyone will be able to view my photos. As long as there is an Internet, some of my photos will be out there somewhere. My one printing exception currently is Postagram, which offers to print and mail Instagram photos as postcards for 99 cents a piece. I do that because it’s novel and fun – and cheap. Will I print a photo again? I have a nice printer, so I can if I want to. But paper is expensive, and ink is very expensive. There must be a new free or super-cheap printing service being launched with venture capital money. I’ll poke around and see what I find.
I complained yesterday about how the same “funny” images are endlessly recirculating on the Internet. Of course, that’s how a meme develops – the photo or whatever needs to be shared over and over. When something is reblogged on Tumblr hundreds or even thousands of times, that is part of what Tumblr is about and why it is so popular. Let me refine my argument by saying that we should strive for more variety. To that end I found the photo above on MlkShk (“milkshake”) yesterday and considered sharing it elsewhere. I’d never seen it before, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been posted and reblogged dozens of times. So I used a “reverse-image” search engine called TinEye. This is what I got back:
TinEye quickly found 120 instances were the photo was used already. Now here I am with 121. Fine, let everyone share and remix to their heart’s content. TinEye is a cool service that also can serve as a helpful analytical tool. Besides the website, there are TinEye browser plugins for Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. A TinEye Android app is in beta testing. Oh yeah, I also complained about being disappointed with MlkShk, which is a new image-sharing site in beta testing. I spent more time on the site and found the quality of material was much better than I encountered during my first survey. I’m also getting a better feel for how the site and community work. Request an invite and give it a spin.
I love good animated GIFs, which are a series of looped images to create a repeating animation. They’ve come a long way from the classic GIFs of the 1990s, such as the “dancing baby.” There are still plenty of crude ones clogging the Intertubes, but a new type of sophisticated GIF has emerged. The Tumblr blog “From Me to You” has some great examples related to fashion and urban scenes from New York City. What makes them elegant is that the image is static except for some small element – wisps of hair, for example, fluttering in a gentle breeze. I found the “Blade Runner” GIF from the Tumblr blog “If we don’t, remember me,” which features GIFs created from movie scenes. You can see a few of my other favorites from that Tumblog after the jump. More
Is your Tumblr blog good enough to be made into a book? My Parents Were Awesome reportedly is. Here it is on Amazon, available for $8.17 in paperback. It’s not the first. Here’s one from 2009: Pets Who Want To Kill Themselves. “Pure entertainment!” raved Scott A Birmingham. Another Tumbler-turned-book makes fun of hipsters. Turning blogs into books is nothing new. “Salam Pax: The Clandestine Diary of an Ordinary Iraqi” – based on the blog “Where is Raed?” – was published in 2003. What’s changed over time is the type of blog, from the long written post to the cataloguing of funny pictures, which is what Tumblr is best at. I have two Tumblr blogs. One is for my collection of stuff I’ve stolen from the Internet (and some stuff I’ve created). The other features YouTube videos of old TV shows, a nostalgia showcase for the somewhat forgotten gems of television history. Neither Tumblr is becoming a book. So what blog is destined to be the next hot book?
“One in a million, yeah
You’re one in a million”
Ha! When was the last time you saw a Hannah Montana lyric quoted? Hardcore is how I roll.
WordPress.com announced on Wednesday that WordPress blogs can now be optimized for iPad viewing. It also was noted that there are more than 18 million WordPress blogs, an astounding leap from the 10.5 million just one year ago. So I’m one in 18 million. Woo! Glad to have so much company. I had read that blogging was dead. Actually, it has been declared dead several times in recent years, especially with the rise of Twitter and Facebook and mobile apps providing other outlets for people to express themselves. But just like a nut with a printing press, here I am with this blog. My only reservation has been whether I should have started it on Tumblr rather than here. So the stats on WordPress’ growth are encouraging.
Now here is a video of that Android phone mascot on crack: More
Tumblr is a great blogging platform for the flash-in-the-pan meme. Justin Bieber recently stirred some controversy by saying in a Rolling Stone interview that he was anti-abortion. And voila, a Tumblr called Apologist Bieber that is nothing but variations on something he said in the context of abortion and rape: “Everything happens for a reason.” Then there was the Tumblr that popped up after Arcade Fire won Album of the Year at the Grammys highlighting the dumbfounded reactions of many people after the Canadian band won the most coveted gramophone statuette. Several Tumblrs got a lot of attention last year, including one called Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things and Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber. Some mainstream media outlets are dabbling in Tumblr, such as Newsweek, and even The New Yorker. I don’t know why. More