I try so many sites as part of my work, and most of the time I find them lacking - I have registered to literally hundreds at one time or another and I haven't gotten stuck and participated in any of them the way I do in forums or newsgroups.
Until last weekend. This little one is clearly a labour of love and well suited to its planned purpose, and as a web application it is near perfect in delivering what it wants to deliver and nothing more.http://www.blipfoto.com/What is it
it is a simple, no frills, 1-a-day photoblog type service.
Sign up - human checked - upload one photo a day (which goes up for the day you took it, thats the one rule), put a bit of text with it. Receive nice welcome comments. Go around and get amused, impressed and probably inspired by all the weird and wonderful things other people have come up with that day. Want to go out and take yet more pictures.
The challenge is to try to do something daily. It's easy and yet it is fun, and because it is so minimalistic it doens't feel as self centered as the classic blog/diary thing.
I mentioned it elsewhere http://www.donationc....msg109694#msg109694
with screenshots, but I thought that some people in DC might enjoy that little creative challenge every day so I would point it out again.Why it works
- it is easy. the site is easy to use, upload takes 2 steps and no time at all... and we're talking 1 pic a day
- it feels accessible - most of the pictures are nice but normal. some frome expensive kit, some from mobile phone cameras. The community is all about positive pats on the back
- the design enhances the message - it is simple and keeps the images to a small size, which reinforces the message that it is about seeing and capturing life in its variety rather than a contest of impressive images.
- it is inspiring - I was very surprised that something so simple can get the creative juices flowing, i just love checking the site at random in the evenings
- it is a bit of a challenge, but one that you can achieve (besides there is no problem in not posting every day, many don't).
- there is no pressure. you dont have to be technically great, or original, to get a bit of feedback and recognition
- there is nothing unneccessary (a big thing for me, i have trouble with websites with too much stuff)What it is not
- you wont get improve-your-photography criticism
- theres no competition
- not the best place to show off your best picturesWhat could be better
- i would love a way to mark/remember specific pics i liked, to find them easily later
- it would be nice to have some form of conversation support across comments
but i suspect these might take away some of the simplicity of the concept and break some of the magic, and I dont really miss it that much.What it did to me in one week:
Now I have always carried a pocket camera around, with the intention of taking more pictures, but I often didn't. This has managed to give me the little kick to try - snap something... Take more risks (I come from film, I just didnt snap like mad) I just try to actually extract something out of whatever pictures I manage to take that day.
This week I have taken pictures of bits of plants, even though I thought my camera probably wouldnt cope (it did, better than i would have thought). I have taken pictures of my coworkers (who never want to) using the excuse that I am trying to get more photos for that photoblog challenge (and they let me get away with it). I have had people chat with me on the street because they saw me take a photo of a flower/brick/bit of sidewalk and tell me how they try to take pictures and how fun it is now that you can fix it on the computer and I have just made them think they will take their camera with them tomorrow...
I have had a blast offline and online