Three Ways to Advertise for Free!

Yes, we have Facebook Advertising and GoogleAdWords to help us in client generation, but what are some free ways to use the Internet to generate clientèle? I was thinking about that recently and started surfing the web to see how I came across other photographers. Three of the most interesting ways (that cost the photographers nothing), were the following:

1. GoogleMaps: As soon as I put in Seattle Wedding Photographers, I got a map of countless photographers on the Seattle area map. Each had their own image displayed, ratings, and contact info – VERY smart.

2. YouTube videos: This was a video I came across through the Google search engine. It’s a short slideshow of a company’s senior pictures (without music). Way to use YouTube for free advertising!

3. Craigslist:  Reading Kaarin’s Craigslist.com article, I remembered how a fellow wedding photographer started booking clients through short Craigslist ads. It’s probably not too professional if you’re getting big in the industry, but if you’re somewhat new and have great prices to offer, why not?

So far, I have only used Facebook Fan page and of course my photography blog, so I’ll definitely have to put my company on the map, make a local listing and try out some YouTube movie making!

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Your Refrigerator Is Ringing

Wow. What a timely article to read for class! I recently began working for a company that is selling a “convergence” product in Seattle. I don’t know if anyone has heard of 4G Wimax internet, but that is what this is. All of the information will be traveling through Wimax, ‘Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access.’ The definition for Wimax is “a telecommunications technology providing wireless data, voice and video over long distances.” This means that Seattle (and more and more cities) will have city-wide hot spots and people will be able to connect just about anything wireless to the Wimax technology. Before, this wasn’t possible because wi-fi was measured over feet and couldn’t handle that much data, but now it’s measured in miles and has unlimited data transfer capabilities! What does this mean? Well, you can have a wi-fi connected fridge (with its own IP address) and an app on your iPhone that will allow you to see what is in your fridge when you’re shopping at the grocery store. You can have a freezer-oven, that you can program to turn on 1 hour before you get home from work, to start roasting your turkey before your arrival. Add GPS to the equation and the the oven will turn on by itself just by tracking how far away you are from the house. The possibilities are endless. Hearing that and reading this article, it was just so interesting to see the 2006 predictions.

The bundle concept of “fixed and mobile telephony, broadband internet access and television” is also something that those selling the new product have to factor into the equation of buyer mentality. Everyone likes the one-stop-shop provider that gives them all that they need in terms of technology services. They also rely on the discounts of purchasing the bundle package. So the difficulty of breaking into the current monopoly (of providers) is to battle this issue. Since my company can only provide mobile internet and mobile voice service (home and cell in one), I was wondering how the lack of television service can be addressed. But then I concluded that since online TV is so popular these days (and will only be getting more popular with the coming years), would cable TV even be a demand? We have on demand Hulu and Netflix to take place of the endless amounts of channels we probably rarely watch.

The final thought is that convergence equals convenience and convergence is definitely here.

Questions:

1. What bothers you about the convergence taking place in the technology world?

2. In what ways has convergence of technology made your life easier or more convenient?

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Digital vs. Film: Is It Really a No-Brainer?

In the photography world, many still debate on whether or not the digital format is better than traditional film for the photographer. Many of us can argue “But digital photography allows for so many more images,” and “Digital photography only requires a one time fee of a digital camera and a memory card unlike film.” All of this is true and it may seem like a no-brainer, but there are some things the digital world hasn’t been able to substitute when it comes to the quality of the photographs that film can provide. Of course they both have their advantages and disadvantages, but only an experienced photographer can fully understand what is lost when the convenience of the digital compromises photographic quality.

I grew up around a film photographer dad and later a professional photographer cousin. My dad didn’t really have the option of “film or digital?” when he was taking pictures in the 90’s. My cousin Dan on the other hand, got to experience the world of both; He got into photography at the very moment when having a digital camera became a common ‘luxury.’ He told me that he loved shooting in film, because of the vibrant and soft colors that film-processing produced (I couldn’t notice the difference until I went through at least three of his photography albums). As he began to shoot weddings for a career, he realized that film wouldn’t suffice, even though it produced great colors and beautiful images. Only with digital could he view his images instantly for focus and shoot as many pictures as his memory cards could fit (not to mention the peace that came with knowing that the images were turning out well at an event that couldn’t be “redone.”

Being a photographer, I have researched many talented photographers; I only know one who chooses to shoot his weddings in film. You can see the amazing images that he takes here, but I can only imagine the talent and skill that keeps him confident to know that his images are turning out great technically and aesthetically.I wanted to see what the online community thought about this debate. An interesting article came up, discussing that advantages and disadvantages of both, praising the quality of film over digital a good way through and then making the point that “The most important variable here is what the digital photographer does with the digital files after the shoot.” Yes, film can create colors and highlights that just cannot be substituted by digital photography, but it is the accommodating digital processing like Photoshop, that allows digital photography to have an equal race against film. Film can also be edited on the computer, but the process is much more difficult and can take up a lot of time.


My concluding point is that although digital photography is convenient in immeasurable ways, film produces a quality that can never be replicated and that with enough patience a photographer can outdo the the glory of the digital photographic world (the film photographer I mentioned is a great example of that.)

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Wikipedia & Delicious

These are some links I found regarding my photography blog project. Wikipedia – of course I have used before (how could I not, being a student:), but Delicious – I was using for the first time.

Although Kathy already sent out a 20 plugins for WordPress blogs, I found this one on Delicious that gave me more options steered for business blogs as opposed to general blogs. I particularly enjoyed the “contact form 7” plugin which will allow my visitors to contact me for inquiries if they’re interested in highering me. Also “All in One SEO Pack” which will allow me to go higher in search engine ranks – always good news for business blogs:)

http://www.webdesignbooth.com/10-essential-wordpress-plugins-for-new-wordpress-installation/

It was more difficult to get a Wikipedia article that would relate to my topic: photography blogs. All my options were wikipedia articles on different photographers and photoshops, so the only valuable one I got was wikipedia article on WordPress:) I was able to get some information on supported themes (important since I am installing my own themes for my project). And also, multi-blogging, since that is something I might look into if my business gets bigger and I may want to capture more of an audience that way.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wordpress

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News Mixer: Great Idea

The “Social Media” article, although a review of much of the information we have learned so far in the course (Web 2.0, journalism changes, social media on the rise), did inform me of something I haven’t noticed in the ‘Internet world.’ This little something is referring to the “interactivity” that the news sites were trying to incorporate into the news reading one-way experience, more specifically, their search for ways to encourage activity on the visitor’s part. It must be a challenge to make a news site an enticing place for people to spend their precious time at, commenting to an anonymous audience; people have so many alternatives ways to communicate their opinions – after all, we are living in an era of Facebook use and constant Twitter updates, so why wouldn’t people carry their conversations on the sites that provide them with the community that they are used to and sites that they are faithful to?

Looking at News Mixer (haven’t heard of it before), I was genuinely impressed with ways in which it vamped up the ‘news site’ experience. It is true: people aren’t too prompted with an open-ended comment box. But with News Mixer’s categories (Q&A, Quips, and Letters to the Editor), visitors are given options (who doesn’t like options?) and are given ideas in the ways which they can respond, which allows for a likely environment that visitors will find one of the 3 ways, a desired choice of communication with the news sites. Most importantly, people can still be connecting their News Mixer experience with their familliar Facebook use, using ‘Facebook Connect’ and cross-posting. Overall, a smart idea, as sites that incorporate active visitors are the ones that will survive this hyped up social media era.

Questions:

How do you feel about News Mixer? Are their capabilities something that would intrigue you and make you want to take up your time? Why or why not?

What do you think about Facebook ID? Are you in favor of the idea? Why or why not?

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WordPress Madness

This week has been WordPress Madness. I have been looking forward to finally installing WordPress onto a server, so that I could finally start customizing and designing my blog. Well, the Wednesday workshop was definitely something:) We were typing codes of all sorts on what seemed like  a 1980’s computer program, and after a good couple hours, we hit a dead end. Although we all went home disappointed, Kathy sent us a pleasant email of success the next day, fixing the issues and providing us all with our new logins for WordPress. Messing around with the new themes and customizations was definitely no piece of pie (definitely not as easy as the html codes that I was familiar with when I used to customize MySpace). After many unsuccessful attempts to customize my page and search for fitting themes to customize, I gave up and realized that another workshop will definitely need to take place; WordPress cutsomizations seem out of my world with the seemingly limited number of options available  (and I thought I was more or less tech savvy). At Wedneday’s workshop, I hope to mostly figure out how to use CSS and install plugins as that seems to be the only way that any form of ‘design’ can take place (other than font change). We’ll see how it goes:)

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Flickr: Making Life Easier

I got introduced to Flickr in my Spring quarter of ’08, as my Photography teacher had us all get Flickr accounts to post our work and make comments throughout the quarter. So just like WordPress is being utilized by our class, teachers take advantage of free programs/sites online (like Flickr) to incorporate into their classrooms (definitely a shift from how classes were run just 10 years ago).

Reading through the article, I came across a lot of review from what we heard from Kathy’s Flickr lecture last Wednesday, such as having the helpful “tags” features and being able to share photos. But what stood out to me and actually went hand in hand with this week’s subject matter post, was the Geotagging feature that the article talked about. Just like the Geotagging feature allows for placing photos on a map, so the Flickr user of my subject matter post did so. But instead of using Mappr or what I assume Flickr would want its users to utilize (Yahoo’s Mapquest), this user chose to work with GoogleMaps. Perhaps because GoogleMaps seems to be more popular and this user could generate more hits by working with GoogleMaps as opposed to its competitors, but none the less, great presentation.

Other than finishing it off with the 101 on premium users versus standard users, I was able to take away  some helpful info/tools for my new company’s photography blog. I am referring to the Flickr badge which allows you to show lots of photos in HTML, but also have a cooler option of Adobe Flash Player. This, I figured might be a nice way to present my photos sometimes on sites like Facebook or just embedding into my blogs for presentation in a new way, once in a while. So basically, not only will I be able to present my images with an interactive tool, but I will also be able to benefit from its marketing possibilities, as my work wouldn’t only be on my blog and website, but also on Flickr for all the faithful Yahoo! users to see.

Questions:

1. What intrigues you the most out of all of the Flickr options and features and why?

2. In what ways does Flickr help you as an internet user? (And if you don’t use Flickr, which image hosting site helps you?)

 

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