Do you NOT post because you’re unsure? What, where, and is this OK?
We have a major social media problem in Photography.
Remember the days when Instagram was for photos and you saw what people you followed shared instead of being spammed with video reels meant to generate clicks?
Facebook was the same. You posted and your friends and fans saw. Instantly. Not anymore! People don’t really follow you. They join a platform to be cleverly spammed by algorithms.
Social media has become a scam perpetrated by the biggest media companies on the planet. They create no content and you are the merchandise!
Share your photos. Get get on both groups gearted to real photo talk…
We need to stop being only in ONE place.
Does this fit my audience, Does it break any rules? Does it fit my grid? Am I allowed to express this? Will it get ignored for videos of girls shaking booty? Yes, it will!
If you were in business around 2008 you probably invested a lot on your Facebook page. Because it worked People followed and saw your effort. Then Facebook took that away and made pages nothing more than a place to run ads.
These sites are about profit now so they will show whatever the algorithm thinks it can squeeze the most from. This sucks as artists. But photographers are also journalists.
We have important stories and messages. Censoring artists and journalists will change the world in a very bad way!
But you have to be sensational Gav.
I don’t use that word in a good way. If you post something it has to outrage or amaze. Mocking comments and toxic posts are rewarded while thoughtful ones are ignored. You’ve no doubt seen this in many photo groups that are essentially driven by trolls.
“Platforms know that anger and sesnatislism keep us glued to the set. They mad it work this way to keep us enagdged, angry, commenting, and coming back.“
I still have Instagram. But the truth is unless you play the algorithm game, it’s dead. That game mostly means short videos or sensationalized photos that go viral and have no relation to why we signed up. To share our ideas.
We need alternatives to Instagram and Facebook for photographers. We need places without constant censoring. We need a place to share with each other as photographers and learn and have real conversations.
They censor you but not to protect you!
The algorithm demands you do things to get attention. But if you do it wrong or policies change you are punished. Often in ways that make no sense and with no recourse. Your invenstment lost.
This is happening every day to creators on YouTube, Facebook, and beyond who did nothing wrong. And the censorship is not to protect. It’s to protect the bottom line. The money.
If filtering was there to protect you, censoring would be settings on YOUR account that told the platform what YOU want to see. Everything, disturbing new, naked people, etc.
For now 2 places I made to share your photos and Shadow talk.
Facebook pages are pretty much uselessyou pay now but groups can still be a great place to share and talk among other photographers.
Groups come with all the downsides of Facebook but the upside is everyone is there so it’s still a good place to share among each other even if it’s not a great place to share work publicly.
Flickr used to be the place to share photos. Then came Instagram which now sucks. So Flickr has made a comeback as a place not to be influencers but just to share our work, explore new photos, and talk about the craft.
We had a very active group back in the early Pro Photo Podcast days before the other platforms took over and I’ve brought it back so go join.
Flickr is also a bit less restrictive than Facebook so you can safely post boudoir work and such in this group, just keep it classy and maintain a good mix. Plus it works amazing on a desktop browser. Most try and force us to use mobile because they better control us there.
Fixing the bigger problem means people, not platforms.
We should never trust our life’s work to a corporate platform. We need to de-centralize. This is not my idea and is a growing sentiment. Here’s a recent Engadget video on the topic.
There are start-ups like Vero. I’m on there. But it’s inactive, discovery is terrible and you can’t use it from the desktop which is the same as saying they don’t take professionals seriously.
The internet was supposed to make us more free. But now we live in a world of near-constant censorship where platforms control our voices and even the news.
This is true of Facebook, YouTube, and nearly every major platform. We always have to worry about expressing ourselves for fear of being banned, not because we did something wrong but because we trigger a corporate algorithm that could affect profits.
I think that social media needs to be more decentralized. That is you post in the app you like, but people follow you on a decentralized app where they are still following you even if you are no longer on that app or platform. It takes the power away from corporate interests and puts it back with us.
RSS for example does this which is why podcasts like Pro Photography Podcast don’t have to bow to algorithms. But we need tools that go beyond that. It’s being talked about but I have yet to see a large-scale solution to this problem and I hope we will all keep fighting for it.
Our voices are at stake.
For now, the solution is to diversify.
You’ve seen me doing this in the past year.
I use my email list. I blog. I re-started the Pro Photography Podcast because I saw the way YouTube has zero respect for creators and realized I should to NOT make it my entire focus.
Growing a website is important. But creating content on that site beyond just a photo album, building lists that have people who care, and looking for a way to de-centralize matters.
For now I hope you’ll join me on not just Facebook but Flickr so we can NOT keep everything in one place and keep conversion going and these platforms like Facebook screw us over again and again as rules and politics change.