Tag Archives: Flickr

Try Social Media Cross-training for new skills

A couple of days ago I provided a few examples of lessons I have learned through my experience posting photographs on Flickr. After buying my first digital SLR I was looking for a venue to share my photos and to learn about photography. Flickr has provided exactly that. But you don’t draw attention to your photos without learning a few things. Like finding others who find the same things interesting. Here are a few more things I have learned, all of which translate to blogging!

  •  I began photographing sunrises for one simple reason. I can take some nice photos right out the window of my 15th floor condo as the photo at right demonstrates. I found that there are other Flickr members who enjoy these photos (and don’t bore of them too quickly) by joining Flickr groups particularly focused on sunrises and sunsets. I also learned from participating in those groups exactly what other people respond to most strongly. I can recognize other photographers whose photos are clearly superior to mine and ask them to critique my work. Ditto for blogs. Continue reading

Social media cross-training: let Flickr make you a better blogger!

Social media cross-training could give your blogging skills the boost they need. Posting your photos on Flickr can teach you essential social media skills and strategies more quickly than blogging!

The usual advice is this: focus your attention and energy on one specific strategy and refuse to be distracted. Great advice much of the time, but not necessarily when it comes to blogs and other social media. Concurrent social media pursuits can actually be beneficial.

You create traffic in one by spending time in another. Your Pinterest presence sends blog visitors. Facebook activity pumps Twitter traffic. As you probably already know, this is not just wise, it is essential.

But are you aware of the learning benefits? Lessons learned in one social media site apply elsewhere. The skills and habits you need to thrive on Flickr readily translate to the challenge of growing your blog. And those essential lessons that I find hardest to learn with establishing my blog came more intuitively to me on Flickr. Continue reading

To attain excellence, first learn to recognize it

Describing a skill on your resume in a manner that grabs the reader’s attention means credentials or endorsements. The best endorsements are provided by the most discriminating judges in the discipline. In most fields, the criteria that discriminates top-notch performance from mediocrity is not arbitrary, but well-known and accepted. If it is your ambition to be judged as excellent, expect your performance to be critiqued against those criteria, whether you choose to pay attention to them or even acquaint yourself with them. First, then, learn and competently apply them in assessing your own work and that of others.

In photography, an excellent photo must be sharp where it should be sharp. That means discarding many otherwise interesting shots, including this one of four turtles. Most of the 50 photos I took one afternoon looked OK in the camera viewer, but not full-screen on the computer monitor. I didn’t use a tripod and it shows. The statuette nearby is still life, but not the turtles, especially their heads. Even with a tripod, hundreds of attempts might be needed to obtain one photo presenting four well-focused turtles. My impatience won out. I liked the composition and posted the photo at right on my Flickr page. Does it matter? It does if I want to be taken seriously as a photographer. If my personal brand includes consistent excellence, this photo must be discarded, so I reluctantly deleted it from Flickr. And that is the third lesson. Continue reading

Lesson 2: My camera taught me to be teachable

It was too easy at first. Jump out of bed, grab a quick shot of the beautiful sunrise, post it on Flickr.com and marinade in the compliments. Repeat daily. At first, Mother Nature provided enough variety to ensure that, like snowflakes, the sunrises weren’t exactly identical. But there got to be enough similarity that I needed to do something different. Anyway, I was shooting fish in a barrel. A 10 mile drive to Toronto lake shore changed the perspective and my viewer count surged temporarily. A suggestion from a regular visitor from Scotland jolted me out of my duffer rut. By letting the Toronto skyline remain out of focus, I achieved the result displayed at right. That photo reached 200 views in a couple of days, quadruple my previous high. My Scottish visitor was delighted that I welcomed his advice, apparently something that is rare in his experience. And that is the second lesson. Continue reading