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The other day I decided I would do a little (early) spring cleaning on some things. I wanted to clear out my Twitter feed a little bit because I was following almost 2,000 people which can get overwhelming. Every few seconds Twitter tells me that there are 40 or 100 new tweets and I couldn’t possibly get through them all. To my surprise I was able to find a website called Tweepi to help me handle this.

Tweepi analyzes your twitter account and lets you quickly scan through all your followers and people that you follow. You can also see some useful information using Tweepi that you can’t quickly see on Twitter. For instance, Tweepi let’s you see when the most recent tweet was of pretty much anyone on your Twitter account, so I was able to unfollow people who hadn’t tweeted anything or created any new content in years. Why bother? It’s not like I’m missing out on anything. I cleared out over 600 people I was following that had not tweeted anything in over a month/year(s) to make space for me to follow new people. So if you think you might be following a lot of crappy twitter accounts, go ahead and unfollow them easily on Tweepi.

*A side note: you may think you can just follow an almost infinite number of people on twitter but this is actually not the case. Unless you have about 2,000 followers or more, you are limited to following about 2,000 people until you get more followers to maintain a 1:1 ratio. So it’s very important who you decide to follow because, most people can only follow so many. 

Also in my search to become a Twitter power-user I found this browser extension called Buffer. What this extension does is it allows you to link up your social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter etc.) and schedule posts to be shared automatically at a set time across all the platforms that you enable. You can schedule posts for specific times or setup a queue to post throughout the day. This is so convenient, scheduled posting is one of my favorite features from WordPress and Blogger that doesn’t really exist, or at least isn’t built in, for apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram until now.

The browser extension for Buffer has a pretty seamless integration into the top right corner of your browser and underneath social media posts.  If you’d like to add a post to your queue or schedule one without leaving the page you can do so at the click of a button.

 

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Then you can visit your queue by clicking on the buffer icon on the top right section of the page (right next to AdBlockPlus which I would also recommend if you don’t like watching youtube ads.) From there you can shuffle or reorder your queued and scheduled posts or even make a new one to share to all your social media handles.

 

 

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Buffer is free to use but some features like the queued posting is limited to only about a handful of posts unless you pay a monthly fee. Still though, it’s a great tool to use if you find a lot of cool content all at once and would rather share it over a few days than post it all at once.

 

-Alex

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I’m a big fan of social media, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, mostly.

I like to share what I’m working on for two reasons:

1) Some of my friends seem to enjoy seeing my process.

2) It puts pressure on me to make good work if I share what I’m working on.

In the back of my head though I also wonder if I’m making it easy for others to copy my work. Everyone is different and it is virtually impossible to take the same exact picture twice but is social media making it easy to steal and copy other artists? Probably. I think a big part of using social media is knowing when to share and what to share. Sometimes I have a fear that if I share an idea with a friend or on Twitter that someone will take my idea and make that photograph for themselves. If I’m already finished with my photograph, I have a little more protection with copyrights and things like that. In that instance it is clear that the chicken did, indeed, come before the egg. I don’t think the same applies to ideas.

Ideas are a funny thing, really, most of the time it seems as if mine come right out of thin air. I’m an ideas guy, ideas can be anything, they can be simplistic or complex, ridiculous or logical. There’s nothing that says you have to act on an idea, you could save it on a piece of paper or forget about it. When you have a good idea though, there’s nothing you can do to protect it more than to simply not tell anyone about it. This is easier said than done. Mark Zuckerberg’s rise to fame and success is a perfect example of my point. He took someone else’s idea before they were able to realize it fully and made it his own. While this is clever it can also be very hurtful to others.

The reason I’ve been thinking about this so much is that this semester I’m doing my photo assignments off of a shot list. Every student has the same assignments and it is very easy to do similar work. Now, it doesn’t really matter to me what other people do for their assignments but I’d hate to see a student try to hack their way through a semester by copying another person. I’m not usually this uptight about people making the same picture over and over again, but I am more aware of it when school is involved. I hold my work very close to the chest and once summer rolls around I can relax a little more. This summer I can make more work that’s off the books, not for school, not for an assignment, just for me and my portfolio. It’s a beautiful thing.

-Alex

 

This is the first new post on my new WordPress page! I have recently migrated all my things from my old Blogspot page and I will be posting new content here from now on. I felt it was necessary to make this change to WordPress because it does almost everything Blogspot can do and leaves a ton of room for expansion. At my Blogspot page, there are enough features for simple posting and a small amount of organization, at WordPress I already feel so much better about my blog. WordPress has more features (Free and Paid) than I know what to do with and everything seems to work as it should. At the Blogspot page I too often found myself revamping the page and incorporating feature that should’ve worked but did not despite being offered by Blogger. This site seems like an appropriate stepping stone towards my new website. in the next few days I am planning to purchase a domain name using WordPress and using this blog to hold down the space until I can get the rest of my new content together. I think it’s important as a photographer to be able to comfortably establish an online space and with WordPress it seems like I can do things step by step. Instead of trying to build a whole website and obtain a domain name and integrate the blog all at once it’s nice to be able to go at my own pace. Soon, I will have a domain name online and the blog will be the first thing on there until I can create everything else. I’m very excited about this transition I feel that it’s exactly what I needed to do while also keeping things manageable. That being said, I suggest re-subscribing to my blog over by the widget on the right-hand side of this page so that you can receive my posts in weekly emails. Anyway, now that the updates are out of the way, onto the post.

When I created this blog I didn’t really know what to make of it. Now, I view my blog as an online space to collect my thoughts and share them with others. The blog is tangible and it is my own. I’m always looking for something to do that will fulfill my creative urges and the blog has helped me so much on the days where I could not make progress towards an artistic goal. For example, being in college keeps me preoccupied with schoolwork and my personal pursuit of photography slows down to a snail’s pace. The blog is what keeps me sane during those times. The blog is the one part of my photographic/creative process that continues each week regardless of the other things I am doing.

Reasons I love this blog:

  • It’s an online space to collect and share ideas
  • I can post whatever I want, whenever I want
  • Nobody is telling me to run this blog, I’m doing it because I want to and I can stop whenever I want to.
  • Even if no one reads it, I can still see a neatly organized collection of my thoughts through writing
  • I can keep track of what I was doing at a particular time
  • I can track how I feel about art and just about everything else at a particular time
  • I can control frequency of posts through scheduled posting. If I write four posts in a day then I can publish them over the span of a few hours to weeks to months to years. If I wrote enough posts I could fully automate the blog to publish new content on its own while I am doing something else or if I am unable to post at a certain time.
  • WordPress allows integration with a domain name for less than 20 bucks a year. Since I’m making a website, having a domain name is a necessary first step towards accomplishing that goal and WordPress makes it easy.

That being said, if you’re passionate about something, make yourself a blog. It may seem like a chore at first but know that there is no rubric to follow, you can make it about anything you want. And once you learn the interface, posting can be as simple as mashing out a few sentences from your mobile phone.

A blog is a beautiful thing. Welcome to my humble abode.

-Alex