Category Archives: social media

“Life Began” With Facebook And Today Is My 5th Birthday!

Facebook

October 3rd, 2007.  A glorious day – it was the day I came into the world………of facebook. That makes today my 5th birthday and I am celebrating with this blog post.  Facebook wasn’t my first exposure to social media but it was the site that changed everything for sure.  Taking a little trip down memory lane I was able to see the days I became friends with my best friends from my previous uninformed, boring, non-connected life.  The early days of facebook were truly baby steps for me – I didn’t have much of a filter, I started status updates with verbs as if my profile name of “Doug Cohen” had to be the beginning of my sentence.  I did that for over a year – like this pearl of wisdom from 11/25/08:

 

Doug's facebook status from 11/25/08

Groundbreaking huh?

Traveling right along, today I relived two of the best moments of my life.  On 12/16/09 my daughter who was 10 at the time made the winning basket in overtime to win in the championship game of her basketball league.  I’ll never forget that moment and how excited she was and on 6/16/11 my son who was 9 at the time got his first two hits of the little league season after struggling quite a bit up until that point.  I’ll never forget the smile on his face that evening and afterwards he was awarded “player of the game”.  I see a couple of anniversary wishes from Ally and I to each other here and there and many other milestones, images and memories along the way.

As for Frameable Faces, we had a couple “groups” for a while but when the business profiles/pages were released we moved over to that format and the main Frameable Faces page was born on March 12, 2010…..

Frameable Faces Photography, Facebook, Social Media

……. and its younger sibling, the Frameable Faces for Seniors! page was born 4 days later on March 16:

Frameable Faces for Seniors!

We have used facebook to expand our reach and build relationships as a studio, and personally we have used it to share good times (and bad) with friends and family.  We’ve shouted out for some shoveling help when we were snowed in and had someone show up at our door in 10 minutes. We’ve told jokes, argued, debated, learned and even watched the children of our friends grow up.  We’ve made new friends and rekindled relationships with old ones.  It’s been a remarkable 5 years.  What about you?  Take some time to look through your timeline and see what you find.  When did life begin on facebook for you?  Tell us in the comments below!

The 6 Best Photography Blogs on the Web

I spend a lot of time blogging and reading blogs and I want to highlight the photography The 6 Best Photography Blogsblogs which I enjoy and/or learn the most from so you can bookmark them whether you are a professional photographer, a hobbyist, or just an enjoyist.  Yes I think it’s fun to make up the occasional word now and then…. after all, I still want to make sure you have good organic reasons to visit our blog.

Without further adieu and in no particular order…

  1. Photofocus.  This is Scott Bourne’s online magazine (they don’t consider themselves a blog per se which means they focus on creating content and do not allow comments on the site).  Ally and I were first exposed to Scott when we saw him speak in Nashville at Imaging USA (a huge photography convention) a couple years ago.  What impressed us about Scott was that unlike most of the speakers there he didn’t have anything to sell in his presentation.  He just imparts knowledge and there is a lot of good information at Photofocus from new product reviews, info on the industry, stunning images (he has done some amazing wildlife work), and tips and inspiration.  Highly recommended.
  2. Rosh Sillars.  Rosh is based here in Michigan and his blog has become a go to for me for great information on the photography business.  Lots of great info on social media for studios with practical tips and ideas.
  3. Hair Of The Dog.  The Hair Of The Dog Blog is pretty much guaranteed to make you smile.  Centered on pet photography, the “Session Spotlights” are awesome – such fun images of pets – dogs flying through the air with their tongues out – even the occasional mouse.  We love to photograph pets here at Frameable Faces and we get a lot of inspiration from this site.
  4. The Collective.  This blog is run by Andy Bondurant and focuses on photography, business, and life in general.  His wife Kia is a photographer as well and she contributes to the blog along with many other voices from around the industry.  I’ve guest posted on this blog before and I’ve learned a lot here.  Andy and I even debated on a topic with a point/counterpoint before and I think I even almost got him to see my side (haha).  The Collective pretty much became my Instagram manual once I upgraded to a Droid.
  5. PetaPixel.  I love this site.  Described as “a blog about photography geared towards tech-savvy photo-enthusiasts” there is much to enjoy here.  You will find a lot of incredible images here as well as plenty of industry news and photography tips.
  6. MCP Actions.  This blog is run by Jodi Friedman who is based locally in Metro Detroit.  The primary focus here is Photoshop actions and workshops and if you use Photoshop and/or Lightroom you need to bookmark this site now.  The blog is not limited to photo editing however, with plenty of other topics covered and I have had the honor of guest posting here twice.  The first time included the debate between Andy Bondurant and me in the comments which I referred to above!

So there you have it – my top 6.  We are always looking for recommendations for other blogs – please share with us!  What are your favorites?

What Pulp Fiction Can Teach Us About Internet “Trolls”

I am all about practicing proper etiquette online.  I am also all about being truthful.  Somewhere in between I find it can get a little blurry.

Internet Trolls, Social MediaTrolls

There has been much written about “trolls” – the Wikipedia definition of a troll is as follows:

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

I have yet to see any trolls on this blog (hope I didn’t just jinx it), but I find the above description to be a little subjective.  “Extraneous or off-topic messages” intended to provoke are obviously inappropriate, but I wonder about  the “inflammatory” messages.  Is posting a different opinion automatically a bad thing as long as you aren’t being mean or blatantly offensive?  Certainly people could view that as inflammatory, but can’t debate be healthy as opposed to everyone just agreeing and patting each other on the back?  Besides, intent is hard to measure and someone could get upset and have an emotional response even though no offense was intended or expected…  People blog, post, and tweet expecting and hoping for responses, so shouldn’t they be prepared for different viewpoints?  It reminds me of a scene in Pulp Fiction where Mia Wallace and Vincent Vega are having dinner at Jack Rabbit Slim’s (you can actually read the entire script here– pretty cool):

                                  VINCENT
                       Actually, there's something I've
                       wanted to ask you about, but you
                       seem like a nice person, and I
                       didn't want to offend you.

                                  MIA
                       Oooohhhh, this doesn't sound like
                       mindless, boring, getting-to-know-
                       you chit-chat.  This sounds like
                       you actually have something to say.

                                  VINCENT
                       Only if you promise not to get
                       offended.

                                  MIA
                       You can't promise something like
                       that.  I have no idea what you're
                       gonna ask.  You could ask me what
                       you're gonna ask me, and my natural
                       response could be to be offended.
                       Then, through no fault of my own, I
                       woulda broken my promise.

Who is really the troll?

As far as I’m concerned just follow a few rules and use discretion and you should generally be okay.  I’ve gotten better at this as I’ve gotten older – I’ve grown up (a little) and owning a business that is really a people business has given me new and varied perspectives.  Besides, representing a brand online forces you to exercise restraint and diplomacy.

1) Be nice to people

2) Choose your words carefully knowing that a typed message can be interpreted differently than when you say it out loud.

3) Be careful talking about religion or politics and maybe think twice about bringing it up at all in a public forum – strangers will likely attack you.

4) Remember 1,2, and 3 but – don’t be scared to share your thoughts.  If someone attacks you for a thoughtful comment that doesn’t fall exactly into line with the opinion of the blogger and his/her minions then who is really the troll?  A blogger who bullies people into fear of reprisals if they disagree is a blogger you may not want to follow.

What about you?  Have you been attacked by a troll?  Have you been accused of being one?

The Frameable Faces Blog “Quest for Guests”!

The Frameable Faces "Quest For Guests"!

 

One of the themes we’ve tried to instill in our studio is that of community.  We see Frameable Faces not just as the studio you can visit at the Orchard Mall, but as all of us – especially our clients who really are the Frameable Faces (or #Frameables as we like to tweet them).  As our blog evolves and grows we thought it would be a splendid idea to get more of you involved and so the “Quest for Guests” idea was born!  We would like to open this up just to Frameables (our clients) for starters and see where it goes, but the idea is to have someone write a guest post for our blog.  There are a couple of basic parameters involved:

1.  The article does not have to be about Frameable Faces nor does it need to be photography related – it can be but it doesn’t have to be.

2.  The article should provide some value whether it’s informative, or simply entertaining.  We prefer not to go overly heavy or serious.  If you have your own blog or business we definitely want to highlight that!  But here’s the key – don’t make the post a commercial or sales pitch for your business.  Write an article that will help people – demonstrate your expertise with some helpful tips.  If you have a blog of your own which is simply your outlet for your thoughts then give us a couple of your thoughts or even a good story.  If you are a fan of our blog, don’t have a business of your own or a blog but feel you have something to add to the conversation feel free to do that too!

3.  The article should ideally be 500-800 words and include at least one related image (if you are struggling with the image part let us know and we can help you).  Also include a short 2-3 sentence bio, a bio image (125×125 pixels is a good guide but we can help you with that too), a good title for your post, and links you want us to include (website, fb, twitter etc.).

4.  Send your article in an email to doug@frameablefaces.com.  We’ll scan it for typos etc. and let you know if there are any minor changes before we post it.  Keep in mind that dependent on the number of posts we receive and/or the subject matter we can’t guarantee that your post will be published.  We hope you understand.

We are excited to see where this goes and we hope the Frameables will get to know each other a little better!  We hope you will enjoy reading a guest post and that you will comment and join in!

 

5 Ways to Use Social Media to Your Advantage…… as a Person!

At Frameable Faces we spend a lot of time on social media and facebook in particular.  Sure it’s primarily how we market our business and I personally spend a ton of time on the various platforms because I consult on on the side, but it also dominates much of the conversation with our clients in general because we post sneak peaks and/or video clips from the sessions on facebook, this blog, YouTube, even Google + a little, and we tweet as well so it’s just naturally a popular topic.  We also pin, use LinkedIn (although frankly we have a ways to go on LinkedIn as a brand) and a few of the others.  Social Media, 5 Ways to Use Social MediaBased on my own observations I’m not sure the typical casual end user knows where to go for help to get more out of social media for themselves.  The social media “gurus” focus much of their content on how brands can build and engage with their peeps, but who is helping the customers to get the most out of social media?  People still seem to get frustrated with facebook or don’t quite get twitter for example.  So while this is by no means a comprehensive list I thought I’d provide a few of my own tips to help you manage and benefit from the information available on social media platforms.

1.  “Like” and more importantly interact with your favorite brands on facebook.  More and more companies are dedicating resources to maintaining a presence on facebook and interacting with their customers there.  The company website will have information sure, but you can usually interact with your favorite store, restaurant or TV show in daily discussions if you like on facebook.  Keep in mind that hitting the “like” button, adding a comment to the conversation or even sharing something you find really worthwhile with your facebook friends will help ensure that future posts from that brand continue to show up prominently in your news feed.  This is why the interact part is so key.  Plus by liking, commenting and sharing you are putting your own stamp of approval on things that are important to you for others to see (which is one of the social aspects of social media).  So as you can see you can essentially craft your own personal flow of the information you care about on facebook.

2.  The “unsubscribe” button is your friend.  If that annoying acquaintance from high school finds you and insists on telling the world that it’s cold outside every time it’s, uh….well…. cold outside, or that they didn’t sleep well, or who you should vote for, you can just hover over their status update and unsubscribe from their updates.  This goes for all of your settings when it comes to customizing your content and your privacy.  I still hear a lot of people say they don’t want to be on facebook or don’t like facebook because they don’t want people to know a bunch of information about them, they don’t want to be in contact with a bunch of people from high school they don’t care about, or they don’t care what people ate for breakfast.  Facebook has evolved a lot over the last couple of years and you don’t have to share anything you don’t want to share, you can select who sees what, and you can unsubscribe from annoying status updates without potentially hurting someone’s feelings by de-friending them.  These are all easy and intuitive tools and if you don’t understand them then ask someone who does.  It’s very easy to tailor facebook to your interests so that it becomes a valuable source of information while still filtering all the noise.

3.  Follow your favorite brands, news outlets, blogs and teams on twitter.  If facebook can function as a good flow of information and interaction with friends and brands, twitter can positively be your personal AP wire.  I remember when the first smartphones came out and were shortly followed by sports scores apps where you could pick the teams you cared about to get updated scores.  Cool right?  Except they never worked, you had to launch the app to get the updates and then they were barely ever updated.  Now many sports teams will tweet frequent updates during a game beyond just the score, including stats and even brief mentions about how rowdy the crowd is or if the momentum has shifted.  If you want to follow the Detroit News you’ll get breaking news throughout the day.  If you follow local blogs you can get updates on what’s happening around town.  If you follow your favorite brands you can get updates on their products and content related to those products.  You can tweet and retweet as well and build relationships but you don’t necessarily have to to get a lot out of twitter.

4.  Make use of lists on twitter.  If you start to really dig twitter and find that it’s a great way to stay up to speed on the things you like you may start to find that following too many tweets becomes a little overwhelming.  Unlike facebook where your interaction and/or unsubscribing can help shape your news feed, on twitter you are either following or unfollowing a tweeter and that’s pretty much it.  You might miss some tweets you may have cared more about because they quickly made their way down the wire behind a slew of other tweets from all the tweeters you are following.  That’s where the use of lists can come in handy.  You can create lists within twitter and name them by category, slot all the different feeds into the categories and then view the feed for each category.  Some of our lists (most of which I’ve left as publicly viewable if you’re interested – you can even subscribe to them) are “Social Media focused”, “Local Detroit / Michigan”, “Photography” and “Bloggers”.

5.  Have fun and be smart about it.  This is general advice but people often talk about how each new platform is just a new “time suck” – a way to keep themselves from being less productive.  Pinterest for example can certainly be that way, but if you think about it as the virtual pinboard that it was designed to be then it can be useful – as if you were pinning things up on a board in your kitchen for use later.  YouTube?  Subscribe to the official channels of brands, people, teams, things that are of interest to you instead of just aimlessly searching for the new fun popular videos.

What are your favorite tips?  Now it’s your turn to interact – remember?