Because it's Friday: Long Exposure Photography

I’ve always been a bit of a fan of good long-exposure photographs, this is partly because I don’t think I’ve ever taken a really good long-exposure photo.

I suppose I’m following on from last week a bit.

Here are a few of my favourites (mostly from Flickr)

Windsor Skyway

Ball of Light - Googly Eyes


Garrapata Surf #7 - Garrapata State Park, Big Sur, California

Moon Rising


Ball of Light - Salt makes you thirsty

Stanley Force B&W

Buttermere Star Trails

Test of Time, Hole in the Wall Beach, Davenport, California


Rescue Cabin, Tidal Causeway, Lindisfarne

Hardknott Pass Startrail 

hood river moonlight

I think that’s probably enough for now.

Privacy and Attention Dimensions: Groups

"If you want to control privacy and attention – just put them in a group" seems to be the answer that most of the socials media (and other) sites are moving towards.

Visiting Vernon StumpyEach of them has a subtly, or even dramatically, different way of implementing groups, but fundamentally they are all trying to do the same thing.

The basic philosophy is that we can put people into different buckets and the bucket is then linked to different levels of privacy and attention.

The main reason for the buckets is that they provide a way of simplifying the administration of the system.

In most instances the group configuration that most people use is quite simple. Flickr, for instance, doesn’t even let you create your own groups, it gives you three – contacts, contacts that are friends, contacts that are family – that’s it. People need to fit into one of these buckets if you are going to control what pictures people can see. Google+ has circles which are nicely animated, but basically do the same thing. You can have as many Circles as you like, and you can put people into those circles in order to control what people see and what you see about people. Twitter’s notion of a group is the list, but they only help attention management, they don’t do anything for privacy.

There are a number of challenges with this situation.

The first challenge is the most obvious issue – there is no way to manage groups across the various services. If I want a family bucket on Flickr and Facebook I need to create it, and administer a group on Facebook and another group on Flickr. If you really wanted to get organised about the groups that you use you would spend a significant amount of time administering all of them.

Another challenge, and the most fundamental one, is that socially a group is quite a fluid thing, and the fluid has different densities. My example here is an event with a group of friends. The group for the event starts off as the group of friends who are invited. The group related to the event doesn’t stay like that though, as people choose whether they are coming, or not, the group changes, but it doesn’t change in the same way for everyone. Some people who are not attending may still want to be told about the group as the event occurs, others don’t want to know anything. If we are running the event for the group of friends we will know the difference between the people to keep in the loop, and the people to leave out. The members of the group have changed, but so has the type of connection that people have with the group.

Groups might help us in administration terms, but I don’t think that groups really give us what we need.

Also see: Privacy and Attention Dimensions

Because it's Friday: A message for Pacdog

Some fun with pictures and a demonstration of what can be achieved when a bunch of online friends get together:

Pacdog is awesome from Jake Rome on Vimeo.

Although the video is shown on Vimeo this is really a Flickr collaboration.

(Because of the time limit on Flickr video’s you can watch it on their but it’s been shortened so it’s not really readable)

You Can Find Me Here: Flickr

I’ve decided to start another mini-series. It’s a bit like the My Tools series from a while ago, but this time I’m going to focus on the various locations where I project some of my social persona.

The first one is Flickr where I project the photographer Graham.

Jimmy and Granddad visit ButtermereI’ve used Flickr for a long while now, my first picture was posted on 9th December 2009, and it’s still one of my favourite pictures.

In my view it’s still the best photo social site.

Other social sites, like Facebook, do photos but they aren’t really focussed around the pictures, they are focussed on providing a photographic record of an event alongside other records of the event.

Flickr is focussed on the photo itself – where it was taken, when it was taken, what it’s showing, what it was taken with, how it was taken. With that in mind I tend to use Flickr for certain types of pictures.

I don’t, for instance, put pictures of the family on Flickr. Most pictures are of scenes or objects, Jimmy and Granddad are a particular favourite for many. I suppose that you might call them the arty photos.

I make most pictures quite open with Creative Commons licenses. Flickr is, in my view, there for sharing.

The Flickr Organiser is a work of genius which allow you to do all sorts of things with the pictures – adding them to groups, adding tags, adding maps, creating and manipulating sets; all in a rich graphical interface.

One of the elements I think needs a good deal of improvement are the maps and satellite images that are available for geotagging the photos. Many photogenic places aren’t near roads so a map isn’t much good, and the satellite images don’t allow you to zoom in close enough. Perhaps Yahoo should leverage it’s recent relationship with Bing to get their images.

That aside, I am a real fan of Flickr. It’s nicely social and I get some good feedback on pictures. People have contacted me to use pictures in professional material in line with the Creative Commons licensing, and I’ve granted it.

Buttermere SwimmingI like to interact with other people’s pictures, there are some inspirational photographers out there. There are also a set of photograph archives which I really enjoy too. The Preston Digital Archive is a great insight into the place where I live.

The Flickr statistics tell me some interesting things too, although I’d still regard myself as being in the long tail my pictures have been seen 165,000 times which is a reasonable number.

So that’s my photographic persona ready for social interaction.

Please make me one of these: Universal profile

Jimmy and Grandad 2.0I have identities all over the Internet, and internally; blog, flickr, linkedin, facebook, etc. each one of them have some form of a personal profile where I get to talk about who I am and what I do.

There are lots of very clever people working on the problem of how I get to these things without having to authenticate everywhere. But I want more than that, I want to be able to have a single place where I have my profile information.

Why should I need to tell each of these systems the same information? If I change my job it should be updated within the relevant systems.

The emerging identity federation model probably has a lot to tell us in this area. People started from the premise that identities should be stored in one place and every other system should trust that one place. This didn’t work, because there wasn’t trust between all of the systems. The same will be true for profiles. I don’t want everyone to see all of the profile, I only want the people to see the parts of my profile that are relevant to the access that they have and the system that they are using.

Technologies like Facebook Connect go someway towards resolving this problem, but I’m not sure that they have really learnt the lessons from the identity people.

I want to be in control of what goes where, but I don’t want to have to maintain the same stuff everywhere.

I’m sure that I’m not alone in thinking that this is a problem, and as the famous quote goes: “"The future is already here – it’s just unevenly distributed." – William Gibson. So I’m also sure that I have missed some form of amazing development in this area that has the potential to make my winging sound like the ramblings of an idiot.

Anyone else think that this is a problem we need to get resolved?

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