Photo Walks at Work

I’m walking a good bit more than I have in a while and it’s all in downtown Richmond. I walk a few blocks coming in from where I park and have the chance to walk around the campus some as well. I find myself parking farther away and taking some slightly roundabout paths coming to and from the car. This is one of those unforeseen advantages but one I’m enjoying. The Flick set from these wanderings is linked above. Keep in mind you could still join us at VCU as we have an Innovative Learning Media Specialist Position open.

Calendar as Unifier

I touched on this with a previous zombie pictures post. Essentially, metadata is awesome because it lets people find your stuff and it helps your stuff find its audience. Metadata is also absent more often than not because people don’t like to type in lots of tags and they especially don’t like to do it on phones. You see elements of this metadata addition becoming automatic- simple things like Instagram (or maybe IFTT) auto-tagging my images with instagram and (in my case) iPhone (like the image above). I’ve also seen auto-tagging of image filters and with exif data you get all sorts of interesting automated metadata details but they tend to be mechanical rather than social. IFTT, FeedWordPress, and others allow you to do some low level of automatic metadata association. What keeps coming back to me is that it would be relatively simple to enable people to associate calendars and specific calendar events with online media publishing workflows. This would add the socially relevant automated metadata so the audience could find the media. The end goal being audience rather than metadata.). This would work particularly well at institutions which have centralized calendars or in the case of Udell’s Elm City aggregated calendars. Take VCU’s calendar of events as an example. It has time, location, and categorical elements already. You […]

RVA Zombie Walk and Internet Karma

I brought my two older boys to the RVA Zombie Walk. It was our first time and it was pretty amazing just how many people participated and how professional many of the costumes were. I wanted to take pictures but I also wanted to be able to give those pictures to the participants if they wanted them. As a result I put a little more effort into metadata than I usually do and I made sure I got the pictures online quickly. My daily Flickr views usually hover around 2,000. You can see just a bit of a spike as a result of the zombie pictures. That’s amusing in certain ways but if lots of views was my aim I’d play a very different game. I do like that the people looking for these particular images were able to find them. What’s more I got some comments on a few of the images from people who knew some additional details. I love those interactions. It’s something that Alan talks about with his True Stories of Openess. Here Bryan talks a bit about the screech he made that impressed me so much. I was also able to point him to another picture I took of him that I liked. It’s not a world changing interaction but I find it fascinating and […]


Since my last post added to the sarcasm and bitterness on the Internet, I offer this to help balance the scales. A few photos I took lately that make me happy. This is the corn field across from one of our middle schools. There’s something about this frog’s composure sitting on my hand. I wouldn’t trust me but he seems perfectly at peace- maybe it’s shock. I’ve also been doing more photography with the phone. It helps that I remembered my Instagram password. There is a lot to be said for audience and community in helping encourage you to continue to publish. I’ll have to compare my phone vs DSLR photography at some point. The styles seem very different to me although a few of them are reposts of DSLR shots.

19 Strangers

It has taken me quite a while to get to 19. Clearly, I tend to do this project in fits and starts and I do much better when I leave town. Because the Universe has a sense of humor, I will be in Las Vegas for BlackBoard World and I’m hoping that will result in some interesting opportunities. Despite the practice, it still isn’t an easy thing for me to do. I’m always fairly awkward asking although I think I recover better than I did initially. It is interesting to look at the gender, age, and race of the subjects. It probably says quite a bit about me. I’ve only been turned down three times. 86% is a pretty decent success rate. One of the rejections was from a police officer who “got in the habit” of refusing to have his picture taken when he was in an elite military unit1. In any case, I’m glad I started this project. I intend to finish all 100. 1 Unverified by external sources