For me, becoming involved in social media as it pertains to photography…..in order to share images, see images, and generally connect with people who are passionate about photography as art….. has been less than fulfilling. Let’s face it, Facebook is mostly for semi-personal communication among friends (despite the artist and company pages), Twitter is for communicating in short half sentences with link sharing, and, somehow, Flickr just never did anything for me.
But I recently tried exploring Google+. Now, social media may not be the end all and be all, but I was very pleasantly surprised at how the Google+ network works for those with an interest in photography (and I would assume for those with other deep interests as well).
So what are the differences between Google+ and Facebook, particularly when it comes to photography? In my mind there are lots of them:
1) For starters, as opposed to “Friends” you have “Circles”, or groups of people that you pool together under a single category (and the people in it, while they know you have them in a circle, have no idea how you define that circle). And isn’t that how it works in ‘real life’? You want to tell some things to your kids, but not to the rest of the family…fine, set up a circle and call it ‘Kids’. Want to announce something to close family members but not to all your friends and acquaintances….fine, set up a circle called ‘Family’. Want to share your fine art photos with other photographers but not force your friends to see them….fine, set up a circle called ‘Photography’. The point is that it is VERY easy to share specific posts, links, images etc with just who you want to and not everyone else. You can share a post with the world or just one of your ‘circles’, or anything in between. As a result of this, it is easy to make connections with people you don’t know because you and they both know that they are there for a mutually agreeable reason. It isn’t a big deal to “friend’ someone you don’t know because they only see what you think is appropriate for them to see and vice versa.
As a result, it is far easier to follow others and to gain ‘followers’ that are interested in seeing your work. In fact, circles filled with people interested in a specific topic are often shared so you can get ‘introduced’ to a large number of photographers very, very quickly.
2) Storage and display of photographs are, in my opinion, far superior than what is available on Facebook.
3) In addition to the above there are ‘Communities’…..groups of people that come together with a specific interest, like landscape photography or black and white photography, sort of similar to the groups on Flickr
I would definitely recommend giving it a try and I don’t think that you will find yourself going back to Facebook except to send small blurbs to your friends…..and to post that photo of your friend stinking drunk!
If you do give it a try, look me up and put me in your photography circle. I think you can start by clicking the red G+ sign on the blog sidebar. I just put it up so I am not sure what it really does, but I don’t think it will wreck your computer :>)