Streams of Consciousness

This image was found, unattributed, on an Instagram feed. The original photographer is  Magdalena Wasiczek. http://www.popphoto.com/photos/2013/09/behind-photos-magda-wasiczeks-surreal-floralscapes

This image was found, unattributed, on an Instagram feed. It had 223 likes at the moment I took this screen shot. The original photographer is Magdalena Wasiczek. http://www.popphoto.com/photos/2013/09/behind-photos-magda-wasiczeks-surreal-floralscapes

Or, How Instagram morphed into a Tumblr blog

When I first started using Instagram four years ago, it was a cool photo-sharing site where anyone with an iPhone could apply filters to make an average photo look awesome.

As with most social media channels and applications, people discover inventive uses and loopholes to exploit sites and apps in ways that might not have been originally anticipated.

Such is the case on Instagram.

Instead of viewing original photography, I’m seeing a large volume of plagiarized photos or reposted images designed to increase the popularity (likes) of a given user’s stream. Inspirational quotes, as well as cartoons and memes also take up a lot of space. In my view, non-original photographic content has proliferated like milfoil, much like random sharing on Tumblr.

I wondered if my observations were unique, so as a reality check, I asked several of my favorite friends on Instagram what they thought.

The vast majority of those I asked felt it was wrong to share photos without at least acknowledging the original photographer. People with streams full of this type of content are open plagiarists, and continue the practice because Instagram doesn’t care.

An exception would be feeds that are dedicated to “featuring” a photograph and attributing the user who created that content.  Some of these feeds are well moderated and only share and attribute original content from users who tag their work with the feed’s dedicated tag (granting permission to repost the work).

On the other hand, is there any point in being overly concerned by the sharing of non-image or appropriated content? After all, Instagram as a place for people to share things they feel will be of interest to others, and as long as the content is allowed by Instagram, is it really a problem?

It’s a problem when you have a friend on Twitter and follow their IG feed, only to find things you don’t want to see. As far as I know, there is not a lot of choice except to unfollow.

Currently, there is no way to “mute” users or content you don’t wish to view. So the only thing one can do is to unfollow accounts where the content doesn’t interest you. It can be awkward because some people become upset when they are unfollowed. Some even feel they must unfollow you as “payback.”

To that I say, “Oh, well!”

To my knowledge, searching via hashtag is one way to see a topic, but there isn’t a way to list people whose images you really want to see. If there is an app out there to do that, please tell me!

How do you use Instagram?

Would you like to see a a list feature to help filter what you see?

I’d love to to have you share your thoughts.


The friends who provided information to help me write this post include: Jack Higgins (JackandPele), Reg Saddler (zaibatsu), Cheryl Senter (CherylSenter) and Darren Sproat (DarrenGSproat). My thanks to them for their friendship and support.

Jack Higgins marches to the beat of a different drummer. Former advertising creative director and writer, Jack has found a new way to use Instagram. For a while, I didn’t understand his cryptic images, until I looked at his page and saw the puzzles, solved. They form mosaics! I should note, everything Jack does is thru the thought control of an evil dog named @tipytomita!

Jack Higgins composite

Reg Saddler is an amateur photographer and social media guru, listed on the Forbes list of top people on social media and too many other lists to name. He understands the hows and whys.

Reg Saddler composite

Cheryl Senter is a professional photographer working in New England. I had the pleasure of meeting her here when she visited Seattle two years ago. Her Instagram feed focuses on her amazing dog.

Cheryl Senter composite

Darren Sproat is a Canadian photographer known for his landscapes. He has been featured on the Nokia blog and cultivated a fan base (including me!)—all in awe of his images.

Darren Sproat composite

Thanks to Verizon for the Galaxy Note 4 used for many of the images posted on my own instagram feed: https://instagram.com/terrinakamura/

Exploring a New Galaxy

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 composited with SG NOTE 4 + 800px-Andromeda_Galaxy-creative-commons

Two months ago I took a “day-cation” from my phone and digital life. “Digital detox” allowed me to enjoy people and things in my real life, and it yielded the surprisingly positive outcome of feeling happier and more relaxed. Since my first time, I’ve been taking a break about twice a month, and it’s wonderful.

On a recent digital detox weekend at our house near Mount Rainier, Fedex attempted to deliver a package from Verizon and @TheOnlineMom. To my delight, it turned out to be the Galaxy Note 4 by Samsung — #TheNextBigThing!

Once we were back in Seattle, I zipped over to Fedex and unboxed it right on the counter! I immediately took a photo and texted it to my social media BFF, Reg Saddler @zaibatsu, and later posted it on Instagram.

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 4.11.22 PM

I’m a long-time Apple devotee and sometimes feel lost when setting up non-Apple devices, but much to my surprise, the Galaxy Note 4 was easy to set up and begin using. After topping off the charge on the battery, I was excited to get started.

Adding email accounts and loading my favorite applications was a snap. And after authorizing the apps, it was ready to roll.

The first thing I did was try the 16 MP camera. I found it to capture images with a nice, warm color range. It features the standard control options you’d expect (exposure, white balance, ISO) as well as a higher resolution-than-iPhone front-facing camera.

The Galaxy Note 4 phone was easy to use and sync with my contacts, and as an e-reader, I found the display only slightly smaller, but much lighter than my Kindle Fire HD (6.2 oz. versus 10.1 oz.).

Terri Nakamura VZWBUZZ recap 10-24 2014The volume and variety of apps available on the Android platform are plentiful and many are free. In a recent #vzwbuzz post-chat conversation with Monica Vila about photo and sharing apps, I mention:

But there are now more than 1,000,000 apps in the Google Play store, so explore and you’ll find some useful and fun treasures.

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Kahuna Dave, me and our kids at Alki Surf Shop

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Our wonderful home on AirBNB

The past seven months have been busy. My husband, David Horsfall, and I opened a store, Alki Surf Shop, I’ve been working on graphic design projects from branding to long-narrative collateral and everything in between. And I began managing one of our homes on AirBNB. All the while I’ve maintained real-life and virtual relationships on social media.

I treasure time away from my devices, but it’s always great to come back to such great technology, including my iPhone and Galaxy Note 4.


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was composited with 800px-Andromeda_Galaxy-creative-commons. Other images (c) Terri Nakamura

iPhone User “Does Windows”

Terri_Nokia_square.
One of the most fun perks of my relationship with Verizon Wireless is having access to new technology.

For the past couple of months I have been using the Nokia Lumia Icon — my very first Windows phone experience!

As a long-time iPhone user, I wondered if it would be difficult to adjust to this radically different device?

It was surprising to find out the Windows operating system and interface are GREAT! It was much easier for me to figure out how to use Nokia Lumia Icon than any other non-Apple device so far. Beside the ease of use, and terrific functionality, the mind boggling part of the Nokia has been THE 20 MP CAMERA.

I’m an avid Instagrammer (I’ve posted more than 12,000 photos. That’s right, TWELVE THOUSAND!) When I began I was using an iPhone 3 or 4 before moving on to the 5.

This past year, Verizon Wireless has given me the opportunity to use a number of new devices with greater pixel depth, and in the process I’ve found the quality of my images has steadily improved.

The camera on the Nokia Lumia Icon is off the chart! If you’ve ever seen any of the featured photographers on the Nokia blog, you know what incredible images are shot using their devices!

In spite of the amazing camera, one of the criticisms of the Windows platform is the limited selection of applications. It was really noticeable to me at first.

Then I began thinking of what it’s like to go into a large department store where there are 10 floors of merchandise. It’s sometimes hard to find what you want or need when you have to wade through so many choices.

But when you walk into a boutique, where there are fewer choices, it’s easier to make a selection.

That’s what it’s like with the Windows App Store right now!  And every app I really need to function I have found there!

If you’re an avid mobile photographer, and on the fence about which device to choose, I think the Nokia Lumia Icon is terrific.

———

PS. Here’s a great article on the Verizon website listing the top five Windows Phone 8 apps you should install first: https://www.verizonwireless.com/insiders-guide/tech-smarts/windows-8-apps-wp8-first-5-to-install-skype-facebook-weather-channel/