Social Media + Photography

02021-08-29 | Internet, Photography | 2 comments

My two-week trial period of Glass ends tomorrow. I don’t think I will continue with it. I couldn’t tell you why, exactly. I just don’t love it. Glass seems nice to look at and safe to use, but I am not clicking with it. There is no search for subjects or a way to tag a photo. Most people display the EXIF code of their images. That data will be useful to some people, but it never interested me. I don’t care what kind of camera somebody uses or which lens and settings. So, I started thinking about WHAT would make a social media app great, especially one that’s enables media sharing – mainly photography but also text, video, gif, and audio.

There are only two ways to make such a site work: one can mine data and sell ads (the ad agencies are the customers) OR the user has to pay for a subscription (the users are the customer). Could there be a third option? Could the case be made that like the postal service there should be a national social media service? Funding could come from “simple ads” – meaning ads that don’t rely on mining personal information – like old fashioned TV ads that were the same for everyone. That might bring in enough money to fund the service since there would not be shareholders and CEOs who would expect billions in annual revenue.

Once the funding is figured out (one of the above three options or can you think of a fourth?) what do we want the service to look like? Feel free to say like Twitter, but… or like Instagram, but…

How should one allow people to freely express themselves WITHOUT at the same time enabling entities to create bots to influence minds? Should there be a way to make anonymous posts? How?

PS: I am not going back to Zuck’s Instagram. No way. I can share text and images on this website right here, especially after some renovations. :-)


  1. Y.

    Good to always go with your instincts.

  2. James

    One option is to put the new, better social network under the wing of a public education system, and make its usage integral to the learning process. So children in addition to learning all the usual subjects and skills, would also share their activities, ideas and results of their work with their peers across a nation or around the world. The basic premise would be to first learn how to read, write, imagine, play, create, research, debate, and so on in the presence of others, and then learn how to present, perform, share, collaborate and generally interact in a wider mediated context. Everyone would have a lifetime membership which would increase the chances of system becoming the de facto platform adults use for their networking needs, and could foster lifelong learning practice at the same time. It might be possible to get corporations to donate or subsidize technical resources to ease the burden on public funding.

    One additional idea I dreamt up is to send Jeff, Richard and Elon off to retire on a Mars colony and utilize the remainder of their fortunes to fund an ad-free network for the rest of us down here on Earth. That should be sufficient for the next hundred years or so.


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