Blogging Media Photography Small Business Software Technology Video Web 2.0

Scoble, Hawk, Ansel, Sadie & Yosemite: The power of social media

I know, I know, I’ve harping on this lately and I’ll maybe stop soon, but let me give you just a taste of the grass roots power (leverage, involvement, whatever you want to call it) that Web 2.0 social media technologies can give your clients. (Or can give them if you take advantage of it).

Yesterday afternoon, Robert Scoble headed up to Yosemite with Ansel Adams‘ son Michael, as well as photographer Thomas Hawk and his wife.

half dome glacier point

photo credit: Vox Humana

That conversation would’ve been good to listen to…whenever. Hearing Michael talk about his dad’s photo trips was great, if you’re a photographer who has stood where Ansel did in Yosemite.

Sidebar: In 1985, I spent a cold night in my car at the Tunnel View overlook in Yosemite National Park. Dinner was hot dogs cooked in aluminum foil placed on the engine because there was nothing else available in Yosemite that late. All that, just to catch a sunrise over Half Dome on my first visit to Yosemite. Yeah, I was a little late getting back to work at the EDS office in Sacramento that morning.

However Scoble is shooting video of their conversations with Ansel Adams’ son using a cell phone, which is streaming live back to so anyone can watch and listen live.

And there’s more (no Ginsu knives though): Via the site’s chat window, Robert and Thomas are taking live questions that appear on his phone. So I ask Robert a question using the chat window, which and Thomas go off on for several minutes, again – live.

And it goes on from there.

  • How do you empower your clients and involve them in your business like no one else can (or at least, will)?

  • Do you stream live video as you roast beans at your coffee shop? Likewise, your morning rush of happily caffeinated clientèle?

  • Do you stream video from your workout sessions if you’re a personal trainer?

Think about it.

Done? Already blown it off?

Try this on: Friend of mine from Twitter had his first baby late Wednesday (or at least, his wife did). In the old days, I might see photos or something today or next week, whatever.

Fast forward to the social media world – Sadie Loren is on a live streaming video feed from the hospital at 28 hours old, with grandparents, friends and other relatives on a live chat.

Catch on or catch up.

More on social media:

Gaming Social Media
PR 2.0: Putting the Public Back in Public Relations
Early adopters getting sick of social media?
Prove it or lose it: how social proof can kill or fill your blog
The Effectiveness of Social Media Advertising

Blogging Media Photography Positioning Small Business Social Media Word of mouth marketing

Best Seat in the House shows why you should be blogging

It may not be clear from the things I talk about here, but I enjoy photography. I shoot some scenic stuff, like the photo at the top of this page and I shoot a lot of sports and community stuff.


When it comes to sports, I’ll shoot baseball, soccer, tennis, basketball, swimming, football, etc – and I don’t really mind how young or old the participants are. I’ve been on the field to shoot major college football and basketball, and I’ve been on the field to shoot the Columbia Falls 6th grade football team.

As a result of the photography thing, one of my favorite blogs is Best Seat in the House by Seattle Times sports (mostly) photographer Rod Mar.

This post about golf, Caddyshack and the Dalai Lama’s visit to Seattle was typical of Mar’s fun and informative (to photographers) posts. I suspect that if you asked Rod, he’d say that he isn’t a writer – and that’s my point.

In order to blog, you don’t have to be an expert writer with 12 books under your belt (that’d be uncomfortable, much less unsightly).

Instead, you just have to have a conversation with your readers.

When you educate, annoy, incite and entertain your readers, you develop a personal relationship with them (more accurately, they develop one with you).

Isn’t that what you want your customers to have with your business and your staff?

Competition Media Photography

Even the little guy needs to be dotting I’s and crossing T’s.

Yesterday, a mountain climber friend who happens to take photos (every now and then) sent me a story about a photography-related lawsuit.

As an occasional photographer, it’s surely interesting on a personal basis.

As someone who (in another life) used to count a thousand or so photography studios as clients, it reminds of old times with clients who had to pay close attention to such things.

As someone who advises business owners on competitive matters, I’ve posted “a few times” about paying attention to the little things. You might have noticed:) Usually, this is in the context of being competitive and doing what others won’t do because they are lazy, incompetent or simply aren’t thinking like a customer.

Sometimes, these little grind-it-out things that you don’t want to do, but need to do, are a big serving of CYA that you come to appreciate long after the 2 minutes of grunt work is over and done.

Like this one:

It would have been EASY to blow off getting that model  release. It’s just a signature for yet another old shot of a little girl. Who cares? Why bother the mom with it?  It would have been EASY to not keep the releases on file.  Or to purge them at the end of the month, quarter, year, whatever.

But he didn’t.

And before long, a global corporation (or at least, some small part of it) appreciated that someone pays attention to details.  Not to mention, his insurance company likely appreciates it. Ultimately, I suspect he’s pretty happy he did so as well.

Marketing Photography

The boys of summer

Ordinarily, when discussing this subject, I might get on a rant about MLB players, but not today 🙂

Instead, I just have a photo to share with you. I took this yesterday at a Little League game across from the high school. I just happened to be there for a meeting and the game across the street caught my ear.

What I like about the image is the detail in places you don’t typically think about, like the baggy jeans and the dust kicked up by the pitcher’s shoes, and how it contrasts with the anonymity of the players. You can’t see their faces or team name, and the ball isn’t even in the picture. They could be ball players from any town.

It took me back to my days on the field. Good times.

What are you doing to take your clients back to their good times? Does your service remind them of what they used to get in the “good old days”? Today will be the “good old days” for a lot of people. Your business should be a part of that.


Ovando, Montana

I had to drive to Billings last week for a meeting, and as always, I took my camera with me. I only took 1 frame the whole time.

This house and barn, near Ovando MT:

Larger, with the Photoshop watercolor filter

Larger, auto leveled