Posts Tagged ‘FaceBook’

$ocial Media

March 15th, 2016

Not being a great user of social media personally,  I find it mildly offensive when people bump into me in the street because they’re too intent on reading their screens.

However when I was their age, I used to bump into people as I hurried down the street with my nose buried in a book — so where’s the difference?

The difference is that the boors who bump into me today are communicating with their own user-defined communities, which definitely does not include portly old gentlemen meandering down the street.

But as the great New Yorker cartoon by Peter Steiner pointed out, ‘On the Internet, nobody knows you’e a dog.’ So I don’t know if these hurrying, bustling, busy people might be picture editors, photographers, or any other members of a community which could be interested in fotoLibra, in the wonderful variety of images we hold, and in the great opportunities for reaching picture buyers around the world.

Shortly after we started up fotoLibra we approached what we recognised as social media blithely and without fear. We set up this fotoLibra Pro Blog, we set up Facebook and LinkedIn identities, we fed them with content and … not a lot happened. So we asked around, and people told us “Oh, you should be on

  • Picasa
  • Google +
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Reddit
  • Tumblr
  • Snapchat
  • Flickr
  • Twitter

and so on and so on and so on.

Keeping a visible profile on a dozen or or so social media sites (all American, of course) is hard maintenance for a small English-speaking (as opposed to American-speaking) business. In fact it’s almost a full-time job.

But it’s not impossible. So I started checking them out. The first one I looked at was Picasa.They closed it down today, Tuesday 15th March, after 13 years.

That would have been annoying, pumping thought and effort into something which has the cord yanked just as you get it up and running.

All these SocMed sites seem to follow the same pattern — smart young entrepreneurs start them up, they achieve quick success, a larger corporation buys them out, it doesn’t have the same drive and vision as the founders, the division lurches from new initiative to desperate new initiative until the enterprise is quietly remaindered. Whatever happened to Bebo? Myspace? They still exist, albeit as husks of their former selves. Friends Reunited? It was closed down 18 days ago.

When Facebook went public, 18% of the listed value of the company would buy you Belgravia. At the time, I commented I’d rather have Belgravia. Now more teenagers are signing up to Snapchat than Facebook, and who knows what they’ll be joining in 25 years time? Whereas Belgravia will still be there.

All this was partly prompted by coming across a New York photographer who started taking photos in 2008, now has 400,000 followers on Facebook and no, she doesn’t post naked selfies. I am lost in envy and admiration. My NYC chums have never heard of her. fotoLibra rather fewer followers on Facebook. Our challenge is to multiply ours a thousandfold.

Whether the SocMeds are on the rise, or in graceful decline, the more people who are aware of what fotoLibra offers, the better it will be for contributors, picture buyers and of course us.

We’re asking around again. Naturally, all advice will be gratefully received!

West Sea Bubble

October 31st, 2013

I’m not that old — God is old — but I clearly remember the South Sea Bubble, when credulous investors pumped hundreds of pounds into shadowy companies which made extravagant promises of riches beyond the dreams of aviaries, most notoriously one which was incorporated for “carrying on an undertaking of Great Advantage, but no one to know what it is”.

The tables have turned. Today’s must-invest-in companies make no profits and no promises at all, yet they have to fight investors off with sticks.

Snapchat is in talks for funding that values it at $3.6 billion, even though it doesn’t appear to have figured out how to monetise its service yet. When we launched fotoLibra we wrote up very detailed plans on how it was going to make money, plans that we have carried out with some small degree of success, despite the appalling financial climate and the plummeting value of images. Nevertheless investors stayed away in droves.

It doesn’t seem to matter that a company has no idea how to make money. Today you make money by selling your concept to investors. Snapchat points to 9% of American youth having used its service. But 9% of American youth used to buy Eddie Fisher records. They don’t any more.

These companies are new and exciting, like hula hoops and yo-yos. I wonder how long their shelf life will be. Snapchat’s unique selling point is that it allows people to exchange photographs which then disappear. So it really is selling smoke.

When Facebook made its public offering I commented that if the Duke of Westminster decided to sell the freehold of the whole of Belgravia he’d be able to buy 18% of Facebook. I advised him not to, and I’m glad to say he appears to have heeded my advice. I believe Belgravia will be substantially more valuable in 50 years’ time than whatever the rump of Facebook will be. As for enterprises like Snapchat, Pinterest and Tumblr, I think they will be footnotes in internet bubble history.

fotoLibra, on the other hand, should be on course for world domination.

Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

Networking and staying in touch is important, and blogs and group sites like Facebook and LinkedIn provide a chance for the shyest and most retiring among us to stand up and have our say.

I’m not the only person to walk into a roomful of strangers and be struck dumb with terror. I know it makes no sense, but it’s hard wired into me. So I force myself to blog, and Twitter, and post.

Sometimes I enjoy it, sometimes I feel I’m talking to a roomful of strangers. Hostile ones, at that. Or even worse, an empty room.

You can’t go everywhere, unless others circulate what you say (please!) So these are the rooms I’m often going into, and where you can always find me.

THE FOTOLIBRA BLOG: http://blog.fotoLibra.com
This is where I and other fotoLibra folk can chew the fat about picture libraries, images rights, sales, new formats for rights sales such as e-books, Picture Calls, cameras, markets, trends, publishing, photographs — anything to do with the business of visual content provision, which incidentally is the long name of fotoLibra’s holding company, VisConPro.

THE FOTOLIBRARIAN BLOG: http://fotolibrarian.fotolibra.com
More domestic and personal. Dogs, cats, tortoises, rugby, cricket, F1, food, follies, fonts, guitars, walks, cars, cigars, scotches, watches, beer, wine, women, song — the little things that keep me interested and alive. In case anyone didn’t know that ATB before my signature in my emails stood for All The Best, I’m thinking of changing it to IDH — In Deteriorating Health.

LINKEDIN: http://www.linkedin.com/in/gwynheadley
Professional business networking site. If you know me through work or want to do business with fotoLibra, this is my site of choice. I haven’t used it that often, but recently I’ve been attracted by the Ebooks, Digital Books and Digital Content Publishing Network group. When I have time to explore it, I’ll find or found a Picture Library group.

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com
Yeah, I know. Young women and girls. But they’re my nieces, he protested! This is how I keep in touch with a surprising number of my family and old friends. Grand-nieces are included too, as well as nephews. Not generally a place where I post stuff of interest to fotoLibra. My Facebook name is, surprisingly, Gwyn Headley.

TWITTER: http://twitter.com/home
It gets worse. Yes, I twitter. There, I’ve said it. In 140 characters or less. It’s a way of pointing people to blogs. I hope. I’d love to know how it raised $35 million without a business plan. I twitter on pro and personal subjects, often directing fellow twitterers to a particularly apposite blog. My Twitter name is fotoLibrarian.

Five of these networking tools may be plenty for most, but there is room for a sixth, and it’s going to be on fotoLibra. You can read about it here. It’s a while away yet, but it’s going to be a great tool for photographers and picture researchers alike.

Finally, before we had all this internetworking wizardry, people simply met each other in crowded smokey rooms. And Publisher’s Lunch quoted me as saying “Networking is the opportunity to be ignored by people who’ve known each other all their lives.”