Blasting Off Into the Future!

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© TD Paulius

© TD Paulius/Midwest Lacrosse Photography

I just wanted to share with you the future site of the first “Cloud is Falling” workshop that will take place in early 2009.  We’re still working on the final signage and as always, I’m open to suggestions…  I thought it would be a good idea to secure a large location early on in the process.    Andrew Hetherington, who is well traveled throughout Asia, helped me secure a local designer – you can see some of what we’ve been working on, in terms of signage, in the image above… if you look carefully, you can see the spot where Chase Jarvis’ banner will be to the right of my name, along with Jacko’s to the left – although Chase’s staff hasn’t gotten back to me on his choice of color for his banner just yet, and Andrew hasn’t decided yet on whether or not to include his famous Moo Cow picture in his…

Ha!  Just kidding…. Actually, I simply wanted to announce that this blog has “officially” moved to this new address off of the WordPress servers… and since you’re here… you probably already know that.  The image above is just one of the really cool parts of being part of this new blogosphere  – it’s a photograph that a reader of this blog sent me from his travels in Japan of the “Laforet Museum” – which in reality has diddly to do with me or with the purpose behind this blog post… well almost nothing. Apparently the name “Laforet” is quite popular in Japan – for both real estate companies, wine and other things – if anyone can tell me where this comes from – I’m all ears.  

On a more serious note:  I do plan on helping set up a workshop with some very good people in 2009 to further broach some of the issues I initially wrote about in the Cloud is Falling Article that was the impetus behind this blog.   More to come on that at a later time…

Suffice it to say – and you already know it since you’re here… please update your bookmarks to reflect this blog’s new home – the new address is: as of today – I will no longer be updating the old blog site.

Even though this blog technically hasn’t been up for a full month yet, and given that I’m still a relative newbie to this blogging world,  I’m happy to say that making this jump into the blogosphere has been a fantastic experience for me.  It’s something that I look to continue to put even more effort into for the foreseeable future.  

The coolest part – besides the comments I’ve gotten back from readers – has been seeing that both photo and non-photo people from all over the world are sharing in this blog.  As you may know, Newsweek asked Donald Miralle, Mike Powell and I to post daily from the Beijing Olympic Games on their site.  Their experiment paid off quite well in my opinion: more than 2,000,000 unique visitors took in those blogs during the 16 days we were contributing both our photographs and our behind the scene insight on the events we were covering .  That’s a FANTASTIC SIGNAL of a positive future for magazines, and print media in my opinion – amidst constant cries of impending doom.   In fact – given the relatively little advance promotion that Newsweek did for the blog (and given that the three of us couldn’t even find our blogs on the Newsweek site ourselves initially) – it’s one of the most encouraging new developments that I’ve been part of since the first “Photographer’s Journal” I worked on with the team from Pakistan in 2001.

This weekend,  an interesting thing happened:  this blog broke 125,000 visitors on the 26th day of its existence on – and ads started to show up above my banner.    I was surprised to see ads at first – but then I remembered reading the fine print that ads “might” show up a times on the wordpress blog.  The only thing that shocked me, more than seeing an ad – was seeing what looked like an ad for Call Girls atop my blog logo… I’m not too much into the “branding” thing – but this struck me as being almost as hilarious as it was worrisome to see my name associated with what turned out to be an ad for a dating service catering to “singles looking to party.”  

As fate would have it – I received an e-mail that same day from Rob Haggart, the author of the ground-breaking blog (I’ve previously mentioned that what he wrote on his blog, played a key role in helping me decide to start a blog of my own.) Rob was checking in with me and let me know that since my blog was getting a fair amount of hits, I might want to look into moving it off of the WordPress’s servers – little did he know how timely his advice was!

Rob graciously offered to help me with the technical details of transferring the site off of WordPress and he also  offered to host this blog on his server.   Needless to say – it took me less than a blink of an eye to say yes – I was flattered to associate myself with Mr. Haggart.  Rob has been working on a new venture named APhotoFolio  which is a photographer’s portfolio hosting site, as well as portfolio consulting service, which he recently launched with a cool group of colleagues in Colorado.  While I can’t share too much more at this time, some other bloggers we all know may be making the move over to Rob’s servers in the not too distant future…  In fact,  you should expect to see a lot of great things coming from Rob and his crew – as he is determined to find new ways to help photographers connect with consumers and clients and to help all of us move into the next phase of this internet revolution.   He and I would love to find ways  to better harness technology and new ideas to specifically help photographers and publications discard the old “print” business models and move on to much more exciting interactions with their readers.   I’m definitely going to do my part in doing everything that I can to help him accomplish that goal as I think that it’s something that our industry is in dire need of right now.

Personally, my goal is to continue to contribute regularly to this blog and to expand the type of content that it houses (time permitting of course.)  The best part of it so far – is that I don’t have any deadlines, no editors to answer to, and no audience to write “up” or “down” to – in fact I have no “target audience.”  I’ve been fortunate enough just to share with you what is currently on my mind – and there’s nothing better than to see that as simple as that act may be – it’s being positively received.  Writing for this, and the Newsweek blog, has been a guilty pleasure for me.  

I am also looking to put up some video  tutorials on workflow, shooting tips – and perhaps someday – interviews with other photographers on this blog (that’s always been a dream of mine.)   And having Rob’s support in handling both the bandwidth issues, and whatever else may pop up down the line,  is essential in that regard.  YouTube is great for what it does – but the video quality is deadly to movies that contain still photographs…  and while there are a few other good (free) alternatives with good video services – how that will work long term remains to be seen (and how ads become incorporated in those videos long term is often murky as well.)  With an average of 5,000 or so people visiting this blog on a daily basis – putting up a 20MB video will provide some interesting challenges…  and this is something I’ll be working on solving with Rob’s help.  It’s good to have a solid partner in all of this.

So that’s the announcement for the day.   I’ll continue to blog more in short order,  and I have quite a few ideas of things to share with you all – hopefully very shortly.