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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

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Licensing my images

(If I sent you to this page, it is likely because you’re in violation of my license. Please read.)

For the last few years my photos have been licensed as attribution only by a simple statement on the bottom of my web page in my footer. My images get stolen, without credit, a lot.

Since my licensing wasn’t all that official I’ve decided to take a moment to choose a Creative Commons license that I feel affords me to take action against some of those thieves while still maintaining the spirit of how I want to share my work.

So, I’ve chosen the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license.

This means that:

  • Anyone can use my images for non-commercial purposes for free
  • Anyone that uses my images must provide attribution, or credit, linking back to my web site using my full name
  • Anyone can modify my images for their use but they must also license their modifications using the same license I am using
  • Cannot sell my images, or modifications of my images

I’ve modified my web site to clearly show that my images are licensed this way (see example). Anyone from this date that takes my image and uses them, even as a simple post on social media, without following the terms of this license is going to get a wet willy at the very least.

If you’ve used my photo and haven’t given me credit it is really simple to rectify the situation. Edit your social media post or web site to give clear attribution to me, using my full name, and a link back to my web site.

Thank you.

Prepping an entirely new post series for my blog.

Noah Read on China

Noah Read recently visited China. His post has some lovely photos and great first-hand insights. I like this bit:

The trade war, debate over the gravity of China’s economic slowdown, currency manipulation, Chinese vs Western interpretations of economic theory, and debt backed development were all in the air in our lectures, company visits, and discussions. However, these details seem less significant in the face of the tremendous growth and development that China has gone through since the late 1970s. Since the movement to open up to the outside world, the country has embraced markets to fuel a growth story that I can’t reasonably compare to anything else.

The story of China’s economic growth over the last 5 decades or so is incredibly interesting to me. I’ve had one-half of my left eye on it for a few years. I think it started when I watched 2013’s Red Obsession wherein Bourdeaux’s then skyrocketing price was profiled against China’s economic growth. Or maybe it was 2012’s The Global Catch that spoke about China’s growing taste for sushi having a huge impact on fish populations.

Whatever the case, I’m still fascinated by China, its economy, its people, its landscape. I hope to visit one day.

I’ve edited my post from yesterday re: @ismh Stephen Hackett’s post on Twitter. I misread his post I guess. My bad.

Baremetrics left Medium last year

Josh Pigford, last year, on leaving Baremetrics leaving Medium:

I realized Medium is really great about surfacing content, but it removes the face of it. It neutralizes all content to basically be author-agnostic. It’s like Walmart or Amazon in that you can buy from thousands of different brands, but you rarely actually know what brand you’re buying…you just know “I got it from Amazon.”

This is an excellent analogy for Medium. Distribution at the cost of customer acquisition and brand loyalty.

I remember when being @ mentioned on Twitter garnered dozens of new followers. Happened daily. For a few years.

Twitter isn’t going anywhere

Stephen Hackett, at 512 Pixels:

Regardless of all of that, I think it’s clear the leadership at Twitter has no idea what they are doing, and I think the network’s time is ticking away faster than ever.

Not to be contrarian but I disagree.

Update January 24, 2019: I must have misread Hackett’s post. I thought he was writing that Twitter wasn’t long for this world as a result of their leadership. But, based on this comment thread, it seems more that he meant that he wasn’t long for Twitter. My bad.

Taken cumulatively, Twitter’s leadership has always been objectively bad. The product decisions have been objectively bad. The policies and the enforcement of them have been objectively bad. In a way, Twitter’s leadership has tried everything they possibly can to kill the platform and the business. And yet it still exists.

Somehow Twitter has embedded itself into the world in such a way that I do not think it will go away. It is nearly an internet utility.

It is unlike the other social networks. Facebook has diversified itself enough (Instagram, Oculus, WhatsApp, Messenger, and so much more) that it can survive based on its breadth rather than its depth. But Twitter’s depth is what will save it. I think as of today it is an indispensable tool for politicians, journalists, organizations, and even celebrities to share their message.

So while individual users may get sick of the leadership, the product, the hate — as a whole it is only becoming more important. I don’t know exactly how it will stick around but I think it will.

Is Instagram about to plummet?

When Instagram first started to hit popularity – long after their failed attempt at being a check-in service – the app was all about photo filters. Anyone could snap a photo with their phone and quickly add a filter to make it look “better” or at least more interesting. It made everyone feel like a photographer.

At first “true” photographers balked at the platform. But then they saw the power of the network it was building so they started to sign up. Which created a boon for the platform and its Explore page because whenever we opened the app we saw gorgeous photos of the people, places and things we are interested in.

But this created pressure. I dubbed it Instagram pressure. It meant that the “anyone” (those that do not consider themselves photographers but enjoyed adding a filter to their photos) I mentioned before felt out of place. Incapable of producing such high quality, and often composite, results. So their usage began to wane. They were still looking but not posting as much.

Then the algorithmic timeline. Which made for completely different issues. It meant that really great photos from people with less of a following were getting little to no attention. And like-fatigue set in. Instagram had a problem but they had smart founders. They new they needed to act quickly.

So Instagram gobbled up Snapchat by stealing the medium of Stories and (in my opinion) improving on them. Which created another bolt of energy into the platform as there was now a way to create and publish far more content that didn’t need the same polish as a photo.

But then Facebook happened. True, Facebook purchased Instagram 6 years ago but it has only been the last 24 months that Facebook has taken a nosedive in public opinion. And with the founders of Instagram leaving the platform my own personal confidence in Instagram is at an all time low. In fact, I’ve stopped updating the app. I love Instagram as it stands right now. But I fear the next few updates.

Anyone that has been online for many years has seen the rise and fall of countless services for a variety of reasons. Mostly, though, the fall of a platform has something to do with some mass of individuals that originally embrace a platform eventually leaving a platform. Teens jump on Snapchat and move to Instagram and then move to TikTok or Musically. Tech people blog then tweet then blog again (yay!). Photographers use their own sites, then Flickr, then Instagram, then their own sites (and/or Flickr) again. At least, that is what seems to be happening.

Instagram has a huge backer, otherwise I think it’s decline would be as meteoric as its rise. So I don’t think it or Facebook will be gone any time soon. But I do have the feeling we will see photographers slowly leave the platform behind in order to publish elsewhere – whether that be their own web sites or Flickr or SmugMug or an as-yet-unreleased platform.

I missed last week’s What I saw this week post. It happens. I will simply roll those links into this Friday’s post.

Very into houseplants lately.