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More Than Words: Better Blogging with Photos

Author:

Aaron Hockley
Photography Tips for a New Media World

Room: Tradewinds A & B/10
Friday, October 15 2010

Time: 11:00am-12:00pm

You’ve heard the tips from various sources about how photos can be used to liven up your blog posts. Whether they’re supporting material for a text post or standing on their own as content, photos and other graphics give a bit of pop to the otherwise mostly-textual web.

Today’s point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras offer great resolution and all sorts of features for prices that are lower than ever. You’ve decided (rightly so) that taking your own photos means you’ll have more authentic and unique content than if you find images elsewhere for your site…

… but then you realize that your photos might suck.

It’s okay. You’re headed in the right direction, and it’s not hard to polish off your social media photo skills. Here are a few tips to up your game:

  • Before shooting: Don’t obsess about camera gear. 99% of the cameras are better than 99% of the photographers. Whether you have a point-and-shoot, a fancy DSLR, or a camera phone, you have what you need to get started creating images. Since you’re here reading the BlogWorld blog, I suspect that you’re amongst the digitally-savvy… your iPhone or Android smartphone probably has a camera capable of great images.
  • When shooting: Fill the frame. Get close so that your subject fills most of the viewfinder. There’s an old photo adage that says when you think you’re close enough, get closer. For photos embedded into blog posts this is even more true – you’ll want your subject to take up all of the screen real estate that it can.
  • When embedding: Bigger is better. You went to the effort to create a nice photograph; don’t lessen the impact by only showing a 100 pixel thumbnail. There’s a reason why Flickr’s “small” size is 240 pixels – I consider that the minimum for effective use in a blog post.
  • When inviting engagement: Instead of just posting a photo as supporting material on your blog or Facebook page, put up an interesting picture and ask readers to come up with a caption. Folks can invent some hilarious captions and you’re sure to get a variety of responses. You can do it as a contest with a prize or not… either way you’ll get people talking about your article and picture.

If you’re interested in more tips both for photography and how to use photos on your blog and social media outposts, join me along with Kris Krug for our BlogWorld session called Photography Tips for a New Media World. Kris will be diving into a bunch of advice and secrets for creating better photos and I’ll be talking about getting those photos online and how to best integrate them with social media to drive interest and engagement.

Aaron Hockley is a photographer and blogger who has been involved with social media since 2002. He attends and speaks at various new media conferences and is often quoted and consulted on the use of social media by the photography industry. Follow along with Aaron on Twitter (@hockley) or keep up with his latest musings at Picture Pundit. He can be reached by email at aaron@hockleyphoto.com.

BlogWorld Flickr Photo of the Week: Chris Brogan and Charnell Lucich

Author:

We’re starting a new feature – BlogWorld Flickr Photo of the Week! If you have a photo and story you’d like to share, please email me with a link to the photo and your story. Don’t forget to join our BlogWorld Flickr Group too!

Chris Brogan, Charnell Lucich

This week’s photo is from Kevin Blalock:

Social media was a little unfamiliar to me and I never really got a good grasp of it until I attended the BlogWorld Expo in 2008 for the first time. I had heard about social media here and there, and had seen the buzz online. I even registered an account on Twitter, yet I still couldn’t figure it out.

This first trip to BlogWorld was a great experience for me as I wandered around the floor. I watched people connecting, learning about each others business, and hearing tips and tricks about social media in general and how it can be used in a positive way.

The key piece of knowledge for me was learning about blogging. Blogging was another buzz term that I figured only artists and poets used to document their daily life or something. To my excitement, asking many silly questions resulted in many very helpful answers from the other attendees and exhibitors. I quickly learned what exactly all this social media and blogging stuff was all about!

The experience this first year made me want to learn more and get involved myself. Now, I will be the first to say I am not the best at keeping my blog up to date on a regular basis, but I am working on it. I have a new project/business that gives me a reason to blog now, other than just the things I have been up to in my personal life.

Because of what I have learned by attending BlogWorld Expo, not only do I know how to leverage the tools of social media such as blogging; I can now share what I have learned and hopefully teach others as the wonderful people of BlogWorld have done for me.

Part of the BlogWorld experience is getting to meet many great people. One such person is the man who took the time to allow me to take a photo of himself and Charnell Lucich, Chris Brogan. Since leaving BlogWorld 2008, I started following him on Twitter and keeping up with his social media presence.

To my delight, Chris was once again at BlogWorld 2009 and was signing his then new book release titled “Trust Agents”. One minute, I was with Charnell Lucich who keeps up with Chris religiously, and is one of his biggest fans. The next minute she was in front of his table talking with him. So, I ran over to say hi as well since it is very rare that you do not see him surrounded by fans!

This brings me to the greatest part about BlogWorld. We all know who Chris Brogan is; and to be honest with you, I was expecting a better than thou attitude. Let me tell you, Chris is one of the most down to earth people I have ever met. He sat there looking us in the eyes talking to us, focused on the conversation and really made me feel that he was truly interested in our conversation.

I am really looking forward to attending BlogWorld 2010 in October. I look forward to seeing the friends I have made over the past two years as well as making new ones. To me, this is what BlogWorld is all about.

Kevin Blalock
Blalock Photography
Email: kevin@blalockphotography.com
Twitter: @kevinblalock

Top 5 WordPress Photo Gallery Plugins:

Author:

I think its important to have some visual aspect on your blog posts – whether it’s a photo, photo gallery, or video. But what do you do if you want to share a ton of images? The last thing you want is a running stream of photos down the page – it’s hard to navigate and takes too much time to load your post. You could use thumbnails, or the standard WordPress gallery – or you can implement a plugin that will take your photo gallery experience to an entirely new level!

Here are my top 5 WordPress Photo Gallery Plugins:

Featured Content Gallery Image

Featured Content Gallery Plugin
FCG is a very popular plugin, allowing you a wealth of options in your image display. Choose your images and display categories, pages or posts with custom overlay text and a thumbnail carousel. Custom options include gallery size, color, style and more.

Flickr RSS

This plugin allows you to easily display Flickr photos on your site via a customizable option panel. It supports user, set, favorite, group and community photostreams.

Lightbox 2
One of my favorite plugins for visual appeal, Lightbox allows you to visually expand your image and gallery over the existing page. Use this tool to customize the effects used on photos that you include in your blog, including background color, opacity and more.

NextGen – This plugin comes with a variety of options – including the ability to add watermarks to your photos, create slideshows, add photos to your sidebar, and more.

Page Flip Image Gallery
Create a gallery with page flipping effects for a more catalog feel to your gallery.

Do you use any fancy plugins for your image galleries?

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Image Credit: Featured Content Gallery

The Latino Blogosphere

Author:

BlogWorld 2009 had the innovative idea of hosting a multicultural panel.  A clear sign of vision and pulse of the current situation in the U.S.A.  I had the honor to be invited by Jose Villa from Sensis to represent the fastest growing group both online and offline: The Latino(a)s!  During the session, I was often asked about the Latino blogosphere.  What do we blog about? Which language do we use? Where are we? And so forth.  This post is an attempt to answer  these questions.

I’ve been breaking my head to “define” the Latino(a) blogosphere.  However, the best I can tell you is that Latinos and Latinas blog about every possible subject, we write in Spanish, English, and Spanglish and we are literally everywhere! If you want to go deeper, I dare you to just come and see!  You will find here a partial list of the best blogs written by Latino(a)s.  Feel free to pay a visit and connect with the bloggers on Twitter.   You can also find directories of more Latino bloggers listed here: Blogadera, Blogs by Latinas, Latina Bloggers Facebook Group, AARP Segunda Juventud, Twiteros, and Blogged’s List of Latino Bloggers.

Now on with the list of some of my favorite Latino bloggers:

Art

AKACOCOLOPEZ – Art blog of Kristina Maria Lopez

Business

De Gama Web Studio – Learn Social Networking

BluPint – Latino-owned boutique digital marketing agency, recently doing business in Mexico.

Fernando Varela – Official blog of v5, LLC, a company which specializes in online marketing for Fernando Varela and other clients.

Latina Owned Businesses – Latina business owners can list their businesses here.

Tiene Chic – The journey of Alicia Morga, CEO of Consorte Media

NSHMBA New York – Blog of the New York chapter of the NSHMBA, striving to be the premier Hispanic MBA professional business network.

Vista Hispano – An online destination focused on providing insights into the trends and changing dynamics of the Hispanic Market.

Zapateria Orozco – Nicole’s blog for her shoe store. You’ll find great information on shoes for men, women, and kids.

Think Multicultural – Covers the multicultural marketing and advertising world through the transformative lenses for the digital media.

Joselin Mane – Streamlining business success by systematizing social media tools and technology

Education

Reach For More – Blog about education, literature, bilingualism, and Latino heritage.

Milton Ramirez – A Blog about learning, knowledge, tech and social media

Consulta con JCB – a weekely  vblog/podcast sobre diversos temas de interes, analizados desde un punto de vista legal y sobretodo practico

Mi Caminar – Crecimiento, motivación, inspiración y paz interior

Carta Grande – A blog about HR coaching and practical tips for career advancement

News

Hispanosphere – News and commentary blog on Latino/Hispanic issues.

Latina Lista – A niche news blog on politics, foreign affairs, culture, and social justice issues.

New America Noticias – Broadcasting news from Latino media outlets throughout the United States.

Orlando Latino – Covers news and information of interest to Latinos in Orlando and beyond.

Lifestyle/Culture

A Book Without A Cover – Focuses on topics including women’s justice, radical women of color, gender, politics, and activism.

Cristina Mella – Latino living, decoracion, estilo y hogar

Author’s Diary – News and views from the author of America Libre and El Nuevo Alamo

Bronx Latino – Lifestyle blog aimed at highlighting the people and culture of the Bronx from a Latino perspective.

Cuponeando – Frugal blog sharing information about deals and freebies in Spanish.

Hispanic Affairs

LATISM – A blog about Latinos in Social Media. The largest organization of social media professionals of Hispanic origin.

Sofrito For Your Soul – Sofrito For Your Soul is an online magazine that promotes the evolution of Latino culture in the United States.

Speak Hispanic – Showing you the way into Hispanic minds, One Random Fact at a time

Eduardo Gonzalez Loumiet – Personal blog of Eduardo Gonzalez Loumiet, focusing on Latino Movement, Entrepreneurship, Corporate Strategy, Health IT, Financial/Banking IT,  and Influential Presentations.

Hispanic Trending – Latino marketing and advertising consulting trends

Tiki Tiki Blog – Stories, essays, videos, and photos of living Latino in the United States.

Being Latino – A communication platform designed to educate, entertain and connect.

The Hispanic Fanatic – About culture, family, friends, immigration, language, media, politics and more

Latina Geek – Where a geeky chica meets a computadora

DarsanaRoldan.com – Activating the power of collaboration for one love, one wealth, one world.

hisPANIC – A blog about “us” en los estados unidos and then some.

Por La Causa – Blog about Latino American interest, informative with a dash of entertainment.

KMPblog – About events happening in NYC, shows, movies, and reviews.

LatinoInTX – Texas and border affairs from a Latino standpoint.

Latino Sexuality – A sex positive resource for Latinos about sexuality and reproductive health.

Latinos y Latinas Online Blogera – Focuses on Latinos/Latinas, pop culture, trends, policy issues, and more.

Mi Bodega – The voice of urban intelligence; the first urban intelligence agency in the world.

Sententia Vera – Blog on multilingualism and multiculturalism, specifically Spanish, bilingual, and translated literature and the Mexican-American culture.

That Happened to Me – Blog focusing on single women and women in business.

The Fat Apple – A fashion/lifestyle blog from the perspective of a plus-size Afro/Latina/Central American woman living in New York City.

Urbane Perspective – Urbane Perspective is an online lifestyle magazine for women of color, Latina, Black, and Asian.

uwishunu – Written by a group of in-the-know Philadelphians, uwishunu (pronounced “You Wish You Knew”) is your online source for an insider’s look at the Philadelphia scene.

Fashion

Latina on a Mission – The title speaks by itself, Latina on a mission to inspire and empower with style

Be Chic – Online magazine and lifestyle channel covering fashion, beauty, entertainment, arts, and culture

Music

Ian’s Music Blog – Blog of Editor In Chief of Austin Vida.com

Parenting

Modern Mami – Parenting blog by a Latina working mother, focusing on specialized concerns working mothers have achieving work/life balance.

The Online Mom – Protecting children online. Tech tools for parents.

Todo Bebe – Una comunidad de madres Latinas que producen artículos, videos y el programa: Viva La Familia TV

NY City Mama – The adventures of a NYC mama of three boys

My Big, Fat Cuban Family – All about a Cuban-American family life in Southern California.

Pediatra Amigo – Blog by pediatrician and neurologist on children’s well-being, health, and topics on pregnancy and general parenting.

Spanglish Baby – Expert and peer advice, informative articles, forums, and community for parents raising bilinguals.

La Mamita Mala – A Queens born and bred newyorican poeta, activista, blogger, single mami and twitterputa

Spanglish Baby Finds – Reviews of the coolest products and services made with bilingual and/or Latino kids in mind.

Hecho Para Mama – Motherhood from a Latina perspective

Dr. Mommy Helps Moms – For health, wealth and sanity

Mommy 2 Mommy – Una comunidad, Many voices

Personal

Against the Flow – Blog about everything from politics to observations about everyday life.

New York Chica – Ramblings of a woman trying to survive this crazy life

Aina Montero – Chronicles the life of a Quito-based elite international escort and personal concierge.

An Eclectic Soul – Personal blog about travel, photography, spirituality, media, social media, marketing, art, and words.

Bilingual in the Boonies – Living la vida Cubanita in Tennessee.

Her Deep Thoughts – A site based on the nonsense of the Licenciada’s mind

Courage Factor – Blog about stepping out of your comfort zone, challenging your cultural beliefs, and becoming the best you possible.

Kety Esquivel – New media and Web 2.0

Carolyn in Carolina – Personal blog of a Latino city girl living in the country.

Eastside Writer – Personal blog of a writer with interests in arts, beer, and photography.

Inside My Head – Talks about how honesty is the only way to find personal freedom and happiness through life and culture.

Mischief & Impermanent Bliss – Tackles topics on social activism, music, arts, culture –  with a special fondness for Peruvian and indigenous.

Not a Dimwit – Blog about the personal journey of a writer toward writing a first novel.

DC Agenda – Apuntes, video-clips, fotos y recortes documentando las vivencias y aprendizaje de Reina

One Latina’s Journey – Here you’ll find Belle’s personal blog, covering her life as a single mom, college student, and full-time employee.

The Jose Vilson – Award winning blog from a NYC teacher, writer, activist discussing topics from an Afro-Latino perspective.

Trust Miguel – Latino student employee blogs about life at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas.

Una Mentira Perfecta – A perfect lie is about a Latina who will make you laugh, think, cry and maybe not even believe,

Under the Tucson Sun – Personal blog of a Latina vegetarian, daily yoga practicing Latina, wife, mom, and dog owner.

Photography

Clarisel’s Photo Place – A photoblog dedicated to the photography and news of Clarisel Gonzalez.

Manuel A Rios Photography – A photoblog of one Latino’s perspective of people, places, and events.

Puerto Rican Sun – A cultural and photoblog focusing on Puerto Ricans and the Diaspora.

Only Just a Shot Away – Blog of professional photojournalist Ricky Flores, who has documented life of Puerto Ricans in the South Bronx in the 80’s and 90’s.

Politics

Vivir Latino – dedicated to featuring all the latest politics, culture, entertainment of interest to the diverse and influential Latino and Latina community in the U.S.

Velez’s View – Visit Phil Velez’s personal blog for information on Latinos and politics.

Culture Kitchen – Daily servings of political dissent

The Unapologetic Mexican – Unapologetically serving up sol-sizzling amor y resistencia since May 1st, 2006

Marketing

LatinMinds – Think tank within a large Hispanic ad agency called GlobalHue Latino, fascinated with the DNA of culture and obsessed with social media.

El Blog – Navigating the new markets, and trying to understand the constant weirdness of living in a changing new world.

New Media Brief – Building communities one word at a time

Louis Pagan – The journey about a “Latino Rebranded” and everything relating Latinos and new media.

V5 LLC –A blog about the company and what it does for their clients through social media

Learn Social Networking – Includes topics such as How to Build Community, Hispanic Fluentials, Latina(o)s in Social Media, Digital Marketing, SEO, and Twitter/Facebook.

All Things That Rise – About people, technology and evolution

Social Nerdia – A blog about the convergence of tech + marketing + social media, and the people/sub-cultures that make it possible.

Successfool.com – The official guide to becoming awesome online.

Technology

Premier Social Media – A blog about social media for business executives and consultants

LuisDanS Weblog – Luis blogs about new technologies on emerging markets while working at Microsoft Latin America.

All Things That Rise – A journey of people, technology and evolution

Mobile Test Kitchen – Where mobile apps get cooked

Writing

BronzeWord Latino Authors – Assists writers to achieve their publishing goals and authors to promote their books

Latino Book News – Circulates news on the book industry, agents, articles, Latino/a events, Latino/a books and authors.

NikiBenitez.com – Latina writer explores life through the art of poetry, fiction, prose, and screenplays.

The Latino Reporter – A blog for student journalists from the classroom to the newsroom.

I’m thrilled to represent this amazing community of social media professionals.  I encourage you to pay a visit to these blogs and join the conversation.  The fun is guaranteed.

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