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Alan Levine's Presentation Showcase

Publishing and Building Communities Around Digital Images: What’s Happened in 15 Years (TCC 2019)

Presentation for the 24th Teaching, Colleges, and Community Online Conference

Back in 2004 I presented at TCC on the idea of blogging and teaching around collections of photographs then a thing called “photoblogging”. How far have we come with these ideas in 15 years? The photos, the camera tools, the web sites we have are much improved. But what are we doing, can we do with maybe the most accessible technology tool, once most of us have in our pockets? How can images be used to communicate via metaphor? This session will explore the use of photographs in 2018 as a field observation tool, a creative/expressive outlet, forms of protest, and the ever spreading meme.

Participants will participate in the kinds of photo scavenger hunts and daily challenges I use in media classes, and will be able to contribute/share/discuss photos directly to a “SPLOT” site (e.g one using this available wordpress theme.)

Links Mentioned and More


2004: A Look Back at the Technology from 10 Years Ago

Mark Zuckerberg launches first version
“Blog” was crowned Merriam-Webster’s word of the year in 2004

TCC 2004 presentation “Publish and Build Communities Around Digital Images”
TCC2004 PhotoBlog Taking Off
Coming To a Browser Near You: 2 Presentations on PhotoBlogging (Apr 12, 2004)

The other one is a “featured presentation” on PhotoBlogs: Publish and Build Communities Around Digital Images and I will be showing uses of sites such as Buzznet, FotoLog, TextAmerica, and the slick new one called Flickr, in addition to walking through how photos are sent via mobile phones (“moblogging”).

PhotoBlogging (wikiPedia)

Photoblogging Art Teacher

Robert Burget (Chandler-Gilbert Community College) College Art177 (Spring 2004) blog (Internet Archive link)

A Photoblogging Rationale (April 18, 2004)

I thought I would be writing this “rationale” of sorts much earlier. In it would be a bit more explanation than the “About…” sidebar contains. Better late than never I suppose. Let’s say thoughts have been percolating through the neurons. At the outset I was wondering how I could infuse using a photoblog into the sequence of the course without removing any of the primary curriculum, not have a full-on mutiny, and still get participation. Why would I do this? Probably because I saw some potential there that agrees with a part of my teaching philosophy (and it seemed like a hoot).

A community like Buzznet can be a terrific vehicle to achieving the comfortable, fertile classroom environment I’m looking for. Buzznet does something valuable and unique; it allows students to communicate with each other outside of class. By sharing images with fellow classmates, an opportunity exists for sparking a comment, a conversation or a friendship. When students unabashedly share their individuality others learn from it.

Comment Courtesy (March 04, 2004)

Nothing like the obvious. I think the cliche´that comes to mind is “if it was a snake it would’ve bit you” or something like that. I was perusing student photoblogs and was wondering why many had posted and not received any comments from non-class members. There’s a short period just after posting a photo when a thumbnail is visible to all who hit the main User Buzz section of the Buzznet Website (probably takes the most hits at this blog). Under the “Recently Updated” section of User Buzz, a small grid cycles through recent postings. This is one way to get noticed becuase clicking the thumb will take them to your blog…kind of like fishing…the thumbnail is the “bait”. However, it was waaaaay to obvious to me after Selmagirl let me know she’s been getting a lot of comments lately because she was giving them:

“I’ve been getting comments since I’ve been commenting on others.”
Aahhhhh, so this is what is meant by a web community! If one shows a courtesy by recognizing another’s comment then, in turn, they will be obliged. Selmagirl has been making some new friends outside our class… she used Buzznet messaging to send me a memo to go have a look at sezrah. Very interesting work…someone seems to be having fun with their macro lens in the kitchen!

Robert’s Class Buzznet 1994 Internet Archive link


About Buzznet (1994 Internet Archive Link)

Based in Los Angeles, Buzznet Inc. creates and maintains, a vibrant social network for Internet based photo communication. Buzznet also develops the photocommunication platform — the first software of its kind in the blogging space. Which enables tens of thousands of individuals, organizations and corporations to participate in the Web’s full potential by publishing photos and fostering communication between users with simple yet powerful software and services.

Buzznet 2019


Mobile + Blogging = Moblogging

Text America April 2004 (Internet Archive Link)

Text America April 2019

Fotolog 2004 (Internet Archive Link) is a website that lets you easily put your digital photos on the web in a daily log format. If friends/family have their own Fotologs, you can see everyone’s latest photos on one page and link back and forth to each other. And, you can comment in each other’s guest books.

So is that like a Blog or Weblog?
Sort of. Blogs are generally a lot of words with a few images. Fotologs tend to be a lot of images with a few words. After all, for most people, it’s easier to see something interesting than to say something interesting. Some say that the web is “a writing medium” — we say that the web-logging revolution isn’t necessarily about the writing — it’s about personal, continual publishing irrespective of whether it’s done through words or images. If you’d prefer to blog with more words than images, we recommend Blogger, LiveJournal, Radio Userland, and Movable Type.

What isn’t Fotolog?
Fotolog is not an online photo album for you to store all of your digital photos and get them printed out. So, if you’ve got 50 or 60 photos from your 3-year-old’s birthday party at Chuck E Cheese that you want to share with the world, we recommend Fotki, Ofoto, or ShutterFly for that. Fotolog is more the kind of place where you’d put up a different photo of your children each day or each week so your friends and family could check in to see how they’re growing up.

Fotolog 2019


flickr in 2004 (2005, 2008, 2016) (Web Design Museum)

Alan’s Flickr (2019)

Daily Photos

D’Arcy Norman daily photo project 2007

One Day One Photo (CogDogBlog, Jan 1, 2008)

Flickr 365 Group

Alan’s Daily Photos in flickr (2008 – present)

The Daily Shoot (internet Archive Link)
DS106 Daily Create (January 12, 2012)
DS106 Daily Create (April 9, 2019)
WordPress Daily Blank Theme

Storytelling With Photos

Five Card Flickr Stories

DS106 Open Course: Unit 5 Visual Storytelling

Photoblogging 2019

Publishing and Building Communities Around Digital Images 2019

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