Starting Your Photoblog

By: Ben Nystrom


Humans have been keeping records of their personal experiences for thousands of years. The earliest humans painted their diaries on cave walls, as seen in the cave paintings of Lascaux, France. With the development of paper and bound books, people began keeping written diaries, mostly for business reference. Samuel Pepys was one of the first writers to take the diary into the personal realm, and many celebrities have since followed his lead by publishing their own diaries. With the advent of the digital age, diaries went online. Now, thanks to easy blogging services, anyone can share their daily thoughts with their friends and family, or with the whole world.

Photoblogging is the latest incarnation of the online journal or diary, and is quickly gaining popularity. Photoblogs (photolog or phlog,as they are also known) are sites sharing photographs with friends and family in a simple blog format. Photo blogging gained popularity in the early 2000s as it became easier and easier to get high quality digital pictures on phones, computers, and cameras. As picture storage capacities increased, more people started looking for ways to share their photos. The future of journaling may lie in this easy-to-use, quick, visually appealing medium. Here are a few reasons why many people enjoy keeping photoblogs.

1. Photoblogs are easy to share. Photoblogs allow journalers to share their photos with large groups of people without having to send out individual physical copies or large, bulky e-mails.
2. Photoblogs don't clog up email inboxes. By keeping a photoblog, you avoid jamming someone's inbox with pictures they aren't really interested in seeing. Instead, visitors may receive updates via RSS feeds, or may simply visit your photoblog when they prefer.
3. Photoblogs may be shared with anyone. When you keep a photoblog, people from all over the world can easily and quickly understand your viewpoint, regardless of whether they speak your language. Photography is an international language.

If you're eager to begin photoblogging, you should be aware that there are several types of photoblogs available. There are three main kinds of photo blogs:

1. Independent photoblogs. This type of photo blogging is increasingly rare, as it requires the photo blogger to secure a domain, set up a webserver, and install or write the CMS (content management system) code for the site. Maintaining these types of sites can be costly and time-consuming, so most people tend to avoid this photo blogging option.
2. Blog site photoblogs. These photo blogs appears on blog sites designed mainly for text. Sites such as Blogger use devices called add-ons or plugins. These enable the blogger to turn code from text into a picture and are becoming more common on blogging and social networking sites.
3. Photoblog services. The most recent incarnation of the photo blog are sites that have been designed specifically for photo blogging. The built-in code for sites such as Flickr, Fotolog and Photospace allow blog publishers many options as to what their photo blog will look like and how their pictures will be presented.

Photo blogging has caught on in popularity over the past few years as an easy, quick way to document human experiences. Humans are visual creatures-- over half of the human brain is dedicated to vision. Photoblogs are the diary of the future because they efficiently communicate human experience through easily interpreted visual records, i.e. photographs.

~Ben Nystrom, 2009

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Ben Nystrom is a contributing writer for Photospace.
Share vacation photos, your music, your friends, your world on Photospace, the cool photo exchange site where we all meet.

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