The echo chamber

I write this photoblog because it is the one I want to read.  

There are countless photoblogs in the world and blog-like photography websites (e.g. Flickr, Google+, Facebook, etc.); I put relatively little time into those other channels and I put loads of time into this site for one simple reason:

I loathe the echo chamber.  To degrees, every photography services website suffers from the echo chamber effect, but none so bad as Google+.  It's a place that photographers post images to share with and gain notoriety among other photographers.  Full stop.

A good friend of mine runs the photography community at Google+ and does so remarkably well.  His job is proof positive of how much the Mountain View giant cares about it's photo-centric Google+ members and he has done a great job of helping that community to flourish.  The tools and support that website puts behind photographers is really impressive.  I also would be lying if I said I wanted to play an active role in the online photography community.  

You may (especially if you're an avid member of the this group) think I'm a snob, but I just don't care about the slimy, status-seeking art of false praise and networking that defines these websites.  To the degree that there are genuine, productive conversations taking place, it's terrific, but I'll be brutally honest: that's not happening more than 1/1000 interactions.  This world is so incestuous that whole careers are made on social media and built on a house of cards: Jasmine Star comes to mind, a photographer who gained huge notoriety by playing nice, becoming a social media star only to be revealed later as a fraud.  

If I had one piece of advise to give my younger self or a similarly minded person, it would be to put 0% of his or her energy into the social networking aspect of photography and instead maintain relentless focus on making images, publishing images and learning new things.  Both of the second tasks can be supported by websites like Facebook, Google+ and Flickr, but I submit the following as truth won by long experience: if you are doing anything other than posting your own images or finding truly inspiring work posted by others, you're wasting your time in a profound way.