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Images for Blog Posts | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

Images for Blog Posts

Images for a Blog Post

When I came across the above quote “I really appreciate that they create original photographs to accompany each of their posts, rather than simply copying images from elsewhere” from the blog Uppercase a couple days ago, it put something into words that I had been thinking about for a while. A lot of design blogs are kind of the same in part b/c people are 1. talking about the same stuff, but 2. using the same images. Some of those design blog issues I’ve mentioned before at DesignNotes but within the context of blogs and photos it’s worth exploring more. For the most part I agree with the Uppercase quote – I try to do the same thing here. Whenever I can take the opportunity to make my own image I will. But it’s not a black and white issue. Any time I do a Friday Link Drop I try to always give a screen capture of what someone is going to see if they click on the link. It wouldn’t be appropriate otherwise. Other times it just makes sense to show what is already out there. The other big issue for me is where to host the images I use for a post – whether I’ve taken it or not. A couple years ago I just uploaded the files via the blog upload tool – but one day I accidentally deleted that folder and my images were gone. If you go deep into the DesignNotes archives and see an image missing – that’s why. Soon after that to safeguard a mass delete I started hosting all my images on flickr. It’s a tricky balancing act b/c I want to make clear what I’ve taken and what is someone else’s work, and in almost every case I’m using that image to send it to the said person’s site. If anything, I would encourage people to shoot their own images if they can which in turn will make their blog more about their own POV as opposed to a coming off as a pr memo. Any thoughts?

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  • http://serialconsign.com Greg J. Smith

    Well, blog posts that read like PR is a discussion that definitely extends beyond images.

    I'm not much of a photographer, but I am good at digging around for images to accompany posts. I like to see that people have put thought into the image selection for posts, and that might mean they have shot stuff themselves and it might mean they've picked an obliquely appropriate photograph to accompany a portion of a text. There is something to be said for spending 30 seconds in photoshop with an image as well..

    One thing that I find hilarious, and you'll definitely find this amongst the “social media consultant” circle is blogs filled with stock photography. What would possess someone to do this? Furthermore, what does an image of somebody walking along a beach have to do with “Unlocking your writers block” anyways? 😉

    This is a great companion conversation to your “design blog issues”, many of which I agree with.

  • erin

    ooh, i think this is a good topic. i like the shout out from Uppercase to Perfectbound and the latter's use of their own imagery/interpretation of the subject matter as a segue to their post. AND there are many, many blogs out there recycling the same old bits, which comes across as a little mindless. BUT personally i feel as if i would be missing out on a lot of artists if not for the doppleganger blog train, so i can take a little repetition. the bottom line seems laced with good intentions, and that's to inspire and share. meh, that's just my two cents. SORRY… this comment is too long.

  • Geoff A

    Interesting approach. I've been trying, since starting a blog a few months ago, to create my own imagery when I post original content. This approach is forcing me to be more selective about which external imagery I include since it's mingling with what I've personally created. Thanks for posting your approach.

  • http://heyitsadam.com heyitsadam

    My main thought is concerning where you host your files. I understand your logic in…what if I delete my images folder? But I'm always wary of hosting anything on a third party site. What happens if flickr disappears? (I know, probably unlikely). But we don't know, and with Microsoft in play…anything can happen. Point being, it doesn't safeguard you against all of your images disappearing + it takes steps to upload, then grab the links to the images + as you mentioned it becomes unclear for people searching flickr on whose image is whose. My thought is…back up your images folder on your local drive. That being said, I dig all of your points.

  • http://designnotes.info/ michaelsurtees

    i've def. been considering the what if scenario's about flickr and how it's stability is by no means a guarantee. flickr actually killed all of steve portigal's images a while ago. sometime soon i'll probably contact mechanical turk to do some downloading for me…

    one benefit of using flickr that i didn't mention before is that i'll get people coming to a post that they otherwise wouldn't have b/c they first saw the photo i took on flickr.

  • http://heyitsadam.com heyitsadam

    I almost mentioned that, I do the same thing (use flickr as way to drive traffic to my site), in that case I still host all of my own images- but I also upload them to Flickr. Hosting them on your own site helps with another image search though…google image search…and I'm actually surprised by how much of my traffic comes from google image links. It's not huge, but it's more then I would expect.