Monday, January 23, 2012

Social Media, Creativity, and You.

Turquoise Flowerpots
Google+, as of this writing, has hit about 90 million with around two-thirds active on the social network. That’s a far cry from the membership of that monster we all know as Facebook, with over 800 million.

Let’s keep in mind that the dynamics of Google+ are much different from Facebook, so should we even be comparing? There seems to be all manners of ways to bring together people on Google+ that just don’t exist on Facebook.

Like this:

Towards the end of the year, I received a shared message on Google+ regarding a photography project. There are several of these projects out there going strong; the one I was notified about and ultimately jumped into is called the Creative 366 Project.

The “rules” are simple. Take a photo every day in 2012. Post the photo, use the hashtag #creative366project, include +creative366project in the commentary for the post, and tag Creative 366 Project. If you can’t load the photo up on that day, it’s okay, upload it tomorrow.

Walmart Ladies Room
The important aspect is to take a photo EVERY day. There isn’t a selling or marketing motive behind it, however, professional photographers and artists will ultimately benefit as more eyeballs will have an opportunity to see their work as the project grows via the  sharing of photos.

The results so far? A mind blowing display of creativity; some are great beginner photographers, while others are more seasoned. This is a lot more exciting than Facebook where the norm is share after share of an animal in a compromising position with a caption saying something silly. Not only that, a quick search revealed that projects like this just don’t exist on Facebook. How could they? Facebook doesn’t have the easy “share-a-bility” in place that Google+ does.

The project brings us sunsets, sunrises, trees, flowers…okay, some of the usual. However, there's a lot of out of the box thinking as folks explore everyday life and objects. A photo of a turquoise house generated quite a bit of conversation. Some examples of the comments include:

“That's an old house. Look at the cellar.”

“Reminds me of the house I grew up...similar shape, but wasn't turquoise!”

From the gent who took the photo: “I was hoping someone would notice the cellar. I wanted to take this picture yesterday, but I did not have my phone or a camera. The sun was not out today. Darn it!”

The commenting did drift and turn towards business page issues between me and the photo taker. Ultimately, he circled both my business pages, we circled each other, and a new friendship was born. Nice!

A third person jumped in and was very helpful as the conversation further expanded, this time to the quirkiness of Chrome. She was not part of the Creative 366 Project; however, she does post a lot of interesting information about technical issues. Boom. Another circling!

Mid-century modern chair
Now this project just oozes with the essence of social media: Sharing, lively dialog, creative expression, people coming together, making the acquaintance of others. You get the point.

You're probably wondering why I decided to participate? Three reasons:

#1 The opportunity to share my creativity with others for the sheer enjoyment of it.
#2 Allowing greater exposure for my Groovy Reflections endeavor. This is where I post the photos.
#3 Having a record of my growth as a beginner photographer (I take 50 to 400+ photos a day, then choose ONE.)

Thank you Google+ for designing such a fine platform.

I can’t wait to see other interesting methods of engagement emerging in the future; can you? What heights can social media soar to?

Come fly with me! 

The photos in this post are my Creative 366 Project entries from Day 9, 8, 12, and 21.


Shannon Grissom said...

Makes me want to give Google + another chance..

Gerry Wendel said...

You should. It's a whole different animal that takes some time to get used to. And the audience there is growing...would love to see some estimates on Facebook abandonment for G+ (note: I'm staying on both).