The Web Presence assignment for Web Communications is focused on us creating an online presence of ourselves through different Web 2.0 tools, services and platforms. I have decided to make my web presence focusing on my photography work. As photography is a huge passion and joy of mine I feel that it is a good way to map my own web presence surrounding my photography. The web users nowadays are not usually restricting themselves to a single homepage or one specific networking site as pre web 2.0 but rather now having multiple sites across the web. (Helmond 2010, 17) In order to make this web presence possible I signed up to five different web 2.0 platforms including WordPress, Flickr, Tumblr, Twitter and YouTube. As each platform has its own unique style and function, collaboratively they all work together to fill in the gaps or lacking ability of the other.
“’Blogging’ – a contraction of the term ‘web logging’ – is perhaps best described as a form of micro-publishing. Easy to use, from any Internet connection point, blogging has become firmly established as a web based communications tool.” (Williams, 2004) I chose to use the form of a blog for my central node as it essentially an online diary and a way of recording and collecting many forms of information in one place. I like the ease of use with blogs and the fact that they are relatively customizable with many different themes and layouts. For my overall web presence I have tried to use blacks and darker colours whenever possible as when looking at photos on a black background they stand out more and are much more vibrant as opposed to a white background. “Black is not used as the main colour very often in text content rich web sites. It can be used and is very popular by design related personal portfolios and photography sites. It allows the artwork to take centre stage and be the primary focus of the viewer.” (Andrew, 2010) Likewise looking at a backlit computer or mobile device screen with a white background causes a lot more strain on the eyes than that of a black background. I chose the ‘Elegant Grunge’ theme as I felt it had the feel and look that I was going for with photography based content. The same profile picture has been used across the four contributing nodes so that it is recognisable and uniform. On the contributing nodes I have added links back to the central node so that users can navigate back to the central node home page, I also created it so that when users click on one of the central node links to a contributing node it opens it up in a new tab, this way it is easier for users to navigate between the tabs and not have to backtrack. (Vanfossen, 2007)
The first contributing node chosen is Flickr because this site is primarily a photo sharing website. As there are many photographers on this sight and using it to share their work it is a great way to get my photos out there and to help emphasise the overall theme of photos and photography for my web presence. Flickr is very helpful in that you can upload photos from many other sites to it directly, thus creating a single sharing site that can collaborate photos and information from many sites into one.
Similar to Flicker I chose Tumblr as another contributing node for its ease of use and photo sharing abilities. Like Flicker it allows you to share photos from other sites directly to it but it does not only focus specifically on photography photos like Flickr but on many forms of graphics. So through this node there is a larger audience of viewers.
With needing to get the word out of new photos and posts I set up a Twitter account that can enable me to send out ‘tweets’ regarding information about my photography, new photos and videos that have been posted on my other various contributing nodes. It is also helpful for me being able to follow other photographers and related topics on Twitter and be always updated on news and information. As Twitter is a form of Micro blogging (Helmond, 2010, 9) it allows users to write short posts of up to 140 characters. With the use of hash tags ‘#’ people are able to search for certain tags and enables you to easily and effectively broadcast your work through using clever tagging.
As YouTube is a huge networking and sharing site this I felt was of great benefit to add as another contributing node as it taps into another form of sharing and networking yet still maintaining the theme of photography. YouTube is a great way of promoting photography through the use of photo/video posts that can reach a greater mixed target audience that would not have usually been as widespread through the other forms of photo networking.
In setting up this web presence assignment it has given me a deep insight into web 2.0 platforms and how they are all intertwined together. Prior to completing this assignment I knew of the various websites but had not used them to their full potential. Through the use of these web applications it has given the ability to link together many forms of information each strengthening the other thus creating a Web Presence.
Helmond, A. (2010). Identity 2.0: Constructing identity with cultural software. Retrieved from: http://www.annehelmond.nl/wordpress/wpcontent/uploads//2010/01/helmond_identity20_dmiconference.pdf
Williams, J. (2004). Exploring the use of blogs as learning spaces in the higher education sector. Retrieved from http://ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet20/williams.html
Andrew, P. (2010). 50 examples of black in web design – black is beautiful!. Specky Boy. Retrieved from http://speckyboy.com/2010/04/28/50-examples-of-black-in-web-design-black-is-beautiful/
Vanfossen, L. (2007). Web Browser Guide: Exploring the Tab | The Blog Herald. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.blogherald.com/2007/06/04/web-browser-guide-exploring-the-tab/ [Accessed: 13 Feb 2013].