Myron Kassaraba's weblog about digital photography on the web

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Power of the Lens + the Web "dog-sh..-girl" a test of the Internet's Power to Shame (a great blog) has a story about a Korean girl who's dog pooped on the floor of a subway car. After she refused a request from some elders to clean it up, a train rider took her picture or her (and the poop) and posted it on a public site. It looks like this happened in late May or early June based on some of the links I've found (here's one from June 8th from James Park's blog with a very active set of comments). The Popularguts blog also has some interesting perspectives in a more recent post. This story made the mainstream media in a July 7th article in the Washington Post.

She has since been tracked down, identified, accosted, villified and basically had this single event ruin her life by a cyber-mob.
In this specific incident I do believe this girl did the wrong thing at the wrong place and the wrong time and her punishment has far exceeded the crime (though we here in the US are not immune to this type of behavior - remember Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman who caught a foul fly ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, people wanted to lynch him and he was hounded by the media). I loved one of the comments on James' blog from Jonathan Marks, referring to "trial by Photoshop".

In our new connected, always-on, wireless society, there are lenses everywhere. Those lenses, such as the one's on the security cameras at King's Crossing that were used to identify the London suicide bombers, can be used for some very important and productive purposes. At other times, these lenses, many sitting in someone's purse or pocket can be used in other ways that are not so productive. Now we have lenses in the sky that thanks to Google Maps and Google Earth, anyone with a web browser can have access to. We are just now starting to understand the full implications of some of our recent technological advances on our privacy. This debate is just beginning and will be something we should all be watching closely and participating in.

In the meantime, think twice about what you do or don't do do in public..............

Friday, July 01, 2005

New Shoebox from Webshots

Nick and Narendra, the founders of Webshots who are now part of the CNET family, have just leaked out the Beta of a new project they have been working on called Shoebox. It is hard to describe, sort of a personal photo clipping service that lets you share your clip collections with the shoebox community. Rather than just limiting you to the massive Webshots database, you can clip a photo and add it to your shoebox from just about anywhere on the web (It didn't work with some sites I tried like Selko Photo using Flash for their albuming).

Narendra is keeping a companion blog to encourage a dialog with early users. Give it a try. Those of us who like photos usually view many different sources, Shoebox lets you monitor multiple RSS feeds (like "where in the world is Esther today?") but more importantly lets you see what others are clipping. This is really the essence of sites like Flickr.

To me the photo "communities" dynamic can be described as services that you get hooked on - logging on every day to see what random people who you have never met in person from anywhere in the world are capturing with their cameras. You get hooked on the community when you first add a few of them to your "friends" or contacts lists. Then you may dialog with them via comments or in forums. Then you start adding your own pictures and people add you as friends and add comments.

It is hard to explain but very powerful. Having these virtual lenses from all over the world. Makes me think of the Grateful Dead song "Eyes of the World" These streams of digital photos coming from photographers everywhere are like the "lenses of the world" - Shoebox is a great new way for you to grab a view through those lenses!