Read & Respond week 7: Images

The next two weeks are all about visuals. In this first one, we’ll tackle photos. Some of you have been incorporating visuals into your work from the start while others have yet to do so. Regardless of your use of visuals so far, how might your blogs tell a story that is more visual than textual? Yes, photos are ONE possibility, but what are others? Skim around this list and identify some options you might be able to apply to making your blogging more visual.

Photos:

  • First, a must-readHow to use photos LEGALLY on your blog. There’s a great graphic “Can I Use That Picture?” guide at this post from The Visual Guy.
  • Rather than guess about whether to use an image, consider using (and joining) Creative Commons, which lets you contribute and use a variety of works on the creators’ terms.
  • Photoblogs: Some blogs focus specifically on image sharing. Sites like Cake Wrecks hit big a few years back, but there are more serious efforts like the Boston Globe’s The Big Picture. There’s a whole bunch more to skim (150+) at this list.

Apps:

GIFs:

Your responses are due by 2 p.m. Tuesday, February 19 (I’ve extended this to account for your group blog assignment being due this weekend) as a comment to this post.

18 Responses to Read & Respond week 7: Images

  1. For my blog—since it is about classic rock musicians—I think it’s extremely important to include images because it helps readers match my words with the faces I’m talking about. Many might remember the names of the bands but forget what they look like. Also, I think it’s really important to utilize YouTube on this platform because a lot of my articles cover the MUSIC—which is the most important part about classic rock musicians. Therefore, I think it’s crucial that music is shared on the blog, so we understand the real importance of the articles.

    I’m glad that I was able to read these articles because I didn’t realize the flaws in my photo crediting in prior articles. So far, I’ve been crediting the photographers in the captions of my photos, but I now know that I need to provide links to the original image. I guess I’m confused at how to properly do that, which I hope to discuss in class. After observing some blog articles, I notice that some were able to link in their captions—but I thought that I read that you can’t link in photo captions in “How to Use Photos Legally on Your Website or Blog”. Other times, people have nothing at all. I’d like to talk about this.

    Another thing I have questions over is the use of GIFs in news. I really love to use GIFs, and I’m confused on how we can make and use them without violating any copyright protection laws. Don’t the GIFs use material that could possibly be copyright? How do we give credit to the origin of the content when we make the GIF?

  2. Using visuals is an important aspects to any influential blog. With my blog specifically I am covering advertising and have been using things such as photos and videos in the posts that go viral in the advertising world. This allows me to have a plethora of different visuals if I’m able to get that imaged shared from a free site such as YouTube. While photos are an important part for showing an advertisement as well as videos for showing certain commercials there are various ways that I could promote more visual aspects within my posts.

    One way I feel that I could use other aspects as listed in the articles above is with social media. Every day millions of people scroll through Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, whatever it may be, but what sometimes we don’t notice are the ads that we scroll past. Using those advertisement or company social media accounts can help tell the advertising story in a different light. Also being able to see how companies advertise it through the new digital platform of social media can bring a different perspective to my overall blog posts as well as supply me with more visuals that are suitable for my blog.

    I think another thing that I could implement that was mentioned in the reading response was GIFs. While good advertisements can make someone laugh or evoke different emotions sometimes the brunt of advertising can be a little repetitive and dry. By using GIFs that people have created and memes about a certain commercial or topic can maybe add a humorous and interesting point of view. They could also add a visual to the overall post. I think combining the idea of GIFs and the idea of apps such as a Instagram together as mentioned above allow for some good visuals to be eligible for a post. Such as the most used meme or graphic that has been floating around sites such such as Twitter can be added to my post legally and give it that extra visual kick it needs.

  3. Holly Fry says:

    Using visuals is really important in tweets like we talked about in class because, they are easier to see what’s going on, and will capture attention much more than a video because sometimes you just don’t have the patience for a video. They do say a picture is worth a thousand words for a reason. I think as a society we don’t really have long attention spans because we need all of our information quickly and easy to read or view. Even with articles, it’s much better to view a list than a paragraph because we can skim the title and not read the supporting details, but it can also still keep us mostly informed. One negative of visuals being so important in our lives is that if we view a photo but don’t really read anything with it, we may get the wrong impression from what is being shown. Kind of like the photo from the Nick Sandmann standoff, so many news articles got released with bad information because they based their assumption and the truth off of the image presented. Using the visuals can shape how a reader views the story. I’ve really tried with my blog to incorporate meme’s and gifs from twitter and elsewhere, to break up the text and also because I know when I’m reading something, that’s the kind of visuals I would want to see. Even if it’s a serious topic like death, sometimes coping with it by laughing or smiling can make people more comfortable.

  4. Using visuals draws more attention to any posts. Just like we talked about in class, and it was proven, that using graphics brings a bigger audience. For my blog being about sport issues, other than just using articles, I think photographs and videos are good to use. For example, for one blog post, I inserted an instagram video. The video was an interview with someone talking his opinion on the topic of my blog. I think if I could find Youtube videos, this would also be more appealing to my readers.

    I liked the readings for this week, because I didn’t realize how strict the copyright laws were. It kinda freaked me out when I read about how just providing a link to where the photo was from isn’t enough. So far in any photograph I have used, I have just been inserting the link connected to the picture. However, it’s good to know now what I need to do in order to properly use photos.

    One thing I think was interesting was the use of GIFs. I didn’t realize that GIFs could be used for journalism. This was surprising to be because usually GIFs are made from society making fun of the subject. I love using GIFs, so I think we should definitely go over this more in depth in class. I would enjoy learning how to use GIFs, with fact checking, in order to use for journalism.

  5. A visual in a post is what can really grab the readers attention. My blog is about social media, so naturally using apps is a good move for my topic. In my previous posts I have used visuals from Twitter and Instagram. I am personally a big fan of this method since they are interactive. Users reading my post can click of the tweet and see the replies, retweets and even join in on the conversation.

    Another form of visualizations that I try to use is photos. After reading the article on legally using photos, I learned there are more ruled than what I had thought. For instance, I should be crediting the photographer and not the site. But the article all gave good incite on how to find legal photos like Flickr and websites to avoid like Wikimedia.

    Lastly, a form of media that I have not used on my blog but use regularly is GIFs! GIFs are a lot of fun and can bring a sense of lightness to any article, so I’m hoping to start using them more often! And with help from the article, maybe I can make my own!

  6. Cody Nespor says:

    I feel as though I am in a tough position for using photos given my blog topic. Since most, if not all, of what I write about happens online or in a video game I have struggled to conceptualize what kinds of “real” photographs I could use. Thus far I have used mostly screenshots taken of games. The one thing I definitely think I could utilize visually is gifs. In my past couple of blog posts, I have embedded videos from YouTube that are fairly long, around 20 or 30 minutes, but I only made reference to short segments of them. I think I could maybe instead include gifs that show just the parts that I am drawing attention to. I think this would follow along the same lines as using a picture, whereas I would not want to gif something that someone else had made. I feel like that would be akin to taking someone else’s work and cutting it up for my own use. For example, in my post from last week, I embedded a 49 minutes video of a match from a recent Smash Bros tournament. I only wanted to show a clip that was about 10 to 20 second long so I think an alternate option would have been to create a gif of that segment I wanted to show and then just like to the full video. I feel like this would be like making a gif of a baseball game, which I know a lot of publications use when they want to talk about something specific, instead of posting the entire game.

  7. haileyspicer says:

    Using visuals in your posts is very important and draws more attention to the issue at hand. I know when I am reading things on the internet, I am way more intrigued when there is photos or videos involved. I believe it gives readers a better understanding of what the post is actually talking about and allows them to visualize. My blog is about body positivity and most of my posts include plus sized models showing off their bodies or videos of them talking about body shaming. Seeing and listening to these models gives my blog a more emotional appeal, and without the visuals it would not be as intriguing.
    It was interesting reading about how to use photos legally on your blog. I was unaware of all the possible law suits you can get yourself into by incorrectly using images. I definitely gained more knowledge about this topic and will make corrections in my future blog posts when it comes to using photos or videos.

  8. deanmarrazzo says:

    Being that blog is about fashion throughout the sports world; I use photos quite frequently. In order to really do anything on this topic pictures of the outfit and athlete are very important. After reading “How to Use Pictures Legally On Your Blog” I much better understanding on how to do so now.

    One element I feel I could be utilizing more is social media. I currently don’t use all of the social media platforms to find photos but because of the high volume of social media users and large amount of sports/ fashion pages; I think this would be a good place to start when looking for more ways to further my posts.

    I think an interesting addition to my posts would be the use of gifs. There are sporting events around the world, every day and there would certainly be some useful gifs. Using gifs and memes could be a good way to break up the page and add some movement. I rarely use videos, maybe I should incorporate them as well, so my page can seem a bit stagnant at times.

  9. Since my blog discusses the rock music industry, pictures and visuals can contribute a lot to my posts because I think performance is a huge part of rock music. Since performance relies heavily on visuals; GIFs, photos, and video clips can help me describe artists while also providing detail and helping convey my message.

    I haven’t used a GIF in a post yet, although after reading about them I think they could be beneficial to my blog. Also after reading, I now know how to properly credit my visuals, which I’ve been doing incorrectly in my past posts. Something that crossed my mind when considering using a GIF in my next post was how to properly credit it? Or if you even have to?

    I think I could probably incorporate more pictures into my posts as well. I feel like having a picture alongside a video might be beneficial too, because I realize not everyone is going to click and watch a whole video, but you have no choice but to see a picture.

  10. Visuals are essential to blog posts. They help deliver the message of the post to the reader and keep them wanting more. Without visuals, blog posts and social media sights would be extremely boring. My blog is about fashion influence on the world and visuals really help out my posts. I think it is important for the reader to not only read what I have to say, but also visualize it as well.

    Although it is easy to post a visual to your blog post, it is tricky to properly put it in the correct place. The sources that we were to read about visuals helped me understand a little bit more about why they are so crucial and how to properly use them. I have not used a GIF in any of my posts yet, but I am aware of GIFs. They are tricky because most gifts are full of humor. I will work on incorporating GIFs into my next post.

    I love pictures and I think they help tell a story while you use a bit of your imagination. I think that my posts have great visuals, but I will work on placement of the visuals as well as putting more visuals into my posts.

  11. Patrick Downey says:

    I think that using visuals such as pictures, videos, tweets, gifs, etc. is absolutely a must for blog posts. While good writing may be the most important, being able to visualize what the writer is talking about helps paint the picture and get the point across in a more effective way. Especially for my blog, which is about the bad sides of sports and how people react, using visuals can help a lot. For one, anyone reading a story about sports is going to want a picture of either the team or player the author is writing about or a video of them playing the sport. For my blog specifically, a picture of a tweet can be very helpful when talking about a reaction that someone had to whatever story I may be talking about.

    I think it’s important to understand how many visuals you should include in a blog post. I think a post shouldn’t be overflowed with visuals to the point where it distracts the reader from the actual writing. Depending on the length of the post I think anywhere from 3-7 visuals would be appropriate for most blog posts. So far in my blog posts I have been using mostly pictures and tweets. For future posts I am going to try and incorporate more videos and GIFs. Videos and GIFs are usually not as common when looking for a relevant visual to use for a post. However, I am going to do my best to try and find as many as I can.

  12. sadiejanes says:

    I’ve used some visuals in my blog so far and I would like to incorporate more in the future. I’ve mostly used images of the people involved in the stories I’m talking about and screenshots of tweets. I haven’t incorporated any GIFs into my blog. In one of the links about GIFs from mediabistro, it’s stated that one of the most important parts using GIFs in journalism is getting the tone right. I think it would be hard to use a GIF in my blog, since it’s about the #MeToo movement and the tone often needs to be pretty serious. Perhaps I could use GIFs to demonstrate statistics, but the most commonly used GIFs that are used most often online wouldn’t work for my blog. I’d also like to use more videos that explain concepts that are relevant to my blog but might distract from the focus of my story if I included explanations in the text.

    I was unaware of how difficult it is to use photos on a blog. I had no idea that if a photo says “All Rights Reserved,” it means that you simply cannot use it, even with credit. I think I’m going to take full advantage of the free photo websites that allow you to use photos without having to legally give credit, like Pixabay. It also seems to be pretty easy to use photos from Flickr as long as you credit the artist and provide a link. But just Googling the subjects of my blog posts and including the first photos that come up is not best practice, which I’ve learned through this assignment. I’ve been providing links and credit, but I don’t think I’ve been doing it correctly and I haven’t been checking to see if the photos are even available to use. I’ll be much more conscientious about this in the future.

  13. briannaherscher says:

    I think one thing I can incorporate in my blog is gifs. When I use gifs on twitter I’ve found that it usually boosts interaction on my profile whereas if I was just using words. I’ve already incorporated pictures in my blog but if I used popular gifs to connect to my audience. Also their are many hashtagged gifs or videos that I could use to add more of a softer voice to my blog posts rather than just statistics and hard hitting stories.

    One thing that I’ve found hard to do is to incorporate media on my blog. As a lot of videos or pictures you must ask permission or if you obtain access it’s hard to correctly import them on the post. Often times stock photos don’t draw as much of an audience as does a normal photo. It’s also tricky to figure out to incorporate videos that are relevant and with rights obtained and then to incorporate them to where they play on my posts. I’m going to spend more time trying new additions to my posts now.

  14. Visuals in today’s world are really what draw most people in. Someone like me who is not a big reader if I see a visual I can relate to or it interests me I am automatically drawn in and interested to read. My blog is about health and fitness and emphasized on all the issues and new trends that come up in the fitness and health industry. One thing that does concern me is using photos legally, I think in my posts in the past I have been doing it wrong and I really need to make sure I am not using images that someone else owns and end up getting myself in trouble. Moving forward In my posts I will make sure this does not happen. That was very interesting for me to read and I will make sure moving forward this does not happen. I feel as if I gained a lot more knowledge in this area and I now know how serious it is. Before I just thought “oh my blog posts are not that serious” but now I know I shoudk always put out my own content and visuals.

  15. shananelson says:

    Due to the fact that my blog focuses on covering diversity and inclusivity in aspects of media and film, pictures are an absolute must for me to use. I’ve tried incorporating them in my posts since the beginning of the class, and they add much more depth to what I’m writing. To add, I also feel like using pictures is a good way to make you audience actually want to read. If there’s only text and nothing else, I feel like my posts would be incredibly boring.

    While reading these articles, one key thing that I learned more about and plan on using in the future is Flickr. I’ve always known that it’s existed, but I’ve never paid much mind to it until now. I find it really interesting that the pictures posted there are personal ones taken by photographers. To add, I think I’m going to take up the advice of personally contacting the photographers whose pictures I’m using just as a means of making connections. After all, someone who takes pictures of something that pertains to your blog would be very likely to be interested in the actual content of your blog, potentially getting yourself a new reader in the process of making sure you’re in the clear for using a photograph.

    When learning about copyrighted pictures in the same article on Tough Nickel, I was most shocked to find out just how much money other bloggers have been sued for in the past due to using copyrighted photos. Specifically, the account of the copywriter who had to pay $4,000 for a $10 photographed. I read more into that story, and it was crazy to me when I discovered that the whole debacle started over a simple picture of a beach for a client’s tourism blog.

    Overall, images are super important when it comes to posts, even as important as the words we’re writing, but I keep learning more and more about just how much trouble you can end up in if you use one incorrectly. Also, just from a personal standpoint, I feel as if the copyright issue of photography today is only going to get more messy thanks to social media, primarily with apps that are photo-based such as Instagram.

  16. adamjpayne says:

    I try to use photos and pictures for numerous reasons! Usually, it is there to help illustrate why each person or thing is a trend-breakers in their respective sense. Kacey Musgraves wearing rainbow and sequence, the school children making the “Wakanda forever” symbol, and Lizzo’s almost nude album cover were meant to show what set them apart from others in their field. Another reason, like for the Shane Dawson post, was to illustrate a change over time. Then, if not for those reasons, it simply was in order to put a face to a name like in my explainer. The thing that I hadn’t really looked into prior was the legality of using a photo. I didn’t grasp the difference between crediting the photographer and not simply crediting the source, and that was a mistake I have made before. And, although I don’t think I have done it yet, I did think posting something watermarked was totally fair game before.

    As for social media, I think integration is something super interesting that I am looking forward to pursuing sources that aren’t twitter to implement into my upcoming blog posts. I think Instagram really does display a different sub-personality of a person that a Twitter or Facebook put on. And that goes for Snapchat as well.

    I also think that the section about gifs was super thought-provoking because I hadn’t seen ‘academic’ or ‘news’ based gifs such as the ones exemplified in the article. Using gifs to highlight points rather than just as meme-y reactions is something I haven’t really pursued before, but I think it is a really smart and accessible tool disguised as a comedic effect.

  17. Visuals are only of the best parts of blogs. Whether it’s helping to break up the lengthy paragraphs to give readers a small reprieve, or giving supporting evidence to a claim, pictures, videos, gifs and any other visuals are almost a necessity at this point in journalism. I always try to incorporate some kind of visual in my blog posts because just knowing myself, I hate seeing text-only posts and will often click away immediately.

    One of my favorite things we learned about in Media Ethics & Law was copyright law, what’s acceptable to publish and use. Now, I’ve definitely made errors in my own blog, not citing image sources and other transgressions, but I had no idea it wasn’t legal to use images from social sharing sites like Pinterest, as Kate Swanson pointed out in her article. Like I’m sure many others did, I assumed since it lived on a free site, anything was up for grabs.

    I love including tweets in my posts, but one option that never occurred to me was embedding Instagram posts. Since they’re never text-heavy, I never gave it a second thought, but sole-images can be just as powerful, when relevant to the content.

  18. […] not done with images yet! Last week we focused on photo; now we’re going to take a look at graphics. Graphics are ways to visualize data (we’ll focus […]

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