FOAP is a new way to get paid for your photos

Friend and colleague Bob Manley let me know about FOAP, a web service that is building a market for photographers to sell their local, real-live photos to companies looking for stock photography.



The idea seems interesting; take a photo, achieve a minimum score of community votes, then its eligible for sale in the marketplace. You get $5 out of the $10 selling price.

Their website also has a good summary of Commercial vs Editorial license rules concerning people’s faces.


Multiple Authors with WordPress

You can easily add new authorized users (authors, contributors, admins) via the Dashboard.

Inviting Contributors, Followers, and Viewers

As for adding more than author to a post, see here for a plugin that can do this:

And, this article has a more complete list and guidelines for multiple authors in general:

10+ Must have Plugins if You have Multiple Authors in WordPress

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Also, it is imperative that your WP blog be current and have all updates installed.
Plus there are several plugins that are important to detect malware that might have crept in during time periods when older WP versions had vulnerabilities (since patched with v 3.4.2).

Comment philosophy on Tumblr

From an interview with David Karp, founder of the Tumblr blog network, I want to highlight a concept where design shapes behavior:

Karp’s thinking about the comments section, which is generally assumed to be a core blog feature, helps illustrate his broader ideas about how design shapes behavior online. Typically, a YouTube video or blog post or article on a newspaper’s site is the dominant object, with comments strewed below it, buried like so much garbage. Thus many commenters feel they must scream to be noticed, and do so in all caps, profanely and with maximum hyperbole. This, Karp argues, brings out the worst in people, so Tumblr’s design does not include a comments section.

How, then, to encourage feedback while discouraging drive-by hecklers who make you never want to post again? First, Karp notes, you can comment on someone else’s post, by reblogging it and adding your reaction. But that reaction appears on your Tumblr, not the one you’re commenting on. “So if you’re going to be a jerk, you’re looking like a jerk in your own space, and my space is still pristine,” Karp explains. This makes for a thoughtful network and encourages expression and, ultimately, creativity. “That’s how you can design to make a community more positive.”

While the imagined rationale for commenters acting poorly because they can’t be noticed easily is a weak cause-and-effect, I find the design response innovative and appealing:

Your readers’ comments are shown on their blog, not yours, thus keeping your blog more positive.

Instead of closing the achievement gap, computers are widening the time-wasting gap

Modern digital time wasting has been studied extensively this past year… and the results are in: the “digital divide” between haves and have-nots has been closed, but people are using their new tools to waste more time.

“Despite the educational potential of computers, the reality is that their use for education or meaningful content creation is minuscule compared to their use for pure entertainment,” said Vicky Rideout, author of the decade-long Kaiser study. “Instead of closing the achievement gap, they’re widening the time-wasting gap.”

Danah Boyd, a researcher of digital culture, wrote:

“Access is not a panacea.” said Danah Boyd, a senior researcher at Microsoft. “Not only does it not solve problems, it mirrors and magnifies existing problems we’ve been ignoring.”

Like other researchers and policy makers, Ms. Boyd said the initial push to close the digital divide did not anticipate how computers would be used for entertainment.

“We failed to account for this ahead of the curve,” she said.

A study published in 2010 by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that children and teenagers whose parents do not have a college degree spent 90 minutes more per day exposed to media than children from higher socioeconomic families. In 1999, the difference was just 16 minutes.

Article source:


Informate versus Automate: Customer service hangs in the balance had an insightful article by Zeynep Tufekci about how software automation (using artificial intelligence via software algorithms) is risky and bad for customer service.

In the article Ms. Tufekci describes the employee-to-customer ratios at the largest web companies:

A similar dynamic dominates policies of social networking platforms—and you only need to look at the employee/user numbers to understand that it could not be any other way. Facebook has about 2,000 employees to 750 million users; Twitter 600 employees to about 100 million users. That’s only three human employees per million users for Facebook and about six for Twitter. Google is larger, with about 30,000 employees, but an enormous portion of the 2 billion netizens use many of its services every day. It probably has about 50,000 users per employee, but for a broader range of services.

With such ratios, the business model becomes to push work onto the user—for example, have the users flag/report what they consider inappropriate content—and then automate the rest.

This explains in part why it is frustrating to use Google’s free products when something breaks down: there is literally no one to help you! You must service yourself by combing through support forum posts and hopefully lucking upon a clear solution (or at least unresolved explanation).

Facebook Timeline debuts. Social Overload.

TechCrunch’s MG Siegler wrote something this week that gave me pause:

With the new Open Graph, you’re sharing stuff as you do it. You don’t have to think about it. You’re listening to music on Spotify and it’s being shared with your friends automatically in the Facebook Ticker. The only button you hit is “play”.

There’s one massive problem in the social space: everyone is competing for the same user time. But most services compete by piling on features that erode that time even quicker. They’re offering up services that if I use, it means I’ll have even less time to actually enjoy life. That’s not a sustainable model. Being “social” online has become far too much work.

Facebook has clearly been thinking about this problem. And now they have a way to tap the power of social without thinking about it. That’s the future of the space. It’s not about needing a share button. It’s about not needing a share button.

Given that none of us complain about having too much time on our hands, the investment we make into our social networks (twitter, facebook, grapemojo, orkut, flickr, netflix, and any other forum through which we share ourselves) can feel like it robs us of actually living “real life” outside, offline, away from the computer, with humans in the flesh. (Think about when you last said, “I had a great night out on Facebook last night.”)

Sure, we get satisfaction from posting, sharing, creating and commenting — but anything that reduces the time it takes to do this will be much appreciated.


App Developers Beware Patent Trolls

Just developing… read this great post from an IP lawyer/activist, Florian Mueller. To quote his article:

FOSS Patents

The Lodsys situation is getting out of control, and I think each affected app developer should now look for an exit strategy. In this blog post I describe the way I would go about. After an update on the Lodsys situation, I’ll outline the short version of my suggested course of action. Thereafter, I go into detail on its various parts.

iOS and Android (and cross-platform) app developers receive letters and phone calls, take down apps and remove features

About two months ago, Lodsys started sending out patent assertion letters to iOS app developers. More than one month ago, Lodsys sued seven app developers in Texas — mostly over iOS apps but also one Android app.

And he links to the EFF’s site to a post in 2010 about Apple’s program:

UPDATED: All Your Apps Are Belong to Apple: The iPhone Developer Program License Agreement

  • Ban on Public Statements
  • App Store Only
  • Ban on Reverse Engineering
  • No Tinkering with Any Apple Products
  • Kill Your App Any Time
  • We Never Owe You More than Fifty Bucks