"The Putter"

The Putter is a delightful short film by Shaun Bloodworth showcasing the work of Cliff Denton. Denton is a putter, or more fully, a putter togetherer — a man who puts together scissors by hand. Everything plays well in this film, from the light on the silver in these delicate close-ups to the mesmerizing music courtesy of The Black Dog. Take four minutes and learn something, then go buy a pair of these things from Ernest Wright & Son for about $68. 

Facebook, Trust, and Ethics

Alex Wilhelm:

The average Facebook user has something akin to an unwritten social contract with the company: I use your product, and you serve ads against the data I’ve shared. Implicit to that is expected polite behavior, the idea that Facebook won’t abuse your data, or your trust. In this case, Facebook did both, using a user’s social graph against them, with intent to cause emotional duress.

This story keeps getting better and better. The real trick here is that Facebook did, in fact, have permission to do this. Explicit permission, in fact, which we all agreed to in the 10,000-word license agreement we all signed to use the service. That we didn't read it is on us, the users. 

But that a license agreement we may have signed years ago grants permission for psychological manipulation flies in the face of ethical informed consent. It's legal, it's just not right.


Sophie's Eye and the Olloclip 4-in-1

This is the first year in about the last ten that I haven't brought my complete camera rig to our annual Chautauqua pilgrimage. It was sad to leave it at home — I'm a touch awash without it — but I've been working straight for weeks and I'm tired of the weight. So, I decided that I would write it off with the excuse that I would be shooting exclusively with my iPhone 5s and see just how far I can go with my pocket camera. 

Lots to report on that front, which I'll certainly do at some length later. For now, I have to sing the praises of the OlloClip 4-in-1 lens. The photo at right was taken with the 15x macro attachment with the iPhone, handheld, of a sputtering and hungry 12-year-old and, in spite of a few focus issues, I'm in love.

So, the four lenses. When you buy the attachment, you have a wide angle (roughly double the iPhone's field of view) and a fish-eye (180˚ with appropriate bubble view) screwed into either side of the black slide-on attachment. Unscrew these lenses and built into the attachment itself is the 10x and 15x macro lens. It really is an elegant solution to a challenge otherwise solvable only by way of software. The Olloclip lets you get back to the truth of the glass, and some really cool images as a result. 

I'll be posting more throughout the week as I try to shoot a piece of Chautauqua that I haven't shot before. More on the way!

Click to enlarge

Niche Networks for Professionals

With the growth of Facebook it's practically axiomatic that starting a new social network is akin to a start-up aspirin. And so, we guide most clients interested in cultivating a network around their audience to leverage the existing dominant tools and networks to do so. LinkedIn and Facebook have their warts, but if your objective is straight audience share, it's a lot more work to build your own when your audience is likely fed up with too many login-itis. 

But that's not to say that there isn't a case to be made otherwise. This piece over at Techcrunch offers a brief rundown of a few pro-level networks whose audience is not well served by the big players. 

But there’s an area where signs are emerging of “different networks for different types of people”: professional networking. We’ll start with the obvious. LinkedIn is the dominant professional social network. It has become the system of record for the online resume for many professionals. And the growth of LinkedIn as a blogging platform shouldn’t be underestimated.