Photocritic can be found in lots of places of the Intergoogles. Did you know that we have a Tumblr, which covers competitions, exhibitions, and publications?
Have you noticed anything a little different about Photocritic recently? Maybe that we're reporting fewer news stories? Or that the front page looks slightly different? Don't worry; you don't have to answer, but trust us when we tell you that things have changed around here. We set out with the intention of making Photocritic a resource of everything that you should know about photography. It even says so up there. If you think that sounds like an enormous undertaking, you wouldn't be wrong. But in addition to the mountainous workload, the scope of 'everything' carries with it the threat of the insignificant drowning out the significant and the ephemera overwhelming the fundamentals. This is of no benefit at all to you, and it's a waste of our time. Hence we've decided to make some changes.
We're diversifying our presence but consolidating our coverage. No, I'm still not sure how I came up with that statement. Too many press releases, probably.
Let's start here, with the Photocritic website. This will be for the everything that makes you a better photographer. And for everything that deserves analysis and commentary within the photography industry. It will be for tutorials and explainers, for reviews and op-eds. This is for long-tail writing.
For the everything that encompasses quirky news stories, exhibition announcements, competition calls for entries, and information about books written by people who aren't us, we've set up Photocritic &c. It's a Tumblr for the sort of everything that won’t necessarily be interesting in six months’ time, but is interesting now. It's more of a rolling news feed.
We've put a link to Photocritic &c in the navigation bar, there's also one in our social bar, you should be able to subscribe via your RSS feed, and if you've a Tumblr account, you can subscribe there.
And of course, there's the Photocritic Twitter account. That covers everything that you should know about photography in 140 characters. (Don't be shy of following Daniela on Twitter, either. She's @SmallAperture.)
We think this is a change for the better: a smoother, less cluttered Photocritic experience. We hope that you think so, too.
Finally, if there's anything specific that you'd like us to cover, please ask us. We have an extensive editorial calendar, but we want to know what you want to read. Do drop us an email.
Here in the UK, you'll hear the BBC referred to as 'Auntie'. There are a few different explanations flying around for the moniker, but the consensus is it derives from the slightly prudish and reserved, 'Auntie knows best' attitude that the corporation had in its early days and well into the 1950s. Now, 'Auntie' is far more a term of endearment, and it can't really be said that the Beeb doesn't innovate. Over the next month the BBC is experimenting with delivering news via Instagram, a venture it's calling 'Instafax', a reference to the late departed text news service, Ceefax. Three times a day it'll post a 15 second video to its BBC News Instagram account.
The videos feature news footage overlaid with text and a music backing. Even if you can't listen, you can still access the salient issues before following through to the full story on the BBC website, or moving on to the next image in your Instagram feed. I've noticed some commenters have found the text a distraction from the footage and would prefer a more news-dense voice-over. I'm going to whisper this because it probably makes me some kind of new media pariah, but I'm not a fan of video content as I find it instrusive. The Instafax hybrid seems to be compromise and one that I like. As BBC person put it:
The idea behind not having a voiceover is that you don't have to have the sound on to understand the video. Additionally, it significantly cuts down on the amount of time the videos take to produce. If we decide to continue producing these after one month, we may consider having both a voiceover and on-screen text.
Why three videos a day? No one wants a feed overwhelmed with BBC news stories.
Doubtless someone, somewhere will be lamenting the demise of longform journalism and decrying the dumbing down of the news, but I'm rather impressed by the BBC's diversification and willingness to embrace social media. It's a pilot that I'd like to see taken up. You can keep up to date by following the BBC's Instagram feed.
(Headsup to DesignTaxi)