Pre-Post Note: I'm Back! Sadly, 10 days off tends to make work pile up so I probably won't have much time to blog until the weekend though. Right now I'm running myself ragged.
Luckily, fate provided a stop gap in the form of this post. Overall, I was pretty proud of my "home-grown-written-in-10-minutes" windows script that automatically put up posts while I was on vacation. But for some reason this one just didn't make it (while all the others did). I don't know why but given how busy I've been trying to catch up with things I can't help but see it as fortuitous.
So without further ado I give you one last pre-packaged post...
This post filled me with such joy that I literally couldn't keep the smile off my face. Here's the quote...
When I started to post my pictures from Myanmar on Flickr in February 2006, I just thought it was a good way of storing my photos at a cheap price. But then I received one comment, two, three… and people even favorited my pics. Mon dieu, there’s someone somewhere who looks at my photos and takes time to leave some messages!
A French editor saw my photos and asked me if I was OK making a book. (No problemo!) My book was released this Christmas and was number 10 on Amazon.fr last week! Lonely Planet, National Geographic Russia, Get Lost, UNESCO Magazine, etc. bought my pictures thru Flickr. And then, the leading French photography agency Eyedea (Rapho, HoaQI, Gamma) contacted me and signed me few weeks ago!
A lot of the time I think the Internet is just no good. It amplifies the idiots, drowns out the voices of reason and has largely spawned a society based in narcissism.
But then I see a post like this and my faith is restored. It reminds me that, while the Internet may do a lot of bad, it also does a lot of good. It allows talent to get attention without having to jump through hoops designed to keep it from that attention.
That is a really big deal.
The establishment in any industry doesn't like change. If you have something that's successful you tend to stick with it even after its success starts to wane because you don't want to deal with the change. But in doing that you stand in the way of a natural cycle of renewal. You end up putting barriers in front of up-and-coming talent to prop up the fading established talent.
That's part of what's wrong in many industries.
Don't get me wrong, the up-and-comer who is truly talented will eventually succeeded. But not before spending a lot of time and energy on fighting their way through a pointless series of obstacles. A fight that tends to diminish their output once they get through it.
The Internet on the other hand creates as close to an open talent economy as we'll probably ever see. New talent need only put themselves out there and frequent "virtual places" such as message boards to get their work seen. By doing that they circumvent the establishment all together and can even develop their own audience.
More to the point, since the Internet has most industries scared into a tizzy the establishment is more likely to cut new comers a break rather than compete against them. That means more enjoying new talent for all of us and that's a great thing.