Copyright © Carl Hartt. All rights reserved.

CARL HARTT

PHOTOGRAPHY

FINE ART    

May 2017 -

Social Networks

Time Spent on:

 Hours   Spent

  Social    
  Web/  Blog
Photography
1-5
45%
50%
40%
6-10
30
10
20
11-20
20
0
10
+21
0
0
10
none
5
40
10


April 2017 -

Watermarks

Most of the books I read about creating a photographer’s website have stated the importance of social networks, especially Google+ and its essential role in SEO.  The results from my survey show that Facebook is used the most as the social network of choice at 85%, whereas no one uses Google+ as their “network” of choice.  This really goes against book theory compared to actual practice.  However, the “no” results of Google+ in this survey could be due to a lower survey placement bias due to me belonging to fewer Google+ groups. 

As good of a search engine that Google Search is, I am personally not impressed with Google+ compared to Facebook for social networking and group affiliations.

                                             Which social network is used most (pick one)
                                                           85% Facebook
                                                           15% others (I combined results of Instagram, Twitter, other)
                                                              0% Google+, LinkedIn


The table below shows the percentages of hours spent per week for being on social networks like Facebook or Google+, updating ones website or blog, and time spent on photography, whether shooting or processing.           

April 2017 -

Intro to Survey

I recently got online - both with my own website and on social network sites.  I spent some time researching “best practices” by reading several books and blogs about creating an online presence through one’s website, blogs, and social networks.   However, these author’s “best practices” seemed like a lot of work that requires too much time.  I wanted to spend my time on photography, not wasted online.  Therefore, I wanted to know what other real photographers are doing in this space, not just theory.   I wanted to know if I was spending too much time or too little time on Facebook or Google+, and how or what I should be doing there.  Thus, I created a short 9 question survey that I placed in several Facebook and Google+ pages.   

This survey has been out for a month.  Rather disappointingly, I have only received 25 responses so far.  This number is rather low to make an accurate assessment, and the placement of the survey was biased to only those social network groups that I am interested in.  That is, it was not shared on Facebook wedding photographer groups, or Google+ baby photographers groups, or seniors, or commercial, or fashion, or food, or sports groups,  etc.  Instead, this survey was placed on my Facebook and Google+ pages, and my special interest groups of: large format, black & white, film, WI fine art photographers, and a variety of others.  Some groups removed my survey post as being “not allowed according to the group rules.”  Keep in mind, that one can limit “Friend” update notices, so not everyone in “my group” may have received the request to compete this survey.  Therefore, these survey results may not be representative to all types of photography or pertinent to all photographers.  But, it has helped guide me in my online venture.  I hope it helps a few others too.

Because the number of respondents was so low, the percentages are generally rounded to the nearest 5 for easier comprehension.

Concern about image “theft”
                32% not at all
                32% somewhat
                28% rather concerned
                Only 8% Very concerned

Oddly, 5% (2 people) of respondents said they do not spend time online browsing or posting on social networks, yet they were online answering my survey (on Facebook or Google+ or maybe my website)!  Not sure what exactly this means.

On a positive note, nobody spent over 20 hours a week on social networking.   Same thing with updating one’s website or blog.

Also rather oddly, 10% of respondents stated that they do not spend any time shooting or processing their photography. Either these people have a lot of images in their archives, or they are simply interested in photography but do not practice it (for example curators or students).

If one looks at the table horizontally instead of vertically, then one can state that roughly half of the respondents spend between 3-15 hours per week on photography related “work” – whether shooting or marketing via social networking or building one’s website.

Related to the number of hours spent on social networks, are the number of special interest groups followed in Facebook or Google+ or other social networks.

When I first became “social”, I requested to be a member of many social network groups.  I became a member of several similar groups, as well as many different types of groups.  I wanted to see which groups I wanted to truly follow.  The results below helped me to justify to remove myself from many of the redundant groups – I was trying to follow way too many groups. 

The “no group” followed could be simply someone answering my survey directly from my Facebook or Google+ page or website.

                                                         40% respondents follow 1- 5 groups
                                                         25% follow 6-10 groups
                                                         15% follow 11-15 groups
                                                           5% follow 16-20 groups
                                                           5%   follow +21 groups
                                                         10% no group


The last item discussed in this survey is where one spends their time on social networks.  That is, excluding the quick “Likes” or +1, where does one post more of – on one’s own Facebook page or other’s pages, for example friends or specialty “group” pages.  70% of respondent stated they post more on their own “page”.

Recently I came across several discussions around the usage of watermarks.  Initially I did not use them, but I quickly went back and added them to my images that I post online, along with reducing the resolutions even lower.  Some FB (Facebook) groups have had huge discussions, and fights, over the usage – protection vs annoying/distracting.  The bulk of photographers (70%) in this survey do not use watermarks but they use low / medium resolutions (85%).  Regardless, I will still use watermarks.  Partly for copyright protection (whatever good that they may really do), but mostly if my photograph gets shared online it will at least be tagged with my © and website URL.

Considering that few use watermarks online, I am not surprised that 32% were not concerned at all of “theft” of their images.  Though I am surprised that 32% are not concerned about possible online theft.