Instawhoops

WIRED relates that Instagram has decided to remove a controversial piece of their new terms of service (TOS) announced yesterday:

Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf.

You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such.

This did not sit well with, well, anyone. The internet went nuts as users and the media railed against the new ad-centric, privacy-crushing policy. Some went so far as to delete their accounts and move to other photo-sharing services. Instagram reacted Tuesday afternoon with a blog post clarifying its position and promising to amend the offending section of the TOS.

“It was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation,” company co-founder Kevin Systrom wrote in the post. “This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing.”

Yeah. You can read on to see what Instagram “meant” to say and also see what the NYT adds. Definitely check out Forbes’ take on Flickr reaping rewards from the snafu.

I use Instagram (yes, those are my photos) and post all of my photos on Flickr with a Creative Commons license, so I’m probably more comfortable than most with my photos being used for purposes other that being my photos. I can’t help but believe that Facebook (who owns Instagram) was testing the waters to see what’s possible without risking their core brand.

I would be shocked if Facebook didn’t come out with similar policies in the years to come. I don’t know what I’d do, but I certainly agree with Peter Shankman’s advice about posting things to social media sites.

Standing on the shore

One of the peculiar & cool features of WordPress blogs is that they are strewn across the vast shore of blogs that is WordPress.com.

WordPress uses categories and/or tags to taxonomically link between posts that have similar content. The common tags like art or news or photography have become fairly polished online magazines. Less used tags like wine or Michigan are more like little eddies around which similar content flows.

In either case, it means that people you’ve never met drop by to read things, and you have a chance to do the same. Here’s something I found from Aaron Leaman titled Documented Elements that I liked.

Graveyard Shift

The Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanAs you may be aware, Neil Gaiman is my favorite writer. In addition to the fact that he can spin a tale like nobody I know, he also seems to be testing the bounds of the process of storytelling with his unabashed use of blogs, video and other web tech. On his wondrously weird website Mouse Circus, he is posting videos of his 9-city video tour (Oct 1-9). At each stop, he reads one chapter from his new work The Graveyard Book.

Check out Neil reading of The Graveyard Book. If you haven’t read one of his books, might I recommend fixing that with this.

The photo is Untitled by Jenny Murray, who says that while it wouldn’t normally occur to her, she thinks that this photo should be viewed on black. She’s a serial violater of Rule #6, so watch your step.

Dive into her Flickriver because she’s one of the best. Word.

Political/Remix

The ties that bind:

  1. Google for “google calendar palm pilot“.
  2. See that the writer is a Michigan resident.
  3. Find “Iraq Withdrawal Date: 12,800” (by Election08 and the Public Service Administration) in one of his posts where he wrote:

Lessig points out, this isthe beauty of political remix

Last week I read A feature in Wired that after some who-said-what video about McCain staff apparently violating 527 group rules explained that:

The video footage came courtesy of the Democratic National Committee, which late last year launched a project called FlipperTV. The project collects amateur video footage from campaign events as they unfold and makes it available to everyone on the internet to browse through and to edit for themselves.

The idea, according to the DNC at the time, was to “allow activists and voters to download video to their computers, edit it to create new user-generated video, and judge the candidates’ flip-flips and exaggerations for themselves.”

…David All, a Republican Web 2.0 media and communications consultant in Washington, DC, says that he first blogged about the idea of crowdsourcing online video footage long before the DNC launched its FlipperTV project …”It’s a common-sense crowdsourcing idea,” All said of the FlipperTV project. “It’s simple stuff you’d do on a modern campaign to contrast a candidate’s positions.”

How cool! Both major political parties working to create viral propaganda machines and even working with groups that exist solely to support or attack candidates. It’s like war, only on TV and the internet.

The 2008 elections are going to be something to watch, that’s for sure.

Database Massage, Jill Sobule, and Neil Young

Jill Sobule, photo by binkmeisterrick

“Why does flickr go down so much?” I wondered to The Google. None less than net luminary Tim O’Reilly answered my call with a database war story that revealed the tip of the brobdingnagian iceberg that lies under shiny-smooth, folksonomical web apps like flickr and YouTube that sort and sift stuff according what many people say about it.

A link on the right led to A rare post about the music industry that isn’t depressing that told me about Jill Sobule and Jill’s Next Record. She’s funding it through fan patronage, something I’ve been hearing more and more of lately. Her levels of support are pretty funny so I clicked off to jillsobule.com to learn more about her.

On her blog was a post titled Web Surfing, Roger Clemens, and Judy Garland where she mapped out the circuitous turnings that attention can take. Somewhere in between reading what she had to say and listening to her music, I found a link to Cinnamon Girl: Women Artists Cover Neil Young, which I of course bought.

The photo is Jill Sobule by binkmeisterrick who writes:

While waiting early for the show to start, Jill and her road manager (?)pulled up in a van and came in through the front door. She let me take her picture (bless her heart, I think she had just woken up) and noticed the Holga. “Aren’t they fun?” she said. She didn’t think the flash on the flash models did much, though.

Shortly after taking this picture, the back popped off the Holga. Can you tell? I was so worried that the only two pictures I cared about on this roll were lost. As luck would have it, she and Billy were the only two that really came out.

He says he’s fascinated by photography, particularly black & white.

One ADAM-12, we have an origins episode in progress, over

ADAM-12

Lifehacker – which seems to have the goal of increasing productivity so that they can then destroy it
with links like this, has a post about OPENhulu:

You may have already heard of Hulu, a closed beta, on-demand TV service from NBC Universal and News Corp. designed to stream the latest new shows from NBC, Fox, Bravo, Sci Fi, and more YouTube-style. But you may not have heard of OpenHulu, a Hulu clone that’s attempting to embed every video from Hulu (which is part of how Hulu is designed to work) so you don’t need an invitation to Hulu to enjoy the free, on-demand TV.

You can go watch Adam-12 – Log 1: The Impossible Mission or find a bunch more shows at OPENhulu.

I have to thank The Real Ferg for the photo processing idea.