Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Japanese Alps and Creating Order with Circles

Musings: Creating Order with Circles
I've been using Google+ for a while now and so far I'm enjoying it. I really don't mind if all of my friends wouldn't join this service because I'm more interested in interacting with other fellow photographers who share the same passions as I do. Recently however, as the invitations are now accessible 24/7, I've been having a hard time managing all the Photographer contacts that I follow and those who have added me. So I've been developing system that is still in its evolutionary stage. It is no way final and I'm still thinking of ways to improve it.

So here is the system
0. Setup
I've segregated all the photographers and enthusiasts into 4 circles.

The Best - obviously contains all the best photographers out there like Trey Ratcliff and Thomas Hawk. I don't visit this circle much often because I'm already an avid fan of their blogs and most of the stuff they post here I have already scene from other social media sites.

Awesome - These guys are of great skill, maybe equal, and sometimes even more than the guys and gals at The Best circle. However, these Photographers here are not as famous as the circle above them. This is my main inspirational corner whenever I go online on G+.

Notable - These people are regular Joes of photography. They post nice pictures but not as great as the other two circles above. I put people here if they post regular pictures and have commented or +1'ed any of my photos.

Friendly - These people are not photographers but they are friendly enough to +1 or comment on any of my photos.

1. Post an Image
My system starts whenever I share an image to the public.

2. Circle Active Users
I add all the people who +1'ed or commented on my posts to my Friendly circle. For now, this is my way of tracking active users in Google+.

3. Reciprocate with the Friendly People
I then proceed to my Friendly circle stream and start the reciprocating process. If I find a fellow photographer who just blows my mind away with his photography, I promote him/her to my Awesome circle. If I find someone who is a photographer but I don't find his/her work as compelling as those in the Awesome circle, I just promote them to the Notable circle. The rest, I just comment and +1 if I find their post interesting enough.

4. Engage with the Notables
I check the Notable circle stream and again start commenting and +1'ing images and posts that I like. I sometimes promote people to the Awesome circle if I suddenly find their images are amazing. Conversely, if they post more bitch slapping GIFs than their actual work then I demote them back to the Friendly circle.

5. Find Inspiration from the Awesome
Finally, I visit the Awesome circle where again I comment and +1 on the images and posts I like. I also promote or demote some of the photographers depending on the quality of their posts. This is the stream where I engage the most because the quality of images here are pretty high and remarkable.

I repeat this process whenever I'm online. For now, the task is a little tedious and it needs some refinement so I could reciprocate faster and easier. 

Bonus step:
6. Search for Talent in the Vault
The Vault is the my collection of people I've added from Trey's list and the people who added me. After I finish steps 1-5, and I'm still hooked with G+, I try to search some talent from The Vault and promote them to their appropriate circles. This way, when I go back G+ and start my system again, I could see their stuff and show my appreciation for their work.

So, how do you manage your Photographer contacts in G+?  Do share and we might find a better way to organize!

Photos: The Japanese Alps
Whew! That was a long post. I usually don't write that long. I just hope your eyes made it to this section before it was swept away by boredom.

Kurobe Alpine Route is a good place for landscape photographers. The view of the mountains are breathtaking. I wish I had more time to stay and to keep on shooting but I was in a tour group so my time was limited. The weather was also pretty bad. A minute after taking the shots below the mountains suddenly disappeared behind the thick clouds and would not reappear for quite some time. By the time it clears, the tour group had to move to a different location so I already lucky enough to catch it.

The Japanese Alps

Vanishing Mountains

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