Telling mankind’s story through photos

I was just reading a paper titled The Narrative of Digital Photos: Time and Technology by my friend David Hoffman. The paper discusses, among other things, the importance of organizing the recent and growing flood of digital photos.

How do we organize the 1500 photos that are being snapped each second around the world? And why is it important that we do?

I love pictures. Since I was a little kid with a 110 camera I have been snapping like crazy. Anytime I had the chance I was taking a picture. I did (and do) this because I fear forgetting the past. The fun times, the lessons I have learned, the events I have attended, the people I knew, list goes on. It’s the same reason I began blogging. With each new roll, I was adding to the collection of photos in my bottom drawer back home and, unknowingly, forming my organization style: linear, chronological. This style has continued with my digital collection. Picasa does it nicely. So does Radar.

Pictures can tell the story of the world. To me, a great organization system/software would arrange images based on their time of creation and could show what was happening in the world at any moment in the past. It would be even better if you could know where on the planet each picture was taken from. Google, where you at on this one?

A problem. Let’s take me for example: I look at my collection of photos fairly often, it’s like studying, the more times I look at my pictures the better I can recall them in my mind and the better I can recall the event they are associated with. Here is the problem. What about the other events, ones that may have been more important or had a greater impact on my life. If I forgot my camera that day, are they are lost forever? As I place greater importance on my narrative photo collection and as time drives memories into the distance, I feel like they are.

On a lager scale, as David puts it:

…despite the startling excitement associated with telling mankind’s story though thousands of photos linked and chronologically detailed, the possibility for a reliance on photos to define the visualization of time could negatively distort our perception of time. The impact of a photo depends on the photograph itself as much as it depends on the person viewing the photo. If the photo, or if thousands of photos, are subjectively placed in the wrong light, the results could be an inaccurate or incomplete depiction of the human timeline.

This is why I love radar, and cameraphones. My phone is something I always keep with me. Because it has a camera, I will always have that too. Because I have internet access on my phone, I can send the photos I take directly to my collection. And, with radar I can share them and receive comments – if I choose to.

Bootstrap Bootcamp

Friday the 19th I attended Bootstrap Bootcamp, hosted by Bijoy Goswami. It was a very interesting seminar. About 40 Austin locals showed up all in various stages (ideation, valley of death, growth) of development with their ideas and/or companies. Though the theme was “bootstrap” there was a philosophical emphasis too. If you are going to be starting a company and running it by the skin of your teeth you better know yourself; more specifically your weaknesses.

In Bijoy’s book, The Human Fabric, he, like many other self-help, self-improvement, self-discovery books, classifies people based on their “core energy.” We did a few exercises to help us figure out what energy defines each of us. Below is a triangle I drew at the event to represent my core energy distribution:

My Triangle

36% Maven, 34% Relater, 30% Evangelist

Via the exercises and talking to people at my table, I discovered the concentration of my “core energy” did not lie in the evangelist/relater corner, where I would have instinctively placed myself, but in maven/relater. This said, just as I have scored on the Myers-Briggs, my variances from the median are slight. I think that means I’m well-rounded.

Another cool exercise we did was creating a mind map of concepts that define our passions. Here’s mine:

My Cloud

Texas Creative – Update, I’m in!

The application for the Texas Creative sequence was due today. After having a week to think about the prompt. I had soo many concepts (below).

Background: the purpose of the creative application is to let the texas creative faculty see your ideas and evaluate your potential for our program. the program consists of three to four semesters in portfolio classes, beginning with ADV 343K (portfolio I) and moving through ADV468K (portfolio II) and ADV 468L (portfolio III). we also offer a couple of focused seminars. each step in the program has a high attrition rate, which means you advance only if you create excellent work in the preceding class. the competition is fierce, as is the pressure to produce outstanding work for a nationally recognized creative program. our goal is to graduate people with advanced portfolios who are advertising smart in copywriting and art direction. these will be the people who find jobs at the best agencies in the world. this is an assignment. you need to provide an answer to our question:

well, where does it hurt?

Continue reading Texas Creative – Update, I’m in!

Ethics, Value, and Interdependence

I have been corresponding today with David C. James – a participant, like myself, in the upcoming Bootstrap Bootcamp. His email introduction caught my attention because of his reference to creating a business that will “bring profit to its owners, benefit society, and behave ethically and responsibly.” Whoa, that is what I’m all about. Here is some more of our conversation:


I believe that there is lots of room for corporate responsibility these days. I believe that business people should stand up for their values — and realize that not all “profit opportunities” are really unlocking value for customers.

The argument “the customer bought it, so it must be valuable to them” doesn’t do much for me. Companies that want to succeed should be ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding what people truly want — and what they will truly value.

One good example would be the automotive industry. Which ones are innovating, so that when gas hits $5/gallon, we have alternatives to gas guzzlers? Which ones aren’t? I think ethics and long-term profitability go hand in hand.


Indeed, providing measurable value from your product/service is something all companies should strive to do. If you have the resources and power to, for instance, create a more efficient vehicle… that really is the Tell of a great business. Not to mention that the production of such a vehicle would be mutually beneficial to both consumers and the company’s pocketbook. To me it runs the same lines of creating a life of value.

I feel the most value when I can be the puzzle piece to help someone succeed or reach their goal, therefore creating value in their life. Take me for example, I hope to succeed in my life and I will always work my hardest, but I know I cannot do it alone. I believe in coexistence and interdependence.

I just noticed this in David’s initial email, don’t remember reading it the first time:

For me, at least, nothing is as exciting as building something innovative. Of course, nothing really happens by yourself — you need a community and support. That’s why I’m excited about meeting other people here at Bootstrap.


ajaxI really want this book, just read the description:”Sick of creating web sites that reload every time a user moves the mouse? Tired of servers that wait around to respond to users’ requests for movie tickets? It sounds like you need a little (or maybe a lot of) Ajax in your life. Asynchronous programming lets you turn your own websites into smooth, slick, responsive applications that make your users feel like they’re back on the information superhighway, not stuck on a dial-up backroad.”

Ahh, I’m in love.