From connecting dots to connecting pixels.
A long time ago (at least by Internet standards), blogging was The Thing. People delighted in crafting their stories, memories and experiences. And many still do. Back then, there was no Twitter. Facebook was a baby face and Tumblr was a twinkle in someone's eye. I was inspired by what people said, the way they said it and the way they made me feel.
I spent a period connecting dots, linking thoughts across blog posts. I was a soldier of serendipity. The facilitator of the blog community. I delighted in showcasing others and as my blog says at the top, connecting dots in the blogosphere (do they still call it that anymore?). I was convinced there were gems in many blogs but they were unheralded like diamonds waiting to be discovered.
But every week got tougher, because people seldom have gems every week and often what was beautiful and original became rhetoric. I had to cast my net wider and wider until, the time it took to connect several dots felt like a chore, a laborious task I had to undertake every Sunday morning.
I often wonder if real, original content has kept pace with the Internet or has technology just enabled us to create more junk more quickly. And if someone is good, we simply retweet, reblog, repin or re-whatever to death.
I'm convinced curation is the new blogging. Because it is easier to repurpose than to recreate. And I for one am also guilty of that. Picture Flow runs 24/7 on my desktop. I glance at it dozens of times a day waiting for a new photo from 500px or Flickr to inspire. Interestingly though, what inspires me is seldom a single picture but the combination of images that randomly appears. Often it feels like there is some hidden curator, orchestrating the collage of photos just for my viewing pleasure. But I know better, since I wrote the code. It is entirely random.
Often, I would stop the display and hastily send the collage of common colors or objects to friends with the message, 'look what I found'...or more correctly look what Picture Flow produced. Of course, what it has really done is provided a platform of discovery. "Don't like this photo, wait a few seconds and I'll show you another", the app will say. And like television, there lies the addiction, the fact that everytime you look, there is something new and wait long enough, there will be something to delight.
I realized over the weekend, that rather than share my discovery with just my friends, I should indeed share it with the world. Just as I did with blogs but instead of sharing and promoting words, I now passionately and excitedly share photos. I resolved that every day, I would post my favorite collages on our Picture Flow website.
In spirit of sharing, I have kept the collages small, so each photo inside the collage is thumbnail size. The aim is not to disseminate the photos but to provide a treat, a tasty morsel, enticing you to explore more from the photographer at the source. I hope they see it the way it is intended, a celebration of great photographers with passionate eyes and consummate skills.
And so I have moved on from connecting dots to connecting pixels. Themes, colors, hues, moods and anything that simply makes me stop and gasp at the beauty people have shared with us through their photos.
Picture Flow has become my serendipity.