Friday, May 28, 2010

Blogspot Banter: Running From Camera

One of the main things we wanted to accomplish when starting this blog was an un-paralleled communal vibe that anybody who stumbles upon our tiny part of the blogosphere could feel radiate off their computer screen whenever you manage to find yourself on our page. We do the best we can to always respond to anybody who is nice enough to leave a comment in the comments section, and if you haven't noticed by now, we always urge you wonderful readers to voice any and all opinions when applicable or possible. It's part of the fun. The No. 1 reason why we do what we do is because it's fun.

As part of that vibe, we wanted to reach out to other, much more popular Blogspot bloggers - who, we'd like to add, have been doing this far longer than us and are way, way better at the whole blog thing than we are, considering the enormous amount of edge they have in experience, if nothing else - to ask them how they have begun and maintained popular blogs through Blogspot. In addition, we wanted to get a feel for how to stand out in the crowded world that is called the Internet above the zillions of other people who take a shot at having a successful blog. And with that said, the notion of "success" when it comes to the blogosphere, we've found, has become entirely relative to whomever sits behind the computer. Is it hits? Is it comments? Is it advertising revenue? Is it the simple notion that your thoughts are being broadcasted throughout the entire world to see?

Nobody knows, but that's the fun, really. These Q&A's are designed to help get a glimpse into the complicated and extensive world of blogging. Why? Because we love you. Expect one of these on the last Friday of each month - a good way to go into the weekend, and a good way to get ready for, well, a new start with a new month ahead. Consider it a present for all the hard work you've done, reading our ramblings as much as you do.

First up is the individual behind a blog called "Running From Camera." Blogspot recently named it a "Blog of Note," and, as you will read below, the blog was also featured on The 9 over where the big boys play at Yahoo. The premise of the page is easy. As it says at the top of blog's page - The rules are simple: I put the self-timer on 2 seconds, push the button and try to get as far from the camera as I can.

That idea has provided a great deal of awfully interesting photos that has garnered the person behind it a tremendous amount of popularity within the Interwebs. Still not sold? Well, take one look here, and shutter as you find yourself dropping 30 minutes of your day, trying to figure out what's going on in the picture.

Yep. That's what we thought.

So, without any further ado, we hope you enjoy taking a look into the person behind "Running From Camera."

Note: Through e-mail exchange, the individual behind this did not want to be named. Because we would never want to offend anybody - like, ever - the name has been omitted, and the identity of the person at hand will be kept secret.

Q: You’ve had your blog since 2006. That’s almost five years you have been running now. What gave you the idea to begin a blog based around taking a picture of yourself in such a manner? Did you come across any bit of inspiration for this particular blog?

A: I started out taking these pictures in May 2006. I had bought a small digital camera (Canon Powershot A520), and I was playing around with it. The series grew, and in June, I put the pictures on a blog, mainly because I was experimenting with Blogger and the way it connects to Flickr. I had not seen the idea of these pictures being used before, but later I found some similar pictures from others. The one that came closest was John Divola (although the pictures look quite different). I put a link to his series on the blog (under "Prior Art").

Q: Your blog has a consistent base of commenters. What advice would you give to a blogger starting out in regards to how to gain readership? Were there any struggles you had to begin with, and how did you overcome them?

A: I make the pictures/blog mainly for my own amusement. I have never tried to promote it, or tried to get views. The first few months, I had hardly any pageviews at all ,as far as I can tell. Then it got picked up by some other bloggers, which led to it being featured on something called "The 9" at Yahoo, which led to a period with more visitors and commenters. Since then, it has been like that: Sometimes it gets picked up, there is a peak, then it slows down again. There have also been some publications in magazines and newspapers in different places, the biggest one of these was a full page of photos in the Guardian newspaper (in the UK). I have noticed that publications in print media hardly lead to an increase in visitors, while being mentioned on a high profile website can bring you a lot.

Q: Is there a job you have working aside from your blog? How do you find time to blog around your professional career? Would you like to make a career around your blog and/or blogging?

A: I don't spend too much time on the blog, I try to post at least a picture a month, but it is not a big thing really. I have to moderate the posts, because I get a lot of spam comments, and I found this is the easiest way to control it, but that does not take more than a few minutes every few days. I do have a job - I make my money as a web developer. I don't want to make a career out of this blog. I think it is a fun thing to do, but I don't want it to be any more than it is.

Q: How important is the comments section or readership numbers to you? Is this blog up and running for fun, and your own personal enjoyment, or is this something that you only find gratification in when you know other people are reading? That said, have you become discouraged and have you ever considered giving up your blog because you thought no one cared/read? If so, how did you overcome those feelings?

A: I am flattered by nice comments, of course, and sometimes amused by strange ones, but it is not really that important to me, as I am not trying to do anything in particular with this blog. If there had been no visitors, I might not have continued this long, I guess, but who knows.

Q: What’s your favorite movie?
A: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
Q: Favorite food?
A: Herring (raw, the Dutch way)
Q: Favorite television show?
A: I have not watched television in years...
Q: When you are not working or blogging, what do you enjoy doing the most?
A: Reading (books)
Q: What’s your favorite blog?
A: It is embarrassing to admit, but I don't really read blogs on a regular basis.

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