Is it time for a Dear John letter to Facebook? I hate break ups!
My answer is a resounding NO! Facebook is and has been one of the BEST marketing tools for my photography business for over 5 years now. If you have had your head in the proverbial sand this week then you no doubt missed the brouhaha that has been going on about Facebook’s NEW Terms of Service (read them HERE) updates. I mean WHO READS THIS STUFF? Well not many of us, me included….it’s like reading another language that only an attorney can decipher. Oh wait, my niece is a fresh new attorney, maybe can she explain this stuff to me??? Here is a very interesting article from the ASMP blog, The Photblographer that breaks some of it down. Below is a snippet about what they plan to do next week. How do I feel about the updates in the new terms of service?
Well I am not happy about the updates or many things about Facebook right now which is why I have changed the way I post to Facebook but I will talk about that later. I don’t like that they can sell my hard work without any sort of compensation to me. It’s not like I am posting photos of Fido jumping on a trampoline…I am posting photos that I worked hard to create in order to get BUSINESS…..yes, this is a business! I am a Professional Photographer and the way that I GET BUSINESS is by sharing photos of workshops and magical places that most photographers want to go. We are selling a DREAM …a dream of shooting photos in exotic locations with a PROFESSIONAL……and getting that shot that you have dreamed about for years! And so far it is working very well! Of course, we know Facebook is a FREE service but it doesn’t mean that they can steal what belongs to us and sell it…..it’s like the Goodwill of Social Media sites….we might as well just put all of our digital files into boxes and put them in the back of our cars and deliver them to Facebook – just like we do with old clothes and household items that we deliver to Goodwill. I mean really, it’s like we give FB all of our photos for FREE and then they can turn around and SELL them for a profit…nice biz model! So in this case is it a “you get what you pay for” kind of thing? Maybe………… I mean all we are asking for is fair and respectful treatment and in my opinion this is not…it is invasive and unfair. Yes, I know, it’s in the TOS (terms of service)…..don’t remind me…but I can vent can’t I???
Had I known that Facebook was going to take this tack YEARS ago when I started using this FREE service as a very important marketing tool and uploaded 1000s of photos I would have said “No Thanks!” and walked. Now I am not about to turn my back on almost 8000+ friends and followers (many are good clients) that I worked so hard to get. I will just have to”adjust” AGAIN how I post and what I post……that’s all I can do……in addition to SPEAKING UP about how I feel about the changes. It doesn’t mean I will throw the baby out with the bathwater. I’d even be open to paying a small annual fee to use Facebook…it’s better than what they are doing now with the new TOS. And that would be the RIGHT way to keep users and also keep stockholders happy….makes sense to me………..but of course Mr. Zuckerberg hasn’t called me to ask my opinion.
This was my response in protest for my profile photo today:
Since the day I started using Facebook in late 2007 I have always applied my © Cheyenne L Rouse and a transparent watermark to most of my photos. But NOW the resolution of any photo that I post is much lower (72dpi). I do post a good many iPhone photos too which are of pretty good quality – what about those? I always apply my copyright to those too with an app that I have on my iPhone and iPad – but the size of those photos is larger than the photos that I upload from my “big girl” camera…meaning my DSLR…so I have to think about that one. I can resize them with an app I have but what a pain…agggg…..I already have SO much to do!!! All I am trying to do is market my photography business in an efficient manner so that I can continue to make a living. And truth be told, I LOVE interacting and engaging with followers, photo enthusiasts, and friends from ALL over the world! I have tried other social media outlets with much less success…so once again, my industry is under siege…it feels like it anyway.
So no need to run to your computer in a panic and do a mass delete of all of the photos that you have posted on Facebook over the years. As per the hoard of FB attorneys, FB has a copy of many, if not most, of those photos in their hard drives – just in case a lawsuit comes up they have evidence of whatever it might be about. So once again it is time to rethink how we post on Facebook – my new motto: “Low, low res, small file size, BIG © AND Watermark”…that’s all I can do since I won’t be leaving Facebook anytime soon. I am not sure if they can scrape all of my watermarking off but maybe it will make them look at the next photo instead of mine, or not. Who knows? I will also pay MUCH more attention to my blog and posting and writing here then posting the link on my Facebook pages – at least that gives me MORE control. And I am sure most people that know me think I am a control freak anyway, so if the shoe fits?!?!?! Despite it’s faults and drawbacks it has been and continues to be an amazing tool for not only my business but for meeting amazing new friends that I would have never met if it weren’t for Facebook. Or getting in touch with long lost friends and family members!!! In addition, I hear stories all the time from friends and followers who were inspired by one of my photos that they saw on Facebook and that to me is PRICELESS – that inspires the hell out me. Knowing that by ME just doing what I love to do in a place that I am passionate about inspired someone to maybe see things differently or pick up their camera again or whatever – OMG – how humbling and amazing is that?????
Times change and so must we. Don’t get me wrong I am not complaining here…I am merely sharing my thoughts and musings about how I feel about this whole thing. Sharing some valuable links so maybe we can ALL learn how to do things better to protect our copyright and our photos and in turn, our livelihood. So please, no hate mail (I get enough of it) to tell me to “stop complaining” or “stop posting to Facebook then” or and this is the best one that I REALLY did get receive, “Stop whining and grow a pair”…yes, really! And I have been told that my pair is pretty damn big…..so take those snide remarks elsewhere…they are not welcome here on this forum of discussion. I will never have a problem speaking up for what I believe in and that can draw haters…..I guess THEY are the ones with the problem……but none the less, the haters will never stop me…ever…
I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts on this issue as we continue to navigate the world of the interwebs!!!!
Here is a VERY good ASMP Q&A that helped me understand this whole thing…..worth a read: http://asmp.org/fb-tos#.UiqM78b_l8G
Live long and prosper – Cheyenne
PS: I just had one of my Facebook friends post this in my protest thread on Facebook……………..I love it!