Online Photo Journaling

Whenever someone has a story to share about their travels, the birth of a new baby, or a dinner party with friends, stories abound online in blogs and vlogs. The blog (web log) originated as a forum and online community for people to editorialize their lives online. Blogging as a means of getting one’s stories out in the Internet ether has boomed over the last 5 to 10 years. People have more recently begun using their blogs as a means to distribute their photos along with stories―photo journaling online.

Vlogging is a form of blogging, but is based in video rather than written journaling. A vlog is a video log and provides a new, exciting form of online expression; there is, however, a much greater sense of preparation and production with vlogging in contrast to blogging. With the speed of the Internet and connectivity around the globe, vlogging is slowly becoming equally interesting and widespread as blogging alone.

Photo Journaling & Online Scrapbooks

Photo journaling, by definition, is documentation using photography. Many companies and organizations, including NASA, use photo journals to document new developments or progress. Photo journaling on its own is nothing new, but the blogosphere (the collective blogging community) is adding their online twist.

Most, if not all, blogging sites allow users to post digital photos to their blogs. There are also blogging sites that allow users to either select a canned layout for their blog, or design a unique custom layout themselves. When a blogger takes their simple blog to the level of photo journaling with a custom design, the blog can verge on becoming an online scrapbook.

Social Responsibility Awareness

Blogging carries its own set of rules for online etiquette, including disclaimers if it contains adult material. Caution is always warranted when posting sensitive material, such as work-related issues, and even work-based photos. Hiring companies more than ever are searching, finding, and reviewing personal blogs to discover more about potential candidates than exists on a resume or comes forth during an interview. A potential candidate would fair best not having compromising photos surfacing after a job-winning interview. Moreover, if a current employer finds an employee’s blog containing distinctly prohibited photos, employers can legally and without recourse fire the employee. It is vital for bloggers and vloggers to be aware of their social and work-related responsibilities before posting stories, videos, and photos online.

Photography Sites

Outside, but also attached to the blogosphere, there is an increasing number of websites, dedicated to photography, which allow their users to add comments to the photos they post. Picasa, Flickr, and Kodak are a few of many such websites. These sites in particular also provide online security for photos and photo albums. Most of these sites allow users to keep their albums private or to open them to the public. By opening up album to the public, users expose themselves to a greater set of online etiquette rules. It is important to be aware of one’s rights to the photos as well as the rules of the site where one is posting pictures and photo journals.

Most photography sites provide free access, use, and storage of a certain amount of space for photos and albums. If a blogger or vlogger wants to maintain multiple larger albums for an extended period, they can opt to pay for the service, thereby increasing both the storage capacity for their albums, as well as the length of time the albums will remain available. It is always advisable to read the expectations of the photography site before signing up, even if the site says it is free. These sites are out there to make money after all.

It is amazing the technology that the online community has at its disposal, and the technology does not have to remain digital; it can become physical. Another aspect of online photography sites includes access to associated vendors for printing the photos a blogger posts. The great thing about these vendors is that some of them offer photo books or albums that can be custom-made. Instead of sending off all the photos to be printed (which can get expensive), select a few pictures for a book. Make storybook entries below the pictures and have the book printed. They can become great holiday gifts or one-off memory holders for the family.

Many online photography and blogging sites are beginning to incorporate video capability. Many a vacationer takes videos with their point-and-click cameras for short instances of memories, such as videos of birds singing in the trees, street performers, or panoramic videos of a landscape that includes a voiceover. Bloggers are slowly beginning to cross lines from simply text and photos to amateur vloggers without realizing it!

Benefits of Online Photo Journals

Though there are a few drawbacks to blogging, vlogging, and photo journaling online, the benefits often outweigh the drawbacks (as long as users maintain good online etiquette). Vacation photos can tell friends and family the chronological, fun story of the travels. The same is true for a new family addition, such as finding and bringing home a new pet. Photographing, videoing, and journaling the process might help another family member or friend find it easier to do themselves.

Some more interesting and creative photo-journalistic sets can simply be picture-specific stories. Once a photo journal has been completed online, distribution of the album and its stories is made easy at once to a greater audience in digital or physical.

British Tabloids

A rather infamous counterpart of the British press, their tabloids are all about making the daily dose of news simpler, colorful, and of course, sensational. Although tabloids in most countries have a tendency to splash their pages with celebrity news, an interesting feature of the British ones is making sensational news out of every mundane incident, be it politics, sports, business or the good ol’ entertainment.

Classification

Red Top: Red top tabloids generally have a red masthead. They generally signify a more sensational style of journalism and perhaps that is indicated by the use if color red in the masthead of the newspaper.

Black Top: Black-top tabloids have a black masthead. Generally, they are considered less sensational and more serious form of the British press. The black color differentiates these tabloids from the sensational red-top versions.

Reasons for the Success

No matter how many people point fingers and frown upon them, it is a fact that the tabloids are popular and successful. There is a demand for compact news dose with peppy text and eye-catching pictures, and the tabloids are giving the readers just that.

Combating the New Media Wisely
Print media all over the world is facing serious competition from the new media, be it the Internet or television, and no one is geared up for the competition better than them. The new media has the power to supplant the print, and hence the tabloids have achieved what the mainstream broadsheets are still struggling with – creating a readership niche. Also most of the tabloids have embraced the new media instead of competing with them and hence have their e-versions or online editions.

Getting the Format Right
The tabloids have maintained a compact format, which is rather convenient for the reader to pick up, read, and carry as well. The text is minimum and is supplemented with appropriate pictures. The entire format stresses more on the visual appeal rather than the textual content.

No Hypocrisy
Yes, the British tabloids wear this sensational tag with pride and accept that they are profit driven and aim for good business at the end of the day. The readers want sensational news, the tabloids give them just that – hot sensational news garnished with a lot of spice and dollops of entertainment. They do not compete with the serious broadsheets; instead they have carved a niche for themselves. They have their own readership segment that is large enough to keep them going in the business.

Prominent British Tabloids

The Sun
Launched in: September 15, 1964
Owned by: News Corporation (Rupert Murdoch)
Readership: 3,200,000 copies daily
Masthead: Red-top Tabloid

The Sun is perhaps the most popular tabloids that is published in the United Kingdom as well the Republic of Ireland. Owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, the Sun has the highest circulation of any English daily newspaper with as many as 3,126,866 copies sold daily in October 2007. Some of the regular interesting features include the Page Three Girl which is highly criticized for being rather pornographic. The Paparazzi pictures are commonly featured on the front page. Although the Sun heavily banks on celebrity news from several fields, gossip concerning the monarchy and soap opera storylines, this tabloid also features serious stories about issues like domestic abuse, pedophiles, and security scandals.

The Daily Mail
Launched in:1896
Owned by: Daily Mail and General Trust PLC
Readership: 2,500,000
Masthead Black-top Tabloid

Originally started as a broadsheet in 1896, The Daily Mail switched to the tabloid format in 1971. It is Britain’s oldest tabloid, and is not only the second biggest selling daily newspaper but it also has the 12th largest circulation in the world among English language dailies. It is a black top tabloid, which introduced a Sunday title in 1982 that was known as the Mail on Sunday. As of October 2007, the circulation figures by the Audited Bureau of Circulations show gross sales of 2,400,143, which is an increase of one-third over the sales figures 25 years ago, when it sold 1.87 million copies a day.

The Daily Mirror
Launch Date: 1903
Owned by: Trinity Mirror PLC
Masthead: Red-top Tabloid

Popularly referred to as ‘The Mirror”, this consistently left-center tabloid was launched in 1903. It was supposed to be a newspaper for women and run by women. Alfred Harmsworth who originally started the newspaper had been quotes saying that, “I intend it to be really a mirror of feminine life as well on its grave as on its lighter sides – to be entertaining without being frivolous, and serious without being dull”. Back in the 1970s, the Sun surpassed the Mirror’s circulation, but declining circulation has plagued it since then.

The People
Owned by: Trinity Mirror PLC

‘The People’ is a British tabloid that is published only on Sundays. The Trinity Mirror group that also runs the Daily Mirror owns this tabloid. This tabloid also banks chiefly on celebrity news and scandals. Although it claims to be a competitor to The News of the World, it has a rather unimpressive circulation of less than one million as compared to the 3,445,459 copies per week sales of its competitor The News of the World. It is reported that the tabloid has suffered financial damages due to the cost cutting strategy in the year 2006.

The Daily Star
Launch Date: 1978
Owned by: The Express Newspapers
Readership: 800,000
Masthead Red-top Tabloid

Published in 1978, the Daily Star was purportedly the first national daily in Britain after the launch of the Daily Mirror. This tabloid is published by the Express Newspapers group, which also owns the Daily Express and Sunday Express. Like other red-top tabloids, the Daily Star also features celebrity news, gossip, and entertainment based features as its major content. Just like ‘The Sun’, this tabloid features a topless model on weekdays. These models are referred to as the ‘Starbabes’.

The Daily Express
Launched in: 1900
Owned by: Express Newspapers
Readership:800,000
Masthead Black-top Tabloid

The Daily Express is another conservative middle-market black-top Tabloid. Owned by the Express Newspapers group, it was started in 1900 as a broadsheet with gossip and the crossword puzzle. It switched to the tabloid format in 1977. The Daily Mail remains its biggest rival. The front page of this British Tabloid describes itself with a tagline that says “The World’s Greatest Newspaper.” According to the figures from the Audited Bureau of Circulations in 2007, the Daily Express has a circulation of 761,637, which is a 60% decline since 1982, when it sold over two million copies a day.

News of the World
Launched in: 1843
Owned by: News Group ( that is a branch of Murdoch’s News Corporation)
Readership: 3,500,000 copies per week

News of the World is a Sunday-only tabloid, published by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Published in 1843 by John Brown Bell, the newspaper soon established itself as the most widely read Sunday newspaper. Although the newspaper tends to focus on celebrity-based scoops and populist news, its constant interest and showcasing of sex scandals has gained it the nicknames like Sex ‘n’ Scandal weekly or News of the Screws and even Screws of the World. News of the World boasts of excellent sales records with an average of 3,445,459 copies per week in October 2006.

Metro
Launched in: 1999
Owned by: Associated Newspapers
Readership 1.8 Million

Metro is a free daily tabloid published by the Associated Newspapers group, which is available from Monday to Friday on most of the public transport services across the United Kingdom. Launched in 1999, the sales have already crossed the one million mark making it the fourth largest daily newspaper in the United Kingdom. Mainly aimed at the traveling lot, the newspaper has a youthful appeal and is designed to be read in twenty minutes. Metro features a heady concoction of articles ranging from subjects like travel, homes, style, and health to arts, and entertainment listings.

Love them, hate them but you just cannot ignore them. British tabloids speak volumes about the survival of the Print media and serve as an excellent example of a successful; business model in the mass communication industry by creating a niche for themselves. There exist a section of readers who would prefer a newspaper that could be picked up in their busy schedule and will serve as some quality light reading. It’s like having different tastes in books, and tabloids symbolize pulp fiction – If you find them blasphemous, suit yourself!