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Photoblogging: Explosive Persuasive Power by Inge Haupt

Perhaps it all started with the advent of music television; perhaps the portability of the digital camera, or ‘cool’ factor of the camera phone, but nowadays we are all about the visuals. We experience our world through a constant stream of sound and colour and have taken it on as an integral part of our daily existences. This could be what has led to the rapid growth of the phenomenon of photoblogging.In November of 2003 there were discussions about the end of photoblogs; as displaying photos of people without their permission was brought into question. In fact Italy has restricted the use of images of people if permission to display their photo has not been expressly granted. However, this clearly hasn’t had any effect on the growth of this exciting new trend with roughly 17000 registered photoblogs on photoblogs.org. Books have even been written on the subject, such as Create Your Own Photo Blog by well-respected photographer and blogger, Catherine JamiesonThe photoblog community is growing and people who had little or no knowledge of photography are being exposed to different points of view as well as being asked to comment constructively on the work. There is the feeling of a supportive atmosphere – a place in which professionals and amateurs can come together, showcase their work, learn from and appreciate one another. The vast array of sites is also testament to the creativity evoked by the combination of concept and immediate online contact. The mirror project is a site where photographers are encouraged to submit work in which they have used reflective surfaces to capture their images, with some startling and compelling results.

The benefit of setting up your own photoblog seems to far outweigh the usually minimal yearly cost. Photographers have access to an almost instant response to their work. They can judge their success directly from comments and suggestions as opposed to the traditional way of having to find a gallery to display their work, or trying to sell it to shops or vendors.

This means that everyone can be a photographer or even photojournalist nowadays. Take this photograph from Jide Alakija, for example. Jide has been using shutterchance.com, one of the preeminent photoblogging sites, to exhibit a series of photographs taken during demonstrations against organ harvesting in China. His photos have produced quite a following and in this way he has been able to bring the petition to a larger audience.

With instant access to a multitude of viewers around the world, photoblogging is becoming a powerful tool. If the pen is mightier than the sword and an image is worth a thousand words, then the photoblog could be the most influential new instrument of the 21st century.

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