Saturday, June 2, 2012

Why I learned to watermark and blur.

If you are solely interested in knitting and yoga, you might want to skip today's post. Don't worry I'll be back to spinning fiber or blocking baby blankets next time.

We live in a time of Pinterest. I use it to create idea boards so I can find that one website that had that pattern that I'll never find again without keeping a ton of tabs open. This is a fabulous thing. I also use it to gather ideas from the aether: blanket ideas, baby knits, shawls, wonderful crocheted Doctor Who toys, and how others have stashed their yarn so that you can see what's there. Good stuff, people.

And if everyone pinned ethically, making sure the pin leads to the creator of the content, then there would be no reason for this post. But people, especially those who don't have an online presence, tend to get lazy. It's so easy to see something cool and repin without checking to make sure that the pin actually leads to the right place. (I've been known to fall into this trap myself.)

What's the right place? Well it breaks down like this: if a pin from a blog goes viral it can cause a spike in traffic. That's nice since the more people reading what you are typing away into the internet void the less it seems like a void. Also if you are blogging for a living, and need people to read your content in order to make any money off of ads, you want a lot of traffic. The problem is the middle man, and people pinning from aggregators (sites that pull a lot of information into one place but add no content of their own). In the internet world traffic is currency, so if you pull from a site that doesn't create the content, you haven't given any currency to the creator of the content.

The way to ensure that people know who took that cool picture, or where to find the best icing recipe on the planet, is to watermark your photos. Like so:
See there's the name of the website at the bottom. Kinda cool, huh?
I've been using photobucket as my online storage space and photo editing spot. I'd like to get something fancier in the future*, but this works for now. This watermarking thing isn't rocket science, there's an "add text" button. I'd just never played with it before, and now you know why I did.

I've also learned how to blur photos. This is great to know if you want to create teaser photos to get people interested in the reveal of your latest project that you are planning on posting about next time.
Blurry on purpose. Rare, I know.
Next time: Pictures of that blanket I was going on about a while ago.

*I'm looking at you Adobe Photoshop that I can't quite justify buying.


MaryAnne said...

Have you played with GIMP at all? It's a lot like Photoshop and free...

seeherknit said...

I've never heard of it. I'll have to track it down and try it out. Thanks for the suggestion!