Beauty and Simplicity that comes with Constraint

So yeah… Flickr has launched Flickr Video and the big surprise is that the videos can only be 90 seconds long. Before you start moaning and groaning about it, let’s sit back and think about this.

Didn’t we all moan and groan when we found out Twitter had a 140 character limit?  Now Twitter is a Web 2.0 darling.

Constraint brings simplicity.  90 seconds mean that most likely the video is raw and unedited.  It’s the video that comes from the digital photo camera or from your camera phone.

Constraint can also bring great beauty.  Think of haiku. Think of Twitter.  There is a certain level of clarity in what you say when you have a limit on how you can say it.

I’m confident that if people keep an open mind Flickr Video will be a medium for creativity and expression for many years to come.

Australia’s Powerhouse Museum Joins the Flickr Commons Project

While at the Library of Congress, I had the pleasure of helping with the Library’s participation in the Flickr Commons project.

It’s very exciting for me to see that the Flickr Commons project has expanded to also now include 200 images from Australia’s Powerhouse Museum.

These look like they equally beautiful photos.  As described by George Oates from Flickr, these are “wonderful old photos of Sydney and New South Wales from the turn of the 20th Century.”

So enjoy them, be inspired by them, tag them.  Contribute to this AWESOME project.

Also… the Library of Congress is continuing to add to it’s Flickr account.  Go check those out also.  Currently those are additions to the Bain Collection.

(Photo from the Powerhouse Museum’s Flickr account)

When You Live Online, Your Life Is Your Portfolio… Live Accordingly

On my post yesterday about starting to think about your personal brand early my friend Samantha Warren left a very wise and true comment.

Students should also be aware of the repercussions of damaging their personal brand while in college. I don’t think some students realize that potential employers will Google them during the interview process. I have seen some less than flattering pictures of candidates at previous employers.

We live in an age where we live our lives online.  We broadcast our every thought and desire via things like our blogs and Twitter.

We also hang out with people who are happy to broadcast our lives for us.  I know that when I hang out with some people, I’m almost guaranteed there will be a photo of me on Flickr or Facebook or both later that day.

You can’t live your life in fear of saying something stupid.  If I did that, I’d probably never say anything.  I’ve said plenty of stupid things on and offline.  BUT…

You do have to think about what you say and what you do. Once what you’ve done is out on the Web, it’s really out there forever.

Samantha Warren recently wrote a blog post “How Many Pieces of Work Should you Include in your Web Portfolio?”  When you  live your life online,  your life is your portfio.  Everything you’ve done will be there to represent who you are and what you do, for better or for worse.

The Google Search Engine Results page for you almost becomes as representative of you as your resume.

How does that make you feel?  What do you see on your Google page?  Embarassing college party photos or a body of work that you’d be proud of?

Start Thinking About Your Personal Brand Early… Even in College

This weekend I had the pleasure of hanging out with some awesome RIT students and alumni at BarCampRochester3.  I led a discussion on widgets and the social aggregator.  Clearspring was also one of the sponsors.

I had a fantastic time.  Kudos to the organizers.  Word is they’re going to try and do 2 BarCamps next year.  That’s awesome!!!!!!!!

Not to sound like the all knowing college graduate but if I could impart just one piece of wisdom to folks who are currently in college it’d be to start thinking earlier about your personal brand.

There is a “global neighborhood” out there that is discussing the same ideas that you’re into.  Get out there and join the conversation.

When you’re in college, it’s super easy to think that it is your world.  College can feel very insular.  Before too long you have to get out in the world and your voice competes with the rest of the world.

So… some practical tips:

Go to Vista Print or if you’re a hipster MooCards and get some business cards. Everytime you meet someone, it’s the opportunity to start a new relationship and having sometype of way to connect with eachother at a later date is SUPER important.

Start a blog.  I think it’s the best way to join in the on going conversation that’s happening.  Personal Web sites are becoming part of your personal identity.  They represent you just as much as how you dress for an interview.

Seek out people outside of your university who’re in your industry. Go to something like a Meetup.com or go find a business leader that you respect and talk to them.  The more you make the connections and the relationships outside of your university early the better off you’ll be after you graduate.