Can we just take a moment to recognize Instagram’s superior commitment to helping content creators grow their following?
Unlike Facebook, where only my friends see/discover my content, I’m glad Instagram created a tagging architecture that’s completely ignored by their homepage scroll and still only shows followers (Instagram’s version of friends).
I kid, I kid. Of COURSE Instagram makes creator content discoverable to interested strangers.
<Woops Sarcasm still going>
Fans like Zugelo1 connect with me every day!
Why create a tool to show creators what their “reach” is only to make it obvious that Instagram is withholding your content even from folks who follow you?
Yet spammers are having a field day and seem to have no trouble finding my account.
All sarcasm aside, I know Instagram limits exposure because they want me to pay for it. However, unlike youtube and some other social media apps, there’s no way for me to natively make money on Instagram (right?). So, I should pay to share and then hope that viewers click through to the one link on my profile (which Instagram makes it hard to do because you have to click AWAY from your scroll)?
“Then why did you cave and start Instagramming?”
Because I’m a social dunderhead and I came around late to all of it. Except blogging. Been blogging before Medium. Before WordPress. Before Youtube. Before Facebook.
I started this blog back when you had to figure out the code yourself and install on your own host, then write the HTML itself and upload the files. Or maybe not, how old is Geocities? 1994? Yeah, you got me there, I wasn’t blogging at the town library in 7th grade. (our family didn’t get dial-up until I was almost in college) But in 2001 building your own website was a point of pride for a budding graphic artist.
Way off track here. I started Instagramming because “if you can’t beat em’, join em’.” I’ve been publishing blog posts about our travels, linking to photos on Flickr since 2012. Before that, I put photos on Google Photos, but Google kept scrambling around their service offering and permissions, which kept breaking all the linked images in my posts.
Getting off track again. What I’m trying to tell you is that I have eighteen years of content here on this blog that I’ve never tried to monetize. I’ve got 13,000+ curated photos on Flickr that I’ve never tried to monetize.
Instagramming that photo content out is one small step to earning more than $0 back on that two decades of investment in cameras, computers, hosting, domains, editing software, and most of all – time.
And speaking of Flickr, their handle on spammy users makes Instagram look like they’ve got their stuff together. Just yesterday I received five new “comments” on individual photos. Each one was from a different new “user” with no photos. Each message left some variation of “check out my nude pics here” with a link. To delete these comments I have to visit the individual photo page, click delete, then confirm I want to delete. There’s no option to report a user or comment. At all. I can only imagine what this will be like when the spammers write bots to add a comment on every user’s photo. I don’t have time to delete 13,000+ spam comments.
But nobody is reading them anyway, so maybe I don’t need to. I used to joke that only my mom reads this blog (and Aunt Lois too, I think). Meanwhile, content creators that embrace new software are making “passive income” from it. Most of these folks are ten or more years younger. I have more “material” than them, but I’m doing nothing (in a financial sense) with it.
I guess you’re not supposed to be open about this stuff (unless you’re talking into a webcam and publishing for views on Youtube), but anyone who has visited this blog in the past 18 years might now wonder why there are ads now and this is my long-form version of explaining that. It’s also why you might notice the formatting jump around for a while while I try to find a theme/customization combo that works for what I really want it to look like.