Denise Goldberg's blog

Sunday, January 11, 2009

It's my decision...

I just don't understand why people aren't willing to listen to a point that someone else (me, in this case) is trying to make.

A little background... I've been posting journals on crazyguyonabike and its sister site for quite a while now. I've found crazyguyonabike to be a good home for (bicycle) touring journals because of the community. My journals are available for friends and family, but I also get feedback from other touring cyclists, people who may know more about the area where I am traveling than I do.

I've always included photos in my journals on both sites. For the last year plus, those photographs have included a small corner (copyright) watermark. You've seen the watermarks on my photos here; I'm using the same small watermark on photos in my journals. My preference would really be to use img src statements to pull the (watermarked) images from my photo galleries, but the two sites do not allow use of that statement. All photographs must be uploaded directly to the site. I've been applying a watermark, saving a low resolution version of the photos, and uploading them to my journals. I'm well aware that photos can easily be grabbed from the web, and that watermarks along the edge can be cropped. I'm not willing to look at photos with watermarks splashed across the image, so I won't do that to my own. I know that my watermarks offer minimal protection, but at least I know that my name is on my photos as I've shared them.

The webmaster came out with the statement Friday night that he hates watermarks and that he asks that people not use them. I posted a polite response explaining that I use the watermarks as a statement that the photos I posted belong to me, that I hold the copyright on them. I offered to remove the photos from the site, but was told they could stay. Hmmm... Then other posters proceeded to tell me that they think my watermark ruins "my excellent photos" (their words, not mine!) but that they think I should leave them published on the site. Huh? I'm sorry, I just don't understand. If they hate them that much, why don't they want me to unpublish the images? And these people don't have a clue about copyright (or ownership) issues. They just seem to be going with the flow. Every person who jumped into the forum discussion agreed with the initial post - except for me. Someone did send me a behind-the-scenes message supporting my point of view, and yes, I really did need that support.

For now, I think I'll just leave things as they are. I don't really want to remove the photos from my journals, but I won't be adding any more there since such a strong statement was made about not using watermarks. And I will not place images in a journal without a watermark. Maybe the prevailing attitude toward watermarked images will change, but I suspect it won't.

I need a home for my journals, and I'd really like to include some photos with my words. The bulk of my photos will remain in my photo galleries, but I think it helps people to look over my shoulder when I combine words and photos. Hmmm... what to do?

Today I spent some time turning a blog on its head. Blogs normally show the latest post first, and for my journals I really prefer that they read like a book with the latest post last. I took my last journal, and I created an upside-down blog, a blog that flows in the direction I like. My first attempt?

Check out A return to death in blog form.
I may replace the Table of Contents with a longer introduction, leaving the copy of the Table of Contents in the sidebar but not on the main page. But I think I've done enough for today. I'd love to hear what you think about the format; there is a guestbook, and comments can be placed on each post. (A quick warning about comments though; I have them set to moderated so I can head off any spam posts.)

Thanks for reading my rant...

Good timing - my sister just sent me an email, closing with what I believe is a very appropriate quote from Dr. Seuss:
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
I guess I really need to take that advice! I threw the words into Wordle to create what I think I should post on the wall right in front of my eyes.

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