My response to the dear Adult Instagrammer…

you can read the original post here:

Her words are italicised – my response is mixed in…

“Dear Parents of Under 13 Year Old Children With Instagram Accounts,”

well that’s me! all three of my young {under 10} sons have accounts @DrummondPaine @GalvinPaine and @JudahP all have instagram, twitter and Facebook.

“Are you okay with your child lying? I guess you are.”

woah…. not really…. and can i give you some soft advice: if you are trying to honestly and gently communicate with someone i have found the best way to reach someone is not to call them a liar in your opening breath…. imagine if i had something important to share with you, something i was super passionate about, and i STARTED TO YELL, point my finger and tap you in the chest and said: “I have a different view from you so that makes you a LIAR!!!” how would that make you feel? not so hot right? 

“If they will lie about their date of birth for social media when they are 8-12 years old, what about drinking alcohol when they are 13 to 17 years old? (Alcohol is just one example)”

hmmmm. i don’t know if i totally agree with the connection, but in my case i am the one who did the “lying” because i am the one who put their dates of birth into the platforms… not them…

“Are you okay with your child searching for, and looking at, porn, sex, drugs, alcohol and stupid or dangerous behaviour? I guess you are.
A simple search can show images of ALL these things. Instagram cannot police everyone, every minute, of every day – no matter how many people report inappropriate content.”

it would be silly for me to point out that they can do all of these nefarious things on any connected device anytime. if they were desperate enough they could even search out this in a bookstore, in a library, in a shopping centre. Back in my day i was exposed to all of these things listed above in school from my friends. there was no internet let alone instagram. So according to your logic should i ban them from…. everything?

“There is no reasonable explanation for allowing your children to have Instagram if they are under 13. You are kidding yourself and on some level you are cheating them out of a childhood.”

Once again dear dear impassioned writer and caring mum, you do not win minds and hearts by accusing parents of cheating their children out of childhood. if i was you and wanted to make a point, i might word that differently – like maybe say that you are scared that some children might be cheated out of a childhood… {what does that even mean by the way}

I know a lot of parents who have flat-out told me ‘it’s just too hard to watch everything they do online’. I consider that lazy parenting. Have you at least read the Instagram Tips for Parents section..? If you cannot be bothered clicking on that link – here’s some of what they have to say to parents:

“We encourage parents to exercise any discretion they can on their own phones and in overseeing their child’s internet use.

Here is where i agree with you whole heartedly. I believe that for the poor overworked, underpaid, struggling single mums out there with kids who are way smarter in the technology department then they are, that after they get home from their second job to pay the rent, wash the school clothes, make dinner, help the kids with their homework and listen to the kids talk about their days… well if they get two seconds and can’t sleep and they find your little blog about instagram – well they should feel like a complete lying failure and a horrible parent because they let their 10 year old daughter have an instagram account to talk to their friends and cousins online….

sometimes…. sometimes it is just hard. sometimes we need to be loving and help those parents. and not yell at them.

“I’ve considered every possible response that I will receive to this, and in advance, here is my response.

Lying is lying. And you just can’t UNsee some things.

Respectfully yours,

An Adult Instagrammer”

Well i know i am wasting my time writing a few thoughts down because you are way way smarter than me, and have the mind as big as a planet and have thought of ever conceivable response the entire world could have… and to that struggling mum i invented above you just slap the phones out her kids hands and say loudly through clenched teeth as you pointed your finger at them “Lying is lying. And you just can’t UNsee some things.”

When having a discussion with someone that i would like to help it is not very helpful if i end my opening point with" Now i know what you are gonna say and let me tell you: you are wrong and i am right! i am way smarter and better!!!“ and dear friend, your line above that says: "I’ve considered every possible response that I will receive to this, and in advance, here is my response.” feels just like that. it feels like you don’t want to help me.

it feels like you just want to win. 

it feels like you just want to be right.

deep breath.

Dear Adult Instagrammer – i believe that banning my sons from different social platforms and connectedness is silly and defeats the purpose. I am frightened that there are loving caring parents out there who think, just because they are BANNING their kids, and following the letter of the law, that they are doing great in the parent department. Parenting is different for everyone. And here is my philosophy in a few random points:

– as adults we forget that the best way to make a child obsessed with something is to BAN it. Do you know any parents who are super healthy and only eat organic vegetables at home? their kids are not allowed sugar, maccas or anything fizzy? have you seen their kids at a birthday party un-attended? they are like little cocaine addicts tripping off there heads cramming handful of red frogs down their throats… my point isn’t to let kids do what they want, my point is to remember what it is like to be a kid, and when something is secret or off limits- it becomes a million times more attractive….

– when i was a kid and my mate from school shoved a girly magazine in my school bag and i discovered it at home {true story} i HID IT. it was thrilling, scary, weird, exciting and sexy. i got rid of it the next day {and got into a fight with my friend} – but a few days after that, i talked to my dad about it. because my parents had created a world for me where everything was talked about and i could come to them for advice…… my point here is twofold – parenting is talking and loving and openness, not BANNING. and now there is a digital trail of my sons, i know what they do online, i am involved… and i am involved in a MUCH DEEPER WAY than my parents ever were, because of the digital universe we live in now. not just for my kids but for my friends kids.

– dear friend, i want to lead by example to my sons and all of the people who look up to me. i get scared that for parents who are just a little misguided, that they begin to think in the “Letter of the LAW” instead of the example model. for example i know plenty of parents who love to booze it up at a party or at a footy game. The kids are told that they are not allowed to drink – “don’t you even think about it kids!!!” dad yells at them. and then the minute the child turns 18, they get wasted and sick or even worse… and the parents are standing around saying “Gee i don’t know what happened, i never let them drink at all, not one drop when they were underage!!” i know that is a basic and blatant point…. but here is my story:

i know that this is a controversial point in these enlightened times but i believe that all pornography is bad. i believe all porn is really evil. boom. said it. i believe that pornography is degrading and it brings nothing but badness into universe for all concerned. i hate it. i really hate it. – that it was i believe.

and yet, there have been times, a handful of times, when i have stumbled onto something online and my curiosity, my testosterone, my lust, my evil heart, have taken my down a scary and yucky and porn-filled path. 

that is not what i want. 

plus i am raising three men {they might be little boys now, but soon enough they will be men} and i want them to feel the same way about pornography. i want them to know that they will be tempted, that there will be times when they will want to look at it, and yet i want them to know there is a better way. a higher way.

so i lead by example. and in my world that looks like communication, talking and openness, a safe way to talk, be accountable to my loved ones. 

Filters, bans and blocks just make things worse because they assume the worse, i think they turn a lot of people into animals and the bad guys. Sharing, openness, communication and accountability makes us all into humans, into equals, into better people….. that’s what i want.

have i said too much? am i wrong? let me know.

a tale of customer service: part one.

here is a simple short story of crash hot customer service

Part one: the good.

Last year we bought a small fridge for the studio kitchen from the website Appliances Online – www.appliancesonline.com.au . The fridge is just a tiny cheap one, the reason we went with Appliances Online was fourfold: They were cheap, they were easy, they offered delivery & they offered “pick up your old fridge” for free. BAM. Decision done. Especially because we had a huge old double door fridge and freezer in our first floor studio that had given up the ghost; getting that fridge up the stairs years ago was a nightmare! So in a few days two young guys came and delivered and picked up the old fridge, i was busy so i didn’t see them scratch up the newly painted back stairs of our studio. “Oh well” i thought, “they were cheap and obviously don’t care”… 

A day or two later we got an email asking for our feedback, so i gave them the feedback: both the good and the bad. Not long after that I got a phone call and two emails from the Appliances Online team and they were literally mortified about my steps…. probably more concerned than we were! They asked me to get a quote to get the steps repainted and send it to them. Our painters gave us a quote that was two and half times the price we paid for the fridge! But that was no problem for the Appliances Online team. “GO FOR IT!” they replied & get the painters to send the bill to us!

NOW THAT IS CUSTOMER SERVICE DONE RIGHT! So good that they have inspired this blog post! They have not only won us for life, but they have got my “voice” & my “reach” singing their praises! So here’s to Sally and the Appliances Online team! Well done. You will now come HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! For a large national company you have acted as if you were my local shop around the corner and done everything i could want.

YAY! 

Appliances Online Website

Appliances Online – www.appliancesonline.com.au

Twitter: @appliancesAU

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AppliancesOnline.com.au

That is the end of part one. Stay tuned for the flip side.

choosing an online photo partner: adding one more

i just added PHOTOSHELTER to the mix. i emailed the original email to them and have received their automated “we got your email” response. i have been following Photoshelter for some time now; their journey into the stock photo world and just this month their sudden departure from it. so they are obviously in the middle of some big changes. they did have a terrific photo blog, which was run by the interesting and astute rachel hulin, she got the sack from photoshelter and started her own blog that is worth checking out. 

anyway, there are now 6 players in the mix, 4 of which i have heard back from already…. the journey continues!

despite the nay-sayers {cough -aaron spence- cough}, i am getting replies to my questions to the five contenders for my online photo needs… and all the replies i get will be shown to you here to keep you in the loop.

now keep in mind that my email was sent on 19 September 2008 4:04:41 PM. the first reply i got was from Zenfolio – less than 5 minutes later – hmmmm….. prompt reply is one thing but…. so zenfolio win the award for the first reply

ok, proving the “you have not because you ask not” principal – the next reply to my very long email was from the very popular SmugMug. the reply i got was around 6 hours after i sent the email, which is still very prompt and is enough time to see that someone has actually read it. so even though they are “second” – so far this response is the best.

the smugmug support person took the time to answer every question “inline” within my email! awesome. they win points for that.

moving right along, we are now 3 for 5 in our responses! this next response is from the “underdog” of the group: Exposure Manager. when i did my initial research on this area a couple of months ago everyone was talking about zenfolio & smugmug, it was only a slight blip on the pulse that mentioned Exposure Manager.

so the response came after about 12 hours, and i am very impressed that the reply is inline within my email. top marks… 

i first heard about “Big Black Bag” from the one and only Scott Bourne {one of the strangest men on the internets} on one of the many podcasts he pops up on. now this might sound horrible to some {all you scott bourne fans}, but the fact that Mr Bourne was pushing it sorta put me off it. i mean his whole style of photography {not to mention dress sense} is very different to me, which is not bad thing, we’re just different. so mr bourne’s online photo needs might be as different to mine as our taste in Hawaiian shirts.

anyway, this response is from the 4th company in the 5 i emailed. it came after 13 hours and i appreciate the simple “to the point” reply.

choosing an online photo partner: part one

it is way past due time for me to get my clients online photo experience too the best level possible! i am sadly still using flickr for a lot of my online needs – which is fine for my personal / social needs – but not great for clients… and with almost 80,000 items on flickr {& nearly 200,000 views} it’s time for me to dive in to the wild world of online photo ocean!

here are the 5 players:

zenfolio.com

smugmug.com

bigblackbag.com

exposuremanager.com

redbubble.com

and here is the opening play: my introduction letter to them:

G’day!
my name is dj paine and i am a professional photographer from the Gold Coast, Australia. i shoot people. weddings, families, kids, music, portraits in a {hopefully} creative and fresh style. i shoot canon {5D} for digital and lot’s of lomography cameras for film. i run apple mac only. i have a good fast fat connection to the internet and use the net a lot!
i have my business website {that is going through a drastic overhaul} www.djpphotography.com – and i will use that for information, contact, sample galleries etc.
i have just registered a new domain – www.photographsof.me  – and i want to use that as my client galleries.
i have been searching online, asking friends and generally just going crazy trying to work out what companies out there would be best to “partner” with to do everything i want to do with my client galleries.
so… i have lots of questions that i am hoping you can help me with.
i am more than happy to call you on the phone / skype / ichat to ask these questions in “real time” – i just need your details and a good time to contact you.
but if emailing / online is the best way, that’s cool too.
but if you reply to my questions with “just look at the website the answers can be found there somewhere….”, then you have lost me already.
if you reply with direct links to the website that answer my questions, great, but i don’t want to go looking for a needle in the proverbial haystack…
{sorry to sound negative, i’ve had some bad responses – and good ones too! – from emailing companies for help.}

so… questions:
{in no order of importance}
1} private client login
2} can i use my own web address {as mentioned?}
3} what is the domain name structure like – i’d love to use simple domain names for my clients. for example: wwwphotographsof.me/clientname  –  wwwphotographsof.me/johnnyb   –   wwwphotographsof.me/bobby
4} how much space does you company provide?
5} how flexible are your “slideshows”? are they embed-able?
6} self fulfilment, how easy is that to do? what percentages do you take for that?
7} i know anyone can do a screen capture of any images online, but how do you protect my images online? can people just right click and copy?
8} do you do “sets within sets” – or “albums” within “sets” – for example i would love to have my long term clients have multiple sets online and the domain name structure make sense for that – so if my client Susie Q. knows her page with me is wwwphotographsof.me/susieq and she comes to me every year so her albums / sets are under that umbrella – example wwwphotographsof.me/susieq/2008 wwwphotographsof.me/susieq/2009 – hope that makes sense…
9} can i sell my images as digital downloads?
10} payment methods- how easy is it for my clients to pay online and offline?
11} how do i get my money? how do you pay me?
12} custom price lists? how easy is that to do?
13} can i upload my original raw images for back up? size limits for uploading?
14} i am on the Gold Coast of Australia, how would that hinder or help my experience with you?

and finally….
15} why should i choose you?

let me apologise for such a long email, once again, i’d be happy to call you and talk in person.
please be as detailed as possible, and explain everything as simply as possible…
i am looking forward to hearing from you and establishing a great partnership with a company that take me to the next level. i am using flickr for alot of my online photo needs – i currently have almost 80,000 items on flickr & nearly 200,000 views. So i am not new to “being online”…
ok that’s enough for now, let’s get the ball rolling….

thanks
d.j. paine
djp photography

ok… there ya go.
my journey has begun. i hope you stick with me as we decide on where to go…
any suggestions, ideas etc – let me know!

radiohead “in rainbows” this is awesome. i’m not a big dorky fan of radiohead, i do have all their albums and really dig a lot of their songs, but the awesome part is the fact that you can set your own price for the download of the album. really.that is awesome.inspiring.seriously inspiring.

me likey the tumblr

i am changing my whole blogging and online “strategy” {what a dumb word to choose, but…}
part of this new strategy {there it is again} is not one, not two, but three new Tumble Logs.
i’ll let you look up what a tumble log is.
the best place to grab a tumble log is the new www.tumblr.com. it is a really great way to get your stuff online.
anyway-
i have set up 3 new tumblr accounts to showcase my photography:
soon they will have their own custom domain names but for now…
djp1.tumblr.com -pictures from djp photography
djp2.tumblr.com -polaroids from djp
djp4.tumblr.com -personal work from djp {also includes my twitter feed}

check them out, subscribe to their RSS feeds.
more updates soon.

::EDIT::
just got their own URL’s happening:
so update your bookmarks:

djp1.net
djp2.net
djp4.net

———-

note – may 2010 – i think i have gotten rid of all those domains / sites just this month…