Pinterest and the future of photosharing

So there are a bunch of huge numbers rolling out about Pinterest—the latest of which show that the service has 10.4 million registered users, 9 million monthly Facebook connected users, and 2 million Facebook users, according to Inside Network's AppData tracking service.

And if Pinterest is going to be as huge as many people think it will be, it will be fun to watch a few things happen:

  • We will change the way we think about image ownership. It will be less about where people put our photos ("Why did that person put my photo on that website?") and more about how photos track back to the properties that we control ("Why did that person not put a link back?"). We've seen such trends with Tumblr, Posterous, and others, but the speed with which we share photos will quicken.
  • Media companies will want, even more, to control the full rights to the photos they use. Even more than before, photos are quickly going to become powerful marketing content, and companies who care about social media users will want the ability to fluidly deciminate branded images through web. Many corporations are already starting to get the efficacy of visual storytelling tools—infographics, for instance, are an incredible way to help people understand what you do. But the popularity of photo sharing services will encourage companies even more, to share stories in images. 
  • Watermark services will multiply and refine. Pinterest is fun now, but people are quickly going to become peeved about folks using photos without credit. And as a result, people will be looking for a quick and easy way to stylishly lay claim to their photos. Think Instagram for watermarks.

It will be interesting to watch how Pinterest will navigate image sharing and rights. (Side note: There was a great article earlier this week about managing copyrights on Pinterest.)

So now here's my question: Anyone found a watermarking app they like? There are a couple I want to try (It's My Photo AD, iWatermark, and Impression), but I'm not sure how good they are.

A Yahoo! kind of holiday

Good storytelling at large organizations is not only about creating strong, consistent narratives. It's about creating a real experience. And part of the way to do it is through visual storytelling.

The thing about visual storytelling is that it's really successful content on social media—it's been true for every account I've ever been behind. Visual storytelling is emotionally compelling and easy to share.

So it was a lot of fun to shoot some of the holiday festivities on campus to share with the world. The campus is full of (purple!) cheer, so I grabbed our camera, hoisted up my old photojournalism skills (thank you, Medill), and captured some of the fun holiday decorations around the office.

Looks like it's a purple Christmas (or Hanukkah or other December holiday) for us!

Because it's all about the story! The Social Media Brandsphere infographic by @briansolis

"Each channel offers a unique formula for engagement where brands become stories and people become storytellers. Using a transmedia approach, the brand story can connect with customers differently across each medium, creating a deeper, more enriching experience. Transmedia storytelling doesn’t follow the traditional rules of publishing; it caters to customers where they connect and folds them into the narrative."

I have an obvious bias toward this because not only is my official work title Storyteller—we're also spearheading corporate social media at work. So I can say with complete conviction that stories are at the center of good social media (and most good marketing, writing, and reporting, I believe).

Bill Cosby on Good Storytelling.

Because I want this to be a catchall for all my storytelling learnings, I indulge in doubleposting from my other blog:

Presentation Zen has a very good post on storytelling lessons from Bill Cosby, leveraging Cosby’s Carnegie Mellon commencement speech in 2007. The blogger extracts two significant key points:

“Don’t talk yourself into not being you.”
Cosby’s main story began about five minutes in and is one anyone can relate to. All of us have talked ourselves into thinking we don’t belong or battle with self-confidence, etc. His point—which his true story brought out—is that we must not talk ourselves out of being who we really are. Cosby touched on the idea that being nervous (“but I was nervous”) or other such excuses that we often use get in the way of us bringing our true self to the job (or school, etc.). People do not care about your excuses, they care only about seeing your authentic self. As Cosby said “people came to see you” not some version of what you think they want or need. “I don’t care what you do,” said Cosby, “when you are good, then you bring you out.” “It’s not for you to stand around and measure yourself according to diplomas and degrees. You are you—and you are not to put yourself beneath anybody!”

Tell stories from your own life
People crave authenticity just about more than anything else, and one way to be your authentic self and connect with an audience is by using examples and stories from your own life that illuminate your message in an engaging, memorable way. Below are three more examples of Bill Cosby telling stories during stand-up or while being interviewed. Watch and learn (and try not to laugh…if you can).

I love these lessons because I think they’re so true. Personal stories are so powerful, and their effectiveness is grounded in the person you are. Stand up, and tell your stories! Because they matter.

You can watch Bill Cosby’s full speech here (does anyone else feel compelled to always say his first and last name?):

And be sure to check out Presentation Zen’s full post for more great insights and some sample stories from Bill Cosby, the master of charm himself.