1st Rule of Social Media

Never forget it’s global.

It used to be said that television could eat up material, but television’s got nothing on social media. Mainly because most of us don’t have the ability to also broadcast via television. But not so with social media. We can broadcast and rebroadcast to our hearts’ content.

And if something has been posted no matter where it originated, it’s out and no longer new. But people can still take it and share it on social media thereby making it even less new. It’s like a shot that ricochets to parts unknown — until someone makes them known. Unfair as that seems, it’s true.

Case in point is my last post with Sarah Dunn’s photo of Richard Armitage. A commenter took exception to its being new. Since I haven’t been following along, I didn’t realize it wasn’t new. But a trip to tumblr and Twitter made it abundantly clear that the photo has been seen and seen and seen long before it was posted on Sarah Dunn’s Facebook page as a Christmas present to the Army. And with this bunch, there should never be underestimation on not only the items having been seen (we have reconnaissance officers that would make other military envious) but also in the ability and readiness to articulate what is found, sometimes within seconds! LOL!

So why this post? I know the global aspects of social media are ferocious. This post is big fat reminder to myself to always do homework. As for Sarah Dunn, it’s her business how she treats this global rule. For now I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt because I do believe she was giving added value by her overt willingness to let us play around with her pictures. And that is new. I also like her style, so yeah, I like her page and have no compunction about encouraging others to do so.


  1. Technically I think the photograph should have been considered new since it came out in Total Film Indonesia and most of the world would have not technically seen it, if not for the web. I was rather content that Sarah was allowing us to see her photos of Richard be they new or not as they are her profession and it is her right to release them as she sees fit…for her to include us in all this was just an added bonus and free advertisement for her business as well. I am rather appreciative of her business savvy in all this.

  2. My niece pointed out the same thing to me when I sent her what I thought was a “new” video of one of her favorite stars (Tom Hiddleston) that she’d like. She says her recon officers are like ninjas — as soon as it’s published, they find it.

  3. Fernanda,
    I say this with all due respect. That is 20th century thinking. When someone is published and on the web, it’s no longer new. Social media and its sharing abilities shoot this idea of remote areas of the world in the head.

    Actually, her business savvy is fine, but it’s not fantastic. The campaign on FB could have been done much better.

  4. The mistake on Sarah’s part was implying that this was a new photo. Other than that, it’s fine. Keep it up, Sarah! :D

  5. Not to belabor the point, but an example of what I’m talking about with no remote areas are that I published something one time on this blog that a person in another part of the world read and then contacted me via email. Turns out that we knew someone in common. Yeah, that blew me away, but it happens.

    I already knew this global ability before I started the blog, and it’s one of the chief reasons I wanted to be anonymous. In my ip log I have a rule to send me any hits from places near me. I’ve had a few, and yes, they freak me out. I even had one from my little town. That really freaked me out.

  6. I see what you are saying, so technically she just has to take the word new out of her offering and all would have been well. We did get the ladder shot and more of the RA shoot for The Hobbit spread that was new to us…so I think she is still doing well in her campaign. I had no idea she had shot those photos until she posted them. I still say kudos to her for trying this as not too many photographers would go out of their way to do it…oh and the leather jacket shot was also new. I do hope she continues to share more with us, but that is entirely up to her, since it is her business.

  7. Just my two cents: I agree that it’s new in that it’s not the exact same picture. If you put the two side by side, Richard’s looking down more in the TFI shot. The one Sarah released is from the same shoot, but not the same shot.

  8. Yes, I think the implication it was new is the main problem. That, and any time you whet an audience’s appetite, you have to give them more to satisfy as it goes on and not less.

    This was anti-climactic compared to the other photos. Not a good strategy.

  9. Yup, I can see where this would have been a let down…I just think she could have been contacted privately rather than called out publicly, it may just have been a human error on her part and I do agree with you about the audience constantly wanting more, so she would eventually have to tighten the reins so to speak.

    Interesting discussion topic. I am off to get some sleep and I wish you a very Merry Christmas as I do read your blog, but I am usually too tired to respond or it is days after when I read it, so I miss out on the chance to comment in a timely fashion.

  10. Thanks Fruityadobo,,,,I thought there was a difference also, but I did not actually compare the two photographs side by side, other than this one was released in black and white and not in color…thanks again,,,this gives me reason to actually go an compare them.

  11. Excuse my typos please. Typing in the dark and being tired does not go well. lol

  12. You’re fine. :)

    Fruityadobo, I guess it wasn’t new enough for some of the public.

  13. Yup I just posted the original with a touch of editing on my part because the original came from the magazine and technically this was a new shot from the same photo shoot. The eyes are definitely different as well the more wistful look of Richard’s face in the new shot, plus the forehead has more character…hence Sarah did give us a new shot of Richard.

  14. @Fernanda Matias: Glad to help! RA looks more relaxed in the TFI one, and I was happy to see another shot of him with a different expression in the same pose.

    @RAFrenzy: I guess so. :( Thanks for this post and for letting me comment! <3

  15. Your “global” point was made last week in the ichthyosis (the skin disorder that affects our stun-in-law and granddaughters) community, when my friend discovered her photo had been featured on a thread in Redit (WTF) after her blog stats were unusually high. Her response was brilliant! Anything that is released online is property deeded to the global masses.

  16. how do you feel about the withholding of the pic until she got so many likes? I can’t help feeling that this practice cancels out the “gift” aspect, that we were just a means to an end. so while I’m thankful that she chose to share with us specifically, I’d rather she didn’t call it a “gift” since we had to pay her in likes to receive it.

  17. I’ve had many lessons on social media being global, but this one a couple of years ago really brought it home to me:


  18. kelbel, I didn’t think of it as withholding anything but rather as a fun game. So I had absolutely no problem with it.

  19. I think on the photographer’s part and that of her reps, it was new to her primarily because no rights outside of Indonesia were granted for the release of that photo. But she under estimated social media ninjas who dug it, edited it, distributed, and reblogged the hell out of it without her permission or knowledge.

    It’s not her fault that she posted a “new” to her pic that was technically already distributed without the appropriate rights attached to her, or even prior credit. The fact that people only realized that she was the photographer who took that pic after the fact illustrates that. If fans feel disappointed for the FB “like” ploy only to see an already released pic, too bad. But it’s not her fault. It’s social media and all of is who participated in distributing the photo. I’m just grateful she’s sharing the pictures to begin with, even after others have edited the crap out of them.

  20. Yep, she underestimated that, and hopefully, she knows it now. I feel for her, but that is the 21st century.

  21. I’m not going to chase the rabbit too much I hope, but this issue is a subject I broach quite a bit with clients — if you’re a business that wants to do social media, you need a social media strategy, which means a written one. No flying by the seat of the pants, or you’ll get your ass in a sling. No, I don’t say that exactly but something similar.

    When a plan is written, people tend to do their homework. Homework in this case would be gaining knowledge of the Army’s use of the other photo which is so close in its look to this one in question.

    None of that is a criticism but rather an assessment of the lay of the land. And guess what? it’s not the end of the world. In fact, there’s a way to turn this into a plus. I’ve actually had to do this for clients who messed up with the public. My first thought was oy, but then I thought, hey, what would I do in face to face interaction.

  22. BTW, if I’m suddenly not around, it’s my damn internet connection. I have techs coming to fix it, but honestly, i am so damn mad about it I can hardly see straight. I’m about to change ISPs if they don’t get their act together. And I would use my phone, but it only gets 3G at my house, and it sucks.

  23. I have nothing against the photographer personally, I’ve just seen so many of those like/follow pleas that I’ve become jaded towards them *shrugs* it is what it is.

  24. Did the ip log report that you had a hit from your little town freak you out because it might mean someone you know is cyber-stalking you, or because it might mean that the quiet woman next door could be an RA FANGIRL?

  25. It freaked me out because I wanted to stay anonymous. Funny enough I did eventually find out that one of my neighbors is an RA fan, and she’s laughed about my blog.

  26. They were new pics to me! But then I don’t have a clue what’s new, old or re-hashed and as I only rely on you, Frenz, and Summer’s Pinterest account – what I see is what you both put up.

    The bigger issue I think, is the way people ignore original intellectual copyright. Only 2 days ago, Google informed me that my two Gisborne books were available on a free download site. A quick legal email and they were deleted. It’s hardly fair to do that to creatives who have spent hours/days/months/years researching, working, writing/designing/ photographing. This is our income after all. And its often ignored by less scrupulous folk. Okay – that’s my beef for the day.

    Happy Christmas, Frenz, and to all the RA fan base as well.

  27. I agree with you, Prue, and I’m sorry those things happen. BTW, do you read The Trichordist? If not, you may find it interesting: http://thetrichordist.com/

  28. kelbel,

    Sorry I missed your comment, and I hear what you’re saying. It is a hackneyed way of getting likes unless someone keeps it fun and fresh. That didn’t totally happen with this situation.

    But for me personally in regard to Sarah Dunn or any of these photographers, and I hope I don’t sound too harsh, I really don’t care. I like to laugh and that’s all my posts are really about. If Sarah Dunn gets likes, that’s great. If not, I’m really not that into getting a photo of Richard. Not that I don’t welcome them when they come, but I’m not freaking out if we don’t get one immediately (and that’s not implying that you do freak out). But let me be more clear. Playing along for laughs? You bet Really wanting a picture? I figured out a long time ago, they’re going to give us pictures. It’s in their best interest to give us pictures. So I know no matter what happens, we’re going to get plenty of pictures. LOL!

  29. […] I do know is whatever the intent of these individuals and corporations, one thing is clear: the first rule of social media is at play here, and I find it fascinating to ponder that some or all may have forgotten it existed […]

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