Saturday, September 24, 2005

New Group - Great Class Experiment

Well, this was an interesting follow-up to class discussion on legitimacy and belonging. Friend of mine sent me a site where a live 24/7 webcam is set up at a pond in Botswana, and I have become a fan (okay, an addict) of watching the animals come to the area. I have been doing screen shots (one uploaded here to give you an idea) and it has been educational for me and my kids.

**You can find the site here.**

Reading through the site, I noticed a Blog section. It is run by administration but is an ongoing community chat place as well, with posters sometimes carrying on conversations within minutes of each other's postings. I also read of a yahoo group set up for those who take screen shots or wish to see them. All of this is linked to the main site and is very well done. Immediately, I jumped right in - sent my first posting to the blog section and signed up for the yahoo group.

I didn't know the rules of the group - and the only "rule" posted on the site is that offensive posts/language will be deleted. Makes sense and is fairly obvious (and universal to most groups). When I do a screenshot, I don't simply send the capture - I play with the graphics ('cause I'm a graphics junkie too) and I hadn't seen that in the group when I first joined. But I decided to just do it - and if it was asked of me to send the raw capture, I would gladly comply.

I'm proud of my graphics abilities, but I do it for myself to enhance a photo - to me, an untreated photo is like sending out handwritten essays to one's professor. Thus far, no one has commented on my graphics, but no one has asked me to refrain from doing so either. Being a member of other groups - mostly graphics - I am fully aware of minimum and maximum size requirements for emails and attachments, and am always considerate of those on dial-up (for whom loading can be frustrating if attachments are large). So I managed to keep my pictures and their graphic enhancements down to a minimum, and thus far, no one has complained.

I joined the group on Tuesday - and have become what I term a "main character" - posting frequently, getting friendly with the members, and slowly drawing back the curtain on those things about myself (and my self) that I wish to reveal. One woman did the same, even mentioning how last night would have been her 10th wedding anniversary had her husband not left their marriage, and she was planning on toasting the day/night with a glass of wine and the webcam feed - I admire her candor, and her strength, and I wrote her back, disspelling her fears of being too "chatty" (as she had mentioned and apologized for) and giving her my personal email to snag so we could chat off-list.

Today's conversation revolves around how we all want to get on a plane and go volunteer to run the camera at the Pond. And more personalities are coming to the fore. I don't know what previous posts have been like, but since I've come into the group, I've gotten to see more humor and jocularity than one might have expected from a simple "send your screenshots here" group. Last night, late (not telling HOW late, nuh-uh *grins*), the camera was out - the "remote camera guru geek" wrote the list - we didn't even know he was a member! - to give us first-hand info on the outage, and sent us pics taken directly AT the site, by the camera operator with whom he was in touch via email. So not only are we a group of enthusiasts, the Head Honchos are watching/participating and obviously appreciative of our efforts.

It did not take long - a day or so - for me to feel comfortable and a part of this new group but I have to admit to some trepidation as to how my pictures would be received. Thus far - utter acceptance and this has encouraged me to do and send more.

Found it interesting, given my new awareness of social computing...


Anonymous said...

Hi lissa,
Would you be willing to share some basic guidelines on how to adjust photos for e-mail?

lissa said...

Hi "anonymous" (*g*)

The way I do my photos is always save them as jpgs - then, it's really up to you. I have a lot of fun with graphics, so I go into my graphics software and play with borders, picture frames, text, effects etc. But this adds to the size of the photo.

If you are emailing a photo, you would want to keep the size manageable - especially if the person you're sending it to is on dial-up. Jpgs are not huge if you cut them down to a photo of 640 x 480 is only about 64KB. You might not want to send a full-screen photo - especially if it's only to showcase the picture content and not the photograph itself (i.e. showing friends and family) - so always preview your photo in your browser if you can, and make sure the recipient doesn't have to scroll on vertically and horizontally forever just to catch all the facial features of your subject! *grins* I've been recipient of some of those - and not only did they take forever to download, I couldn't truly get the gist of the subject matter!

I hope this helps you!