In Praise of Square Photos – or Why Instagram Had it Right

Fire The tech world is awash with excitement because Instagram (over 300 million users) now supports photos and video uploaded in traditional landscape and portrait mode, instead of just square. Oddly, I think Instagram did the mobile web a favor by pushing for us to upload in the square format.

In Praise of Square Photos

Photographers and artists are already grumbling at me, I’m sure. But hear me out.

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OwnerFUEL is Live

OwnerFUEL Logo I’m happy to report that we just launched OwnerFUEL as the media property supporting Owner Media Group. OwnerFUEL is the “parent” of all the various media efforts we have created. Let me explain the plan.

OwnerFUEL is Business, Marketing, and Sales Advice for You

My site, chrisbrogan.com, is built as a kind of hybrid. It’s me. It’s also me talking about my business stuff. There’s a lot of ME here. So I wanted to create a property that was more about the subject than it is about me. Sure, I’m writing 95% of the articles (anything with my name on it is written by me – others will use their names when it comes around). But it’s more me writing as a magazine writer than me being me.

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The Next Event I Might Run

1024px-Gillis_Mostaert_-_Village_Feast_-_WGA16293 As the co-founder of PodCamp, it was interesting to participate at the most recent PodCamp Pittsburgh (this is their tenth running of the event). I was nearly surprised that nine years later, we’re still talking about which microphone to use and how to monetize a podcast. But that’s technically WHY we still run PodCamps. Because people still have that question. It made me think, though.

The Next Event I Might Run

I spoke with Carla Swank from Nashville a few times. She’s part of the team running Craft Content, which is their own project but that follows the BarCamp/PodCamp/other similar events legacy. It was exciting to see the new brand, the new ideas, the different spin on what is out there.

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Are You Outsourcing Your Thinking

Behind the Scenes It’s interesting how I hear the same words from many mouths. Over and over. Someone will have an idea, and then others will echo that idea. In the process, I have this feeling that people are outsourcing their thinking.

Outsourcing your thinking?

My son told me that most of the people he followed on Tumblr didn’t like the Minions movie. (This was an hour before we were to sit in a theater somewhere and watch it.) I asked him if he was going to let those people judge the movie or if he would judge it for himself. On the way out of the theater, he said, “I think Tumblr was wrong. I liked the movie.”

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Thoughts Thought after Periscope

Chris Brogan It was an interesting experience, having a bunch of negative people show up to see what I’d talk about. They were mostly mad that I said I didn’t like a piece of software that they like. It’s really funny to me. Just because I have an opinion that’s counter to their opinion about a software that neither of us created, I’m a jerk. That’s my first takeaway. People are pretty passionate about Periscope.

My Position Remains Unchanged

My point is that it’s kind of a messy way to build your business. It is effective for what it does. It’s helpful insofar as it lets you build some relationship-like connectivity by showing people your live and wobbly face. And I see the value in the intimacy. But to me, if you have two hours in a day to devote to the online channel for building your business, I’d rank this one last.

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Is This Interesting?

Chris Brogan INSTEAD of watching me do dumb things live on Periscope, why not engage me where we can talk back and forth, where I can help, where I can add value.

Here’s the Thing

If you sign up after reading what I just wrote, please hit REPLY when you get your confirmation and say “Periscope sent me.”

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The Last King of Brooklyn

Brooklyn Bowl The air inside the Brooklyn Bowl smells like well worn leather, sawdust, and evidently hops (from the nearby Brooklyn Brewery, but I’ll get back to them). All around me are authentic Coney Island early 20th century amusement park props, like the tin targets from shooting galleries. There’s a band putting their gear together onstage for an evening event, lots of percussion and fewer amps, so I’m guessing it’ll be some kind of folk or world music. In front of me, Charley Ryan, cofounder of the Brooklyn Bowl (with partner Peter Shapiro) is pressing his business card into my hands and is about to say the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard while receiving a business card.

“I hope my phone number goes from this card into your phone and that you use it whenever you want to get in touch.”

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Customer Service is Marketing

Chris Brogan and Harold Brogan My son, Harold, is huge into video games and video game culture. He knows more weird and deep-level memes and obscure details than you’ll ever know. Harold has convinced me to take him to the SCG Convention in Texas. To say he’s hyped and excited is to really underplay how he feels about it.

As part of this, I’ve encouraged Harold to do as much of the planning and deciding as possible. Harold chose the Aloft hotel chain. Swell by me. He picked it because he loved the videos. I prepaid for the days of the conference. And then, I ran into a snag.

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