Friday, August 10, 2007
Should we take up a collection to buy Hillary Clinton her own Flickr pro account?
All three of the leading Democratic presidential candidates now have Flickr accounts. Of the three, Hillary is the only one who does not have a pro account as of this writing. (For those of you who aren't on Flickr, there are two levels of service -- the basic free account, and the "pro" account, which costs $24.99 per year and allows more storage of larger files and other goodies. Most people soon opt for the latter, especially as Flickr basically tries to shame them into ponying up by running a "Buy So and So a Pro Account" tagline at the top of their profile page, making them feel like a charity case if they don't.)
Actually, as it turns out, Hillary may not really have a basic Flickr account either -- see below.
It's interesting to watch three of the world's most famous photographers (?) -- or their campaigns -- grapple with the ins and outs of photo sharing accounts. Here are some links to their photostreams, along with a few comments. Be sure to check their profiles as well.
Barack Obama: By far the coolest of the bunch, and his photostream creates the illusion at first glance these are all snapshots Obama snapped on the campaign trail with a point and shoot. Not true, of course -- as you wade through the stream (more than 4,000 photos at last count, more than any of the others), you soon see they were shot with different cameras by different people. But at least it avoids the apperance of Flickr spam by Barrack -- and it puts the focus on the people, not him. Cool. First photos posted in February of this year. Also, I signed up all three candidates as contacts. Obama was the first to reciprocate, and got back to me (or someone on his staff did) within minutes. Impressive attention to detail.
John Edwards: Edwards also has a lot of photos -- more than 2,000, dating back to December of 2005, when the stream was started with mostly family pictures. Like Obama, Edwards has a short profile in keeping with his campaign positioning. But unlike Obama, a much higher proportion of candidate pictures to people pictures. The stream seems to scream "Me, Me, Me" -- which, in view of the flak he has encountered over his looks and his haircuts wouldn't seem to serve his cause particularly well. Another example of a candidate trying to use new media, with old media advisers still aggressively pushing his image out there the same way they always did. And he has not invited me to be a contact yet.
Hillary Clinton: What can I say? The more I look at this, I don't think it's really an official site at all. No contacts, no real profile -- and only three logos and four photos, all from an event in Kansas, uploaded in March of 2006 -- one of them titled "War Room at the Washington Days Dinner." Nothing since then. I'm guessing the Hillary Clinton for President Committee was a local group that slapped this up, and the site has languished ever since. But, if this isn't the Clinton campaign's real Flickr site, where is the real one? (This was what came up in the same Flickr search that easily turned up Obama and Edwards.) If someone finds it, please let me know.