Sunday 25 November 2012

The Blog so Far

Well it's been 10 days since I started the blog, I've made 2 posts, and tried looking at other people's blogs to see what they're doing. So far I've been enjoying the experience and I've learned a lot. Lately I've been trying to figure out ways to customize the blog and so far I've changed the background, layout, and even bought my own domain name. It's now, I chose "thebillywilson" because "billywilson" was already taken by some kind of company that wasn't really using it but asking $25,000 for it. When I was checking the availability of domain names Google gave me the funniest suggestions. I find the suggestions containing "goat" to be the most humorous "" "" "".

Google's suggestions for a domain name similar to

I also figured out how to make my SmugMug a page on my site called "Limited Edition Prints" and customize it to the extent where it looks identical to the blog. So clicking through to it makes you feel like it's the same site, or it at least does to me. My only big problem on SmugMug is if you open one of the galleries the photo spaces are larger than my background. I haven't figured out how to fix this yet. I'm also planning on putting up some of my architectural drawing onto SmugMug so people can purchase prints of those too.

The current customized look of my SmugMug.

The general appearance of the blog seems to need a little more work I think. I want to figure out how to make my "Blog Archive" look a bit different and a way to display my profile information a bit differently on the right column. I also want to create a few more pages for my other content. I was happy to figure out how to make some social media icons near the top of my blog so people can find me on other sites. One thing I noticed during the changes I made, I'm not sure if it was during the domain change or when I renamed the blog but I lost all the +1's people had given the blog and it's posts.

Let me know how I'm doing and other things I might want to look for to add to the blog. It's snowing outside!


Saturday 17 November 2012

My Online Journey

From Panoramio to Flickr to Google+

I haven't always been big on using the internet. When I really get into anything I tend to become obsessed with it. I have an internet track record of breaking things, tripping wires, and grabbing people's attention not always in the best way. I've also had some problems with interacting with people in real life. Below are the main networks I've used over the time I've been actively producing content online.

The Pamoramio Days:
My family has traditionally been behind the curve of technology and we didn't even have a computer in the house until 2003 and we started out with dial up. I mainly used it to play a few games and type things up. Eventually my mother saved up to buy a laptop that I began using when she wasn't using it. It wasn't until 2007 on a laptop passed down to me by my mother that I started to contribute content to the internet. For a little while I had been obsessed with the desktop version of Google Earth. I loved using it to explore areas around my city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. I had an obsession with finding new waterfalls and brook trout fishing spots and I'd ride my pedal bike out into the forest down old bush roads and bull my way through thick forest to find these places and take pictures. I discovered that on Google Earth you could embed photos as a layer through a site called Panoramio, so I signed up and started to put my photos up on there.

A screenshot of Google Earth overlooking the upper reaches of the Little Carp River with descriptions. The following photos correspond to the numbered locations.

1. These beaver ponds were up on the flat height of land. This was early in the spring and finding such ponds excites trout fishermen, at least me anyway. 

2. Further downstream just above the waterfalls the river looks nice and peaceful. 

3. Then BAM! it goes over a plunge into a gorge full of waterfalls. 

4. And along these journeys I'd come across the Salvelinus fontinalis better known as brook trout or speckled trout. These guys are prized fish for eating and carry a kind of prestige and air about them for being a fish that needs an extremely high quality habitat, hence they are an indicator species

The Flickr Days:
I soon became bored with Panoramio, I was getting a lot of views but there just wasn't a community to be found on the site at the time. So I went looking for a new site to display my photos so I researched which site was the world's most used photo sharing site and I found Flickr. I started posting on Flickr in 2008 and I started to get some interaction with people, I discovered groups, and made some new contacts. I found it to be a great place to see other people's work and I soon started to fave a lot of images. I became obsessed with faving, I liked looking at people's photos and it was a way for me to escape chemistry and biology that I was studying in university. Through all of my time faving, seeing photos, and shooting I quickly developed my skills in taking photos. I soon became renowned for faving images and I showed no sign of slowing down. On Flickr Thomas Hawk claimed to have the most faves of anyone and I soon passed him and hit a quarter of a million before Flickr stopped me thinking I was an automated script and suspended my account in 2010. Flickr's freezing of my account caused a lot of commotion and soon threads and blog posts started popping up about it and I disputed Flickr's claim and they unfroze my account. Since that time I slowed down on Flickr in fear of tripping another spam wire.

Above is Thomas Hawk's blog post about my Flickr account being suspended. 

The Google+ Days:
A few months after I had finished my university degree in Biology and Chemistry Thomas Hawk invited me to Google+ on August 19th of 2011. At first I was afraid of joining and being active on something referred to as a "social network" since I hadn't done well interacting with people in real life. I gave it a try and I felt like there was an accepting community on there. Within 5 days I had 1,416 followers, within 36 days I had more than 6,000 followers which is around what I had amassed on Flickr. By June 15th of 2012 I had hit 50,000 followers and now by November 30th I estimate I'll hit 1 million followers. The massive amount of followers means nothing though in comparison to the meaningful relationships I've made with people on G+. I had met Thomas Hawk on Flickr years ago, but it wasn't until G+ that I really felt like I knew him through G+ hangouts which are a live video chat of up to 10 people. Google+ helped me further open up and overcome some of my social problems to the point where I actually felt confident enough to host an on air variety show using G+ Hangouts On Air. The show has gone on to become one of the longest running shows on G+. Producing shows meant that I was producing video content so now I'm more active on Youtube, a site where I was too afraid to comment on for years. Making a lot of new great connections on G+ spilled over to Facebook where I've gone from only having a handful of school friends to having hundreds of friends and many subscribers. During this time I've also gotten interested in Pinterest where I'm enjoying collecting images related to my interests.

A screenshot from the 33rd episode of my on air G+ variety show "That Show with Billy Wilson (TSBW)".

This now brings me to this place, this blog, that I've just started mostly based on the buzz and recommendations I've heard from people on G+. So far I'm enjoying this and I'm excited to see where it will go. Let me know what you guys think!


about Billy

Thursday 15 November 2012

I Started a Blog

I have no idea what I'm doing, but I thought why not start a blog? So many people talk about blogs and the closest thing I've had was a Tumblr that for a month I wrote some really in depth articles about camera gear on but I haven't updated in years. I've felt that what I post on social networks is satisfactory to me. In the sense that I feel like that's where the people are and that's where I will make more connections. All of the buzz about bloggers and all of the ones I know I've discovered on Google+ for the most part. Last night I watched a G+ hangout on air done by Colleen Jorgensen and she explained how G+ was helping out her blog. I think that might have been the factor that pushed me to start one today. I also think I'm excited to try something that feels entirely new and fresh to see what I can build up.

Once I post this I'm going to see what things I can do with a blog. How I can customize it, what other people are doing, the purpose of a blog, that kind of stuff. The blogger I've known the longest would probably be Thomas Hawk, the second one would be Derek K. Miller who's sadly passed away. He's the one who gave me the camera and lens collage ideas on Flickr that are my most popular posts.

Hmm, what can you expect from this blog? Probably thoughts on art, photography, architecture, history, Google+, exploring the world in Google Street View, stuff along those lines. Perhaps with a wee bit of Tibby thrown in there for good measure.


about Billy