It’s time for our regular challenges to end. Let me explain why. Let us end brilliantly. And let me tell you why that is in fact great news 🙂
You see, in spite of being a loner who enjoys nothing more than being alone at the top of a mountain with only clouds and the wind as neighbours, there’s little I enjoy more than doing stuff with others. As much as the peace and quiet of escaping the noise and turmoil of cities soothes me, I long for collaboration between people, common project, particularly when they bring together human beings separated by arbitrary borders and frontiers. Nothing makes me happier and much of my work as a marketing consultant hinges around creating communities.
So, Challenges felt like a natural project for DearSusan. One idea, multiple submissions. No competition but an opportunity to contemplate multiple understandings and facets of a same root thought.
And it worked beautifully, with photographs coming in from multiple continents and a rich show of talent.
But all good things come to an end.
In recent challenges, I felt a drop of enthusiasm. Challenge posts are *a lot* of work for me and challenge posts were those receiving the least comments of anything we published. As much as readers seemed eager to send in photographs, they just didn’t seem all that interested in viewing the global resulst.
Comments are my measure for success. To me, if no one is commenting, then the idea isn’t working, and the content is boring people more than it brings joy. Time to move on.
Time to move on. But not to turn the page completely 😉
You see, the incentive of challenges was only interesting for people like me, who like collaborative work for its own sake. And there’s no reason that should be the only motivator. People engage in photography and blog reading for many reasons and there’s no point in force feeding my own when we can all have more fun doing something else.
So, let’s change the incentive a little bit … 😉
And before we do that, let’s have one last challenge : Storytelling.
The rules are simple. Rather than impose a topic, this one will allow any subject, any situation, any setting, anything you want. But (1) no photographs of people if you don’t have permission to share their photograph. And (2) a story to go with the photo!
So, before the end of the month, you can send in
The photographs can be family souvenirs, backyard shots, conceptual art, adventure memories, … anything. But they have to illustrate a great story.
And now for something not completely different 😉
Behind the scenes, a few DS regulars have been working on collaborative art projects. We’ll talk more about these, but one idea behind them is that we can all submit photographs that we feel support the project’s core idea and others working on the project can work on series using those common photographs (as opposed to using only photographs they shot themselves).
Several projects are ongoing, though at very early stages. And we’ll share initial results towards the middle of the month.
It’s still very early days and we are still figuring out how this could work. But the aim is to publish the work and organise serious group exhibitions.
And here’s where the successor to the collaborative challenge might offer a more stimulating incentive …
Periodically, to support work on one of the ongoing projects, DS will hold “requests for proposals”. Much like challenges, these will hinge around a specific idea. And much like challenges, we will ask for photographs corresponding to that idea.
But the change is that comments will be just as useful as photographs. So, if you have nothing to contribute in the way of photographs but have ideas in your mind, you can just share them in the comments.
Whatever photographs and comments get picked may end up in the exhibitions, obviously with credit. And If this ever extends to actual print sales, we’ll figure out a profit sharing scheme as well. But that’s still a long way away and we haven’t given it any thought yet. For now, let’s just say that the main difference with challenges is that your photographs and ideas can go way beyond publication in a single post. What happens after is still pure speculation, but the work has started and it is facinating 🙂 I hope you’ll join in and love it.
Step 1: The Storytelling Challenge. The rules are above. My email address is pascal dot jappy at gmail dot com. And the limit date is end of month. Let’s make this a great last hurrah 🙂
What say you? Comment or no comment? 🙂
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