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Visual Blogging – MLK March + More

Martin Luther King, Jr. March in San Antonio. Click to read my Tumblr about the event.

Martin Luther King, Jr. March in San Antonio. Click to view and read my Tumblr.

This post was originally drafted in February, 2013. I have updated it just a bit since then.


The past few months, I have been learning how to document events using photography and to “visually” blog.

French leader Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) wisely stated, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

I have found this to be true, but it takes a lot of practice to tell a story visually without any professional training in photography. Having said that, there are several apps that make your photographs look more professional and enhance your innate creativity.

One of my favorites is Instagram.

For the first time, in 2013 I participated in the nation’s largest Martin Luther King, Jr. March in San Antonio, Texas. It was a life-changing experience and I recommend it to everyone!

As I marched along with 100,000 others, I snapped iPhone photographs of the crowd, filtered them using Instagram, and uploaded them immediately afterward. If you click on the photograph you will find my Tumblr write-up with more images from the march. In 2014, I decided to tackle YouTube Video Editor and I created, “Dream Alive” about the event, which combines brief video clips and Instagram imagery in a collage format. Follow the link to see it on YouTube.

On a personal note regarding the march, while the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C. at this same time was very impressive, I have to say I felt I was experiencing more of the “real deal” in San Antonio, Texas on January 21, 2013. The diversity of cultural backgrounds, ages, political persuasions, business interests, and religious affiliations in the San Antonio crowd was impressive, all of us marching together to promote peace and understanding.

Video continues to increase in popularity overall, and YouTube is one of the world’s largest and most-used search engines. I have posted a variety of helpful resources at the conclusion of my WordPress article, “Video to the Rescue.” Nonprofits need to be paying attention to this trend and make use of video to convey their many worthy missions and needs for support!

I have continued to expand my work on Tumblr and Instagram. I have also been experimenting with other terrific photography apps, 100 Cameras in 1 by Trey Ratcliff, Aviary and Google+ photo filters (one must have a Google+ account and have uploaded the corresponding app to find and use the filters). For examples of the latter, see my Auto Awesome photo album on Google+.

An Instagram taken during the fashion show in 2012 for Fashion Week SA.

An Instagram taken during the fashion show in 2012 for Fashion Week SA.

To see see two of my first “visual blogging” experiences using Tumblr – they are among my favorites – follow the links to San Antonio Fashion Week 2012 and Artpace’s 2012 “Chalk-it-Up.” My Tumblr profile now contains many similar examples. Tumblr is one of my favorite platforms and is a wonderful counterpart to WordPress and other more word-based platforms.

My use of Tumblr is somewhat unique in that I use it to showcase imagery and video, then I cross-link those posts onto other social media platforms. This is a clean and convenient method for posting photographs online that keeps my other platforms free of photographic “clutter.”

Best wishes!

Carolyn M. Appleton


NTEN: Nonprofit Technology Network has devoted part of the September, 2014 issue of its e-journal CHANGE to the importance of visual communications. To access it free of charge, follow the link.

Online Life in Pictures is a study conducted by Pew Internet Research Project (September 13, 2012). It underscores the importance of visual imagery in communications today.

“Photos and videos have become key social currencies online.

46% of adult internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created. We call them creators.

41% of adult internet users take photos or videos that they have found online and repost them on sites designed for sharing images with many people. We call them curators.”

You might also enjoy reading, “Picture This: Instagram Is The Fastest Growing Social Network For Brands” by Greg Finn for Marketing Land (May 9, 2013).

“Since Facebook purchased the filter-friendly photo app Instagram last year, brand adoption has skyrocketed, according to a new study of the top 100 brands by SimplyMeasured. Since purchase last year, the Facebook-owned Instagram has flourished. The post-purchase growth jumped 500% in just a year, going from 22 million active monthly users to nearly 100 million current active users.”

Last but not least, The Nonprofit Times posted, “Going Viral Isn’t as Easy as it Looks” (May 9, 2013, link no longer active online).

“As any social media ‘guru’ will tell you – or any teenager for that matter – it helps if you include a photo in your Facebook post. The 2013 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study confirms it: Users were twice as likely to like, share or comment on a photo post than any other content on Facebook. Photos had the most ‘virality,’ at 3.3 percent, and only video had above-average virality, at 1.6 percent.”


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