Clobbered & Flattened...My attention was clobbered by what was on the TV.
The coffee simmered motionless within its mug and the columnist’s thoughts inked onto parchment lay haphazardly tossed aside in the paper edition of the newspaper I was reading. Thomas L. Friedman, exploded from the background hum the TV had just occupied seconds before. Now it was gripping my full attention.
Seems the internationally renowned author, reporter, and columnist—the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and the author of five bestselling book had a new book. It was about How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back and par for the political themed venue of which he was a panel member.
[A note about this blog entry: The blogging staff of Digital Directions is taking a short summer break. However, we dove back into our hundreds of posts and thought you might enjoy revisiting this interesting topic originally posted Tuesday, September 6, 2011.]
However, what momentarily stopped my world from spinning was his vivid description of a phenomenon we deal with every day as individuals helping people, communities and organizations preserve their photographs and treasured memorabilia. The author - who had just 6 years ago stressed how technological forces had flattened the world we live in - was now elaborating on his observation of hyperconnectivity.
This phenomenon, as Friedman explained, has placed an exponential thrust upon not only business - as was the underpinning theme of The World is Flat - but also upon us as individuals. Through hyperconnectivity our world is now not only flat, but also linked together in unprecedented ways.
In a recent article written by Clay Barbour and published by the Wisconsin State Journal, the value photos bring to our lives and how digital technology and online social networking have changed the way we hang onto them was examined.
Barbour cites a 2006 study conducted by Fujifilm looking at the photography landscape and - given the year it was conducted - its startling conclusion. That year (2006) some 25 billion images were captured, and most of them were printed. Analyzing trends, the company estimated that by 2009, 135 billion images would be captured, but only a fraction would be printed.
“We are all 24-hour photographers now,” said Tim Hickernell, lead researcher for Info-Tech Research Group. “The question is, what are we doing after we take the picture?”
Info-Tech is a global information technology company that has more than 8,000 clients. A large part of Hickernell’s job is researching trends in archiving, including digital images.
“It is yet to be seen if we’ll actually take that extra step and save any of this stuff,” he said.
33 FlavorsWhile perhaps we all are on a rather steep learning curve with digital photography and how best to maintain a ‘life-cycle perspective and active management’ approach to our preservation, as Steve Puglia, Archivist at the Library of Congress puts it; my bet is we get there.
Growing up my brother and I used to enjoy those special family outings to get ice cream. When we arrived there was a treasure trove of flavors to choose from, but it was all ice cream. Preserving the past is a part of our make-up. In fact, perhaps we are just now at the starting gate of being able to more fully enjoy our photos beyond just the ‘basic flavors’ that were available with analog photo prints.
For instance, this past month InfoTrends released its U.S. Consumer Photo Merchandise Market Forecast: 2010-2015 where it projected the photo merchandise market will grow substantially over the forecast period, reaching $2.2 billion in revenues by 2015.
So, instead of making a print consumers are creating photo books, photo greeting cards, photo calendars and specialty photo items, which include:
- Enlargements greater than 8” x 10” in size
- Framed photo prints
- Photo collages
- Fine-art photo prints on canvas
And don't forget, the tens of millions of personal printers in the hands of the 'do-it-yourself' consumers capable of producing high quality prints on everything from gloss or semi-gloss photo paper to specialtiy papers with a matte finish.
Hyperstewards ~ All Should We Be!
The National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NSDA) is a collaborative effort among government agencies, education institutions, non-profit organizations, and business entities to preserve a national collection of significant digital content. It is an outgrowth of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program.
Get involved! Ultimately, it is all of our responsibilities to make sure that we preserve, keep, share and connect with our past. Doing so not only saves the past, but also shapes our futures.
Digital Directions is sponsored by E-Z Photo Scan. Get started photo scanning today by renting or purchasing a Kodak Photo Scanner, or by using our photo scanning services.