Nine photo essays, using images from around the world, tell nine different but similar stories about life in the Digital Era, highlighting social media and digital technologies. These stories focus on both individuals and organizations and emphasize the need to adapt to changing times in ways that blend the best of the earth with the best of the cloud.
I am a visual person, which is one of the main reasons I've been so enthusiastic about establishing an SMinOrgs presence on Pinterest and Tumblr. I especially love photo imagery. I've been an avid photographer most of my life, and as my friends and family can attest, I love using pictures to tell a story...
Though it wasn't intentional, the first official S.M.A.R.T. Blog post I wrote was a photo essay reflecting on what the city of Rome, Italy can teach us about building digital communities. Since then I've created eight more photo essays via different media. This post highlights all of them, categorized in two groups: Signs of the (Changing) Times and Digital Era Reflections.
I hope you get as much out of viewing them as I did out of creating them. And if you know of other great Digital Era photo essays, please add a link in the comments. Thanks!
Signs of the (Changing) Times
Social and Digital Technology in Rome and Cairo. A Facebook album that contains examples of social media and other digital technologies from my trip to Rome, Italy and Cairo, Egypt in February 2010. I was particularly interested in examples that contained elements of surprise or defied people's expectations of how these technologies can and should be used.
Tourism in the Digital Era. A Facebook album that shares some of the ways in which digital technology in general - and social media in particular - enriched a road trip in the summer of 2011. Also check out the accompanying blog post: Technology-Enriched Travel: 10 Take-Aways that Reveal Digital Era Truths.
Celebrating "Books" in the Digital Era. A Facebook album of photos from the 2012 Printer's Row Lit Fest in Chicago, which used to be called the Printer's Row Book Fair. As our notion of what a "book" is morphed, and print media gave way to digital media, the name - and what was being celebrated - also had to change. These images and my observations reflect those changes.
Dublin in the Digital Era: A City in Transition. Using images from a recent trip to Dublin, Ireland (Sept 2012), this SlideShare photo essay offers examples of how the city and its residents are moving forward into the Digital Era, while simultaneously clinging to remnants of a paper-based way of life.
An Post: A Venerable Institution Transforms Itself. On the trip to Dublin, I was also captivated by the country's Post Office (An Post). Unlike the US postal system, An Post seems to have done a great job of transforming itself over time to adapt to changing circumstances and technologies. This SlideShare photo essay offers examples of how it has embraced and responded to Digital Era realities, and demonstrates that its current adaptive capacity is deeply rooted in a history of flexibility and nimbleness.
Technology at the HR Tech Conference: Old School Meets New. The significant progress the HR industry has made in developing and leveraging social and digital technologies was clear at the 2012 HR Tech Conference in Chicago. Especially impressive was how "high tech" was used to facilitate "high touch" interactions.
Digital Era Reflections
11 Lessons about Digital Communities from Rome. I visited Rome for the first time in 2010. Struck by powerful images, I decided to study the city while I explored it. Viewing it as a metaphor for virtual communities, I was curious to see what kinds of insights I could glean into the factors that should be considered when building, maintaining, and participating in digital communities. I identified 11 lessons, organized into three themes.
The Early Bird May Get the Worm, But the Brave Bird Gets... The Fries?!?! In June 2010, I (unintentionally) shared my lunch with some brave sparrows who made me reflect on the role of bravery in the context of social media adoption.
Think You Know What Social Media Is? Think Again. Using images from a road trip in the summer of 2011, this SlideShare photo essay demonstrates that social media is about more than digital technology. The essay strives to demystify social media and get people to think more broadly about it and its economic and social roles. Providing this perspective on digital manifestations of social media should help everyone from rookies to mavens, detractors to advocates, understand that today's social media isn't just novel - it's normal.