13 2 / 2012
Lost in translation
I’m sure there are some thorough studies out there about this, but here are some thoughts to consider:
- Pictures are universally accessible. All humans “get” them. “A thousand words” and such.
- Words are not required (duh, Andrew). So photos are both nationality- and intelligence-agnostic. You do not need to be eloquent, intelligent, or speak a certain language. to take or appreciate a good photo.
- They are democratic. Anyone can participate either as a contributor or commenter with essentially zero friction. Anyone with an iPhone can take a pretty good photo now thanks to the increasing camera/lens quality and easy editing/sharing apps like Instagram. This is a big change from fifteen years ago, when consistently taking good photos required talent.
- They allow us to live vicariously through other people or be a voyeur. We all LOVE this but don’t talk about it.
- Photos are potato chips: lightweight snacks that we can consume huge quantities of in one sitting without thinking about it.
- Images own our vanity. No one wants to look bad. It’s basically impossible to ignore the notification that someone tagged you in a photo. And we never get tired of looking at ourselves.
I often hear someone with an app idea that is basically a repurposing of an existing photo play. Nothing wrong with repurposing. But just because another object can be organized like a photo does *not* mean that ripping off that organization will have the same impact for the new object type. Things get lost in translation.
What do you think? Have I missed something? Let me know in the comments.
"Lost in Translation"
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