It feels kinda crazy to be posting an entry with a title like this. After all, I cringe a little whenever I see someone else putting up similarly titled posts. Still, I think it's appropriate to let you know that I haven't been posting here in part because I've been busy elsewhere and in part because I had to figure out how I was going to differentiate between this blog and my two other blogs: loubenjamin.photo on Instagram and loubenjaminphoto.tumblr.com. As I approach 900 followers on Instagram (I may get there tonight), my activities here and on Tumblr have been light, at best. That's about to change, now that I have a vision for going forward on each of these platforms.

Simply put, the posts here will tend to be long-form, more like articles or tutorials, while the other two platforms will feature shorter content, with Instagram being the shortest. Content on  Instagram will include lifestyle topics that I won't be covering here, and will be further constrained by its  limited formatting options and heavy censorship. I plan to post images on Tumblr that I cannot post on Instagram without obliterating them, and to take advantage of features such as the ability to insert links and post multiple images.  

Muse, my blog back in 2006

It amazes me that my blogging activities go back 16 years — to the early days of blogging itself. I created my first blog on the Blogger platform  in December of 2000, little more than a year after the platform first became available to the public. I kept that blog going for six solid years and it was a great experience. In fact, my return to photography happened in part because I got interested in adding photos to my blog posts. I got a Nikon CoolPix 990 and started shooting like crazy. The photography activity increased even more after I took on the challenge of shooting at least 20 frames every day, inspired by a course description in the catalog for the School at the International Center of Photography.

During that time, I watched Pyra Labs, the little startup that created Blogger, get absorbed by Google. I also saw the rise of competing blogging platforms including WordPress. Blogging styles and the very nature of social networking evolved quite a bit over the years. I liked having the power to edit HTML to structure and style my posts just-so, but it was a lot of work. My last Blogger post was in February '07.  

I returned to blogging in November, 2010 when I set up my first micro-blog on Tumblr as an example for a book I was working on: Editing, Storing and Sharing Your Digital Photos in Simple Steps for Prentice-Hall. Part of the appeal of Tumblr was the ease of creating posts on the platform. Mobile support and the relative absence of censorship were also compelling. I ended up creating two blogs, one that was about observing pop culture and one that was more specific to photography.

Unfortunately, somewhere in late 2014, Tumblr deleted my accounts! I had encountered a nasty little pitfall of the Tumblr ecosystem: it's far too easy to reblog materials that infringe others' copyright, which makes you an infringer. If the copyright holder spots your post and complains to Tumblr, it's a strike against you. When you get enough strikes, you're zapped, and there's nothing you can do about it. Because both of my blogs were connected, they both got taken down because of reblogs into one of them.

In a sense, what you see here is part of a third act. I'm definitely working from a different vision this time.  It's funny to realize that I had a three-year break before each of my returns to blogging. Perhaps I needed that much time to refuel and reimagine my project.   When I finally set up loubenjaminphoto.tumblr.com in April, 2016, I knew I would approach posting differently than before — I'd certainly be more careful about reblogs.

I actually set up loubenjamin.photo on Instagram just prior to setting up the Tumblr account. Two friends who were familiar with Instagram gave me some pointers that showed its potential, and I was off to the races. 

So, here we are! I'm really excited about the distinct benefits of blogging on Squarespace, Instagram, and Tumblr, and I plan to take advantage of each. Come back soon — there's more to come!