Vero v Glass v Mastodon, and What We Should be Doing


It seems I chose the wrong time to rejoin Twitter. A month or so after creating a new account Musk buys it and all hell breaks loose.

As I mentioned in earlier posts I don’t care. Twitter has always been a strange corner of the internet and I never missed it while I was away and I won’t miss it if it implodes on itself now. In fact, I’ve just deleted all my older tweets.

Truth be told I only rejoined on a whim one evening when I couldn’t sleep to see if posting there would increase traffic to this website.

But while searching online for a social media platform that might suit me I came across Vero and Glass. 

Of those it’s Glass that gets my vote. But let’s start with Vero

Vero is mystifying. There seem to be plenty of people on there and if you post at the right time of day you’ll get a decent amount of likes but no real engagement. 70% or so of the photography on there that I’ve seen tends to be over-saturated landscape photography that has been over processed and therefore looks unnatural. And everyone seems to copy each other.

The exception to this seems to be wildlife photography of which there is a lot of good work. My only problem is that after a while, unless it is spectacular, wildlife photography gets boring quickly. But I like the Vero apps and the interface is wonderful. Maybe I need to explore it more.

Vero

Glass on the other hand has lots of variety but tends to be much quieter. It too has a great app, especially the iPad version.

Posted photographs have more of a story and less of a ‘wow’ factor compared to images on Vero (or Instagram). Narrative seems to take priority over post-processing. Glass also has the air of early Flickr or dare I say it the Instagram of old. But unlike Vero (yet) Glass isn’t free. I have paid for a yearly subscription and am prepared to give it a try for at least one year. It is also a place where photographers pay for the service. That alone weeds out a lot of clutter.

And then there’s Mastodon. Everybody knows about Mastodon now thanks to Twitter’s problems. Mastodon reminds me of MySpace.

It seems to be a happy medium somewhere between a very useful micro blogging platform without advertisements and the mess of Twitter. But Twitter is still more useful because there is so much more useful information to be found and despite all the potential boycotts, most organisations are still on it. But I’ve had far more personal engagement on Mastodon than anywhere else.


In short,

Vero – Good if you are a landscape photographer who likes looking at copycat photos or enjoy wildlife photography. Most photos look too similar for my tastes. The platform doesn’t feel genuine despite the creators’ reassurances. In fact, the more they try to reassure users the more suspicious I become. It’s already getting a lot of traction among famous influencers and that can’t be a good thing (but still way better than Instagram). Something just doesn’t sit right but I can’t pin it down. I hope I’m wrong and it delivers on its promises. Perhaps I’m not using it correctly.

Glass – If you are prepared to pay the yearly subscription I’d give it a year and see where it is then. It’s a quiet place to be but that could change and for me it has the most potential. Glass feels more honest and the photographs seem more considered and rely less on post-processing. 

Mastodon – An alternative to Twitter but it still feels like shouting into the void. But it does have an auto-delete option which I think all social media platforms should have as defaults. Mine is set to one week.


So what does this mean?

It means that none of it matters. Use all of them, use none of them. It doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference (except for licensing issues).

What we should be doing is printing photos, making albums or putting them in journals, and/or producing a self-published single edition book. Having something physical, something that you can write on to jot down your thoughts or provide inspiration is more important. Something that won’t get lost among the millions of other photos online.

Imagine digital as film – take your time, select and print only the best few. Keep them on hand forever. Photos are your memories. They are for you and your family. 

For me this website and my daily journals are where I have complete control over everything I do. It feels good when I make a print (a dopamine hit?), a sense of satisfaction far superior to simply uploading to the web. I also enjoy this website despite the minimal traffic.

However, I also have an inbuilt desire to share and that’s where social media gets us hooked. We just need to be more conscientious about where, when, and how we share our own personal content. 

Experience life, journal it, print it, and repeat. Over and over and over again and again. Never stop.

Think about social media and the internet only after you’ve journaled it. Glass, Vero, Mastodon, and all social media should be secondary.


Have anything to say? Leave a comment or feel free to get in touch anytime.

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