My mind is all over the place. Firstly I thank all of you who have sent me birthday wishes. Fifty six it is today. One of the pleasures of social media is the ease with which one can send a quick message. I was especially warmed by an e mail received from the gentleman I mentioned a day or so ago, Jim, the other half of the 13′ tall tennis double at university. (I am slightly less than half of the total, he a little more). We correspond rarely and lost touch for years. Yet I still regard him as one of my closest friends. Mrs. Ha does not understand that. Jim’s wife, I discovered, is being treated for cancer. Prognosis unclear. This came hot on the heels of yesterday’s similar news from another dear friend. I don’t deal well with these events. Inevitably I feel a sense of injustice that good people have to go through such ordeals. That is how I feel today.
And on the subject of social media there was an interesting piece yesterday on Crossing Wall Street. Facebook is hemorrhaging users it is headlined. If you don’t go over to the link here is the thrust:
In the last month, the world’s largest social network has lost 6m US visitors, a 4% fall, according to analysis firm SocialBakers. In the UK, 1.4m fewer users checked in last month, a fall of 4.5%. The declines are sustained. In the last six months, Facebook has lost nearly 9m monthly visitors in the US and 2m in the UK.
I won’t desert FB entirely. I have too many friends and contacts there. But I am now migrating much of photography content to Google +. I think they serve different purposes but if you want to use one of the formats to showcase what you can do and get decent quality images, then Google + is the way forward. I can customise my target audience much more and the forums seem better quality on the whole, perhaps simply because the images are so much better presented. I am still finding my way around. Both pose privacy issues so I see no greater threat in Google + than in FB. I also dislike intensely the constant tinkering that FB engages in, the instability of the mobile platform and the in your face ‘suggestions’ that FB pushes. You can purge them on a laptop but not as far as I am aware on mobile devices. Reports of FB’s death are probably greatly exaggerated but it is in need of something to recapture the imagination. Whatever you think of Google its innovation is startlingly good and I just don’t see that in FB. Brian Gilmartin, whom I respect, has a different view and that’s what makes a market:
We don’t typically buy a stock in front of an earnings report, but FB has been consolidating now for 3 full months. We have been adding to the stock in small increments since it fell below $28 – $29, and all the way down to $25.
We think FB is an early-stage growth company. The valuation is spicy for sure, so be careful out there.
Did I go out today? Well yes and I declare an early winner in the quiz. Bob Thompson was right. The man is flying a kite. At my ‘bird spot’ there were about a dozen people flying their kites. And they are very serious. The kites do remarkable stunts and seem to be jousting. It is a social occasion too and one man had a van parked with all the kite paraphernalia you can think of, just in case someone needs running repairs. When they want the kites to really go fast they use the slides strapped onto their jeans. That way they can feed out the line at an incredible pace. Let’s go fly a kite, anyone?
There were very few birds today. The tide was far too high. This is probably the nearest tide chart for where I was and I am not yet familiar enough with the tides levels needed for good bird photography. I suspect I want about 1.7-1.8m max. You can see there was also a small surge over and above the predicted tide.
So this is my only bird image today – Tattlers Rock:
Two more monochrome’s to finish off, both with my trusty SX50 HS.
And so ends the first post of my 57th year. Thank you all for staying with me.