I have only written the title of this post, eight measly words, and already I’m wondering if I want to word it differently. I suppose it is more that I am choosing a new workflow, perhaps?
Here’s the deal. Frequently, I have a large number of pending posts that I want to write. And if they include photos of some kind, I frequently balk at the order. For example, suppose I went to a park today (I didn’t, but work with me). And I took pictures. So I might want to write about it tonight, but the photos are going to be a surprising sticking point. Obviously I will want to include them.
But my workflow is pretty sophisticated. Detailed. Oh, alright, it’s anal-retentive, batshit crazy time.
I have 1000s of photos, and I am slowly migrating them from a general folder (albeit well-organized) into a formal app called Mylio. Once in Mylio, photos get sorted generally by date first and foremost, but they also have tags, filenames, facial recognition and more tagging, and sorting between “things to post” and “things to archive”. I rarely delete photos, at least not usually, unless there is nothing of value anywhere in it. If it is a photo of four people, for example, and one of them isn’t very flattering, I usually won’t include it. But the photo of the second person might be decent. Since I often have 5-6 usable ones, I don’t really need to include the one with a bad portion, but on the other hand, I don’t want to toss it either. So I always have two sub folders — one for “active” posting, one for “extra” archiving. If I edit a photo, the original goes to Extras, the one for posting goes to Active. Clear enough?
Step two though is to upload the photos that I’m using, after saving their meta data of course, and loading them on to my website. I managed to get 2005-2008 up on the side before deciding to redo my entire website some time ago, and while all the photos are good, I realized the other day I need to edit about 50 pages for format and consistency of layout. Normally I don’t have to do that, so I just create a new gallery, upload the photos for a given month, and then bam, they’re available for inserting into posts.
Yet therein lies the rub. I normally do a month at a time, once the month is complete. And, to be honest, I am often using photos that I took, plus those that Andrea had on her phone, and now, Jacob is in the mix too. He took some really good ones of sunsets at the cottage recently, plus some other ones earlier in the year. If I’m going to post photos from an event, like an outing to a park, shouldn’t I use the best photos from ALL THREE OF US, rather than just from me?
Perfection is the enemy of progress though, and it has been for certain posts. One of my posts some time back was about my haircut, but since I hadn’t completed the month, and hadn’t backed everything up from Andrea’s computer to mine, with the photos she took of me, I didn’t have my workflow nailed for how to get recent photos in the queue and on the site without risking needing to re-upload them later, or swap out new ones, or generally just having to update it later once I have processed the other files. Or simply confusing myself to the point where I accidentally delete something or miss it altogether.
And even without Andrea and Jacob in the mix, I don’t normally back up my phone every night to my desktop.
Enter the change
I had to “let it go”, essentially. Some of those processes are great at ensuring nothing gets missed but not so good at ensuring I can stay current with something interesting in photos. Today I wrote a post about smartphones and astronomy, and to do it properly, I needed to do about ten screen captures on two different devices PLUS four more photos of my phone and tablet with the other device. And then sort the photos, upload them to the site, embed them in the post, all while ensuring that neither the place they are stored in the website nor the way they are stored in the program application Mylio causes me to duplicate anything. A place for every photo and every photo in its place.
Whereas I used to do a month at a time, the major change in my workflow is adding a “status” tag to the folder name in Mylio. So, even if it is mid-month, I can create a folder called “22 Walk in the park” and then add a little acronym after the folder name to track the steps that are finished so far:
I don’t blog about everything of course, but most of the stages in PAJISTMUGB are common. Once all 10 are done, I can just rename the folder with a simple “_y” that yes, that folder is all done. It doesn’t solve my problem with not having Jacob or Andrea’s photos ready to go (A,J), but it solves MY photo processing (P).
I’ve been testing out various iterations of the work process and this one worked well today. I took the 10-15 photos, processed them, saved and stored them in Mylio, uploaded them to the site, and sent a draft of the post to someone in the local astronomy club to see if they want a copy of the article for their monthly newsletter. All of it turned out pretty well.
Anal-retentive? Sure. And that’s one of my good points! 🙂 But flexible anal-retentiveness apparently.
Today I choose a new approach or work process to blogging.
What choices are you making today?