Recently, I talked to a class about the need to maintain recognition about what’s being written and broadcast around you, so that your own work doesn’t too closely reflect that of other media members in town, whether they be full professionals or working in “citizen media” forms.
I came across two good examples of this in my own work in past months, catcthing some uncanny – and almost uncomfortable – moments.
Weeks after posting a photo on flickr, I visited Toby Weiss’ built environment blog and noticed almost an identical shot of lovely-but-abandoned building in Midtown. (See her October 8 posting, slightly down the page.)
Recently, after writing a piece for 52nd City on turning Pruitt-Igoe into an official nature preserve (arguing that it’s already one, as is), I was pointed to a similar piece by former local blogger Dylan Hassinger, who wrote essentially the same treatise re: the Carondelet Coke Plant.
Both incidents reminded me of a few years ago, when I snapped an innocuous, fairly basic pic of the neon sign at Lemmons for STLtoday.com, only to receive a heated, irate e-mail note from a local, amateur photographer, who thought that we’d swiped his image. It’s not like dozens of people aren’t taking shots of that great piece of neon, I first thought, before realizing that the angles were similar. I could almost imagine someone thinking their image was used.
It could be that great minds are thinking alike in this town.
Or that are enough people covering some of the same ground that we’re starting to develop an overlap in our efforts.
After posting this, I should check the local blogs for similar sentiments. Sure they’re out there.