The Instagram Alternative Is Kickstarted

Last month, I learned about Bokeh. It’s a cool new photo/social media app that promises to be better than Instagram. Started by a passionate developer, Bokeh has been funded on Kickstarter, reaching its initial financial goal. That means we may soon begin to enjoy what Instagram was or should have been!

Not long ago, I published an article about how Instagram lost its goodness and how I missed what it started out as. It was sort of a photo enthusiast sharing site like Flickr. Of course, it ended up quite different. So I deleted my Instagram account.

Bokeh seeks to fix what’s broken about Instagram. And now that it has been funded, the developer, Tim Smith, is hard at work bringing to life what could become The Next Big Thing. It’s an exciting time, and I’m happy for Tim who pushed to bring Bokeh this far!

Here are a few tidbits:

  • In just 30 days, Bokeh raised over $11,000 on Kickstarter!
  • Out of 229 total backers, I’m number 111!1
  • Estimated time of delivery for Bokeh is October 2019.

The initial screenshots look very nice. It begins with a not-so-subtle-red theme, which is a stark yet welcome departure from the blues of Twitter and Facebook.

The name itself, Bokeh, leads me to think that the social site will focus more heavily on photography than on celebrity influencer status – cough, Instagram, cough.

Bokeh sounds great! Imagine, a photo app that’s more about capturing images than attention.

That said, Bokeh promises to be about community too. It will include strong connecting or communicating features to help friends and family stay close online. This is compelling, a social site and service that strikes a balance between both pictures and people. Sign. Me Up.

I’m thankful for the privilege to help fund Bokeh as I support Tim Smith’s endeavors to build a better alternative to Instagram. I can’t wait to see how progress is made on the app and service, and I wish Tim all the best as he continues to work towards making this dream come true.

Are you interested in trying Bokeh or anything better than Instagram? Comment below or message me. Thanks for reading!

  1. I wish I had made it in under 100!

Instagram Was Good Until It Wasn’t

Do you remember back when Instagram first came out? It was not social-focused like it is today. It was photo-focused. And I totally miss that.

A good start

I recall how at first, Instagram helped a thing called iPhoneography take off. Around 2011, smartphone cameras were getting seriously good enough, and at the same time being super convenient, that people started using them instead of traditional point-n-shoots.

Instagram was a wonderfully simple app. It did one thing and did it well: quick photography. There were three basic steps:

  1. Take photo
  2. Edit photo
  3. Share photo

Pretty simple, huh? But there were some special features about those basic steps that made all the difference.

First, you could take only square photos – gasp! How limiting! At first, I found this to be suboptimal, something I had to tolerate. But as I was “forced” to practice making 1:1 ratio pictures more and more, a change began to occur. I found the limitation, lets now call it focus, sparked my creativity. It made me think of framing photos differently than the 4:3 ratio I was used to on my “real” camera.

Second, the editing specialty was probably the biggest shiny thing it had going. You could use filters! Sometimes this seemed like a gimmick. But sometimes I found it to actually help photos look better. At the time, smartphone cameras were passable but not very good. Filters helped overcome this deficiency in picture quality, like a simple mask. Plus, they also spurred on creativity.

Third, sharing your snaps on Instagram to a feed dedicated to photography was, for any shutterbug, a sweet dream come true. Somehow, Instagram had just the right, simple mix of social features (comments, likes) without being a noisy soul-sucking Newsfeed like Facebook. And there were no ads!

A bad end

Like all social media, as Instagram grew, so did it rot.

Instagram seemed to flourish with photographers in the beginning. Beautiful pictures and love-of-photography, much like beloved Flickr or yore, were prominent.

But then came the Brands. And the selfies. And the celebrities. And the ads. And the self-promotion. And Stories. And, worst of all, the Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg. Then the guys who founded Instagram could take no more and left their creation. Need I say more?

Instagram promoted photography. Until it promoted celebrity.

Instagram was the new Flickr. Until it was the new MySpace for photos.

A bad trend

I’ve lamented the souring of Instagram. I’ve tried to enjoy it regardless. But it didn’t work out. I deleted my Instagram account in March. And I don’t miss it.

I’m not the only one put off by what became of the once cool photo sharing site.

I found this great Washington Post article about one of Instagram’s creators who became disillusioned with it and quit! Check it out:

Quitting Instagram: She’s one of the many disillusioned with social media. But she also helped create it.

Future focus

What will become of Instagram now? The recent F8 conference, where Facebook prognosticates itself, gave more details about Mark Zuckerberg’s so called “pivot to privacy.” And as a matter of course, Instagram will see some changes.

But will they really be for the better? One can hope, but it’d be a fool’s hope after all the years of Zuckerberg’s privacy violations. Maybe Flickr, in the hands of SmugMug, will be a better choice.

For now, I’m posting my photography to my blog here in the Gallery.

Do you still use Instagram? Do you like the photo aspect or the social aspect more? Comment below or write me. Thanks for reading!

Deleted My Instagram Account Today

Another day. Another deletion. This time it was Instagram. I had almost deleted my account back in December last year but just removed the app from my iPhone and left the rest alone. Until today.

I dropped a nuke from orbit.

There wasn’t much to nuke really. I had only just created my account in early August of last year. After about four months and 20 photos, I was already thinking of pulling the plug.

What made me delete, you ask? Fair question. Well, besides having little invested and little to lose, I just didn’t use it. And I like to keep my online stuff simple. So now I have one less account to manage.

Another big sticking point is that Instagram is a Facebook property. And I’ve increasingly distanced myself and detached from Facebook. So Instagram deletion fits in.

Why am I disengaged from or disenchanted with Facebook and its apps and services? I bet you can guess why. But this is for another blog post on another day.

So where will I post my random photos now? Maybe nowhere. Maybe I’ll have fewer random photos and more intentional ones. Imagine, photography with better focus! (See what I did there?)

I would like to share more of my pictures, like these Water Lilies, here on my blog since this is the space on the interwebs I prefer to invest in. I also still have Twitter at my disposal, but who knows if that’s really a good place for random pix. And I often just text pictures directly to family.

Where do you like to share your pictures online? Have you considered nuking your Instagram or other social media accounts? Share in the comments or drop me a line here. It’s nice to hear from you!

Blogging Your Best

Blogging has always been something I’ve liked doing. I’ve had various blogs over the years with different success, however that’s defined. There are many “rules” and “tips” out there in the blogosphere. For me, some rules were restrictions which made blogging, or at least getting started, too hard.

When it comes to the single niche topic versus many topics, I break that rule. For me, and others I’ve found, it’s better to blog about any number of topics. I’m not focused on just one thing in life, so my blog isn’t focused on one topic.

It has advantages. For one, it’s less likely you’ll run out of stuff to say, even if you exhaust a particular subject. And if your interests change, or even if just your mood changes, you are free to blog about it without having to change gears on the fly. Just publish the next thing on your mind! No problem.

marketing woman office working
Photo by Negative Space on

Should I post once a week or more or less? What’s the best frequency? For me, I’d like to post regularly, every so often, without chaining myself to a magic number or schedule. Because if I don’t meet it, I might feel like I failed and then quit trying. My blog will go defunct.

Here’s another tough thing about blogging: being afraid of what others might think. This is a personal thing I think any blogger might have to work through over time. For some, not caring what others think is a strength. For others, caring what others think is a hang-up.

To that I’ll say I’m somewhere on the spectrum! It kinda depends on the subject. Sometimes I worry about what someone might think, sometimes I don’t. But usually I’m somewhere in between.

I think everyone who blogs varies on how transparent, authentic or honest and open they want to be. And I think the trick is to not let yourself get too hung up on those things.

Part of blogging your best is being aware of all that sort of stuff and working through it to where you can blog more naturally or easily. You must know your personal goals for blogging.

I think another key might fit well here: just enjoy it. Don’t get hung up on “rules” or restrictions. Trying to adhere to certain blogging “standards” may be a hindrance to just getting your thoughts published. Don’t make blogging harder than it is. Keep it simple.

I once was using four different apps (Notes, Pages, Canva, WordPress) on my iPad to blog a single post! That didn’t last long. Now I use only one app (WordPress). This has helped me a ton. It makes blogging simpler.

One last thing. I’m trying to use plain and simple words, and my natural voice, in my blogging. In other words, I’m trying to blog, not write. There’s a distinction.

Writing is more formal or professional. Blogging, to me, is more casual and natural. Write the way I talk is an idea.

The practical thing I’ve noticed is that I try to avoid using big fancy words that make me sound sophisticated. I don’t know how much it helps, but I think it does keep my posts simpler it seems. So even if my thoughts are not perfectly organized, it’s ok! I’m blogging, not writing a non-fiction book.

Anyways, I hope that made some sense as I just kinda thought through it.

What are your thoughts on these things? How do you measure success or define your “best” blogging? Please share in the comments below. Take care!

I’m A Friend With Facebook Again

I’m not sure how to say this. This is a post that I’ve felt I needed to share but I’ve been reluctant to. You see, back in March, I deleted my Facebook account. I called it the “nuke from orbit” option. And I think I had some pretty heavy reasons for doing so. But then on August 1st this year, I created a new Facebook account and re-friended many.

So what changed? Why did I decide to befriend my frenemy, Facebook?

Well, it’s pretty simple I think. Basically, all my friends and family are there.

So while Facebook still has a lot of pros and cons, and the cons are nothing to take lightly, its number one feature is connecting with people I care about. For better or for worse and despite there being other ways to stay in touch with people, Facebook is the easiest way of all.

facebook internet login screen
Photo by Pixabay on

I could kinda go through a list of ethical, philosophical, or sociological reasons why life would probably be better-off without Facebook. You know, heady stuff. But I’m not going to.

After 4 months of zero Facebooking, I simply wanted to stay in touch with people, easily share photos, and have access to Marketplace. And, guess what? I like getting likes. I admit it. I enjoy comments too. I can live without all that just fine, but I think I can live with it okay too.

I’ve had my ups and downs with Facebook, the addiction to it. So this aint my first rodeo. I know how to manage my Facebook habits well enough that I can use it for the good stuff it provides while avoiding the bad stuff. And that’s what I decided to do. So I rejoined. And I can quit anytime, I swear! 😉