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Cameras and Communities



100yearsofcamerasTechnology has always fascinated me.

Not so much for the gears and circuits and construction of it, but the uses and abuses we put it to in our daily lives.  One of the technologies I always enjoyed was photography. From the Kodak brownie of my youth through Polaroids, and Instamatics to video cameras, and then digital still and video cameras, memorializing life through photography has always been fun. In fact, the photo on this post is just a quick round up of cameras in my house showing a motion picture camera from the 1930 that my Dad used through the early 1960s, a Kodak Rainbow camera that’s about 100 years old, a stereopticon used for home entertainment and assorted digital cameras including a flip video.

Yesterday I read that Kodak was discontinuing the production of their Kodachrome film after a 74 year run. Developed in 1935, Kodachrome was the first commercially successful color film, and grew to be loved by still and motion picture photographers.  46 years ago Abraham Zapruder used it to film the assassination of President Kennedy, and 36 years ago, the country rocked to Paul Simon’s ode to Kodachrome.

It got me thinking

The box camera was a neat invention. When George Eastman forst sold it 128 years ago, it was loaded with enough film for 100 exposures. The price of the camera was $25.00 and the cost to develop the film was $10.00 (consumers needed to send the entire camera back to the lab for development, where the film was removed from the light tight container, and a new roll of film was installed, before the camera was sent back to the consumer with their developed prints).

The next step was the growth of home based darkrooms where amateur photographers could manipulate the photos  through the tricky and often complex process of developing and exposing the film to morph the photo into an artistic expression of the photographer’s vision. Using more light or less light, or different chemical mixes could help the talented amateur achieve great results.

But that’s not the case..

Today we’ve lost that experience along with the need to process our film after the event is concluded and the camera has returned home. Our phones and cameras let us review our work immediately and to manipulate the figures through our online service like Flickr or on our computer.  But our ability to use technology to help us express ourselves or share beauty or family experiences has grown so exponentially that I am willing to trade the “darkroom experience” for the ease of manipulating digital photos or videos. And to trade the photo album for photo sharing.

When Eastman sold his first box cameras, photos were moving from being formal to being pat of our daily lives. But when they were taken, we put them in albums and saved them for later. Of course we might share photos in a small way by making a copy for Mom or Dad or some other family member, but photos were taken by us, for us, displayed often, but  taken out only rarely once they had been put into an album.

Photos are for Sharing

Today taking photos is really more about sharing our experience and vision than it has ever been. Teresa Boardman showed me that Flickr was not a place to store digital images, or to mine for graphics through , but a community of people that share their experience and vision through their common use of digital photography.  Since she opened my eyes, and I began sharing more of my photos of Flickr, I have met new folks, joined groups that commented on photos that I took, had one of my photos published in an online travel guide, and viewed tons of awesome photos taken by others that gave me ideas for my own photos and inspire me to take more and better pictures (and sadly I’m pretty syre that it will be in that order).

So let me share my epiphany with you and suggest that you might also enjoy some sharing and viewing in this new world of photography. We might have lost Kodachrome, but what we’ve gained seems much more significant to me – What do you think?

Bill is an unusual blend of Old & New - The CEO Century 21 Advantage Gold (Philadelphia's Largest Century 21 company and BuzzBuilderz (a Social Media Marketing Company), He is a Ninja CEO, blending the Web 1 and 2.0 world together in a fashion that stretches the fabric of the universe. You can follow him on twitter @Billlublin or Facebook or LinkedIn.

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  1. Lani Rosales

    June 24, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Bill, your epiphany is now my epiphany. We have some antique photo equipment in our family and hell, I count my cell phone’s old camera to be an antique. People say we’ve sold our souls and lost something but I’m with you- mourning a loss of passing technology is only for nostalgia if you’ve gained more than what you’ve lost.

    Photography is beautiful- it’s modern expressionist art in its finest form and the pace we now run is much faster but so rewarding. I WILL say though that from experience, I can tell you that Flickr can’t compete with physically being in a dark room with smelly chemicals (but then again, that’s my nostalgia speaking, not my practical side).

    Bill, you should come see the Fritz Henle exhibit at UT, Chris & Marie Lengquist came to visit recently and we went, it was amazing, it even had some of his old equipment!

  2. Chris Lengquist

    June 24, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    I was summoned here through the powers that be. I say “Be Gone!” darkrooms and film. It smells, it’s not easily manipulated and storage has to be handled with much space and great care. Digital allows expressionist freedom in ways only before imagined.

    Photos are meant to be shared. I would say the only negative to all of this is that many people think their photographs are unique or good or (even worse) great. But they are not. Digital allows regular folks to create thousands of pretty good photos. But to see great photographs, photographs that move people, you still need the camera (with whatever the medium may be, ie film, pixels, etc) in the hands of a professional.

    Real estate agents like to think that since they sell houses and they own a camera that their photos are good. I’ve read a hundred times that consumers notice the differences and linger longer at the pro shots. So it seems that REALTORS are in denial on this subject.

  3. Bill Lublin

    June 24, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Lani; I had no idea you had darkroom memories like I did (I even confess to having learned to like the smell) though I’m sure your were even more creative. Always glad to share an epiphany with friends. Better be careful though with the UT invites you might end up with me in Texas 😉

    Chris: I agree about the poor jobs so many people do – for some reason all the real estate agents with cameras seem to rush through and accept anything without thinking about how they can help maximize the experience of viewing the house online. I do think that the more pictures we take the more pictures we want to take and the more we stand to learn from the experience – or maybe I’m being overly enthusiastic about the experience I enjoy 🙂

  4. teresa boardman

    June 25, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Bill – I think people have always had a desire to share photos. There are so many of them in boxes and closets, the internet gave us a way to share.

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Business Marketing

How one employer beat an age discrimination lawsuit

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Age discrimination is a rare occurrence but still something to be battled. It’s good practice to keep your house in order to be on the right side.



Jewel age discrimination

In January, the EEOC released its annual accounting for reports of discrimination in the previous year. Allegations of retaliation were the most frequently filed charge, which disability coming in second. Age discrimination cases accounted for 21.4% of filed charges. As we’ve reported before, not all age discrimination complaints rise to the level of illegal discrimination. In Cesario v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., the federal court dismissed the claims of age discrimination, even though seven (7) plaintiffs made similar claims against the grocery store.

What Cesario v. Jewel Food Stores was about

In Cesario, all but one of the seven plaintiffs had spent years with Jewel Food building their careers. When Jewel went through some financial troubles, the plaintiffs allege that they began to “experience significant pressure at work… (and) were eventually forced out or terminated because of their age or disability.” Jewel Food requested summary judgment to dismiss the claims.

The seven plaintiffs made the same type of complaints. Beginning in 2014, store directors were under pressure to improve metrics and customer satisfaction. Cesario alleges that the Jewel district manager asked about his age. Another director alleges that younger store directors were transferred to stores with less difficulties. One plaintiff alleged that Jewel Food managers asked him about his retirement. The EEOC complaints began in late 2015. The plaintiffs retired or were fired and subsequently filed a lawsuit against their company.

Age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA). The ADEA prevents disparate treatment based on age for workers over 40 years old. However, plaintiffs who allege disparate treatment must establish that the adverse reactions wouldn’t have occurred but for age. Because none of the plaintiffs could specifically point to age as the only determination of their case, the court dismissed the case.

A word to wise businesses

Jewel Food was able to demonstrate their own actions in the case through careful documentation. Although there was no evidence that age played a factor in any discharge decision, Jewel Food could document their personnel decisions across the board. The plaintiffs also didn’t exhaust all administrative remedies. This led to the case being dropped.

Lesson learned – Make personnel decisions based on performance and evidence. Don’t use age as a factor. Keep documentation to support your decisions.

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Business Marketing

in 2021 the EU will enforce ‘right to repair’ for phones and tablets

(BUSINESS NEWS) The EU says NO to planned obsolescence by…letting you fix your own stuff? The right to repair has started to make headway again.



Right to repair

Not to be a loyalist turncoat about it, but sometimes the European Union comes out with stuff that makes me want Texas to go back to being Mexico, and then back to being Spain.

The latest in sustainability news from across the pond is that in 2021, the Old World is saying no to Euro-trash, and insisting on implementing:

Right to repair laws
Higher sustainable materials quotas
Ease of transfer for replaced items (ie: letting you sell your old phone without the need for jailbreaking anything)
and Universal adaptors for things like phone chargers, and connection cables


Consumers worldwide have been feeling the pinch of realizing their (cough cough, mostly Apple brand) technology not only breaks easily, but either can’t be fixed afterwards, or requires costly branded repairs.

The phenomenon has given rise to rogue mobile repair shops, Reddit threads, and renegade fix-it philanthropists like Louis Rossman. And while they certainly HELP, the best thing for a problem is to cut it off proactively. Since companies were making too much money not picking up the slack, the EU’s decided to take the steps to force their hands.

I’m always on my soapbox, but I’ll stack another one on top for this: Planned obsolescence and the assumption that a company has any right to tell you you can’t repair, restore, revamp, or re-home your own possessions are obscene. And to be fair to Apple fans, it’s not just in tech—it’s in damn near everything that’s not meant to be EATEN. Literally.

I bought a STAPLER for a volunteer gig I had. A good, sturdy Staedtler one that I figured would serve the project and continue to stand me in good stead for a while. After a few dozen price tags attached to baggies, the stapler jammed, as staplers do. No worries, you find a knife and wedge out the stuck staple…except I couldn’t. Because the normal slot for that was covered by a metal plate literally welded in place so that I couldn’t perform a grade-school level fix on something I paid for less than 24 hours prior.

Rather than stand behind a product that’s supposed to last, companies, even down to simple office ware, have opted to tinker away to force consumers to trash their current products to buy newer ones. Which I did in the stapler case. A rusty second hand one that didn’t HAVE that retroactive BS ‘Let’s create a problem’ plate on it, meaning no company but the resale non-profit I was helping out in the first place got any more money from me.

Consumers are wising up, and fewer lawmakers are still stuck in the fog of the 90s and 2000s surrounding our everyday machinery. The gray areas are settling into solid black and white, and SMART smart-businesses here stateside will change their colors accordingly.

Now while we’re all still quarantined and hoping for these laws to wash up onto American shores…who has craft ideas for the five-dozen different chargers we all have?

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Business Marketing

Uber Eats waives delivery fees during COVID-19 quarantine

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Uber eats has decided to take a friendly helpful step forward while everyone seems to be quarantined, they have started to waive delivery fees!



Uber eats

With everything canceled, including dining out for social distancing’s sake, food delivery service Uber Eats is waiving delivery fees in an effort to lessen the financial strain local restaurants are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the company, Uber Eats has more than 100,000 independent local restaurants on its app. In addition to Uber Eats, Grubhub said it will waive commission fees up to $100 million for independent restaurants across the country.

“As more people stay home, local restaurants need your business more than ever. That’s why we’re waiving the Delivery Fee for all orders from every independent restaurant on Uber Eats—more than 100,000 local restaurants on the app,” the company said in a news release earlier this week.

To find the local independent restaurants on Uber Eats, just look for the EAT LOCAL banner. Delivery fees will automatically be waived, according to this story on Tech Crunch.

Uber Eats is also making it easier for locally run restaurants to get paid faster, offering daily payments rather than the normal weekly payouts, according to Endgadget. Also, the company is giving back saying it will provide 300,000 free meals to health care workers and first responders in the US and Canada.

Not only will waiving fees help restaurants and customers, it’s sound business for food delivery companies. Local restaurants drive roughly 80 percent of business on Grubhub.

“Independent restaurants are the lifeblood of our cities and feed our communities,” Grubhub Founder and CEO Matt Maloney said in a statement published on Endgadget. “They have been amazing long-term partners for us, and we wanted to help them in their time of need. Our business is their business — so this was an easy decision for us to make.”

To limit human interaction Uber Eats and other food delivery services, including Grubhub, Postmates, and Instacart, are encouraging users to select the no-contact delivery method. According to Uber Eats, as is the norm, once packed at the restaurant food items are not touched or opened.

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