Do I Need to Watermark My Images Online?

Watermark Images

If you are a photographer, artist or simply are posting original images online you might be considering the pros and cons of watermarking. In certain cases watermarking can be a useful way to put your name or logo on all of your images so that you will be credited anytime someone shares or reposts your photo. In theory it is also a method to help prevent people from taking your images and passing them off as their own online.

Watermarking can benefit photographers in some ways because it acts as a way to “sign” their art so that people see their name or logo and can begin to identify them more easily if the images circulate online. If someone wants to find your work, watermarking will make it much easier for them to know who you are.

One of the downsides to watermarking is that it does not always keep people from taking images and reposting them as their own. People can often find ways to photoshop out a watermark or simply crop it out if they don’t care about being respectful of the artist. This is an unfortunate reality and can make watermarks irrelevant if the goal is to prevent image theft.

Another thing to consider is that often the appeal of an image can be diminished by the use of a watermark. It can interrupt the artistry of the photo and distract the viewer, making the image less beautiful or interesting. There is also the possibility that viewers online will be less likely to share the image if it is watermarked because of the decrease in the image’s appeal.

Deciding whether to watermark your image can depend on your own personal preferences on how you want your images to look and what your goals are for using them. Weigh the pros and cons before watermarking to determine if it is right for your work.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Microsoft Gets So.Cl

microsoft so.cl

If you heard that Microsoft has launched a social networking site, the first idea that comes into mind that it’s a competitor to Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus. Wrong. In their own words, Microsoft So.cl is an “experimental research project” and the goal is to help users search for, express and share ideas through collages.

So.Cl’s Quiet Unveiling
So.cl actually launched in December of last year and was aimed at students. No surprise here – So.cl is powered by Bing, which pulls visual content that can be added as a story to the community. Like visual and viral trends seen on Twitter and Pinterest, So.cl is meant to be a place where the stories are amplified and classified by specific interests. Of course, this social community isn’t for just any user and it’s completely self-aware of the fact as it still clearly touts a “Microsoft Research” banner under the logo.

The Power of Visuals
Looking through the site, you’ll see a common theme of discussion, sharing and discovering. Instead of the me-centric attitudes of other social networking sites, So.cl is interest-based. And it’s not just about finding and sharing pictures, you can also post news articles and video. Speaking of, another interesting feature is Video Party where you can group chat with your others while watching YouTube videos. Again, these video parties are based on a specific topic, so you’ll be watching and commenting in real time. (Kinda reminds you of the early, good-ole AOL chatroom days, doesn’t it?)

What’s Your Impression?
While I appreciate So.cl’s subtle introduction and differentiation from other social networks, it’s not really clear if this site can hold it’s all against the giants. But then again, So.cl doesn’t claim to be a game changer. I guess we can only wait and see what direction it takes on next. Like with many social media sites, privacy is a concern. Did you know what your friends are able to view your search history? Be wary of your questionable searches! Besides that, nothing else really stands out in my mind. What do you think of So.cl?

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.