Do you think that you’ll do more stories with pictures in the middle and ends of them rather than just the top? I love your commentary on “Joining the Family” and always wonder what some of your characters look like

I’m glad you enjoyed the commentary I posted (For anyone who missed who might be curious, you can find it here.) I’ve always wanted to give a bit more context to my stories, especially how they form, and those pictures are something I’ve always wanted to share, but have never quite found a good way to display them. As for your initial question, regarding picture placement, I’m actually going to blame tumblr for this one, and go off on a rant tangent. 

The system of Tumblr is a strange one, and there’s a lot of quirks regarding various aspects of the platform which make it not very friendly to anyone who both wants flexibility with the kind of content they produce, and also make sure people are given proper credit for photos.The ability to reblog a photo is great (assuming people will do even that, rather than just post it themselves) but it comes with some problems. While you can add text to a photo, you can’t add more photos to a reblog. You can add more photos inline underneath, but you can’t easily provide a way for those photos to link back to a source like a reblog does (assuming the source is even accurate, and not a theft itself). 

Another issue with reblogging is that the stats related to a reblog are incomplete. When I post an original post, my likes and reblogs that I see reflect every single like and reblog that post gets, regardless of distance. However, when reblogging, you only see likes and reblogs which relate directly to your reblogged post. It would make more sense, in my opinion, to calculate likes/reblogs from the tree you create. That makes it hard to judge reach or popularity when all you do is reblog.

I solved this problem by reposting photo sets for a long time, and attaching captions to them. This wasn’t foolproof by any means, people could still easily delete my caption while the photo continued onward, alone. Recently, with the addition of photos in text posts that actually look nice, I could even solve that problem, but at this point I’m just not that comfortable reposting photos that I don’t know I have permission to use. 

To be honest, I’m not even happy just reblogging photos–I’ve had a few too many awkward encounters with the people in the photos attached to my story taking issue with the story’s content, which isn’t surprising. This problem has only gotten worse, the more reach these two blogs have. At the same time, I don’t have the time to contact every single individual in a photo to run an idea by them and get explicit permission–it would be easier to just not do anything involving photos at all! And that’s what I did, for quite a while. 

I’m doing photo captions again, but I’m still a bit uneasy about it. I could go back to reposting photos in line, perhaps with links to the original posts on tumblr. I’d rather tumblr just fix it, so I could turn a photo into a text post, or imbed a reblog within the body of a story. But these are specialized desires, and I doubt they would be important enough to implement. Copyright and permission on the internet is a terrible rats nest anyway, but I’d rather not make it worse, even though I know everyone likes photo stories. For the moment, this is the compromise I’ll settle for, I think. 

tl;dr I probably won’t be doing many stories with inline photos, until I figure out a way to cover my copyright ass, or tumblr implements tools to make it easier to do so.

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