keskiviikko 17. lokakuuta 2018

Stuck In Customs: Pants in Porto

Update on the Arcanum regarding the G+ shut down

If you don’t know what The Arcanum is, then this is a good chance to check it out!
Well, it looks like Google+ is going the way of the dodo bird and will disappear from the face of this mortal coil. I’m not too surprised, as the trends were definitely pointing in that direction! I remember the days when, personally, I used to max out at 500 comments per photo I posted. Now I’m lucky to get THREE. Personally, I moved most of my action and interaction over to Facebook a while ago.

But what does this mean for The Arcanum, which depends HEAVILY on the interaction provided by the amazing Group infrastructure here on Google+? Well, immediately it means nothing. In short, between now and when G+ “sunsets” in the middle of 2019, we can continue to use it. In the meantime, we have a migration plan.

The migration plan is tied to possible futures for The Arcanum. In one instance, we are looking at some investment opportunities from outside parties that like the idea of taking it to the next level. I know we all love this idea of our Master & Apprentice matching system for creatives. I always think about it as “Uber for Creative Brains” – I think traditional education, particularly for creatives, is especially lousy and based on an outdated institutionalized education system better suited for training lawyers than open-ended creative pursuits.

Another plan is a possible merger with a larger platform that provides complimentary services. We’re not at liberty to talk about that now, but there are some interesting possibilities.

Either plan will have us create a proprietary group messaging system that is ideal for The Arcanum. It would also be more mobile friendly. Remember, we’re just using Google+ as a fancy “Group Chat” and this kind of functionality is pretty easy to replicate in technological terms.

Now, in the meantime, since The Arcanum is definitely not a dictatorship (quite the opposite from its bottom-up design), we encourage all Masters to take their Apprentices onto whatever platform they desire! Facebook Groups is a pretty good option, as I have a private group (that anyone can join) over at They don’t quite have all the same features as Communities, but they are not terrible. Some G+ people HATE HATE HATE Facebook, though, so this will probably be more of an individual decision. These private groups can also work great for a group of Apprentices in a cohort to share their photos, get feedback, and do all the fun “Level-Up” quests in The Arcanum.

I’ll also give a little “biz-update” here. Things are clicking along. We are barely (BARELY) profitable, which is a good thing! It’s nowhere close to paying back the hundreds of thousands of $$ that Peter, Rene, and I personally invested in the platform. But staying a little bit profitable means that it’s not hemorrhaging cash, which is a death knell for any young business. I think, also, because of this, it will make it easier to raise money either from angel investors or startup funds. Also, I know the Masters really appreciate the extra income they get every month. If we get a chance to amp this up by many orders of magnitude, the profits for all parties should go up an order of magnitude as well. This is exciting for all of us on the financial side. But it’s also endearing on the personal side because we know how we’re spreading creativity around the world via the tried and true classical traditions of the Master & Apprentice relationship. All the Masters inside The Arcanum already know how many lives they have touched and changed.

I was recently reminded of how powerful The Arcanum is in people’s lives last week when I was in Porto, Portugal. I made a friend there named Jose Santos. He’s about 55 or so, and he’s been in The Arcanum for two years under his Master, Trace Aiken. We were having wine and watching the sunset across the river and taking photos. He was speaking so fondly of Trace. I totally agreed, mentioning that I could watch his critiques on video in The Arcanum video archives forever. Trace has definitely had a positive impact on Jose’s creative life, and that is a noble thing! And then, believe it or not, a few days later I was connecting in Tokyo on the way home to New Zealand. I had 10 hours, so I jumped on the subway to go to a remote part outside the city I had never visited. I wandered for an hour, found a cute little Japanese cafe, and went inside, setting down my camera on my table. The couple beside me saw the camera and could see I was a travel photographer. We talked, and after about 10 minutes they asked if I had ever heard of The Arcanum and a Master named Glenn Guy? I said, are you kidding me? Not only was I one of the founders of The Arcanum, but I met Glenn around the same time randomly while taking star photos in Milford Sound. A totally true story… I took a photo of them and sent it to good man Glenn!

Anyway, this little anecdote just reminds me that We Got Something Good A’Goin’ On Here, and it’s all the more reason to keep it alive. In short, don’t worry about G+ shutting down in the middle of next year, as we can continue to use it until then (9+ months left). In the meantime, we’re working on making an even better way for all of you communicate, share, and create.

Daily Photo – Pants in Porto

On my very first trip to Porto two years ago, I only got to spend one day here. It was great fun, though! This is one of the first things I saw… It’s not an amazing photo or anything, but it does show off the incredible color range and texture that the Hasselblad medium format brings out.

Pants in Porto

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-25 15:14:38
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length90.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

from Stuck in Customs

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