Besides the public, pundits, commentators and experts are expressing themselves through social media. A growing community of bloggers and forum participants comprises a demographic of influencers who can be tapped as a resource to drive outreach and messaging efforts. The Digital Photography Now forum has almost 180,000 registered members, whereas a single specialty product forum, the Canon Digital Photography Forums, has more than 66,000 members.
Such groups are a microcosm of the social Web ecosystem, ranging from general interest groups to fan groups.
For example there are almost 200 Facebook groups with “digital photography” in the title, including 27 with more than 100 members. The three top digital photography groups on Facebook comprise more than 50,000 members, and there are at least 20 groups with more than 100 members. Among the most popular are groups for products and artists; four out of the top seven Facebook digital photography groups are for specific camera brands (e.g., Canon, Nikon, Sony).
According to Jefferson Graham of USA Today, there are three kinds of photo-sharing sites on the Web:
- Hip – offers cool ways to pretty up photos and share them.
- Traditional upload-and-print – aimed primarily at selling photo merchandise (e.g., Shutterfly, Kodak)
- Community – focuses on sharing and interaction, with group comments (e.g., Yahoo’s Flickr)
Whoever can master these will enjoy unprecedented reach into the online photography community.