A layout, paywall, ethical content and newspaper gadget walk into the newsroom – more ideas for printed media to be profitable in the digital age.

Hi again,

At the end of August, we had published first post in a series of entries summarizing our knowledge and experience in the media world. It ran into nine pages of text and had even longer title (“Media in the digital age – or how freelancers, press photography and newspapers can beat up the crisis”). It sounds so know it-all, unintentionally, but it really isn’t. It was created as our own voice in an ongoing debate about where journalism is going and what is the future of creative minds that often work freelance in the field. We realize the situation on the market is far from perfect, but we wanted to find some practical solutions that could tip the scales back into the “profitable” regions. Previous part concentrated on how photo and news archives could be used to create a difference. This post will be a bit different. We want to talk a bit about layouts, ethical content, pay – walls and newspaper gadgets. Four elements that look like they have nothing in common, but that’s just because you don’t think outside of the box.

To access the previous entry click the link below:

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/press-in-the-digital-age-or-how-freelancers-press-photography-and-newspapers-can-beat-up-the-crisis/

***

Next year it will be sixteen years since Rita and I left high school with a burning desire to do something practical, anything really as long as it was not theory. Since then we have worked as cultural journalists, we organized conventions, exhibitions, wrote blogs, attended panels and conferences, painted, photographed and promoted other artists. Sometimes it was our job and we were paid for it, sometimes we freelanced, sometimes we worked for free and relied on daily jobs. The smallest thing we did was to help around at a miniscule comic convention in our home town. The biggest was bringing World Press Photo exhibition to Malta – a project with a 20K budget. Truth be told, we are not even sure how to call ourselves at this point (we do like “cultural bloggers” label though). What we do know, is that we have been around the block few times over in three countries (Poland -Malta-UK) and we have seen the good, the bad, the ugly and the tragic. You have got to try your best to surprise us – we have seen a fair share. What we say in our posts is directly derived from our experience and our observations (and research of million + hours on the World Wide Web). This entry may not be a game-changer for the industry, but we try our best 😉

Mal on assignment in Berlin before going to cover Cartier Bresson final exhibition in 2004

Mal on assignment in Berlin before going to cover Cartier Bresson final exhibition in 2004

Rita at Roskilde Work Camp 2007

Rita at Roskilde Work Camp 2007

***

Before we will get to the meritum of our post, we want you to read an article that appeared in Seattle Times. We realize that it may sound somehow pompous but if there was ever a “prophetic” feature in a newspaper, it would be this column from March 17, 1991:

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19910317&slug=1272234

Firstly it puts down in plain writing what sells a newspaper: a mix of hard news (“breaking news”), soft news (opinions, columns, and celebrity stuff) and advertising. Secondly, it admits what has been whispered around the newsrooms for ages – the little things that media workers find unimportant can actually sell the newspaper – just read that paragraph about food column on Wednesdays.

It was written in 1991, remember – a whole generation away. At the very end of the article you can find this sentence, and we think it was revolutionary back in the day to even spell it:

 

“Are newspapers in the midst of an evolution? Definitely.”

We will admit it. Prior to finding this article (told you Rita can find just about anything on the Net), we thought that the changes in the industry started around 2003-2004, when the first wave of crisis ravaged media world, books and comic publishers. We were eager to rationalize that the cultural periodicals were first to be hit. We were wrong. The revolution and constant changes in the media world are omnipresent; they were as demanding and challenging at the beginning of the 1991 as they are at the end of 2013. We can be excused though for overlooking this; back in the 90s we would not pay attention to anybody unless they were on MTV and our stint with journalism was limited to writing a music section for a school newspaper. But we have come a long way (also known as getting old 😛 ).

So, now that we defined what sells a newspaper, we also have a solid ground under our feet for a further discussion – media is ever changing environment, prone to drastic turns overnight and always on the edge. This is by no means a safe place to wait for retirement, as it is driven by adrenaline, constant insecurity and evolution.

We have to agree with Seattle Times. To avoid bumpy ride from one curve to another, the newsroom must have a careful driver (the editor or director of the media house) and a good strategy.  Especially, since we seem to live in era of “Google economy”:

http://buzzmachine.com/2008/11/17/guardian-column-the-google-economy/

We said before: set up your archives and capitalize on it when needed. Here’s a good strategy, part two!


Let’s get visual!

We will start with the layouts, because looks are important in the media world. In the battle for revenues and readers, the graphic department is your biggest ally. They will be responsible for executing technical side of the creative vision. The biggest eye – candy can be planned in the boardroom but eventually, it will be those guys with their noses in the Mac’s that will deliver it. When deadlines are pressing, the graphic department will also edit photos, so editor must oversee if the standards are in place.

Lay-out of a newspaper or interface of a website must be readable and catching. It has to capture the attention of a prospective reader from the news-stands or from the computer screen. We have stressed it before, but we will repeat it here. We live in visual times and we judge the paper by its front page. If it’s not grabbing people’s attention in the first 30 seconds, then they will not pick it up. Tabloids discovered it decades ago with their flashy covers and incredible headliners. If you ever wonder why it is The Sun or Daily Mirror that sells out at the end of the day – now you know. There is however a line between being cheap and being interesting. If a daily newspaper runs a flashy front page without a good reason, it may damage its credibility and lose readers. Over the years, newspapers have learned a good lesson to design their pages in such a way to be visually stunning and informative in the same time.

Nothing works better than a good (practical) example – so if you have a minute to spare, please see the blog below. It will show you how the newspaper can be re-designed section by section. Good old fashioned “before” and “after”, straight out of the graphic designer’s lair:

http://brasstacksdesign.com/howtosellmorenewspapers.htm

MANGAzyn 100% Games cover

MANGAzyn 100% Games cover

Magazines – unlike the newspapers – have better conditions to establish themselves on the graphic front. The quality of paper is better; you have more time to work on each page and enough space to balance between text and images. Most importantly, you have got many people to work on the final project as well. And you can really use your team to enhance the magazine visually. For example you can trust your photographers` instincts:

Rita and I spent nearly four years working for different magazines, most importantly MANGAzyn – comic/animation and video games magazine. Rita was the main writer in our team. I was providing photos and when I was not shooting, I was responsible for finding suitable graphics for our articles: screenshots, artworks, press packs, hi res graphics for posters. I was the one with a trained eye for good quality materials – as most photographers are. On several occasions materials I found landed on the covers. In March 2004 our biggest project was issued. A whole issue dedicated to games called neatly MANGAzyn 100% Games. It took us a year to complete it and a huge part of it was the way we have planned the visual side. It was a revolutionary issue and I’m glad to have left a small mark on the history of the journalism in Poland 😉

MANGAzyn 100% Games was first periodical in Europe to report on Korean comics and games, we also were the first in the country to give the magazine feel of an art-book. We had our friend Pablo from another gaming magazine working with us on this task. We discussed each and every page, each screen and piece of artwork (usually our meetings were held in a local arcade over Mortal Kombat 3 machine). When we uploaded the graphics on the FTP server, our editor called back and shouted at us for blocking the bandwidth. The graphic team also had a hard job choosing the materials for the layout. But when the magazine came out it had this big VISUAL SHOCK mark on the cover. We have recently checked online and some issues of that magazine became collector items on Ebay. Looking back at the experience, both Rita and I agree that it was our interest in art (don’t forget Rita is also a painter and a bit of photographer too) that gave us the idea to turn the usual gaming magazine into an art- book and to use larger amount of illustrations than other magazines at that time. We were getting a lot of attention when the issue came out, even from mainstream media. We will write about the experience in a different post on the blog since it will be ten years anniversary next year. For now we hope we have proved our point that good layout is extremely important when it comes to newspapers. It’s 25% of your success. The other component is obviously content and the security of it.

Page out of MANGAzyn 100% Games showing Soa Anala pin up

Page out of MANGAzyn 100% Games showing Soa Anala pin up

(To) pay-wall or (to) open source – that is the question.

A decade ago, only the scientific periodicals were charging their readers for the access to articles and reportages. Things like premium subscription online were simply non existent. Handful of titles (that also included MANGAzyn) had hidden parts on their website which were password protected. You had to buy printed copy of the magazine then find the password and you could access some bonuses online. These days when printing slowly goes the way of the Dodo, a good security system for the online page is a must. We will admit, pay walls (system that requires a paid subscription) are hugely controversial. Not everybody likes them, people believe that once something is on the Internet, it must remain open source (meaning that it is open to all and not restricted in any way) and free. Others argue, that journalists and photographers cannot work for free, especially taking the current poor working conditions into consideration. We believe that the truth lies in between: general sections of a news portal should remain accessible to all (such as breaking news), but other parts can be protected (it takes a lot of work to produce a good reportage and the writer/photographer should be paid well for it).

Restricting newspaper content and asking people to pay for it does not always work. The Atlantic had to give up their pay wall, the same concept failed completely across South Africa (for example for the legendary Johannesburg Star). Guardian had to remove the pay wall from their Eyewitness app.

However there are examples that show this concept is bringing good revenues:

–  PIANO system which is now used by most newspapers in Eastern Europe is considered bug-free, reliable and user friendly. This idea is based on traffic free website (with general news) and paid specialized content (such as columns, reportages, photo essays etc), with a technical backup that eliminates technical mistakes and hacking attempts. Polish biggest daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza is one of the most successful users of PIANO.

In -depth description of this pay-wall system can be found on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_Media

Or on the official website: http://www.pianomedia.com/

–     Mediapart`s in-house subscription and hard news content only. French online portal Mediapart was created in 2008 as a response to readers` dissatisfaction with celebrity news being reported on a daily basis. From its inception, they were breaking into investigative journalism, reportages and own correspondences (Le Club part of the portal). Their subscription system eliminated advertisement completely from the website. In 2012 company reported over 60 000 unique subscribers and over 700 000 EUR of profit by offering specialized and serious content, showing that there is a demand for analytical journalism.

www.ojim.fr/mediapart-700-000-euros-de-profits-en-2012/

http://www.mediapart.fr/

News regarding other pay-wall systems can be found at:  http://paidcontent.org/ It is also a paradise for tech buffs with all the news and information about upcoming security measures.

There are several types of pay-walls that newspapers can implement. The complete blockade (or “hard” type) will eliminate you from browsing the content of a website in general, the soft version (which we find the most suitable one) allows access to opinion pieces, general news and celebrity materials. There are also mixed variations that allow you to read part of the article only or assign you a pool of ten reportages per month for free.

PIANO official page

PIANO official page

Pay-wall systems (and newly created API – application programming interfaces) are closely linked to ethics. Let us come back to the controversial aspect for a moment. The main argument against is that hiding your content behind a paid subscription goes against the very principle of journalism – the right to information. Journalism is a service industry – it provides society with awareness. Critics often ask what will happen to the flow of information if all the newspapers will wall themselves up. On the other hand of the spectrum is the journalism as a business model and for a newspaper to be up and running – the business must be successful. Defenders of paid systems draw attention to the fact that other people’s work simply cannot be put out there for free or it will ravage creative industries. And to be honest, we have something to worry about. If you read the online pools, 70% of people will tell you that they prefer to look for content somewhere else than pay a minimal subscription. If we look at the rates that musicians are getting from Spotify or how downloading of books contributed to closures of libraries (if you don’t believe us, just ask uncle Google what UK government plans about local libraries – it’s nothing short of terrifying!), there may come a day when we will no longer have artists, musicians, journalists, writers or photographers – because everything was for free out there and people had to move to other jobs to make a living.

MediaPart website

MediaPart website

This discussion about the access to information is nothing new. We had seen something similar in the 90s with the TV stations, when the cable channels introduced scambling (encrypting or coding of a signal). Viewers had to buy decoders and pay monthly access to watch for example Sky News. BSkyB came under a media storm when they first introduced their strategy to code the signal, but they didn’t back down. In the end viewers had to adjust and cable providers had to implement specialized packages. Other stations followed suit, while BSkyB hit a mark of being accessed in 10 million homes in 2010, Europe’s first pay-TV platform in to achieve that milestone.

We have been thinking – if TV viewers accepted the pay-platforms, why newspaper readers don’t want to pay as little as 3 EUR for a monthly subscription? Isn’t it just one and the same thing?  Perhaps, the devil lies in the details, or rather in the relationship with your reader?

Why ethical content and a good premium system could mean more revenues?
There is an eye opening article published by Italian freelancer Francesca Borri. For working in a war zone in Syria, she was paid as little 70 USD per piece. Not enough to cover basic needs like insurance or equipment. This article can be seen in a link below:

http://www.cjr.org/feature/womans_work.php

This article shocked a lot of people when it first came out as this is exactly what happens to creative industries when their work is downgraded to content only shared on social media. Pay – walls were introduced mostly as a dam to stop the trend of seeing other’s work as a free stuff. And you know what they say: if you get everything for nothing, you start to take it for granted.

We honestly believe that there can be a common ground between business side of journalism, the creative forces (often freelancers) and readers. But to keep the media house profitable, the journalists paid and the reader satisfied, inevitable change in perception must take place. Gone are the days of reader being just receiver of news as a product and journalists sitting on a high moral horse and knowing it all. Today, reader must be a partner to media house and must be engaged in the news – making process. Reader needs to feel responsible for newspapers and be a participant in its projects.

Francessca Borri in Columbia Journalist Review

Francessca Borri in Columbia Journalist Review

There is something we can learn from TV stations: viewers feel very possessive about their favourite channels. Try to cut one out from the cable package and the viewers will come calling in and they won’t be nice to you. They also feel responsible for their channels. In August 2003 CBS and Time Warner got into a heated argument over fees which resulted in over three million of subscribers in US being unable to watch the broadcasts. What brought both sides to the negotiating table was sheer anger of the public.

Newspaper doesn’t need to have three million followers, but it is always good to have a strong back up from the community that they serve. Guardian deputy editor Katharine Vine summed up nicely what can be done to bring readers and newspapers together:

Allowing readers to contribute to the stories to make the report more accurate

Admitting mistakes – transparency strengthens trust in the newspaper

Being open for tips and potential breaking news – have a channel for communication open and advertise it.

Ms Vine would disagree with us on pay – walls, but we would like to add another point to the list she proposed:

Use the premium fees from pay -walls to fund the content that people want to read

We have all heard about crowd sourcing. Portals like Kickstarter or Pledge Music allow musicians or artists to collect money directly from the fans, who then receive goods upon the amount they paid for. Part of the profit stays with the service provider.

Similar idea can be applied to newspapers. Let us use again the example of Francesca Borri. In her article she mentions that she works on a piece about social impact of organisations such as Al-Qaida and their networking among poverty stricken communities. However rates she is offered make it impossible for her to continue with the research, she also feels that editors often discourage journalists on the ground from picking up such complex stories, favouring bloodshed instead.

Now let us imagine that part of the subscription fees from the readers was invested in the freelancers on the frontlines. It would allow journalists to be fairly paid for their work in dangerous circumstances; newspaper would receive a complex and serious piece from the source and the readers would enjoy exclusive content and knew that their own money contributed to the final result. This is not only an ethical content and industry solidarity, but also a signal for the readers that they are partly responsible for their newspaper and through it, for the community and well being of other people in the world who may not have a voice otherwise.


Gadgets – a little extra with the newspaper

Right, we have reached the last segment of this longish post. This part will have some illustrations, so we hope you are still awake! In our previous post we argued the importance of a functional photo archives and its many uses that can bring additional revenues for a newspaper. Right now we want to explore it a bit more in relation to newspaper gadgets.

You will be perfectly entitled to your opinion if you find this idea silly. However coming from a comic/video games/ hobby magazine background, we know the power of a good poster or a demo CD. Good gadget requires a lot of work to get it and it does strengthen sales. We can tell you stories how it took us a year to receive a permission from Microsoft/ Team Ninja to have a poster from game called Dead or Alive for our special issue of MANGAzun 100% Games (it was never published but that’s a different story) or how we had to pitch with digital artists like Carnelian or Soa Anala for small pin ups.

MANGAzyn cover for Nov-Dec 2003 edition that came out with a bonus CD and input called Kamikaze

MANGAzyn cover for Nov-Dec 2003 edition that came out with a bonus CD and input called Kamikaze

Cover of MANGAzyn Extra issue  - more articles with more serious content.

Cover of MANGAzyn Extra issue – more articles with more serious content. And a comic.

In the last 15 years gadgets became integral part of any newspaper. Back in our day, MANGAzyn used to have CD, comics, game demos and deluxe issues (“Kamikaze” insert with columns and more mature articles and separate issues called Extra sold  every quarter) in its offer to attract buyers. Other newspapers went for anything: Bollywood movies, special thematic issues and even a Prince record. It is actually funny, how music publishers protested when Prince (or Artist formerly known as Prince) released his album with Mail on Sunday in 2007. You can read about it here:

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2007/jun/29/business.pop

What gets sold with a newspaper is actually a big business in itself. So having a functional photographic archive can be very helpful indeed. It can for example allow media house to create their own gadgets which can be either sold on their own or be presented to subscribers. Coffee mugs, post cards with archival images, photographic cards for all occasions – you can tap into souvenirs market and target both locals and tourists in your destination thus creating a niche for yourself.  Real strength of such gadgets would lie in difference from anybody else.

Let us show you how prospective gadgets could look like, because over the years we managed to grab some fine examples:

Postcards – they can come in various shapes and sizes, from exclusive Hallmark photographic cards to small historical representations of how life looked back when. These two cards below were inserted into Malta Independent on Sunday (correct us if we are wrong) back in 2006. There were more of them every week and we remember that people were very pleased with getting them. We were one of those who bought newspaper for the cards and a historical article that went along with it. Beautiful combo to be introduced for an Island that offers so many spots to visit for tourists and locals, too bad it was discontinued after several weeks.

One of the cards that were sold with the newspaper

One of the cards that were sold with the newspaper

Another card showing old sights of Malta

Another card showing old sights of Malta

In 1980s Maltese stationery ABC printed a series of photographic cards in the UK – using their own stock and photo archives of various places in Malta. We came across the cards this September as ABC decided to get rid of the old stock and put them for free grabs in their shop in Valletta. Cards are in a bad condition but what a rarity they present – they were probably first photo postcards ever produced on the island!

One of the ABC cards using  photos of old Valletta

One of the ABC cards using photos of old Valletta

More vintage ABC photo cards

More vintage ABC photo cards

Back of ABC vintage photo cards.

Back of ABC vintage photo cards.

The last card was being produced by PR and Advertisement Company ARF who often collaborate with the city council of Bytom in Poland. This card shows beautiful Kosciuszki square situated in the middle of Bytom as it was seen at the turn of XX century by using an actual photograph from the era. This square existed up to 2007 where it was ravaged to make a supermarket Agora. The design of whole city was ruined and it is considered now a public shame for whole Poland but the square is …gone. Bytom was industrial German city built completely in Bauhaus and neo-classical styles that are disappearing fast across the Silesian region. It suffered complete degradation in the last twenty years; we are heart broken every time we are in the area, because we went here to high school. This card is often used as a proof how once a beautiful and spacious the city was.

Bytom postcard

Bytom postcard

Bytom postcard - back

Bytom postcard – back


Coffee cups
– This cup was bought in 2008 in an artisan shop Galeria w Szafie (Gallery in a wardrobe) in Bytom. What you can see printed on the fine bone china are drawings of local Silesian artist Franciszek Dziadek showing the landmarks of the town of Bytom itself. Dziadek dedicated his whole career to design of various books, periodicals and newspapers in the region. Being a true legend and institution, it was a local initiative to introduce a series of coffee cups with his works, aimed at first for the use of media workers. It is very popular among local journalists who, as we all know, live on coffee and take away grabs when working. Somehow the cups also became public favourite – including our dad who makes it a point to start a day with a fine cup of coffee each morning when visiting Malta (dad actually brought this cup from Poland during one of his trips to ensure he had suitable kitchenware to use when on holidays). We just love the idea to incorporate works of a person who dedicated his life to design newspapers into something that can become ultimate newspaper’s gift. And it caters beautifully for general public too – after how many truly artistic cups you see on display? If you look closely at the artworks they are small masterpieces and the finishing is nothing like the usual. Quality and art make a supreme gift for a subscriber – they can now start their morning having coffee and read their news in style.

Our dad`s coffee cup - front

Our dad`s coffee cup – front

Cup - right side

Cup – right side

Cup - left side

Cup – left side

Post-cards, coffee cups, coasters, posters, themed collections are part of the media landscape. They can be turned into small works of art and sought items. It is all up to the creativity and business approach of a newspaper.

One thing is for sure – investing in proper layout, good premium system, content and tightening bonds with readers will result in one way or anther.

If you are curious how the newspaper market is slowly recovering due to various measures, you may find this final link interesting:

http://stateofthemedia.org/2013/newspapers-stabilizing-but-still-threatened

Thanks for reading this post and we hope to present you soon with the last one chapter.

Love,
Mal + Rita

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When a photo goes viral

Hello there reader! We want to show you a photo.  You may have seen it before, or perhaps, it is the first time you are seeing it. What’s so special about it? We will tell you who took it, who’s on the pic, what he is doing and why this particular photo went viral. All in the post below. It’s a long entry you say? Brilliant, this will not only show how much information can be squeezed into one image, but you may also learn a thing or two how the (social) media work. If it sounds good, then read on!

August 25, 2013 - Daniel Caruana (aka "Gostra Man") takes part in the gostra competition in the village of St Julians, Malta

Most likely photo of the year

***

Few weeks ago, we have published a post about what could be done to make traditional media perform better in the digital era. It was first part of a longer entity that we plan to upload onto Vanadian Avenue in the future (if you missed it please click HERE). In that entry, we noted that we live in what can be described as “visual times”. The image is now far more important that the text – a unique situation in the history of industry. This may create complications (declining readership for instance) but it also brings a whole new world of possibilities. Think of it as a very positive side of things.

Not only the image takes a front seat to the rest of the content – it also has a power to spread quickly over Internet and the social media. This is an extraordinary force and a process worth having a closer look at. We have been thinking of writing something about it in the past – however we didn’t have a right opportunity to do so. Until now, that is.

Let us present you with a study case of a photo gone viral in all its splendour and glory. It’s gonna be a lot of screenshots and even more links but we really think this is worth it. And since we got the permission from the photographer to do this post and he is someone we really admire, it was a pure pleasure (and only two weeks of work, but then who cares!)

***

We are not fans of Maltese festas. This is particular mix of a large crowds, loud music, fireworks, fast food and alcoholic beverages being consumed in excess. You must like this sort of activities and somehow it was never our cup of tea. We would have missed the festa in our village of St Julian’s on August 26th, 2013, but a friend got us out of the house. So we went to see the gostra competition.

To give you a short description – gostra dates back to XIII century and was originally a dare between local fishermen and pirates. It consists of a large pole placed horizontally over the water which is covered with grease. People run to the end of the pole to capture the flags that are placed there. If you are unlucky, you end up in the sea. If you are skilled enough to grab a flag, you get a prize.  The competition draws large crowds and we have to admit, it is fun to see people fall into the water, some in undignified poses. When we arrived to the St Julian’s promenade, we could see many people with cameras and even several local photographers. One of them was Darrin Zammit – Lupi of The Times of Malta, who was following the competition through a large lens. Having skilled people covering the event was good news; we could expect great photos to come up by the end of the day. Little did we know that we have been witnessing something extraordinary in the making. Darrin was not only snapping away – he was actually making iconic images.

Darrin Zammit Lupi working on site during Isla Herritage Day, July 2010. Photo by Malicia

Darrin Zammit Lupi working on site during Isla Herritage Day, July 2010. Photo by Malicia

Since Darrin is also a stringer for Reuters, within 24 hours the images from gostra event (most notably the photo from the beginning of this post) were all over the news, newspapers and online portals. Rita was ecstatic. She got down to work immediately collecting screenshots, links and data – finally she had a recent case of a photo going viral she could document for the blog. Our friend Annika helped us considerably with collections of press mentions. Our research lasted from August 27th to September 8th 2013 when we combined all the resources into this entry.

***

You may ask us what it means for a photograph to go “viral”.

To use plain words, the viral phenomenon is any sort of document that spreads itself like a virus though the social media and over the Internet, gathering attention and notoriety. It may be positive or negative in its aspect but it will create a buzz and will reach large amount of net-izens. If you require a specific definition, there’s always Wikipedia to the rescue:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viral_phenomenon

What goes around on the social network is usually an article, a video, a meme (photo with a commentary) or a motivational quote. But from time to time, press photo will hit the right spot. And this is where it gets really interesting. We could write a whole book about the mechanics of how press photography is distributed, but that would take a very long time. Instead Malicia decided to create a diagram which kind of sums it up although it is very plain. Please excuse her drawing skills, she tried her best:

The "virality" process

The “virality” process

The chain always begins with a photographer documenting the event. Why did we say “on the ground”? That is an old media term for being right in the middle of action. It was possibly first used by Robet Capa (famous war photographer) when he described his landing on the D-Day as “being on the ground and as close to action as possible”. These days “on the ground” is no longer used in regard to war correspondence alone, it became a synonym of just being a direct observer of anything interesting. Pretty much like the mentioned gostra competition. That day, we have been on the ground as well, even documenting because Malicia rarely goes out of the house without a camera.

So, once the photographer found an interesting event, took his photos and edited them – the next phase of the process is to send them to the newspaper or news agency. This is so called “filing” or “putting images on the wire”. In the old days, images have been sent via a wire-processing machine (affectionately called “the wire”).

1956, New York, New York, USA --- How United Press sends newspictures: 12:30 P.M. - Within 15 minutes, a print is ready to send over the coast-to-coast United Press Telephoto wire network and an operator slips it into the Trans-ceiver machine for transmission. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

1956, New York, New York, USA — How United Press sends newspictures: 12:30 P.M. – Within 15 minutes, a print is ready to send over the coast-to-coast United Press Telephoto wire network and an operator slips it into the Trans-ceiver machine for transmission. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Today is not that glamorous anymore – images are just uploaded on the servers, via drop-boxes or simply downloaded straight from the camera. It is then up to the agency or the newspaper where the photographer works to distribute the photographs among the clients: other newspapers, TV stations, portals, bloggers and via various social media channels. The mentioned gostra competition was covered for Reuters. Let us show you how it was distributed in regard to the social networks by the agency.

Reuters is a Royce-Royce among news agencies and a media empire all in one. They work with the best in the field and when they publish – the world listens. Darrin Zammit Lupi`s photo was distributed widely through respective channels: their website, the iPad app (Wider Image), Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr just to name a few.  The image has been nicknamed “gostra man” and was made not only a photo of the week, but also one of the images of the month for August and even a cover photo for their Facebook page. We can only imagine how surprised, overjoyed and humbled the photographer was by the recognition.

This is how Reuters respective channels looked few days after the photo of “gostra man” was published (we provide actual link right underneath the screen-grab):

Reuters main website (Full Focus) on August 30, 2013, photos of the week feature

Reuters main website (Full Focus) on August 30, 2013, photos of the week feature

http://blogs.reuters.com/fullfocus/2013/08/30/photos-of-the-week-31/#a=10

Reuters iPhone app Wider Image on August 25, 2013.

Reuters iPad app Wider Image on August 25, 2013.

http://widerimage.reuters.com/share/story/067F8F17-E44E-41CE-B884-ECCFA401AEE1/

Reuters Facebook page on August 30, 2013. Cover photo.

Reuters Facebook page on August 30, 2013. Cover photo.

https://www.facebook.com/Reuters

Reuters Tumblr account on August 30, 2013

Reuters Tumblr account on August 30, 2013

http://reuterspictures.tumblr.com/post/59804322181/reuters-darrin-zammit-lupi-photos-of-the-week

Reuters Instagram on 25 August 2013.

Reuters Instagram on 25 August 2013.

http://instagram.com/p/dd953RKTzM/#

Reuters website (Full Focus) on September 2, 2013 - images of August feature.

Reuters website (Full Focus) on September 2, 2013 – images of August feature.

http://blogs.reuters.com/fullfocus/2013/09/02/images-of-august-3/#a=21

***

Right, if we were to peek again at the diagram prepared by Malicia, we would notice that in the middle of it, there is a black frame with “International newspapers” written across it. This is the central stage of the “virality” chain. Once the photo is distributed through the channels by the news agency, it’s up to the clients to pick up the materials for the upcoming editions. It doesn’t really matter, if this would be a traditional print medium or an online feature.  The crucial thing is: the photo either catches up with the clients or will fail to attract any real coverage.

This section of the blog will be a long one and will most likely give you vertigo. But that’s exactly what we want.  Since Darrin`s photo was published internationally to a record degree, we want to re-create the feeling of seeing the photo just about everywhere. All screenshots and links were gathered by us personally, so let’s use them. If you get bored half way through, just scroll down to the next check point (***). Oh, and we list the countries alphabetically for a better effect 🙂

Canada:

Globe and Mail on August 25, 2013

Globe and Mail on August 25, 2013

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/multimedia/camera-club/in-photos/best-pictures-from-the-past-24-hours/article13947020/

Calgary Sun, August 31, 2013

Calgary Sun, August 31, 2013

http://www.calgarysun.com/2013/08/29/travel-photos-of-the-month—august-2013

China:

Sina News Agency, August 29, 2013

Sina News Agency, August 29, 2013

http://slide.news.sina.com.cn/w/slide_1_43407_34836.html/d/1

WHB China, August 27, 2013

WHB China, August 27, 2013

http://info.whb.cn/xxld/view/22754

Costa Rica:

Teletica, August 26, 2013

Teletica, August 26, 2013

http://www.teletica.com/Noticias/22444-Isla-de-Malta-recibe-el-curioso-festival-Il-Gostra.note.aspx

Denmark:

Berlingske August 26, 2013 (main page)

Berlingske August 26, 2013 (main page)

Berlingske August 26, 2013 (second page)

Berlingske August 26, 2013 (second page)

Berlingske August 26, 2013 (third page)

Berlingske August 26, 2013 (third page)

http://www.b.dk/billedserier/har-du-hoert-om-gostra-faareloeb-eller-farveloeb

Germany:

Der Spiegel, August 27, 2013

Der Spiegel, August 27, 2013

http://www.spiegel.de/international/a-918933.html

Wall Street Journal Deutschland, August 27, 213

Wall Street Journal Deutschland, August 27, 213

http://www.wsj.de/article/SB10001424127887323407104579037241583729268.html#slide/6

Greece:

News Beast, August 26, 2013

News Beast, August 26, 2013

http://www.newsbeast.gr/world/arthro/574046/o-dromos-pros-ti-niki-glistraei-/

India:

Mumbai Mirrot, August 26, 2013

Mumbai Mirrot, August 26, 2013

http://www.mumbaimirror.com/photos/news/the-days-best-pictures–august-26/The-days-best-pictures-August-26/mumbaiphotos/22067735.cms

Indonesia:

Kalim Post, August 27, 2013

Kalim Post, August 27, 2013

www.kaltimpost.co.id/berita/detail/28484/merasa-seringan-bulu.html

Plasa MSN Indonesia, August 26, 2013

Plasa MSN Indonesia, August 26, 2013

http://berita.plasa.msn.com/wow/olahraga-tradisional-gostra-malta?page=5#image=6

TempoCo August 26, 2013,

TempoCo August 26, 2013,

http://www.tempo.co/read/beritafoto/9124/Serunya-Lomba-Panjat-Pinang-di-Negara-Malta

Merdaka, August 25, 2013

Merdeka, August 25, 2013

http://www.merdeka.com/foto/dunia/238606/mengenal-gostra-lomba-panjat-pinang-tradisional-eropa-selatan-001-isn.html

Italy:

Repubblica, August 26, 2013

Repubblica, August 26, 2013

http://video.repubblica.it/rubriche/il-mondo-in-un-minuto/il-mondo-in-un-minuto-26-agosto-2013/138270?video=&ref=fbpr

Vanity Fair Italia, August 27, 2013

Vanity Fair Italia, August 27, 2013

 http://www.vanityfair.it/news/foto/13/08/27/foto-del-giorno

Mauritius:

Lexpress, August 26, 2013 (main page)

Lexpress, August 26, 2013 (main page)

Lexpress, August 26, 2013 (gallery page)

Lexpress, August 26, 2013 (gallery page)

http://www.lexpress.mu/photo-gallery/monde-24-heures-en-images-77

New Zealand:

Stuff, August 27, 2013

Stuff, August 27, 2013

http://www.calgarysun.com/2013/08/29/travel-photos-of-the-month—august-2013

Norway:

NRK Norway, August 25, 2013

NRK Norway, August 25, 2013

http://www.nrk.no/kultur/malta-feirer-med-fettete-klatring-1.11202702

Peru:

Punto, August 25, 2013

Punto, August 25, 2013

http://www.perupuntocom.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=19768

Poland:

Onet portal, August 26, 2013 (gallery page)

Onet portal, August 26, 2013 (gallery page)

Onet portal, August 26, 2013 (main page)

Onet portal, August 26, 2013 (main page)

http://wiadomosci.onet.pl/swiat/malta-gostra-tradycyjny-bieg-po-sliskim-palu/j9bs6

Newsweek Polska, August 29, 2013

Newsweek Polska, August 29, 2013

http://zdjecia.newsweek.pl/galerie,-gostra—-bieg-po-tlustym-palu–czyli-maltanska-tradycja-galeria,107997,10,1.html

Forum Photography Agency, August 25, 2013 (main page)

Forum Photography Agency, August 25, 2013 (main page)

Forum Photography Agency, August 25, 2013 (gallery page)

Forum Photography Agency, August 25, 2013 (gallery page)

http://www.forum.com.pl/oferty/qus6nqlk/zdjecie.php?idzdjecia=1805195

Portugal:

Correio da Manha, August 26, 2013

Correio da Manha, August 26, 2013

  http://www.cmjornal.xl.pt/detalhe/noticias/ultima-hora/equilibristas-em-paus-cheios-de-sebo

Russia:

Rus Republic August 27, 2013

Rus Republic August 27, 2013

http://rusrep.ru/article/2013/08/27/malta

Lenta, August 26, 2013 (main page)

Lenta, August 26, 2013 (main page)

Lenta, August 26, 2013 (second page)

Lenta, August 26, 2013 (second page)

http://lenta.ru/photo/2013/08/26/gostra/#0

Serbia (Bosnia/Herzegovina):

Telegraf, August 27, 2013

Telegraf, August 27, 2013

http://www.telegraf.rs/zanimljivosti/813436-gostra-trk-po-masnoj-drvenoj-sipki-samo-za-hrabre-foto-video

Svet, August 26, 2013

Svet, August 26, 2013

http://www.svet.rs/planeta/gostra-tradicionalno-penjanje-po-klizavoj-gredi

Alo, August 26, 2013

Alo, August 26, 2013

http://www.alo.rs/vesti/bizzare/gostra-pentranje-uz-klizavu-gredu-pa-padanje-foto/28905

Serbia Media, August 27, 2013

Serbia Media, August 27, 2013

http://www.smedia.rs/zabava/zanimljivosti/vest/104927/blic-Religijski-festival-na-Malti-Penjanje-uz-nauljenu-motku.html

Blic, August 28, 2013

Blic, August 28, 2013

http://www.blic.rs/Slobodno-vreme/Zanimljivosti/401325/Religijski-festival-na-Malti-Penjanje-uz-nauljenu-motku

Singapore:

The Straits Times August 25, 2013 (main page)

The Straits Times August 25, 2013 (main page)

The Straits Times August 25, 2013 (gallery page)

The Straits Times August 25, 2013 (gallery page)

http://www.straitstimes.com/through-the-lens/story/august-26-2013

 

Taiwan:

Kaixian, August 28, 2013

Kaixian, August 28, 2013

http://www.kaixian.tv/R2/n2778456c6.shtml

ET Today August 28, 2013

ET Today August 28, 2013

http://www.ettoday.net/news/20130828/262269.htm

Turkey:

Milliyet, August 27, 2013

Milliyet, August 27, 2013

http://gundem.milliyet.com.tr/4×100-gobek-yarisi/gundem/detay/1755111/default.htm?ref=OtherNews

UK:

The Guardian, August 25, 2013

The Guardian, August 25, 2013

http://www.theguardian.com/news/gallery/2013/aug/25/the-weekend-in-pictures#/?picture=415807013&index=2

Daily Mirror, August 26, 2013

Daily Mirror, August 26, 2013

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/runners-attempt-climb-65ft-greasy-2225768

Daily Mail, August 25, 2013

Daily Mail, August 25, 2013

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2401919/Feast-St-Julian-Contestants-grapple-crazy-game-religious-festival-Malta.html

MSN UK, August 27, 2013

MSN UK, August 27, 2013

http://him.uk.msn.com/time-off/men-run-up-a-greasy-pole-in-bizarre-tradition?page=3

Metro, September 3, 2013

Metro, September 3, 2013

http://metro.co.uk/2013/09/03/gallery-weird-and-quirky-pictures-of-the-month-august-2013-3947911/a-man-runs-up-the-gostra-during-the-religious-feast-of-st-julian-outside-valletta

US:

American Photo, August 26, 2013 (gallery page)

American Photo, August 26, 2013 (gallery page)

American Photo, August 26, 2013 (main page)

American Photo, August 26, 2013 (main page)

http://www.americanphotomag.com/photo-gallery/2012/08/photojournalism-week-august-31-2012?page=1

Yahoo News International, August 26, 2013

Yahoo News International, August 26, 2013

http://in.news.yahoo.com/lightbox/pictures-of-the-week-august-20-26-slideshow/man-runs-gostra-during-religious-feast-st-julian-photo-194226225.html

The Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2013

The Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2013

http://blogs.wsj.com/photojournal/2013/08/26/photos-of-the-day-aug-26-3/

Washington Post, August 26, 2013

Washington Post, August 26, 2013

http://www.washingtonpost.com/2013/08/26/9332e92e-0e43-11e3-85b6-d27422650fd5_photo.html

NBC photos of the month, August 31, 2013

NBC photos of the month, August 31, 2013

http://slideshow.nbcnews.com/slideshow/news/the-week-in-pictures-aug-22-29-52873966/

NBC photos of the week, August 26, 2013

NBC photos of the week, August 26, 2013

http://photoblog.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/29/20247549-the-week-in-pictures-aug-22-29#comments

Time Magazine (LightBox section), photos of the week feature, August 30, 2013

Time Magazine (LightBox section), photos of the week feature, August 30, 2013

http://lightbox.time.com/2013/08/30/pictures-of-the-week-august-23-august-30/#22

Buzz Feed, September 3, 2013

Buzz Feed, September 3, 2013

http://www.buzzfeed.com/hunterschwarz/theres-a-festival-where-men-run-up-a-greased-pole-to-snatch

Boston (The Big Picture feature) - photos of the month, September 3, 2013

Boston (The Big Picture feature) – photos of the month, September 3, 2013

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2013/09/daily_life_august_2013.html

Venezuela:

Noticias 24, August 26, 2013

Noticias 24, August 26, 2013

  http://www.noticias24.com/internacionales/noticia/67321/asi-celebran-en-malta-una-festividad-religiosa-fotos/

***

From Canada to Venezuela, the photo known as “gostra man” was published in 50 newspapers and news portals across 23 countries and we have got 58 screenshots and links to prove it. We are sure there were more mentions, but we didn’t manage to find them.

No, you are not alone if by now you are certain that the man may be hiding in your fridge. This is the power of the medium – overwhelming.

But that doesn’t mean the story is over. Because once the media run the story and the photo, it is time for the voice of the people, and this also is projected via social media. Speaking in Matrix terms: publishing of the photo was action and the general opinion of the Internet users was the reaction.

Through Reuters Facebook page alone the photo had close to several thousands of shares and 2 000 likes by September 8, 2013. On Twitter, people posted scanned pages from the newspapers that mentioned the photo of the gostra man. Links were RT-ed by a very curious mix of government officials, tourism pages, residents and journalists all at once. The photo was pinned to hundreds of walls on Pinterest. People wanted to know who the gostra man was; they nicknamed him Master Po (after a character from Kung Fu Panda), also that week Google searches about Malta and gostra competition rose by 1500%.

We have made some screenshots showing the overall positive response to the photo:

Facebook comments

Facebook comments

The Twitter mentions

The Twitter mentions

"Gostra man" photo shared on Pinterest

“Gostra man” photo shared on Pinterest

We are also adding a small update to this section. It has been pointed out to us that the photo of “gostra man” was also popular on Reddit. Indeed it was with over 400 different shares and a very poor Photoshop battle. We will share only one of the photo-manipulations because the rest of them are not even same zip code as funny.

Reddit main page with the photo shares

Reddit main page with the photo shares

http://www.reddit.com/search?q=gostra+man

Running away from Millie - the only photo-manipulation we found worth sharing.

Running away from Millie – the only photo-manipulation we found worth sharing.

http://imgur.com/1jY7lOK

***

For those who are not familiar with Malta – the island is one of the world’s smallest states. With just 316 square km (and that’s divided between three islands) and virtually no natural resources, the country’s economy is mostly based on tourism, trade and manufacturing. Hardly anything is told about the country on the international media, besides being a holiday destination.

And suddenly this has changed with just one photo of a man running up a pole. With the public demanding to learn more about the skilful stranger, country’s biggest newspaper – The Times of Malta conducted the interview with “gostra man”. His name was Daniel Caruana, an oil rig worker, who despite his sudden fame turned out to be quiet and somehow shy.

Darrin Zammit Lupi, as the photographer who took the iconic photo and journalist for Times of Malta, filmed the interview.

Times of Malta, August 31, 2013

Times of Malta, August 31, 2013

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20130831/local/How-to-panda-to-the-crowd.484189

                                                                                                                           ***

Every “image gone viral” story at some point must come full circle back to the person who started it all – the photographer. It is good to remember that without years of hard work, experience, skill and investment, there would be no iconic photo, no international story to report and no promotion for the country. If Malta wanted to advertise itself on major newspapers, TV stations or portals, the cost would be enormous. Five-minute spot on CNN cost a million dollars for starters. If the whole promotional campaign was organized by a marketing company, they would pocket a large check. The photographer was paid much less and did much better job. So please treat the photographers in a decent and honest way (that can be also stretched to creatives in general and the plea goes to all countries, not just Malta).

We want to leave you with the words of photographer regarding his famous image. This is what Darrin Zammit –Lupi had to say when his work was just about everywhere:

“Am quite astounded, pleasantly surprised and chuffed at the hit the Gostra man aka Daniel Caruana pic has made – Reuters FB cover photo, Reuters pix of week, NBC pix of week, Time Lightbox pix of week, Telegraph pix of week and countless other news websites and papers running it. Guess the main thanks go to the guy himself!”

Please don’t tell us that photographers have big egos….

If you want to follow Darrin please choose one of the links below:

https://www.facebook.com/darrin.zammitlupi
https://www.facebook.com/DarrinZammitLupiPhotography
https://twitter.com/darrinzl
http://www.darrinzammitlupi.com

              ***

That’s all folks.

We hoped you enjoyed this post.

Mal+Rita

****** 21.09.2013 ******

It seems like the blog itself went viral as well! Just last night we had 503 visits in one day breaking our previous record of 218 visits. The average visit ratio for Vanadian Avenue is between 20 to 30 clicks a day, quite a good turnout for cultural blog on WordPress. We also had re-tweets from Maltase Prime Minister and Reuters. Ok, we did send them the link ourselves, but never hoped for any reaction, less alone that they would actually read the blog. The photographer himself – Darrin Zammi Lupi was so kind to put the link to our blog on his personal page on Facebook, which is extra nice.

Mentions on Twitter

Mentions on Twitter

Mentions on Facebook

Mentions on Facebook

Blog stats

Blog stats

We are humbled and very, very happy. Thank you all!

Mal+Rita

****** 26.09.2013******

We needed to do another update because something really cool is making rounds on the Maltese Facebook. Apparently, some creative mind thought it was needed to update the national flag and this is the new design 😉 We are sure that Castille Palace (Prime Minister’s office) in Valletta will be soon releasing a call for national referendum regarding this matter. Tongue in cheek, but it shows how one man and one photograph can become a symbol.

Malta new flag?

Malta`s new national flag?

As we said before, Darrin Zammit Lupi managed to create a better publicity for his home country with just one shot than an army of PR agents and million dollar ad- campaign. He’s also more efficient than many ambassadors we have abroad representing Malta. Diplomatic corps, please take note!

M/R

****** 27.10.2013******

Darrin`s photo being mentioned on BBC 1 on October 25, 2013

Darrin`s photo being mentioned on BBC 1`s “Have I got news for you” on October 25, 2013

And we have to make another update! We are excited to report that the photo of Gostra Man has been used in a sketch in a comedy program “Have I got news for you“ on BBC 1 last night. If you want to see it, please scroll down to the link or look for Episode 4 of Series 46.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03fg7s9/Have_I_Got_News_for_You_Series_46_Episode_4/

“Have I got news for you” is one of Britain’s most beloved and watched comedy series and has been on air since 1990. It is also highly influential. Rita made the screenshot and you are allowed to share it far and wide. We would like to congratulate Darrin Zammit Lupi – he has gone where no Maltese photographer been before.

We are gonna tweet a link to this blog to the producers of the program to show them how successful and recognized the photograph of Gostra man is. We wonder if we will get a RT 🙂

Mal+Rita

****** 02.12.2013******

We have approached the “best of” time of the year and Gostra-man photo is still making waves online! It has now been included in several ranking of best photos of the year and we cannot be more proud to show you some screenshots! What’s even more amazing, Darrin Zammit – Lupi has two of his images being counted among the best, the other photo being a portrait of a young Somali migrant, who embarked on a journey to find his missing parents.

Darrin’s agency – Reuters featured two of his images in their best of ranking:

Reuters Best of 2013 - December 2, 2013

Reuters Best of 2013 – December 2, 2013

Reuters Best of 2013 - December 2, 2013

http://blogs.reuters.com/fullfocus/2013/12/01/best-photos-of-the-year-2013/#a=1

And the slideshow was then reprinted by English Daily Mail

Daily Mail best of 2013 - December 2, 2013

Daily Mail best of 2013 – December 2, 2013

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2516663/The-astonishing-pictures-2013-Renowned-news-agency-releases-best-photographs-defining-moments-year.html

On November 17, 2013, American Business Insider included Gostra-man into the ranking of most fascinating images of 2013:

Business Insider best of 2013, November 17, 2013

Business Insider best of 2013, November 17, 2013

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-strangest-photos-of-2013-2013-11?op=1

Isn’t it just marvellous? If only Maltese authorities would consider awarding local photojournalists for such a dedicated promotion of the country, instead of selling passports to the rich…We know: high hopes and sweet dreams. But at least some credit is due via this blog. And it is a great ending to a case of a photo gone viral.

Thanks for joining us for this crazy ride.

M+R

****** 03.12.2013******

And here we go again – after Reuter’s best images of 2013 were announced, we knew things would heat up. We have secretly plotting to make another update with several screens for your enjoyment. However, over breakfast, when uncle Google showed us 2000 press mentions and general 158,000,000 other results, we kind of gave up. It is impossible to track down all the mentions. If there was a person on the planet who didn’t see Gostra man image until now, they must have seen it yesterday or this morning. Behold the power of a news agency and the skilled eye of a photographer.

Let us just briefly add some screenshots to document the trending:

Last night Reuters best of 2013 was trending for a bit. This is how the RTs and mentions on Twitter were looking two hours after the ranking was posted:

Reuters Twitter accounts on December 2013

Reuters Twitter accounts on December 2013

And here are few mentions from across the world: North America, Australia, China… well you know what we mean…

Washington Post large feature - December 3, 3013

Washington Post large feature – December 3, 3013

Washington Post large feature - December 3, 3013, main gallery

Washington Post large feature – December 3, 3013, main gallery

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/oddest-photos-of-the-year/2013/11/26/04b63150-56bf-11e3-835d-e7173847c7cc_gallery.html#photo=2

New Zealand Stuff, December 3 , 2013

New Zealand Stuff, December 3 , 2013

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/9470146/Best-Reuters-photos-of-the-year-2013

Xinhua Agency December 3, 2013

Xinhua Agency December 3, 2013

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2013-12/03/c_132934653_6.htm

 And here is a beautiful mention on Time Magazine`s photo blog LightBox. Gostra Man is among 356 best shots of 2013. Yes, its Time Magazine.

LightBox (Time Magazine photo blog) - a year in pictures feature. Gostra Man is a photo of the day for 25 August 2013. December 3, 2013.

LightBox (Time Magazine photo blog) – a year in pictures feature. Gostra Man is a photo of the day for 25 August 2013.
December 3, 2013.

http://lightbox.time.com/2013/12/03/2013-the-year-in-365-pictures/#237

Photographers have enormous power of presentation and that is why folks, they should be evenly paid for their work. The moral of the story.

M/R

****** 09.12.2013******

You’d think that we would become bored posting new press mentions about our favourite Gostra photo, but this is such fun! And this week was very hectic as the photo itself is slowly being recognized as one of the most iconic images of 2013.

We have seen many Internet memes and photo-manipulations based on Darrin Zammit-Lupi`s work but we have found them weak, until we came across this one. This is a variation of the famous image from the Great Depression known as Lunch atop a Skyscraper. Nobody knows who took the original shot, but it is widely contributed to Charles C. Ebbets.

Likewise, the photo – manipulation is anonymous and is making rounds on Reddit and Facebook. We weren’t able to track the source location, but it is hand down the best work around Gostra image. And pretty flattering as well, since “Lunch” is thought to be a timeless image.

Gostra man is now everywhere, even on the iconic Lunch atop a Skyscraper photo.

Gostra man is now everywhere, even on the iconic Lunch atop a Skyscraper photo.

Gostra photo was also published by Australian Business Insider, barely a week after its American edition.

Australian Business Insider, December 5, 2013

Australian Business Insider, December 5, 2013

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/the-best-photos-of-2013-2013-12#a-man-runs-up-a-pole-covered-in-grease-as-part-of-the-feast-of-st-julian-in-malta-43

Polish biggest daily newspaper – Gazeta Wyborcza – published a large article about Reuters best images of 2013 on their main page and said that Reuter`s selection would move every reader.

Reuters best of 2013 on Polish Gazeta Wyborcza in the main news section, December 4, 2013

Reuters best of 2013 on Polish Gazeta Wyborcza in the main news section, December 4, 2013

http://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/wiadomosci/5,114871,15071668,Te_fotografie_nie_pozostawia_nikogo_obojetnym__100.html?i=64

There were many emotional comments under the feature but one was particularly beautiful, and was directed at the Gostra image. We allowed ourselves to translate it for the blog:

“Truly amazing photo! Real photography will always be an art that requires a spark of genuine talent. All those Instagrams and selfies make me laugh and the fact that all those wanna-bies run around with pricy gear thinking they are photographers. I don’t understand why newspapers cut off photographers. There are so many fantastic professionals, who have to work weddings and baptisms to be able to do what they love; instead they should be out there providing us with their art…”

It does leave one speechless…

Darrin`s image was used for two days as a cover photo for the Reuters best of 2013 feature, still on Wyborcza`s main page.

Gostra man photo is used as a cover images for Reuters best of 2013, on Gazeta Wyborcza 8-9 December 2013

Gostra man photo is used as a cover images for Reuters best of 2013, on Gazeta Wyborcza 8-9 December 2013

Then Darrin`s works also appeared on Wyborcza`s photo page entitled Duży Kadr (The Big Picture). We took both screenshots, because in the end he has two of his photos in the 2013 selection, joining a handful of other Reuters photographers to have done so this year.

Gazeta Wyborcza`s The Big Picture section with Reuters best of, December 7, 2013

Gazeta Wyborcza`s The Big Picture section with Reuters best of, December 7, 2013

http://wyborcza.pl/duzy_kadr/5,97904,15091328,_Pictures_of_the_Year_2013____zdjecia_roku_fotoreporterow.html?i=0

Darrin`s second photo on Gazeta Wyborcza`s The Big Picture section with Reuters best of, December 7, 2013

Darrin`s second photo on Gazeta Wyborcza`s The Big Picture section with Reuters best of, December 7, 2013

http://wyborcza.pl/duzy_kadr/5,97904,15091328,_Pictures_of_the_Year_2013____zdjecia_roku_fotoreporterow.html?i=8

And cherry on the cake for this week – Time Magazine again. Their feature “Man on the Wire” which is an editorial column named Gostra Man as one of the most surprising images of the year. More over, like Wyborcza, Time Magazine used the photo itself as a cover for the feature.

Gostra man on the Time Magazine website, Man on the Wire feature, December 9, 2013

Gostra man on the Time Magazine website, Man on the Wire feature, December 9, 2013

Time Magazine`s Man on the Wire section with Gostra Man story cover, December 9, 2013

Time Magazine`s Man on the Wire section with Gostra Man story cover, December 9, 2013

http://lightbox.time.com/2013/12/09/most-surprising-photos-of-2013/#102

Even Darrin`s own newspaper Times of Malta woke up from their slumber and ran a beautiful spread with Gostra photo right in the middle. Darrin must be very proud and rightly so!

Times of Malta spread showing best images of the year from Reuters, December 5, 2013

Times of Malta spread showing best images of the year from Reuters, December 5, 2013

In the end we want to give a shout to two fantastic women at Reuters – Margarita Noriega and Corinne Perkins, who tirelessly promote good photo-journalistic works on social media. They gave us hints and RTs and were super nice so, we had to at least mention them. In the end it takes a lot of dedicated people to make a news story successful – many of them work long hours in the shadows. Respect Ladies!

More mentions from Reuters on social media!

More mentions from Reuters on social media!

Until next time!

M/R

****** 10.12.2013******

Gostra-man news is good news. And today we have got some wonderful bits to report. Reuters photo application – The Wider Image – is now available on all formats. Before, it was designed for smart- phones and iPads, but now you can also access it on your PC or laptop.

The App is a true eye candy – packed to the full with the best photography around and stories that will move you. It captures the soul and mission of photojournalism and combines it with a user-friendly interface. Beautiful piece of work even from the front end side – if only there was a Pulitzer price for coding 😀

You can access the App under this address:  http://widerimage.reuters.com/
And click below for teasers:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nF4miIFyp0

Gostra story is featured and now you can truly relive the action with the sequence option (short animation combined from all pictures frame by frame) and see some other shots from the day.

Gostra photos featured on Reuters -The Wider Image - application on December 10, 2013

Gostra photos featured on Reuters -The Wider Image – application on December 10, 2013

Gostra photos featured on Reuters -The Wider Image - zoom in, December 10, 2013

Gostra photos featured on Reuters -The Wider Image – zoom in, December 10, 2013

http://widerimage.reuters.com/story/a-slippery-slope/

We are truly happy to see yet another channel being used to popularize photojournalism. We can only hope other news agencies and media houses will follow suit.

More to come!

M/R

****** 15.12.2013******

The Gostra-Man could as well be a superhero. He has managed to defy the gravity, capture the imagination of people all over the world, has graced pages of countless newspapers, online publications, blogs and social media. And now, as the year draws to a close, he made it to the books!

The cover of The Times Picture Annual 2013 edition

The cover of The Times Picture Annual 2013 edition

Every year, Times of Malta publishes a book with best images from the ending year. There was little suspense this year what would be on the cover of 2013 edition. As the Times Picture Annual 2013 is now being printed and will soon hit the shelves, we can show you some incredible pictures.

Rita and I buy the Picture Annual every year as a part of our ritual to enlarge the (already) enormous book collection. As soon as we get our hands on the publication, we will surely let you know.

The Times Picture Annual 2013 is off the printing press - image published on December 15, 2013

The Times Picture Annual 2013 is off the printing press – image published on December 15, 2013

You can like the Facebook of Times Picture Annual by clicking the link below: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Times-Picture-Annual/213637462921
Those outside of Malta who would like to purchase a copy of the book can use the online store: http://books.timesofmalta.com/
It couldn’t get better for Gostra -Man, could it?

M/R

****** 24.12.2013******

It’s Christmas Eve very early morning and we are presenting you with another update.  According to Polish tradition – whatever you do on Christmas Eve, you are likely to be doing all year. So, here’s to another 365 days of blogging!

Perhaps, this may sound a bit impossible, but three weeks after Reuters Best of Year image ranking has been published, there are still press mentions about it and Gostra man is receiving more coverage.

Just two more recent ones From Toronto Sun (Canada) and Baltimore Sun (US):

Reuters selection on The Baltimore Sun, December 10, 2013

Reuters selection on The Baltimore Sun, December 10, 2013

http://darkroom.baltimoresun.com/2013/12/2013-the-year-in-pictures/#8

Reuters selection on The Toronto Sun, December 10, 2013

Reuters selection on The Toronto Sun, December 10, 2013

http://www.torontosun.com/2013/12/05/reuters-photos-of-the-year

The photo from Malta was also chosen to be one of year’s top images for several publications: The Wall Street Journal (US), Time Magazine (US), BBC Online (UK) and Liberation (France).

The Wall Street Journal, Best images of 2013, December 19, 2013

The Wall Street Journal, Best images of 2013, December 19, 2013

 http://graphics.wsj.com/Photos-of-the-Year/2013/#l=en&o=2&q=malta&x=&y=&p=228

Special issue of Time Magazine dedicated to best images of 2013. Online version, December 19, 2013

Special issue of Time Magazine dedicated to best images of 2013. Online version, December 19, 2013

http://lightbox.time.com/the-year-in-pictures-2013/

The BBC News, Best images of 2013, December 23, 2013

The BBC News, Best images of 2013, December 23, 2013

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-25304395

Liberation, Best images of 2013, December 19, 2013

Liberation, Best images of 2013, December 19, 2013

http://www.liberation.fr/photographie/2013/12/23/2013-que-du-bonheur_964194?photo_id=601952

And on the home ground, Times Picture Annual 2013 book was published and we have been given a copy. We love when people give us more marketing materials, so we will review the book soon on the blog. It’s worth every cent and you will see what an eye candy the series is.

We are very glad to note that since the book is out, promotion is taken seriously and Gostra Man is all over the Island again being used to raise awareness of the publication.

There was a beautiful review of the Times Annual and if you look closely on the screenshots you will see the ads with the use of the Gostra man image.

Online ads on Times of Malta website on December 21, 2013

Online ads on Times of Malta website on December 21, 2013

Review of Times Picture Annual on Times of Malta on December 21, 2013

Review of Times Picture Annual on Times of Malta on December 21, 2013

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20131219/local/Signs-of-the-Times-during-2013.499587#.UrYBSbSRK4m

There are also ads in the print:

The printed ad in the Sunday Times of Malta, December 22, 2013

The printed ad in the Sunday Times of Malta, December 22, 2013

And on Facebook, both Times of Malta and associated book shop Word for Word are doing their utmost to inform the public.

The Times Picture Aannual Facebook page on December 20, 2013

The Times Picture Aannual Facebook page on December 20, 2013

Facebook mentions of various Facebook pages, December 22, 2013

Facebook mentions of various Facebook pages, December 22, 2013

If you want to like Word for Word, you can visit them by clicking on the link below: https://www.facebook.com/WordForWordMalta
We will show you the images we took of the book itself. It stands proudly on our shelf and we have some plans connected to it, but for now: hush hush.

Times Picture Annual 2013, front cover

Times Picture Annual 2013, front cover

Times Picture Annual 2013, main spread

Times Picture Annual 2013, main spread

Times Picture Annual 2013, back cover detaiils

Times Picture Annual 2013, back cover detaiils

Have a Merry Christmas and we will see you soon.

M/R

****** 03.02.2014******

It’s been a bit quiet on Gostra –Man front, but only on the blog. In the real life, our superhero was as busy as always appearing in the media left, right and center, in books and calendars. He went abroad to London, been on national TV, and in the bookstores.  So, without further delay, please have a look at our coverage.

Firstly, let’s have a look at Reuters. In December 2013, the news agency made their app The Wider Image available for all platforms. Now, no matter the device, you can access it on iPhone, iPad, tablet, PC or laptop.

This is how the page with the picture looks as seen from a laptop:

Reuters The Wider Image App as seen in December 2013 via a laptop

Reuters The Wider Image App as seen in December 2013 via a laptop

http://widerimage.reuters.com/story/pictures-of-the-year-august/

Gostra Man also made an appearance on the Reuters YouTube channel, as part of the Pictures of the Year video on December 17, 2013. Darrin Zammit Lupi, the photographer, has three images in this video (at 0:34, 1:15 and 1:20 – the last one being our Gostra-hero)

Screen grab from Reuters Picture of the Year video, December 17, 2013.

Screen grab from Reuters Picture of the Year video, December 17, 2013.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_wXWIjTFf8

There have also been memorable mentions on Facebook. Both British Telegraph and Time Magazine decided to use Gostra man as the cover photo for their best of year stories.

Telegraph Facebook page on December 24, 2013

Telegraph Facebook page on December 24, 2013

https://www.facebook.com/TELEGRAPH.CO.UK

Time Magazine Facebook page on December 27, 2013

Time Magazine Facebook page on December 27, 2013

https://www.facebook.com/time

 But the best Facebook mention comes from the photographer himself. Darrin Zammit – Lupi had a chance to meet Daniel Caruana at the offices of The Times of Malta where Gostra – Man was presented with a book (Times Picture Annual). It must have been a very emotional meeting, and both men are smiling widely. We are pretty sure that this is a beginning of a long friendship and there will be more gostra-shots coming in the future. We too are grinning when seeing this shot. Two extraordinary men, who moved millions of people all over the world and here they are, just looking casual and ordinary.

Darrin Zammit Lupi and Daniel Caruana at the Time of Malta offices, as seen on Facebook on December 31, 2013

Darrin Zammit Lupi and Daniel Caruana at the Time of Malta offices, as seen on Facebook on December 31, 2013

We will round up the social media with a look at Flickr. There are hundreds of shares of the gostra photo on the site, but one mention caught our eye. It comes from a person who is a photojournalist. Nothing is better than a compliment coming from a fellow professional, isn’t it?

Flickr mention on December 11, 2013

Flickr mention on December 11, 2013

http://www.flickr.com/photos/100247732@N08/11457357194/

Let us now have a look at the international press, because we have managed to find several articles and it is always nice to be able to extend our database of press mentions. Gostra Man appeared regularly throughout December, so we have noted the mentions in chronological order.

Gostra Man being one of the photos of the year at All That Is Interesting portal on December 13, 2013

Gostra Man being one of the photos of the year at All That Is Interesting portal on December 13, 2013

http://all-that-is-interesting.com/60-surprising-photos-2013

Telegraph mention on December 23, 2013

Telegraph mention on December 23, 2013

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/pictures-of-the-year/10504025/World-news-pictures-of-the-year-2013-part-2.html?frame=2657875

International Business (UK Edition) on December 27, 2013

International Business (UK Edition) on December 27, 2013

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/12-best-photos-2013-1429535

Totally Cool Pix portal counting Gostra Man as one of the images of the year on December 32, 2013

Totally Cool Pix portal counting Gostra Man as one of the images of the year on December 32, 2013

http://totallycoolpix.com/2013/12/best-sports-pictures-of-2013/

Darrin Zammit Lupi`s mother newspaper – The Times of Malta – was also very active in December. We have been complaining before on the blog that The Times don’t boast enough about the achievements of their photographers. We may have even sent them an email or a tweet about it. Now, we are really happy to report that they did a splendid job. As we have mentioned Daniel Caruana, was invited to the offices of the newspaper and presented with a copy of The Times Picture Annual. An article was published about it, and for the records we decided to show you how the article looked on many different platforms: in print, in electronic form (e-paper) and on the web. Call it a creative use of available sources:

Times of Malta December 31, 2013 (the e-paper version)

Times of Malta December 31, 2013 (the e-paper version)

Times of Malta December 31, 2013 (the web version)

Times of Malta December 31, 2013 (the web version)

Times of Malta December 31, 2013 (the print version)

Times of Malta December 31, 2013 (the print version)

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20131231/local/Slippery-slope-to-world-fame.500841#.UsLhHKVUsdt

Gostra Man story appeared also in the best of year video on Times of Malta website. If you click on the link below, there is a short interview with Daniel Caruana at 1:10, among other news bits.

Times of Malta - best stories of the year video, December 29, 2013

Times of Malta – best stories of the year video, December 29, 2013

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20131229/local/2013-in-review.500593#.UtQV6LSRK4l

There was also a very interesting video made for The Times of Malta uploaded on YouTube. Gotra Man appears at 1:12.

Times of Malta - year in review video, December 30, 2013

Times of Malta – year in review video, December 30, 2013

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIWzUE3A3JA

To make the coverage complete, there were also three reviews of the Times Picture Annual photo book that has Gostra Man on the cover. We have shown the book in the previous update, so this time we will show you the screenshots of the published reviews. We are planning to have our own review up on the blog soon, so once it is done, you will be able to see even more screen grabs and e -paper shots. Yes, we know a lot of material that is why this update is both long and diverse. We had a hard time to chose all the data we have gathered. Blogging is a hard work, kids:

Times of Malta, December 19, 2013 - review of Times Picture Annual

Times of Malta, December 19, 2013 – review of Times Picture Annual

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20131219/local/Signs-of-the-Times-during-2013.499587#.UtWhrbRwB2U

The Sunday Times of Malta, December 29, 2013 - review of Times Picture Annual

The Sunday Times of Malta, December 29, 2013 – review of Times Picture Annual

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20131229/books/Packaging-the-world.500806#.UsLHuuJN-jZ

Times of Malta December 31, 2013 - review of Times Picture Annual

Times of Malta December 31, 2013 – review of Times Picture Annual

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20131231/books/The-challenge-of-rightly-interpreting-the-story.500894#.UtWKurRwB2U

Let us remain with The Times Picture Annual for a moment more. We want to show you few things about the book. It is distributed by BDL Malta and they had a nice job of promoting it online and real life.

Here’s to show you how Gostra Man was advertised online by the distributor:

BDL website as seen in January 2014

BDL website as seen in January 2014

https://www.facebook.com/BDLmalta

BDL online shop in January 2014 - the whole Time Picture Annual collection

BDL online shop in January 2014 – the whole Time Picture Annual collection

http://www.bdlbooks.com/art-photography/4589-the-times-picture-annual-2013.html

We have also made a small tour around Valletta to see how the book was displayed. To our surprise it was exhibited in the windows and placed right next to the cash points. Those guys know how to do business, we approve!  All the photos were taken in the first week of January, 2014.

Book display outside Word for Word book store in Valletta, early January 2014

Book display outside Word for Word book store in Valletta, early January 2014

Display inside the shop, Word for Word, Valletta, January 2014

Display inside the shop, Word for Word, Valletta, January 2014

Mallias bookstore, Valletta, January 2014

Mallias bookstore, Valletta, January 2014

Johnsons at Great Siege Square, Valletta, January 2014

Johnsons at Great Siege Square, Valletta, January 2014

Agenda at Republic Street, Valletta, January 2014

Agenda at Republic Street, Valletta, January 2014

Times Picture Annual at the cash points at Agenda, Valletta, January 2014

Times Picture Annual at the cash points at Agenda, Valletta, January 2014

Display at Agenda book store in Republic Street, Valletta, January 2014

Display at Agenda book store in Republic Street, Valletta, January 2014

Display at Agenda book store at Embassy Complex, Valletta, January 2014

Display at Agenda book store at Embassy Complex, Valletta, January 2014

Some localities we have visited mid-January, such as Agenda at Mater Dei hospital or Chaucers Bookstore at Bay Street in Paceville completely sold out the book and had to call for new stock! Pretty impressive.

Gostra Man was also a subject of a program on NET TV in Malta. On January 11 2014, Darrin Zammit Lupi appeared alongside Professor Joe Friggieri on the panel on “Iswed fuq L-Abjad” to talk about the photographic book – The Times Picture Annual. It was a great panel – done both in English and Maltese, with the photo of Daniel Caruana being shown several times on screen.

Darrin Zammit Lupi and Professor Joe Friggieri during a TV program on NET TV on January 11, 2014

Darrin Zammit Lupi and Professor Joe Friggieri during a TV program on NET TV on January 11, 2014

Photo of Times Picture Annual during a TV program on NET TV on January 11, 2014

Photo of Times Picture Annual during a TV program on NET TV on January 11, 2014

Photo of Gostra Man during a TV program on NET TV on January 11, 2014

Photo of Gostra Man during a TV program on NET TV on January 11, 2014

It is a weekly program that deals with current issues both political and cultural and is being presented by Frank Psaila. We have to admit, Darrin Zammit Lupi has nerves of steel. Philosophy Professor Joe Friggieri is known for his extreme religious views and we are not sure if we could stand being in the same room with him for more than five minutes.

You can watch the feature on YouTube below, the panel starts at 20:00 into the program. It is partly done in Maltese so if you know the language, be aware. Our command of Maltese is limited so we cannot guarantee that Professor Friggieri will not say something like “artists can be prosecuted” or “art must be censored”.
Or you can use the direct URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXljoLHZW6A

You can also follow the program on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iswedfuqlabjad

And now onto blogs! We can’t forget the blog mentions and we have three of them to show you. Gostra Man has been mentioned far and wide on the intranet, but we have decided to concentrate on the local blogs. Darrin Zammit Lupi featured his famous shot in his best of 2013 video, fellow photographer Kevin Casha reviewed the Times Picture Annual and Melahart gave Daniel Caruana a mention on her top 10 of unsung heroes of the year:

Melahart blog, December 31, 2013

Melahart blog, December 31, 2013

http://melahart.com/end-year-special-9-unsung-maltese-heroes-2013/

Blog by Darrin Zammit Lupi, January 11, 2014

Blog by Darrin Zammit Lupi, January 11, 2014

http://darrinzammitlupi.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/best-of-2013/

Blog by Kevin Casha, January 2, 2014,

Blog by Kevin Casha, January 2, 2014,

http://kevincasha.com/blog/the-photojournalist-the-challenge-of-rightly-interpreting-the-story/

Gostra Man was also used for a corporate calendar by Allied Newspapers (the owners of Times of Malta) and we had been able to get our hands on it and take some photos. Gostra Man appears on the cover and on the page for August 2014:

Cover of Allied Newspapers` corporate calendar for 2014

Cover of Allied Newspapers` corporate calendar for 2014

 Allied Newspapers` corporate calendar for 2014, August page

Allied Newspapers` corporate calendar for 2014, August page

 Allied Newspapers` corporate calendar for 2014, August page in detail

Allied Newspapers` corporate calendar for 2014, August page in detail

We are nearly over. Last item on our list is a London Societies Photography Convention (SWPP 2014) where Darrin Zammit Lupi won the title of Media Photographer of the Year 2013 (for his hauntingly beautiful image of a young migrant who left  for Europe in search of his missing parents).  Gostra Man was nominated in the category “Event Photographer of the Year 2013” but sadly didn’t win.

Darrin came to the convention with a video showcasing his photos. You can see it on Vimeo:

SWPP 2014 Convention reel, January 20, 2014

SWPP 2014 Convention reel, January 20, 2014

http://vimeo.com/84078651

If you are seeing the video online, Gostra Man picture is shown at 2:55. And this is the photo being shown during the convention itself. Not too shabby!

SWPP 2014, Convention in London on 23 January 2014

SWPP 2014, Convention in London on 23 January 2014

Times of Malta didn’t disappoint and they also ran article about the winning in London. You can read it here: http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20140129/local/Times-of-Malta-man-wins-top-photo-award.504572#.UvbF5IWGPVG

Right, that was an epic update to an epic image.
Hope you had fun,
R+M

****** 10.02.2014******

New week – new update! Six months after Gostra Man image has been taken, it is still appearing in the media. On February 2, 2014, London Evening Standard ran a photo story about best images of the year past and we have seen a familiar face running up the pole!  You can see the screenshot below:

London Evening Standard, February 2, 2014

London Evening Standard, February 2, 2014

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/window-on-the-world-2013-the-years-most-stunning-images-of-people-places-and-events-in-the-headlines-9033887.html?action=gallery&ino=6

We have also managed to get a hold of a photo of a printed copy of The Sunday Times from September 1, 2013. Gostra Man was featured as a part of picture story of the week:

UK_The_Sunday_Times_September_1_2013

This brings us to the main portion of our update. It has been crazy six months and so much mentions that it is easy to get lost. Some inconsistencies are flying around so we decided to explain few things and to do a quick break down.

If you have been following this entry and our various updates, you may refresh your memory, if you have no time to read all the details from top to bottom; this is what you need to know about Gostra Man:

Photographer: Darrin Zammit Lupi (Times of Malta/Reuters)
Gostra Man: Daniel Caruana
Photoshop: none (we have been there and seen the run with our own eyes)
Gear: A heavy Canon and a 400 mm lens
Date: 24 – 25 August, 2013
Place: St. Julians, Malta

Thing you may not realize is that there are two images of Daniel Caruana. One was taken on the 24th of August and published in few magazines, including Guardian.

August 24, 2013 - Daniel Caruana (aka "Gostra Man") takes part in the gostra competition in the village of St Julians, Malta

August 24, 2013 – Daniel Caruana (aka “Gostra Man”) takes part in the gostra competition in the village of St Julians, Malta

The other, the most famous one, was captured on August 25, 2013.

August 25, 2013 - Daniel Caruana (aka "Gostra Man") takes part in the gostra competition in the village of St Julians, Malta

August 25, 2013 – Daniel Caruana (aka “Gostra Man”) takes part in the gostra competition in the village of St Julians, Malta

And now for the breakdown – 2013 was a year of Gostra Man!


Gostra Man appearances:

One book (Times Picture Annual 2013) + cover
One calendar (Allied Newspapers 2014 calendar)
One international  photographic convention (SWPP London 2014, nomination in “Events Photographer of the Year)
One local photojournalism award (part of the winning portfolio for “Press Photographer of the Year” from Malta Press Club)
One local TV program (“Iswed fuq L-Abjad”, NET TV, Malta)
One feature in a local TV program (“Gadgets”, episode 28, TVM, Malta)
One foreign TV program (“Have I got news for you”, BBC 1, UK)
Print display at Times of Malta head-office
Print display at the Canon Malta/Avantech head-office

Reuters mentions:

Reuters Facebook page (as a cover image)
Reuters Twitter and Reuters Top News Twitter (multiple times)
Reuters Instagram
Reuters Tumblr
Full Focus feature (as one of the best photos of the year 2013)
Full Focus feature (as one of pictures of the week)
Reuters YoutTube channel (in a video as one of the best photos of the year 2013)
Reuters The Wider Image app (with photographer’s comment and a full sequence)
Reuters The Wider Images app (images of August in the best of year feature)
Reuters The Wider Image app – cover image

International Press/News Agencies/Portals:

Australia:
Business Insider (December 2013)

Canada:
Calgary Sun (August 2013)
Globe and Mail (August 2013)
Toronto Sun (December 2013)

China:
Sina Agency (August 2013)
China WHB (August 2013)
China Xinhua Agency (December 2013)

Costa Rica:
Teletica Noticias (August 2013)

Denmark:
Berlingske (August 2013)

France:
Liberation (December 2013)

Germany:
Der Spiegel (August 2013)
Wall Street Journal Deutsche (August 2013)

Grece:
News Beast (August 2013)

India:
Mumbai Mirror (August 2013)
Yahoo! India Lifestyle (February 2014)

Indonesia:
Kalim Post (August 2013)
Merdaka (August 2013)
Plasa MSN (August 2013)
TempoCo (August 2013)

Italy:
Repubblica (August 2013)
Vanity Fair Italia (August 2013)

Mauritius:
Lexpress (August 2013)

Malta:
The Times of Malta (August 2013)
The Times of Malta (December 2013)
The Sunday Times of Malta (December 2013)

New Zealand:
Stuff (August 2013)
Stuff (December 2013)

Norway:
NRK (August 2013)

Peru:
Punto (August 2013)

Poland:
Forum – Polish Photography Agency (August 2013)
Newsweek Poland (August 2013)
Onet portal (August 2013)
Gazeta Wyborcza – main news (August 2013)
Gazeta Wyborcza – The Big Picture feature (December 2013) – three times

Portugal:
Corrieo da Manha (August 2013)

Russia:
Lenta (August 2013)
RusRepublic (August 2013)

Serbia:
Alo! (August 2013)
Blic (August 2013)
SMedia(August 2013)
Svet (August 2013)
Telegraf (August 2013)

Singapore:
The Straits Times (August 2013)

Taiwan:
ET Today (August 2013)
Kaixian(August 2013)

Turkey:
Milliyet (August 2013)

UK:
The Guardian (August 2013)
Daily Mail (August 2013)
Daily Mirror (August 2013)
MSN UK Him (August 2013)
The Sunday Times (September 2013)
Metro (September 2013)
International Business Times (December 2013)
Telegraph (December 2013)
BBC News (December 2013)
London Evening Standard (February 2014)

US:
The Wall Street Journal (August 2013)
The Wall Street Journal (December 2013)
Washington Post (August 2013)
Yahoo News (August 2013)
American Photo (August 2013)
NBC News (August 2013)
Boston.com (September 2013)
BuzzFeed (September 2013)
Time Magazine – LightBox – Pictures of the Week (August 2013)
Time Magazine – LightBox – Pictures of the Year (December 2013)
Time Magazine – LightBox – The year in 365 pictures (December 2013)
Time Magazine – LightBox –  Man on the wire (December 2013) + cover image
Business Insider  (November 2013)
Totally Cool Pix (December 2013)
Washington Post (December 2013)
All the is interesting (December 2013)
The Baltimore Sun (December 2013)
Newscom Focal Point (December 2013) -twice

Venezuela:
Noticias 24 (August 2013)

In total: 69 newspapers/media portals/news agencies
26 countries

This is still not over, so please keep on checking for more updates!

If you want to keep yourself updated on a newest project that Darrin Zammit Lupi is working on and that promises to be as huge as Gostra picture, please visit the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/islelanders

 Have a lovely week and we will see you soon!

Love,
Mal+Rita

****** 12.03.2014******

Another month, another groovy update.

February was amazing, in just one month we broke 2k views and we have been swarmed with messages from readers, fellow photographers and random people about the Gostra image. Local shooters regard this story to be real proof that photographers from tiny Malta are talented, hardworking and believe that this photo made the island more recognized on international scale.

After our previous update, we received several hints and leads to make our database more complete. So, let us travel a bit back in time.

In December 2013, American portal Newscom added Gostra-man image to their database. From December 1, 2013 clients of Newscom could not only buy the rights to publish the photo, but could choose from the whole series of gostra images as well. You may ask how it is possible since the photo belongs to the photographer and Reuters. Newscom works as a middle man between media houses and agencies. They pay the agency to have access to agency’s material and then pick up the best pieces to offer them to their own clients. A bit old fashioned, we have to agree but then not every media client has the opportunity or time to look for quality material.

Gostra photos featured in the clients database on Newscom FocalPoint portal, December 1, 2013

Gostra photos featured in the clients database on Newscom FocalPoint portal, December 1, 2013

Gostra Man featured in the clients database on Newscom FocalPoint portal, December 1, 2013

Gostra Man featured in the clients database on Newscom FocalPoint portal, December 1, 2013

Moreover on December 16, 2013 Newscom also ran a story about Reuters pictures of the year and Gostra- man was promptly featured on their pages.

Reuters Photos of the year 2013 featured on Newscom Focal Point portal on December 16, 2013

Reuters Photos of the year 2013 featured on Newscom Focal Point portal on December 16, 2013

 http://blog.newscom.com/blog/2013/12/16/reuters-pictures-of-the-year-in-2013/

We also have been informed about a new blog called The Life of. It is run by a man called Tommy Sanders – who we have to add – has some fantastic ideas. We would not be surprised if he actually worked in marketing. On August 25, 2013, Tommy wrote that he could not find any gostra bets on sport sites and considered gostra to be a real sport worthy of interest of bookies. Imagine that, with so many betting operators in Malta the idea of having a small “gostra league” and possibility of placing a bet on your favourite contender seems very exciting. We are sure that mutual bets could be arranged and the funds needed for a new gostra pole would be raised in one day!

Gostra man featured on the blog - The life of - on August 25, 2013

Gostra man featured on the blog – The life of – on August 25, 2013

http://thelifeof.tv/gostra-now/

And we have to give some kudos to Yahoo India who are a bit late to the party, but still featured Gostra – man photo on February 16, 2014 in their life style section.  Seven months after the event, the photo of Daniel Caruana is still making waves and finding new ways into the ether.

Yahoo India featuring Gostra man on February 16, 2014

Yahoo India featuring Gostra man on February 16, 2014

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos/iconic-images-from-around-the-world-slideshow/travel-dramatic-images-from-around-the-world-photo-1385978831120.html

This is the report from the international front; the home base has been exciting as well. On February 24, 2014, Avantech (local agent for Canon) celebrated Gostra Man with a large print. The photographer – Darrin Zammit Lupi – visited their office and tried to re-enact the action. The photos below are for your visual pleasure:

 Gostra man photo exhibited at Avantech offices, February 24, 2014

Gostra man photo exhibited at Avantech offices, February 24, 2014

Photographer Darrin Zammit Lupi posing next to his photo at Avantech offices, February 24, 2014

Photographer Darrin Zammit Lupi posing next to his photo at Avantech offices, February 24, 2014

You can follow Avantech on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Avantech-Malta/171925799550909

Darrin Zammit Lupi will hold a talk about his career in photojournalism at Avantech head offices on April 2, 2014 and the event is being advertised with the Gostra man himself:

Screenshot of Avantech website as seen on March 13, 2014 promoting upcoming photo talk by Darrin Zammit Lupi

Screenshot of Avantech website as seen on March 13, 2014 promoting upcoming photo talk by Darrin Zammit Lupi

You can sign yourself up for the talk here:http://www.avantech.com.mt/avantech-event-22-years-a-photographer/

And on February 28, 2014, the photos from Avantech offices were also uploaded on Canon Malta Facebook page:

Facebook for Canon Malta - sister site to Avantech as seen on February 28, 2014

Facebook for Canon Malta – sister site to Avantech as seen on February 28, 2014

You can follow Canon Malta at this address:

https://www.facebook.com/canonmalta

We are also glad to report that Times of Malta displayed a large print of Gostra Man in their own offices in Valletta, in the lobby. So if you ever come to the newspapers` headquarters, you will be able to see the famous photo up close and personal. Let us tell you what a big honour it is for a journalist. Historically speaking newspapers put prints of their front pages and press photos on the walls to commemorate the most important stories or selling records of the media house. It was to show how good they were and it was a direct message to the advertisers that newspaper was a serious business. Nowadays, it is extended towards the longest working staff members and those employees that are considered game changers in their field. In the same way, newspapers honour those journalists who died on duty (by placing gold or silver plaques with the names on the walls of the newsroom) or who made a significant contribution. If you work in a newspaper and your article or photo is frames and put on the walls, you have all the reasons to feel proud – your work is good enough to be celebrated and displayed. We think Darrin deserves recognition like nobody else.

Photo by Darrin Zammit Lupi exhibited at the offices of Times of Malta on March 12, 2014.

Photo by Darrin Zammit Lupi exhibited at the offices of Times of Malta on March 12, 2014.

That`s all folks for this update!

Love,
Mal+Rita

****** 19.03.2014******

This update will be a bit brief but we have managed to get our hands on a digital invitation for the talk that Darrin Zammit Lupi will hold on April 2, 2014 and lo-and behold our Gostra Man is featured there!

In case you have missed – local Canon agents in Malta – Avantech – will host Darrin in their premises in San Gwann and people who are interested in photojournalism, will have opportunity to hear the photographer speak about his lengthy and varied career in photojournalism. Now, this is something to be excited about. Darrin has been lecturing quite a bit abroad in recent years and this event is similar to the talks he delivered in London at SWPP convention. So, no need to go abroad for the big industry party (cause that’s what SWAPP is), all is available at your door.

We are being told the seating is limited, so if you plan to attend, get registered: http://www.avantech.com.mt/avantech-event-22-years-a-photographer/

Now – some delicious screenshots! Canon Malta have updated their blog with the digital invitation and we just grabbed paint and put it to good use. This is how the Canon Malta blog looks as seen today, on the 19th March 2014.

Canon Malta blog as seen on 19 March 2014

Canon Malta blog as seen on 19 March 2014

Invitation detail page 1

Invitation detail page 1

Invitation detail page 2

Invitation detail page 2

And you can also download the invitation as a PDF

Darrin invite

If you want to follow Canon Malta on their blog, just click below:

http://canonmalta.blogspot.com/

We are trying to keep up with the Gostra-man; he seems to be in all possible places at once. There’s no telling where he will appear next. We plan to pop up at the talk and get some photos, so keep coming back!

Mal+Rita

****** 08.04.2014******

 

We finally managed to upload the photos taken on April 2, 2014 at the talk by Darrin Zammit Lupi. If you missed it, you have only yourself to blame. It was a brilliant evening. The room was packed, nearly 70 people gathered at Avantech`s offices in San Gwann (Malta for our international readers) to listen to one of the most prolific photojournalists on the island.

The (Gostra) Man in the mirror...

The (Gostra) Man in the mirror…

Darrin spoke two hours about his twenty-two years in the business and his assignments (both local and foreign). For every year behind the lens, he picked up several photos and tried to tell the story behind it. We had a pleasure to attend several of Darrin`s talks in the past and this was the very first time when he showed scanned films of his assignment in Albania and London and discussed the events in such details. For us, it is always so inspiring to listen to Darrin as he speaks about his work. He will always put his subjects first, bring the historical element into the conversation, or share his practical tips. No wonder that he is recognized as somebody to match Frank Attard in the photographic community. Frank Attard is a living legend of Maltese photojournalism having spent 55 years on the job and there is no local photographer who doesn’t look up to him. Darrin is surely working hard to receive the same gratitude and recognition from the photographers here.

 

Darrin Zammit Lupi during the seminar

Darrin Zammit Lupi during the seminar

Darrin Zammit Lupi talking to the audience

Darrin Zammit Lupi talking to the audience

Gostra Man reflecting in the screen during reception

Gostra Man reflecting in the screen during reception

Gostra – man was all over the place and Mal spent a lot of time chasing after him. There is a huge print of the photo in Avantech headquarters accompanied with the technical information about the photo. He also appeared in the talk on the slides and even when we were leaving the venue, we could see him from the window. We tell you, this man is unstoppable.

Print of Gostra Man at the Avantech offices as seen on April 2, 2014

Print of Gostra Man at the Avantech offices as seen on April 2, 2014

Technical details of the print

Technical details of the print

Gostra Man seen from the outside

Gostra Man seen from the outside

What was really cool about the event is that on the day of the talk, Avantech sent out a reminder via email to those who registered to attend. You can see the screen grab of the email below – it was using the Gostra image on the top of the page.

Email reminder sent out by Avantech on April 2 2014

Email reminder sent out by Avantech on April 2 2014

We hope you like this little update and next time if you have opportunity to attend a talk either by Darrin or anything organized by Avantech – go for it. You will have great time guaranteed.
Mal+Rita

 

****** 14.05.2014******

We all know the famous Queen tune “Don’t stop me now” in which Freddie sings that he is on a roll and nothing can slow him down. Definitely a suitable song for our own superhero, Gostra Man. This gostra-spotting blog just entered its tenth month and we are happy to report that Daniel Caruana is still claiming new heights. In the last few weeks Gostra man appeared in another local TV program and was a part of portfolio that won a major press award.

But before we fill you on the details, some parish announcements. We have noticed that many people were taking pictures of Gostra Man from the blog and shared them on various social media. Networking is a huge factor in process of going viral. However, the copyright of the photographer often suffer in the same time. Thankfully, we believe we have found a perfect middle ground that will allow images taken by Darrin Zammit – Lupi to be widely shared on the Internet without additional damage. Actually now you can help the photographer by sharing his photos! If you scroll up you will see that the photos of Gostra Man have been replaced with new images with tags on them. Watermark added to the photos now displays Reuters logo and website, proper credit to the photographer, date and reference number. Any potential client, who is interested in this photo and who comes cross it, will be able to track it in Reuters` database and buy it. This way, any exposure given to the photos online can be changed into opportunity for photographer to make another sale. Neat, isn’t it? So you can now share, share share 🙂

August 24, 2013 - Daniel Caruana (aka "Gostra Man") takes part in the gostra competition in the village of St Julians, Malta

August 24, 2013 – Daniel Caruana (aka “Gostra Man”) takes part in the gostra competition in the village of St Julians, Malta

August 25, 2013 - Daniel Caruana (aka "Gostra Man") takes part in the gostra competition in the village of St Julians, Malta

August 25, 2013 – Daniel Caruana (aka “Gostra Man”) takes part in the gostra competition in the village of St Julians, Malta

As you know, on April 2,2014, Darrin Zammit – Lupi had a talk about his photojournalistic career. At the talk, he was filmed for a TV program called Gadgets. He later met up with the program crew in St Julians – in exact spot where he took the Gostra Man photo and talked about the importance of having good lenses, his cameras and the famous photo. The result is a fantastic feature in the Gadget episode 28. It has been aired on TVM (Maltese State TV) on April m19, 2014.

Gadgets episode 28, April 19, 2014

Gadgets episode 28, April 19, 2014

Gadgets episode 28, April 19, 2014

Gadgets episode 28, April 19, 2014

You can see the interview with Darrin (in English) at 17:30 to 20:00 minute of the programme and if you know Maltese continue watching to see a small segment with our other good friend and photographer Kevin Casha. Our blog was shown as well at 18:40 and you can see the coverage of the Gostra Man going viral 🙂

Gadgets episode 28, April 19, 2014

Gadgets episode 28, April 19, 2014

Gadgets episode 28, April 19, 2014

Gadgets episode 28, April 19, 2014

Gadgets episode 28, April 19, 2014 - our blog is visible!

Gadgets episode 28, April 19, 2014 – our blog is visible!

You can follow the Gadget series online at: http://www.gadgetsmalta.com/  and  https://www.facebook.com/GadgetsMalta
And here you can watch the entire episode on Vimeo:

or via direct linkk: http://vimeo.com/92501270

On May 3, 2014, Maltese Press Club held an annual awards night for its members. Darrin Zammit – Lupi was nominated in the Press Photographer of the Year category and his portfolio included among others – the Gostra Man picture. We are thrilled to tell you that Darrin got the award and it has been his fifth such title in his career. He is slowly becoming one of the pillars of journalism on the island (next to legendary Frank Attard).

Some photos from the night can be seen below:

Winning portfolio by Darrin Zammit Lupi

Winning portfolio by Darrin Zammit Lupi

Winning team from Times of Malta newspaper, May 4, 2014

Winning team from Times of Malta newspaper, May 4, 2014

Images from the gala night as seen on Darrin`s Facebook page

Images from the gala night as seen on Darrin`s Facebook page

The Press Photographer of the Year award

The Press Photographer of the Year award

All the winners from the gala night can be found here: http://igm.org.mt/2014/05/04/malta-journalism-awards-winners-of-the-24th-edition-announced/
We can now call Gostra Man – an award winning superhero and this will not be exaggeration! Move over Gotham City – our hero is much cooler than your grim avenger.

We hope you enjoyed this update and we will report back soon enough.
Until the next time
Mal+Rita

****** 02.06.2014******

Summer is here! Only two months to the next Gostra – competition. It is incredible that we still find new materials to add to the blog. Imagine how popular the image of Daniel Caruana is both locally and internationally by now! We have been sneaking around recently in the book stores and taking blurry evidence. But it was worth risking being kicked out of Agenda book store at the Malta International Airport. You see it is illegal to take photos of the shops at the airports for some reason. Security concern apparently. On May 27th 2014 we went to the airport and by accident noticed Gostra Man on the cover of Times Picture Annual being prominently displayed on a shelf. We didn’t think twice and we snapped few frames from the hip. As you can see the photo is very blurry but at least we have it on record. Gostra Man is here visible in his full glory in the Melitensia section (books about Malta). We were told by the staff that the Times Picture Annual book is still selling quite well. Agenda were down to three last copies and that was third time they stocked it up.

Times Picture Annual displayed at Agenda bookstrore at the Malta International Airport, May 27, 2014

Times Picture Annual displayed at Agenda bookstrore at the Malta International Airport, May 27, 2014

Another cool thing that we came across for this update is a new photo – manipulation. Somebody did a nice variation of Johnny Walker ad “Just keep walking” on social website Imgur. It was found on May 28, 2014 and shared among many of our friend.

Mock add with the use of Gostra man photo at the Imgur website on May 28, 2014

Mock add with the use of Gostra man photo at the Imgur website on May 28, 2014

 http://i.imgur.com/9oGUOCP.jpg

You have to admit, that creativity of people on the Internet is simply stunning. We really wish we could find the name of the artist who came up with this mock add (that’s the name for it!), unfortunately Imgur is anonymous when it comes to submissions of (un)copyrighted materials.

We will be on the look out for more Gostra –Man appearances. This experience in virality is still not finished!
Until next time,
Mal+Rita

******31.08.2015******

Wow, times sure flies when you are having fun! It’s hard to believe but it’s been 2 full years since Gostra Man went viral. And we will tell you one thing – there is nothing to stop him! Mr Caruana has become an Internet sensation and his picture is still widely used not only by the regular press, but also by the Internet communities. There are literally millions of memes featuring his picture, from proposed commercials for Nike Air shoes, NBA I love this game, Johnny Walker adverts to pop culture references like the X-Files!

Reddit users are super fond of The Gostra Man and the main thread with Darrin Zammit Lupi’s picture is very active. Some members even started collecting the best memes and the thread now has more than 200 comments and 460 members still involved.Here is the picture of Gostra Man being investigated by special agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, clearly trying to discover what supernatural powers the Maltese nation possesses.

Things are getting strange and I'm starting to worry, this could be a case for Mulder and Scully...

Things are getting strange and I’m starting to worry, this could be a case for Mulder and Scully…

If you’d like to see the entire collection of Reddit treasures, you can visit the website below: http://rebrn.com/re/a-man-runs-up-the-gostra-a-pole-covered-in-grease-during-the-rel-12894/

Meme collection featuring Gostra Man

Meme collection featuring Gostra Man

It’s not only laugh and giggles for Daniel Caruana. His fantastic picture also brought some serious recognition to his skills and dexterity. In October 2014, Gostra-Man broke yet another threshold, after appearing in TV programmes and calendars, he stormed into advertising. Malta`s leading gym Cynergi used the image of Daniel Caruana for a country wide promotional campaign to encourage citizens for more physical activity. If Gostra -Man could do it, there would be no exception for anyone! This scan is a cut out from the biggest daily newspaper on the island – Times of Malta. It was published on October 5 2014. Ads like this would be published for entire month. Both photographer and the Gostra star were given a fitting gym membership for the use of the image. You see there are benefits of being good in sports or arts! In case you want to join the gym itself, scroll down to the link. You never know who you will meet on your next work out.

Times of Malta advert published on October 5th 2015 on page 16

Times of Malta advert published on October 5th 2015 on page 16

Cynergi official website: http://www.cynergi.com.mt/
Cynergi Facebook profile: http://www.facebook.com/cynergigym/photos/a.10150218797375632.457331.429811970631/10154624923790632/

Cynergi Facebook screenshot

Cynergi Facebook screenshot

And quite recently a prestigious International Business Times published a new study research proving that being skinny is not always a good thing. The scientists from University of Oxford proved that fat tissue can have multiple health benefits especially for those with hearth problems or sportsmen being involved in an extremely hard or exhausting disciplines such as  rugby, hammer throw, discus throw, American football and gostra! The ancient Maltese sport needs a lot of strength and perfect body shape to succeed on a tight and greased pole. Frankly, have you ever seen a skinny rugby player? Those people are not fat, they are healthy and built perfectly for what they are supposed to do. Victoria Secret’s models wouldn’t survive 10 first minutes of the match! Daniel Caruana’s picture has been singled out to portray those scientific findings and we are very proud of him. Please read for yourself!
http://www.ibtimes.com.au/new-body-fat-perspective-study-shows-body-fat-can-fight-heart-disease-1451440

International Business Time Australia June 9th 2015

International Business Time Australia June 9th 2015

Have a great day!
Mal and Rita D

Media in the digital age – or how freelancers, press photography and newspapers can beat up the crisis.

Some warning, for those who don’t like to read long posts: this is a result of three years of research and several years of personal experience. And we really wanted to make significant contribution to the topic. We are also dividing it into several parts (will be posted on the blog in due time) because we don’t want to lose the quality of information and we are never interested in just brushing the surface.

***

When Rita and I think of our college years, the only thing that comes to mind is “How did we survive it all?” – sleeping 4 hours a night, having sandwiches and instant noodles for a diet and generally running around like headless chickens from one place to another. Oh, and being constantly broke.

Malicia on assignment in Berlin for Fantasy Film Fest, 2004

Malicia on assignment in Berlin for Fantasy Film Fest, 2004

No, there were no parties involved. We have spent seven years majoring in two subjects each at the same time, being members of what now can be described as an youth NGO (“Section 9” of Silesian Fantasy Club), organizing conventions, panels, exhibitions, taking part in TV and radio programs and working as cultural journalists.

Between 2002 and 2005, we have been involved in three comics/manga/anime publications (“Kawaii”, “MANGAzyn” and “Anime Plus” respectively), going from being freelancers to editorial staff members.

It surely was a great experience: you got to interview people, write your own column and break news (we were first in Europe to write about Korean manghwa) and attend assignments abroad. The bad part of it, especially when you are a freelancer was being paid by word count (no fixed salary, not even minimal one), buying the books you had to review, covering your own expenses abroad, having no medical coverage (thanks old folks for taking care of us!) and not having your working years being counted towards your future retirement quota (because you are just a freelancer).

By 2005, we had to stop because the comics market in Poland broke down – a mix of crisis (unemployment rose to nearly 40%), far-right government at power (3 millions of people emigrated) and mass-a-stealing of everything off Internet. All three magazines died, only a handful of comics publishes survived the onslaught on the market and there was no longer any real possibility to earn any money this way. What we didn’t know at that time, was that we were living out something that would spread all over media globally – a slow but steady decline in newspapers` readership, crisis that cuts staff at newspapers and readers, who look for news and information online and are no longer concerned about printed medium.

Mal and Rita taking part in a  TV program in October 1999. We were young!

Mal and Rita taking part in a TV program in October 1999. We were young!

I remember having one conversation with Rita when “Anime Plus” died after its first issue. I said I never wanted to be a freelancer ever again in my life: it was brutal and the benefits of doing it were few, while costs were enormous. It couldn’t be even classified as labour of love, but a suicide mission – at the end of the month you were paid so poorly, that you couldn’t actually live from it. For a short period of time, I considered taking up press photography (having my photos used on a regular basis by the magazines) but since the crisis wasn’t sparing photographers either, I decided to stick to corporate jobs since.

Over the last decade things only got more and more wrong for traditional media. Not only the crisis, Internet use and dwindling revenues come into equation. Bad management is probably the biggest threat – because suddenly people who have no idea about media come in to “bring the profit and restructure” the company. One lunatic at Chicago Sun-Times fired the whole photographic department (including a Pulitzer Prize winner) and handed iPhones to reporters thinking he is going to have good photography and cost cutting exercise. I don’t even have to tell you that the damage done is going to come back and bite the whole company back real soon.

The world of freelancers (be they journos or photographers) in the millennium is a wild, wild west: what you have been paid in the mid 90`s now has shrunk to 1/3 of it. You are even no longer a contributor to newspaper or magazine – these days you are told to set up your own one-person-service company. Partly it is done because you have to pay your own NI and insurance (we didn’t do it back in the day as we were paid too little to cover the costs and our parents stepped in with their own medical insurance!). The requirement to set up your own company has also a meaner reason – it effectively strips you of the prestige of being a contributor to the press… and the press pass in the process. You must buy the staff you review, but also have to pay to get your way into events you write about (unless the organizers will be so kind to give you a pass). The pinnacle of absurd that we have come across was one jewellery exhibition in Malta: no photo passes available, they confiscated your gear at the entrance, and even Reuters` employees were denied the right to photograph it – citing security concerns. In the mean time security was eating lunch at the exposition and people snapped all over with iPhones.

Rita on assignment in Denmark, 2003. During the same time she was also a volunteer for Roskilde Festival.

Rita on assignment in Denmark, 2003. During the same time she was also a volunteer for Roskilde Festival.

We know multum of Creatives. Yet, only two of our dear friends were brave enough to jump in the deep and live in the freelancer’s world: Olga Drenda (http://olgadrenda.tumblr.com/) is a writer and pop culture genius, Marcin Chylinski runs his own wedding photography company (www.ProZdjecia.pl). I’m pretty sure that given an occasion, they would share even more horror stories than us 🙂

One would think that going digital would be easier. For the last three years, Rita and I run this blog. We have about 13K readers from all over the globe and we could actually start putting ads on here but we don’t want to. Having a successful cultural blog doesn’t make you eligible for a press pass to any events: be it Poland, Malta or UK (since we move around between three countries), you are not even recognized as a citizen journalist. But we don’t have it that bad. Another good friend Pawlu Mizzi runs a blog dedicated to Valletta – his home city and Malta`s capital (https://www.facebook.com/beltvalletta).  He is also a recognized artist in his own right and a successful graphic designer. For all he has done over the years to promote culture, it is unnerving to think he was not even given a press card by Maltese authorities.

So, the media landscape today is far from perfect. But that doesn’t mean the press and journalism is all dying and doomed. There is actually much needed soul-searching in the industry to find questions to so many issues that arose over the years. Rita and I have been brainstorming, reading and seeing some very good ideas being born despite the whole mess. This series of blog posts is actually to summarize the best proposals. We have recently gathered all our silly thoughts and ended up with like 18 pages of tricks. As we have passed it onto a local newspaper, we thought that maybe we could run some posts here. Think of it as our little voice in the discussion what can be done to bring up additional revenues to the traditional media being caught up in the digital world.

We put a lot of emphasis on visual side of the business (like photography, but it can be stretched out to video and illustrations as well) because the digital era is all about visuals, and this is where the revenues would be coming from.

Please enjoy part one of the post as we take a closer look at what can be achieved if you decide to brush off the dust from the old photos and scanners. It’s press version of Cash in the Attic 😉

***

Create a photo archive and know how to use it!

 

This is one of the best ideas we have come across. And many newspapers actually do it with different degrees of success! According to photo editors of Chicago Tribune, photo archive is crucial for a newspaper for several reasons. It allows newspaper to maintain journalistic standards (having unbiased stories), independence (alternative to press releases), prestige (“our archive is better than yours”) and business (you can sell newspapers content twice: as news and as archives).

Functional archive for both text and photos can positively affect revenues: it allows newspaper to expand their services and find new niches to operate from. In the process it also retains or even brings in more readers.

Some possible uses of text and photo archives:

–          Reproductions of old front pages can become anniversary mementos

–          Photos can be offered to collectors and private buyers in form of a print

–          Photos can be also used to create posters, cards or other items

–          Thematically organized archives can be used in research and teaching of journalism

–          By owning historical materials, newspaper can become a desired partner in the process of creating books, exhibitions or TV programs

–          Newspaper may charge for the access to the archives

–          Photo archive can preserve the works of local photojournalists from being forgotten, fragmented or even destroyed

–          Functional archive means that photographers are properly credited

–          Materials in the archives can be used for iPad and iPhone apps or to generate interest on social media

Let’s have a closer look at the Chicago Tribune’s photo archive, which is regarded as a stellar example in the news business. It is organized in two ways: website (www.tribunephotos.com) and social media outlets (Ebay, Twitter, Facebook and blog).

Chicago Tribune photo archive page

Chicago Tribune photo archive page

The site is divided into separate categories (sports, education, agriculture, children, health, government, environment, fashion, events, music, and holidays among others). It works like a regular online shop with a cart and requires a customer login (and a need to create purchaser profile protected with a password). It has links to Twitter, Facebook and Ebay pages and since it is visited by many people, it features ads. Revenues from the ads help maintain the website and its operations. There is a free newsletter being sent to the subscribers. The website is hosted by http://www.imagefortress.com

While the website is ran by professional marketing company, the social media platform make pictures “go viral” and create a buzz:

a)      Ebay: http://stores.ebay.com/tribunephotos

Photos put on the auctions are watermarked for security reasons. Each auction  lasts approx. 30 days. Prices per print range between 10 USD – 15 USD, larger and rarer prints are advertised in the newsletter and priced accordingly.

b)      Blog: http://blog.tribunephotos.com/

Weekly and occasionally daily posts, with stories and anecdotes from the newsroom, related to the photos in the archives.

c)      Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/TribunePhotos

Separate page for the archives. It incorporates posts from other media and printed newspapers; basically anything that can generate interest online is mentioned.

d)     Twitter https://twitter.com/TribunePhotos

Twitter can be connected to Facebook and blog and can generate multiple posts at the same time via different channels. One post on a blog will automatically be twitter and appear on Facebook. It can be run separately, in a similar manner to Facebook page.

The really cool thing about the functional archives is that is can be operated by the newspaper itself. We had a closer look at several newspapers and we came to conclusion that possible structure would look something like this:

– Usually the work is overseen by a photo editor and sales director

– Photo editor oversees the quality of prints or scans, while marketing team are involved in direct customer inquiries and sales

– Graphic designers are called in if prints need to be edited, some work is done by staff photographers if time allows, or by interns and journalism students

– Scanning, filing and general maintenance is done either by journalism students, general interns or by library and archiving students. Yes, you can actually use interns according to their field of study and get some real work done. There will be perhaps less coffee brewed in the office, but we don’t think anybody will be complaining that they are actually getting real – work experience

– Also the running of the social media sites can be done by interns

–          Blog posts can be created by more experienced journalists

See, put pieces in the right places and you can create a truly useful tool that will benefit journalists, students and readers all at once. But that’s not all. Having functional archives is just the beginning!

***

Photo – page is all the rage!

Let’s imagine that a functional photo archive was set up and it’s ready. Now, what are we gonna do with it? (apologies to Heavy D).

The answer is: show it to the world. And a photo page surely comes in handy in doing so.

There is a constant debate which medium is better: a video or a still photograph. Both have capacity to bring attention of readers, especially in a digital age (“going viral”), both can be shared and discussed, thus enhancing website content.

However there is one big (small) difference between them: video takes time – you have to see it through to fully understand what is happening. Photo on the other hand, requires less time, just a glance and the message is received: one photo is truly worth of a thousand words especially in the fast lived cyber space.

Full page of Time Magazine LightBox - just see how complex this photo page is!

Full page of Time Magazine LightBox – just see how complex this photo page is!

That is why photo-essays and photo pages are extremely popular. According to Google: Time`s LightBox (http://lightbox.time.com/) and NY Times` Lense (http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/) are one of the most visited pages when it comes to visual journalism.

A separate photo page can not only double a traffic onto newspaper’s website, it can be also used to present readers with reportages or other longer forms of photojournalism or even portfolios of staff photographers.

Possibilities are endless: you can set up photo of the week/month/year features; you can run photographic contests and publish readers` photos, you can co-operate with news and photo agencies to bring the most striking visual stories.

You can anything, even set up your own in-house photo agency and promote it via a well constructed photo-page!

***

In-house photo agency – tapping into new markets

When we first heard the term “in-house” photo agency operated by a newspaper, we honestly thought it was science fiction. Only, it is not and it’s being practiced for at least 18 years. And the reason you have never heard about it, it’s because you don’t usually read all the small print. Please look at the Gazeta Wyborcza (Polish biggest daily newspaper) photo page called “Duży Kadr” (The Big Picture):

http://wyborcza.pl/duzy_kadr/0,0.html

When opening the website, in the right upper corner the reader will find The Big Picture iPad application and a link to Agencja Gazeta – which is ultimately the photo agency set up by photographers of the newspaper.

http://agencjagazeta.pl/foto/0,0.html#TRNavSST

The agency has been set up in 1994 by members of the photo department who wanted to sell photos from the newspaper’s archives and their own work that was not always used by the newspaper. Today it consists of 35 staff photographers, freelancers and contributors (ranging from sports and fashion to war correspondence), two photo editors and 5 sales consultants. Agency members won several World Press Photo prizes and work closely with Reuters.

Page for Agencja Gazeta

Page for Agencja Gazeta

The agency offers the following services:

–          reportages

–          portraiture (also weddings)

–          fashion shoots

–          corporate portraitures and business photography

–          commercial photography

–          fully accessible photo studio for renting

Newspapers photographers can be “rented out” or hired (usually on their day off) to do an assignment for Agency’s customers, or they can offer their unused shots or personal projects that they pursue. Photographer is paid part of the fee, the agency retains the other half. This way a photographer can earn more and the newspaper has extra revenue.

Newspaper also has a functional studio that can be rented out or used by the staff photographers.

Such agency allows Gazeta Wyborcza to sell their archival pictures, unseen /unused press photos and to tap into commercial photography for additional revenues.

Pretty smart, you have to agree. But that is not the end of possibilities what you can do with a properly organized photo archive. If newspapers can have in-house photo agencies, why not create in-house stock collection. Kick-ass? Time to give some credit to Corbis!

***

Stock – joining the forces with freelancers and local enthusiasts.

You need to thank Rita for finding this one. There is very little she can’t find on the World Wide Web.

Another idea how to enhance a photo department is to create a stock photography collection. Many newspapers use stock photography bought from stock companies over the Internet. Having a local one – could bring a revenue (stock images could be sold to local or international clients) and could also employ talents of local photographers. A separate stock collection for mobile phones could also prove to be profitable.

Corbis Royalty Free service page

Corbis Royalty Free service page

Stock Photography or Royalty Free Collection is now a standard offer among Photographic Agencies. A good example would be a service of Corbis:

http://www.corbisimages.com/content/royalty-free/

It includes not just separate photos (stock) but also whole series (up to 100 pictures called as “virtual disc”) shot by one photographer around certain theme and with the same visual style.

There are literary unlimited possibilities to turn a stock or royalty free collection into profit:

–     It can attract local businesses which don’t always have time and big budget to
plan a campaign from scratch,

–     Parties and political candidates may use the images for their flyers,

–          Local councils, agencies and even some newspapers prefer to use generic images that appear to a larger public, than the usual documentary photography,

–          International clients are more likely to tailor made their coverage by using images taken by local photographers,

So we have (finally) reached the end of the part one of our media report. We truly hope you enjoyed reading and perhaps, you have found something interesting for your work place in case you work in the media. Give that link to your editor and let us know what the reaction was.

or at least make them read this blog post by Rohn Engh who beautifully said the same thing as we only with less word count:

http://rising.blackstar.com/a-new-dawn-for-photojournalism.html

For now we will sign off and walk out of the house to enjoy a bit of ice cream and the sunshine.

Mal+Rita

P.S If you know Polish, you can have a fab side reading to this rant by our friend Olga Drenda about how much photographers earn today:

http://digitalcamerapolska.pl/warsztat/339-ile-zarabia-fotograf-w-polsce-zobacz-realne-stawki

Social media campaign- power in presentation

Hello everybody!

Did you know that we are living in the material …or rather in the marketing world?

Customer profiling, social media and e-commerce are popular tools used by small and big businesses to enhance their presence on the Internet and to attract customers. Wherever you go, you notice banners advertising variety of products, pop up commercials, Google (in)famous Adwords  and Analytics  PPC (pay per click) campaigns, sponsored links, articles and a whole plethora of other mediums that are trying to sell you something.

It can be tiring but we will not be able to escape it. Social media are the new black and if your company doesn’t have Facebook/Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr account – then you are in serious trouble. God forbid that you lack a proper website and it cannot be easily found on Google.  The truth is out there and has been tested by the biggest marketing sharks on the planet. Customer’s attention span is getting shorter (right now it is marked at 3-4 minutes) and if you don’t capture the hearts and souls of your core targets in that amount of time, you are as good as dead. If something is not on Goggle, then it doesn’t exist. Simple as that.

Having run e-commerce campaigns on social media platforms for many people (don’t worry, we are the good guys, Gladiators in suits, white hats on white horses – we do it pro publico bono!), we have learnt that while the whole marketing chase is getting crazier by each year, we can still use it to our benefit. The problem is, the campaign needs to be well prepared to succeed. Good strategy is like Jack Sparrow’s magical compass.  It may not point north, but it points to the things you want most in this world. The key is to learn how to use the compass without ending on a deserted island with only a pistol and a bottle of rum to keep you company.  Now, this is exactly where we come in.

Some time ago, we posted a blog about  crowd founding campaigns.  John Faye and Brittany Rotondo of Philadelphia’s power pop duo John and Brittany, created a superb marketing campaign that we have used as a teaching example for others. Please click on the link below to read the whole article: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/john-brittany-crowd-funding-done-right/

Tips from our previous entry can apply to any campaign, not only for those created on Kickstarter or PledgeMusic. The point of that article was to show the basics of e-commerce campaigns. Today, however, we will try to show you something completely different and much more complex. Many people do not know how to design a campaign and they struggle to understand what is necessary to know.
Recently, we have been asked to prepare a faux marketing campaign for online retailer (online store) selling clothes, shoes and accessories for men, women and children. To make the whole exercise trickier, we chose Denmark as our target. Let’s pretend we are marketing directors for an online store called HOTSPOT and we are trying to enter the Danish fashion market and of course, take it by storm. Our board have no clue about Denmark and we need to convince them that we can be successful.  Our bosses asked for a PowerPoint presentation to be made, as they want to check our skills as well at the same time. It took us 5 days to prepare this presentation and that include speaking to test group (10 Danish people), market research, design and proofreading.

All we need at the beginning is:
Healthy amount of time to make the presentation (about 5 days). You will be adding, removing and changing a lot of things as your research deepens. Do not leave it at the last minute. You might be a marketing genius, but if your final product looks awful, nobody will be interested in seeing it.
Find a research group (also known as test group). We have used Facebook to speak to our friends who live in Denmark. If you struggle to find anybody among your real-life or virtual connections, look for a forum or advice groups on the Internet. Ask people few questions. For our campaign, we have asked our friends: “What Danish/International retailers or online shops they know”, “how much money they spend  for clothes online”,”how do they look for clothes”, “do they look for bargains or sales”. etc.
Prepare to use Google a lot. We made a list of popular places on the Internet where Danish people could hang out: popular portals, newspapers, celebrity magazines, tourist sites, fashion blogs, groups, competitors. Write down all piece of information that you come across, even by accident. Keep your eyes open for numbers and statistics. Remember who will look at the final presentation. If you need to convince accountants and financial managers, you need to speak their language. And nothing speaks better to an accountant than numbers and revenue figures 😀
Find good quality graphics, charts to illustrate your presentation. If you cannot make them yourself, use the free stock on the Internet. If you find something you really like, ask the creator for permission to use it and provide link and copyrights. Don’t steal anything just because it is on the Internet. There are  websites like Wikicommons that can provide you with maps, pictures and photographs.

1. Front Cover – presentation is like a book. It needs to have a cover with title and your name on it. We wanted to keep things simple yet clear. Danish flag makes a splendid background. We called our presentation “Danish market overview”.

Danish Market Overview front cover

Danish Market Overview front cover

2. Table of content – it is not obligatory to have it, but we are traditionalists. If your presentation is long, it allows the reader to look for the most important information at the same beginning. Please add page numbers next to the titles. We decided to add small Danish flag buttons to mark bullet points. Notice that we are having a new background. It is darker and white letters are very visible. After printing the presentation on A4 paper, we had a lovely result 🙂

Table of content

Table of content

3. Introduction to Danish market – Do you remember the film called “Philadelphia”? One of the characters, a lawyer named Joe Miller (played by Denzel Washington), had a particular way of establishing facts. He always asked his clients or witnesses one question: “Can you explain it to me like I’m a four-year-old?” Slide number 3 is where you have to explain the core of your presentation to your audience.  The simpler, the better. We entitled our slide number 3 “Introduction to Danish market” and used seven major points to describe the fashion market.  Our test group came very handy here – all the information we managed to find online ourselves have been checked with what our friends from Denmark have said. The conclusion from our investigation needed to be presented in shortened version.  Do not worry if you made an error and your conclusion is not 100% correct. This is not the end of the world. Unless you have been supplied with hard, undisputed facts, you can always make an honest mistake. Just provide the audience with links where you found the information from. Do not invent your own statistics – that would be a lie. In marketing, it is not always possible to find exact data or numbers as many businesses hide them fearing that their competitors will use it against them.  Keep it simple, short and to the point.

Introduction to Danish Market

Introduction to Danish Market

4. Targets – This is the most important part of your investigation and your presentation in general. Target means people who are going to buy your product or whom you want to reach. Without a well defined target, the marketing campaign will not go well. Think who are your customers, how old are they, where do they come from,  what do they do, how much they earn, what do they do in their spare time, what are they interested in, what are their beliefs etc. The more questions you ask, the better picture of your target  is created. In our case, the online store HOTSPOT needed to identify what kind of customers would be buying the clothes. Again, after talking to our test group and showing  them our apparel,  we determined what they liked and disliked. We have also checked other online stores at the Danish market (our competitors) and Goggled for their reviews. If a former client left them a comment, we would check his or her Facebook profile or Twitter account and try to find out  their age or interests. This is not stalking! Under any circumstances, do not ever contact those people. This is illegal and we do not recommend anything like this! What we tried to do, is to gather data about the clients and make a rational guess. Many companies (Facebook, Google) screen their users’ activities, websites they visit and try to tailor their commercials especially for them. Being a small business, you don’t have access to anything like this, but it doesn’t mean you cannot successfully find your targets.
Customer surveys and PPC  campaigns are also perfect to establish who is looking for your services.

Targets

Targets

5. Competitors – Ok, honestly, this is the worst part of every marketing research. The most time consuming and frustrating job you can imagine. A real nightmare for every marketing professional. To be successful, you need to know who is going to play against you. If your company is a monopolist, then feel free to skip this section, the rest must pay attention 😀  HOTSPOT is entering a new market, and there are many online stores fighting for every client, especially during an economical crisis. We have decided to divide  our competitors in two groups: retail (big brands and international stores) and independent designers (Danish clothing designers, that have their own popular brands and their own online stores). We gathered all information we could  find about each one of them: how many boutiques they have, how many workers they employ, their annual revenue, their brands, how many language versions their online store has, where do they operate etc. Each research will be different and different questions will have to be asked. Most of the information you can see at our slides number 5,6 and 7 come from official trade reports and store websites.

Competitors retail - page 1

– Competitors retail – page 1

Competitors retail - page 2

Competitors retail – page 2

Competitors - designers

Competitors – designers

6. How to make your company visible on the Internet – Let your imagination flow! This is where a true marketing starts. Ideas, brainstorming, anything that works for you and your business. Once again we have divided this section into two parts: how to increase company’s visibility on the market using the Internet and Professional links.  The Internet gives you incredible amount of ways to reach customers: website, Facebook, Twitter,Pinterest, Flickr, Linkedin, blogs, magazines, third party websites. Sky is the limit.  HOTSPOT being a fashion online store will concentrate on social media, bloggers and magazine campaigns. They will also try to establish professional co-cooperation with Danish designers,  fashion institutes and industry experts. Please remember to make  lots of friends, exchange links, comments, banners, invite people from your industry and update your social media platforms constantly. Be loud and enthusiastic. People like new things so they will check your business just out of curiosity. All you need to do is to keep them there!

How to increase visibility of your company using Internet

How to increase visibility of your company using Internet

How to increase visibility on the market using professional links

How to increase visibility on the market using professional links

7. Exemplary campaigns  – Slide number 10  is connected with previous ones (increasing visibility on the Internet) but is a little bit more specific.  The campaigns do not really need additional explanation – these links and hash tags HOTSPOT will be using in their Twitter campaign. Also, they will be contacting several popular fashion bloggers in hopes of establishing a closer co-operation.

Exemplary campaigns

Exemplary campaigns

8. Gaining customer trust – Very important part of every marketing campaign but sometimes completely overlooked.  Bringing customers to your website is not that hard, the key is to keep them coming back. To encourage customers, the business must gain their trust and present itself in the favorable light. There are several things that online store needs to do. First of all, the website must be protected and the clients data (credit cards numbers, password, usernames) cannot be stolen or leaked. Getting a certification of trust from a third party or internet security company offers your customers a sense of security and proves that you are not a scam artist.  Becoming a member of Trusted E-store organization  can help a lot. The process of becoming a member is not easy and requires a lot of checking, but it will prove worth every trouble in the long run. Teaming with PayPal and  credit card companies will also work to store’s advantage. It not only allows the clients several payment options to choose from (the more the better as usual), but it also proves that the company is working with credit cards providers. If your company uses Google Adwords and Analytics, the website can become a certified partner for Google campaigns (you will receive a badge and a  number). Gaining trust can also be done by answering to every question and inquiry  quickly and efficiently. Many businesses tend to ignore negative comments or reviews left by dissatisfied clients. This is a very serious mistake. Do not leave any comments unanswered or even worse, do not remove them! We are not saying here to leave comments full of profanities for everybody to see, any extremities (written, pictures, shares) should be removed and reported. If a clients complains, an honest answer should be provided asap and the problem should be investigated. Sweeping under the carpet or “website cleaning” will backfire sooner or later. Internet never forgives and many clients will be lost.

Gaining customer trust

Gaining customer trust

9. Increasing customer interest – AKA Here we are now, entertain us!
After convincing customers to visit the website, and gaining their trust, all we need to do is to keep the fire burning. Increasing the interest in offered products can be a bit of a pain. First of all, online clients are not as faithful as the traditional ones and will go everywhere else if they are bored or if they find a better deal. Second thing is, it takes a lot of work and effort to keep the visitors happy.  Well developed affiliate programs, point system can be very helpful here. Competitions are quite important as well. HOTSPOT decided to award points for every purchase and introduce badge system for their clients.   They are going to have several competitions per month including fan of the week, the best stylization, letter of the day and others. Each social platform (Facebook, Twitter and others) will have different competitions and different content in two languages – English and Danish.

Slide12

10. Ethics – Every business should posses a strong sense of duty towards customers, providers and their workers. Taking care of economy, local communities or donating to charity helps to send a clear message to visitors and partners. Becoming aware of ecology, reducing carbon imprint or energy management can earn the business not only approval from NGO’s but also very respected ISO certification (for example ISO 50001).  Marketing strategy should always incorporate ethical stand and lists of corporate responsibilities. Remember, making money cannot be the only reason why the business exist. Danish market puts a strong emphasis on ethical behavior.  HOTSPOT will be involved in several community and ecological projects from their very start.

Ethics in the business

Ethics in the business

11. The end – The back cover can contain a bit of humor. We decided to end our presentation in Danish 😀
It says: “Thank you kindly for reading our report”. Thank you Linda for providing us with translation skills. You are the best!
We would also like to thank our test group: Linda, Merete, Torsten, Mette and other Roskilde Festival people. TAK!!!
Good manners are always in demand!

Danish Market Overview back cover saying "Thank you kindly for reading my report"

Danish Market Overview back cover

All right, we hope that this blog will help you to create your own marketing plans. You don’t have to use anything that we posted here. Marketing strategy depends sorely on the person who is preparing it. There is no universal solution that will work for everybody. Sometimes it is just a trial and error. You have to be open minded and try out new things and ideas.
You can download the full presentation from Issuu: http://issuu.com/vanadianavenue/docs/danish_market_overview

Be creative and experiment.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any comments or questions. We’d love to hear from you. Send your letters to rdabrowicz@yahoo.com

Have fun!

xxxx
Rita and Malicia D.

********** Update 18/08/2013***********

This proved to be one of the most followed posts on the blog. We  got retweets, were included in paper.ly collections and  even got 40 hits from Bahrain! Just wanted to share few screens.

This is how your stats look when you do a good e-commerce post

This is how your stats look when you do a good e-commerce post

RTs and paper.ly presence

RTs and paper.ly presence

Thanks a bunch everybody!

M+R