TIME The Wireless Issue on my iPad

TIME Magazine’s First Ever Wireless Issue

Back in July, I read a post called TIME Magazine wants your Instagram Photos on Life in Lofi (one of my favorite iPhoneography blogs). I thought it seemed like a cool crowdsourcing project and I wanted to participate. I tweeted about it and some of my fellow mobile photographers and friends decided to contribute Instagrams to the cause. When I had images I wanted to submit, I used the hashtag #TIMEwireless when posting on Instagram.

Yesterday morning I thought “I’ve been using this hashtag for a while… I wonder if they’ve published the piece?” After all using  an expired hashtag is a waste of time, energy, and characters and this stuff is critical on microblogging platforms.  I went to the TIME Magazine Website and found the cover of The Wireless Issue online, with one of my Images of a statue in Piazza del Popolo that I shot and uploaded during my recent trip to Rome, right there on the cover– or in the far right column, 6th square down. If you squint hard or have a magnifying glass… you can possibly see it.

Statue Piazza del Poppolo

Statue in Piazza del Popolo, Rome

The cover of Time Magazine’s First Annual Wireless Issue is made up of of 288 thumbnail images from Instagram. Per their website, TIME had 31,429 instagrams submitted from 120 countries submitted for this project. A closer inspection revealed 5 of my iInstagrams on the cover, most of them obscured by font,  so I’m giving them their close-up in this post.

 Nun's habit set off the metal detector

 The accordian player at the wedding in Kharkov

My Instagrams from The Time Magazine Cover

When I contributed to the project, I knew that credit and compensation were never mentioned, and I willingly chose to participate anyway. I’m not surprised that I can’t find a list of the IGers whose 288 thumbnail images make up the cover, and I’m lucky that my image (far right column, 6th square down) was easy to spot and not covered by wording. Time Magazine’s website does have a “behind the cover” slide show of 15 of editor’s favorites (with credit given), but mine aren’t among those chosen few.

TIME cover

Close up

My friend Taylor Mitchie who runs The Racing Winds blog, spotted two of his images on the cover, as well as my Kiev tarmac shot behind the “U” in “Issue.” So I’d like to thank Taylor’s eagle eyes (and giant scan of the cover) for helping me find my instagrams which suffered from font-blocking.

While I’m not upset about the lack of credit or compensation, I do think TIME missed an real social media moment. Kind of a dumb move with smartphones, in my humble opinion

TIME had an opportunity to sell more magazines and generate some interest and buzz by aligning with Instagram. By not notifying participants that the images had been selected, they really demonstrated how old school they are. The wireless issue also features some special bonus material– but a list of Instagram users isn’t on it. I hope the next time around, it is.

A simple fix? TIME could have created an Official Time Wireless Instagram account and “liked” the images they chose to go with, or short list. That would have put those contributing to the project on alert that their work might show up somewhere. The Wireless issue might have generate some heat on the world’s biggest mobile only social media platform. That might have generated some additional social media exposure and buzz on the project. I’m not saying that TIME handled this wrong- how can I when I can when 5 of my images wound up on the cover? It’s just a lost opportunity.

I suspect I know more than a few of the Instagrammers whose work is on the cover, but it’s hard to tell if it’s not your own. If you contributed to the project, I’d advise scanning the TIME Wireless cover slowly (Taylor Michie smartly scanned it and went over it square by square using preview. Stanford– admit Mr. Mitchie now! He’s amazing on so many levels).

Please let me know if you found your Instagram on the cover of Time Magazine’s Wireless Issue (and how) in the comments section below.

A copy of Time Magazine (with my instagram on the cover) and it's sub- Kardashian realness

A copy of Time Magazine (with my instagram on the cover) and it’s sub- Kardashian realness…

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