Shearon Harris on Instagram

When I started teaching social media, we talked about Instagram and couldn’t really see how to use it for business. I created an account, simply to have my hand in the game. I decided to post pictures of the cooling tower, which I pass every time I go to Raleigh. It’s visible from all over the Triangle, all the way to Smithfield, if you know what and where to look.

Some other images show up in the feed from time to time. Industrial plants, like the Moncure Plywood plant. A factory on the James River in Richmond, VA.

The picture of the F15s on the runway is available from Karen’s Custom Framing in Goldsboro, NC. The picture was taken during a war games exercise. I count 80 planes on the runway. I have spent a lot of years in and around America’s military, but much of the time, photography was or is not allowed.

Posting regularly got me in the habit of using Instagram. It’s been a useful exercise.

On a more colorful note, I also maintain an Instagram account for art of a different kind, at Karen Tiede Studio.

The story behind Instagram

The June 2013 issue of Vanity Fair included a story about the start up and sale of Instagram, The Money Shot, by Kara Swisher, pages 76-82.  If you like business stories, read the whole thing.  Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Kreiger, and sold to Facebook for $1B. If you simply don’t understand Instagram, here are the two turning points that answered my question about why people use it:

“Instead of doing a check in that has an optional photo, why don’t we do a photo that has an optional check in?”

and

On a beach walk one day, Nicole (GF) told him (Systrom) that she would be reluctant to use the app he was working on because her pictures would never be as good as the ones a mutual friend took.  I (Systrom) said, “Well, you know what he does to those photos, right?”  She’s like, “no, he just takes good photos.”  I’m like, “No, no, he puts them through filter apps.”  She’s like, “well, you guys should probably have filters too, right, then?”  I was like, “Huh.”