ARS: Social Media for Photographers Done Right.

My epic vision [and the vision of all of us at ARS: Cindy, Kevin, Jun, Annette] is this:

ARS is social media ‘done right’ for photographers.

A social media platform for photographers that isn’t based on advertising, that isn’t a popularity contest, and isn’t based on toying with your emotions. A social media platform which actually EMPOWERS us as photographers and visual artists.

What does ‘done right’ mean?

Screenshot of how to commission a critique with ARS COIN
Screenshot of how to commission a critique with ARS COIN []

Credit Cindy Nguyen for the idea.

The basic notion is this:

How can we actually create a ‘good’ social media platform for photographers, that allows us to grow and thrive as visual artists?

What we are not

Talk at Falling Walls for ARS: Breaking the Walls of Social Media
  1. We are not a popularity contest: We have a leaderboard to keep things fun and to ‘gamify’ the photographic experience [friendly competition] — but the point isn’t to be popular for the sake of being popular. You cannot compare how many followers or ‘likes’ you have with other photographers. This helps you stay focused on your own game.
  2. We are not an advertising company: I personally hate advertising. I don’t think there is anything evil about advertising, but advertising is just aesthetically ugly. I will strive with all my might that working into the future, the economy on ARS will NOT be done with advertising. Better to be like Uber or airBnb and be a services company. The big vision is to perhaps figure out how to ‘monetize’ ARS COIN [linking ARS Coin with traditional fiat currency].
  3. We are not a ‘lifestyle’ company: I personally think the problem with Instagram is that it is no longer optimized for photographers and visual artists. It has become a sort of ‘lifestyle’/consumerism/product app, based on traveling, fashion, and products. I think that is fine for Instagram users; but it ain’t optimal for us photographer/visual artists.


Turning a short comment into something deeper via ARS Commissioned critique []
Turning a short comment into something deeper via ARS Commissioned critique []

This is what is super duper cool with ARS:

On traditional social media [Facebook/Instagram, etc], nobody will actually give you ‘constructive critique’ on how to improve your photos.

Furthermore with ARS, you have the ability to ‘Commission Critique’ [using your ARS COIN] to get a DEEPER critique on your photos.

For example in this photograph I shot, the feedback I initially got was:

“To me…….confusing, sorry.”

I then commissioned a further critique, and got this super duper epic in-depth critique [from the same user]:

Hi, I think for me its the extreme diagonal of the whole which is seeming to be unnatural. If it were so the animal would fall over etc obviously. I wonder if you have cropped it this way? If not I really cant see much way of retrieving it. To crop it upright would loose the child’s legs and the hills on the right, which are a great part of the image. And then the boy would be looking out of the frame, as is the other one incidentally . Camera upright. one boy looking down, one to the right and those hills, to me that would be great! I hope I’ve been of some help. Thank you for asking.

This is phenomenal! This is probably one of the best critiques I’ve got on any of my photos in a super long time! I would’ve not expected someone who said something like: “To me…confusing, sorry” to extrapolate their critiques in a deeper and more meaningful way.

This is also great, because prodding other people why they feel a certain way about a certain image, it helps the other person engage their critical faculties in their critiquing/judging abilities. So the act of critiquing benefits the other person, and also benefits you!

Bolder is better

I have epic visions for ARS: the basic notion is this:

Social media is broken. How can we fix it for the better [first starting off with photographers, then branching off to empower ALL FORMS of knowledge/art/information-creation?]

Become part of the revolution. Join today, start uploading your photos, and spread the word!