Author Photo Motivation

I had an idea about how to encourage authors/members who didn’t upload their author photo yet and I wanted to run it past you to see what you think?

Right now, if an author didn’t upload their photo, it doesn’t show up, but if they upload their extended bio or they use the new EzineArticles Inbox system, it shows up a “Author Photo Not Available Yet” image like the one here on the right. —>

What I’m proposing: Make the missing photo into a link that pops up a form where anyone could encourage the author to log in and upload their author photo. My thinking is that if authors knew how much their readers wanted to see their author photo, they would prioritize the uploading of their photo.

The argument against my idea is that I don’t want our members who have decided to never upload an author photo to be nailed with potentially dozens of emails from users and other members who want to encourage them to upload their author photo (while being totally unaware that the member has no intention to ever do it).

Your thoughts?

29 Comments »


1

My husband refuses to have a picture of himself anywhere on the internet. He’s adamant about it. He said he’d be very upset if he was suddenly inundated with emails asking for his photo, and he’d be a tad suspicious of people who did that too.

Personally, I don’t care what anyone does with my photo, up to a point, but I surely can see why some people don’t want to and I don’t think they should feel they have to.

Personally, that might border on the same type of feeling as school yard bullying – “Na na, you don’t fit into the clique if you don’t submit to peer pressure and upload your photo!”

May not be a popular stance, but it’s how I feel about it… just my humble (or not so) opinion!

Love and stuff,
Michy

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 12:03 PM

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2
Edward Weiss writes:

If your goal is to motivate authors to post their photo(s), I would post a series of articles on it.. or even a blog post extolling the benefits.

But I agree with Michelle here. Leave the choice up to authors without any external prodding.

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 12:15 PM

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3
Jim Gustafson writes:

I am unclear about the benefits of posting a photo, yet I done so. I would think that direct prodding by your staff vs. general prodding would be more appropriate.
“Shine on bright sun till I buy a glass, that I might see my shadow as I pass…”

thanks for all you do

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 12:48 PM

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4
Jan writes:

I don’t have a problem with encouraging others to post photos. I never have had a problem with my address being online. But I do know others who don’t want their address or photos online for various reasons, and some have good reason.

Perhaps making it okay to put up a logo for their business instead of a personal photo?

Jan

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 12:51 PM

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5

Jan,

The challenge with allowing a business logo instead of an author photo is that it increases our risk levels too high.

You would not believe how many employees of a company will submit articles, be fired for an unrelated reason, and then the company comes back to yell at us for having their content on our site…when in fact, their own agent (former employee) did the submitting.

Also, it wouldn’t be an “AUTHOR PHOTO” if it was “THE AUTHORS COMPANY LOGO”… but if an author wants to post his or her company logo (bad idea or at least I don’t know what purpose it serves) in their PROFESSIONAL AUTHOR IMAGE GALLERY, we’re ok with that.

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 12:58 PM

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6

I wouldn’t want to see business cards or company names instead of a photo. I read articles written by people, not companies.

If there’s no photo, I prefer to let my imagine fill it in!

I agree with with Edward, though. Write some articles that highlight the benefits of having an author photo and then let people decide for themselves without poking them about it.

Cindy

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 1:12 PM

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7

Speaking from a visual artist’s perspective naturally I would say that visuals always add to the intrigue of text. Why else would book covers, cd covers,images that go with advertising, whatever, be so important?

I don’t really think the idea to allow ‘nagging’, because really that is what it would feel like, is good though. I would not want to be contacted if I had indeed decided not to post an image.

I think Ed Weiss hit it on the head by suggesting articles.

The other thing that I think might help is to have a blurb by “Add Image” that says why it is important. You might also suggest that if an author is uncomfortable with their personal image being posted, to at least post ‘something’. Post something that suggests an interest then… like a scene or whatever. Don’t just leave it blank.. YUK!

Hey! Just post that by Add Image:

“Don’t just leave it blank.. YUK!”

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 1:13 PM

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8
Jeff Herring writes:

Just read this blog topic and then wrote and just now submitted the article

Article Writing: 3 Ways to Increase the Know-Like-Trust Factor in Your Readers When Writing Articles” in which the third tip is uploading your photo.

In the article, if it is accepted, I suggest that if you do not like your photo, to get over it, as this is not your driver’s license, this is business!

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 1:52 PM

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9
Thad Ferguson writes:

You can always make the feature one that authors can opt out of with a click of a button. I dont have my photo up because I dont think it matters too much yet if I received a lot of members asking too see who I am I might be inclined to put it up or at the least find more motivation towrite even more articles

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 3:53 PM

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10
Audrey writes:

I’m going to offer one more suggestion. This is YOUR business, just as you would invest in a business card, or stationary or a website, if you don’t like your photos and taking a new one is not an option, hire a professional to take a nice photo, using a backdrop of you.

I’ve seen many author photos both on this site and other sites that are professionally done.

Ok…going to my author box to see if/what I have uploaded LOL

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 4:06 PM

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11
Dixie writes:

A photo should be a requirement since people like to see whose info they are reading. If you require a photo before an article is uploaded and printed, that should do it. Then all articles will contain photos, since authors want their articles printed for the public to see. Otherwise, they would not have submitted them in the first place.
Dixie

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 9:42 PM

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12
Jan writes:

I couldn’t remember what photo I had up on my bio, so I went to look. My daughter took a nice bunch of professional looking photos a while back, and I’d had one of those up for a long time, but I pulled it down to put up a more casual photo for the winter.

I posted the photo that is up shortly after we rearranged and moved my office, wires are still hanging all over the walls behind me, and I’m dressed for warmth – it was extra cold here with the insulation of 5 feet of snow. (Besides, I’d been out tramping through the snow with the kids, just before she took the picture.)

My views on what photo is on your site have more to do with who you are and what your priorities are. I’m a pretty down home kind of person, and even my professional photos generally have my home office in the background. I work from home so I don’t have to hire child care. Bottom line is, I’m comfortable in my skin, most of the time, so I don’t mind showing it.

As for business logos – Chris, I never even considered people would put up logos for a business they worked for instead of one they owned. I’m so well entrenched in self-employment, I forget there are people who actually work for corporate America (no wonder W-2’s confuse me).

Jan

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 11:12 PM

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13
Steve writes:

It should be up to the authors to decide whether they upload their photo. I have never agreed to bullying.

Comment provided March 21, 2007 at 3:06 AM

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14

Steve,

I agree that bullying is never a good way to motivate someone to do something.

This strategy idea was to help connect your FANS with you.

If you only knew how important you were to your READERSHIP, many authors might be more willing to go do a professional author photo shoot and upload their author photo.

Lastly, I do respect that some authors wish to never show their physical face online…and that’s why we are proceeding cautiously on this issue.

All,

Some past blog entries on how to make a great author photo:
http://blog.EzineArticles.com/2006/06/don-crowther-on-marketing-photo-choices.html
http://blog.EzineArticles.com/2006/06/author-photos-with-prop.html
http://blog.EzineArticles.com/2005/06/author-photo-pr-tips.html

Comment provided March 21, 2007 at 5:58 AM

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15
Priscilla writes:

I think a gentle nudge works best, but do you think I could upload my photo album collage?(LOL)

Priscilla

Comment provided March 21, 2007 at 9:14 AM

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16

A timely reminder to have a new set of photographs taken – thanks Chris!

I agree that generally readers do prefer to see a face, it adds credibility – rather like contact details on websites.

“One picture paints….”

Comment provided March 21, 2007 at 10:05 AM

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17
Matt writes:

IF any body is Close to Columbia, SC I would like to offer my photography skills to anyone that would like a great shot of them to post on the web. free of charge!

Comment provided March 22, 2007 at 5:21 AM

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18
Lance Winslow writes:

Well, I suppose anyone who did not wish to put their picture up could indeed find a cool cartoon, avatar, character or something. Picture of something, I think those are often kind of cool. I talked to one author who grabbed a photo out of “Classmates.com” and I told them that was dishonest and they removed it.

Comment provided March 23, 2007 at 1:48 AM

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19
Karen writes:

Oh Matt! How I wish I could take you up on your offer! Nova Scotia is a tad too far away.

Actually, this past Thursday a friend had taken some shots of me for this very reason. I hated them all. Must have been having a “bad face” day. They didn’t look like me.

Chris, I promise to try again. I like seeing writers’ photos. So what’s good for the goose…however, it should be up to the writer.

Cheers,
Karen

Comment provided March 25, 2007 at 3:55 PM

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20
Danny Snyder writes:

Chris,

If I created more than one author name because I have more than one site, can I have more than one photo?

If I have a B-to-B site, I may want to look more professional. And on my B-to-C site, I may want to look more casual.

So, how do photos work with alternate author names?

Danny

Comment provided March 26, 2007 at 8:30 AM

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21

Danny,

YES, you can have a complete profile for EACH author name within your account… but you can only have one author photo per author name.

Just click on PROFILE MANAGER;
Click on EDIT AUTHOR PHOTO;
Select the Author name that you want
Upload the appropriate photo.

You can also upload the AUTHOR BIO for each author name within your account.

Comment provided March 26, 2007 at 12:37 PM

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22
Rob Stone writes:

If I were pretty, I wouldn’t mind uploading my photo. But since I’m not, I’ll just leave it out.

Comment provided March 31, 2007 at 3:56 PM

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23

The whole idea of no photo at all… sheesh! It just bugs me.

It looks pathetic to leave a space blank where a photo should be… it just does.

It shows a lack of attention to detail and interest. That is my perception anyway and what I think when I see there is no image.

Post what motivates you then.. a sailboat with your tiny head showing from a distance… whatever… something that says something about you.

I just don’t get how anyone would consider a blank photo image as being a good statement.

Picture an add for a car… without the picture, just the words. A big add with just the words.

Hummm

Comment provided March 31, 2007 at 4:46 PM

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24
Lance Winslow writes:

Yes, but Kathy, you are as you know a very attractive woman. And you are an excellent artist and thus a very visual spirit and so your comments are skewed towards pictures, images because you know they are worth 1000s of words. I actually agree with your thoughts here, but thought I should state that I see some obvious bias in the beauty of your comments.

Comment provided March 31, 2007 at 4:55 PM

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25

So cutie of you Lance.. and of course I love that, smile and blush.

But…

My point was to put ‘something’ that says something about the person, like my example of a tiny head on a sailboat if they are missing a nose or whatever.

I am a poet or a trash collector who loves to sail or play tennis. or look at me, albeit the back of me… I climbed this mountain.

It could be an action shot that a person cannot even decipher pretty or ugly.

Everyone at one point in life has an image of themselves doing something they think well of… even from a distance.

There are people on My Space who have images of themselves without their heads just part of their body. Tis a body image! They are kind of intriguing really.

No blank spaces. (No wire hangers) I said it and I am a tendin’ to stand by it.

Nooo …. NO!

Ya gotta have an image!

Comment provided March 31, 2007 at 5:33 PM

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26
Lance Winslow writes:

Wow, excellent points, I am learning a lot from you Kathy. Great stuff indeed.

Comment provided March 31, 2007 at 5:44 PM

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27

“You cutie.”

Smile.

Tis a marvelous compliment coming from someone like you.

Comment provided March 31, 2007 at 5:57 PM

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28
Frank Addleman writes:

How do I add my photo if it is not in jpk form? I think it is tif? Any suggestions? I have written one article so far but plan to do more.

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 11:07 AM

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29

Frank,

If it’s not in JPG form, just send it to us at: support [at] EzineArticles.com and tell us your “author name” or be sure to email us from the email address that you have registered with us and we’ll convert it for you from TIF to JPG and even upload it for ya.

Comment provided April 1, 2007 at 12:40 PM

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