Janice Issitt                    Life and Style

travel, interiors, photography, home, crafts, personal style

27 Feb 2018

Vero True Social

Hello Vero ! or Vera as I keep calling it, that or Viro, I am the original Mrs Malaprop (although I'm nowhere near as bad as my Mister, who had a head injury in a RTA and constantly says the wrong words).

Anyway, here's my thoughts, for what they are worth, on Vera, sorry Vero.  Well she's a temperamental old bugger at the moment, a bit slow and sometimes fails to make an appearance at all. I see her as a grumpy old caterpillar waiting to burst out of her cocoon, all shiny and perfect. Fingers crossed. It is improving rapidly.

So why do we need another social platform. One word which sums it up for most people is 'algorithm' and second is probably adverts. If you manage to be in the first wave of users signing up then the platform will be free, after that it will be a small subscription so that it can remain advertising free. I'm so on the verge of leaving sarcastic comments on the terrible adverts I see on instagram right now, but biting my tongue. I would happily pay Instagram a yearly subscription to not have adverts and bring back the chronology with the promise that all of my followers see all of my posts. 

I can't be the only one is is getting depressed with the Jekyll and Hyde Instagram. It started out for me as a real life saver, meeting new 'like minded' people, on line and in person, and being inspired by different creatives from all over the world. But then, just when we were all really enjoying it, the nasty side appeared. It stopped showing posts chronologically and decided to show us what 'it' thought we wanted to see. And if you don't work it just right you disappear from sight and don't even know what you've done wrong. The whole thing is so bloody unfair, some of us really make an effort to take good photos, spend time liking and encouraging others on there. It was like that time we really enjoyed our job, and then they brought in a new Boss. The new hashtag top nine is rubbish, although I do like the hashtag follow feature which is a great help to us who started tags (like my #behomefree) in order to run competitions and improve interaction.

So for a lot of us Vero could be a new start and a relief from the frustration, a level playing field at last.  Of course, we don't know what plans they have for change, but if nothing else, perhaps facebook and instagram will be forced to review their unpopular changes if enough people move across and sign up. It's a bit like tactical voting. I think we have to review whether the free platforms are worth the annoyances or not. 

There was a time when the small independent maker, like I once was, had no access to free advertising globally. If you wanted to sell your pottery or macrame you booked a stall at a market and sat there all day trying to flog your stuff. I did it for years. Advertising was extremely expensive and trade fairs also. Social media changed all that and I saw some potters who sold out the minute they posted something on Instagram. But, of course, they cottoned on to us making a 'living' or trying to, and whack, hey no-one will see your facebook page unless you pay to boost it.  

From what I can make of Vero so far, (as the overwhelming popularity has made it incredibly slow, a victim of it's own success), I feel we may have something to look forward to here. Perhaps because the users will be paying will result in the platform listening to their customers instead of treating us like a commodity to be managed. Yes, it's fine for them to reap in millions but not for us to make a few quid.  Hey who remembers My Space?? just saying. The social platforms should take nothing for granted, moving over has a snowball effect ... my point, nothing on the virtual world lasts forever and we need to make ourselves heard - we don't want to be treated like sheep.

Vero seems to me to be a combination of Instagram and Facebook.  You have different levels of interaction with people, so you can build your list but mark the people on it as; close friend, friend, acquaintance or just follow. There are two levels of interaction. So if you are having a bit of a rant about your personal life you may just want to choose your close friends to see it, but if you have a really good book recommendation then you can make it public to followers. 

The only slight disappointment for me is the aesthetic of the feed, which has become a ridiculous obsession for us all on Instagram, and perhaps we need to learn to chill a bit more. But I'm driven by the 'look' of things and so the way my feed looks is a bit annoying, as I don't like the words to show. However, it's never stopped me being on facebook and that looks like a right old jumble sale over there.
Having said that, now I pop back to instagram it looks a bit dated, compared to the all singing all dancing vero.

There is one great feature and that's collections. It's a different way to view your stream and the posts of everyone you follow. So if you only want to see your friends photos, or links you choose which collection to view. They can view your profile similarly, by either your photos, links, books, films etc. 

If I click on books I can see these have been recommended by the people I follow. So it's good to follow as many people as possible, as the more you follow the more interesting the platform will be. I'm not judgy about other people's content and I don't like superiority in any form. If I want to shortcut the main feed then I look at collections of photos and with the grid format can see the ones which most appeal to my interests. 

So I'm going to let you find your own way round the platform, once it works at normal speed, this will be a hell of a lot easier and if you have any questions about it, then I can give it a go and if I've worked it out will be happy to help.  I expect further down the line I will be discovering things all the time with it, and expect that Vero itself will tweak it's format. I shall continue to update here and already this week they seem to have sorted our their server glitches.

I'm just hitting the buttons and testing it out, following as many people as possible and getting some interaction going with new groups. As any platform is only as good as it's users I'm following as many people as I can so that my stream is nice and full. If you have any account recommendations for me, including your own, then don't be afraid to give me a nudge. I think at the moment the people at Vero are a bit too male in their choices of recommendations so if you see this Vero, how about some females in your recommendations??

While a lot of people are saying they don't have time for another app in their lives, just think, maybe you only need one. Vero intends to add business and if we can do all our stuff in one place, wow .. Imagine facebook, instagram, etsy all smerged into one. You don't need another app, you just need THIS one.

I'm quite excited to see how they handle business, especially if it's a one click link to buy, book, listen. I will be adding my new venture there as soon as it rolls out.

Like with any new thing, there's a bit of 'scaremongering' about various aspects of Vero. I hate this sort of stuff, it's so out of context and lacking perspective. In my varying careers I did work with some unpopular famous people, and in my experience, the nasty stuff was usually unfounded and written to sell papers or other motives. We are all far too led by fake news on facebook, as I've said before, sharing information that is incorrect.

Firstly, the stuff about them 'owning your content' is bollocks, they have to put this into their terms in order to run the platform, if they weren't allowed access to your content then how could they share your photos to the world. Sorry, but I studied law and I get right annoyed when small print is misunderstood. It's exactly the same as you already have on all your other platforms, there's no trick here. Personally if a multi millionaire wants to steal my photo then he's welcome to it.

Secondly the owner. Well seriously, who gives a shit about who owns it anyway, really!!! Do you actually know about the owner of every single thing you use in your life? Really? No, nor do I. Will we refuse to watch every film that Weinstein was involved with, will we  stop going into Oxfam shops because their workers did something wrong, I dunno. I'm all for doing what I can to support the victims of injustice and abuse but we can't be suspicious about every single man in power. 

To launch a platform like this you need a LOT of money, so it's a guy with a lot of money who is listening to the complaints about Instagram and Facebook and taking that on board. We haven't paid him any money yet, so unless he starts funding a war with the proceeds of the monetised side of it, then I can't see a problem right now. 

It's social media guys, get a grip. If we don't like it on Vero then we move somewhere else. You need to speak with your actions not just your words, which is why I'm supporting Vero, as a protest to Instagram about how their users are manipulated. Only this week one of my photos would not show up in a hashtag feed no matter what I did. So I posted it again and it worked the second time, I'm suspicious about the machine at work there.

Rant over, I'm trying to form some communities over on Vero and for photos with a dark aesthetic I've gone with the tag #verodark and also #darkmoody ... please join me with your dimly lit moody shots.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, I am trying to move house. Hurrah, real life stress.  Fingers crossed we hope to be running photography and music retreats from our Air bnb near Southwold. The accommodation is fantastic, a 16th century cottage with no neighbours! a big old garden which we may put a Yurt up for the more adventurous, and a music studio where you can come and be recorded, or play the drums, or have a jam with the mister. 

I'm working on my culinary skills, which will be vegetarian, and will have a house full of quirky old props that any budding still life photographers may want to come and play with. So watch this space, and facebook and Vero and Instagram, to find out when this all gets implemented. 

In the meantime, please do find me on Vero, it's just; Janice Issitt, so shouldn't be too hard to find me and.

If you want to find out more opinions on Vero then have a look at https://meandorla.co.uk/whats-the-deal-with-vero-and-is-it-worth-the-hype/

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