A Tribute to John Scalzi's Contributions to AOL Journals.

This is John Scalzi, award-winning writer of science fiction novels, non-fiction books, the venerable blog Whatever (since 1998!) and other stuff. He instructed, inspired and amused bloggers on the AOL Journal By the Way from August 20, 2003 until the end of 2007, when his contract ran out with AOL. During that time he created the Weekend Assignments and the Monday Photo Shoots, memes that have since been continued by other bloggers.

Scalzi's other contributions while working with AOL included a financial column in the 1990s, and a "secret" area that existed on AOL for a time. Most recently, he wrote and blogged for AOL's Ficlets interactive fiction site from March to December 2007.

Please help us thank our "Blogfather" for all he's done for the blogging community!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thanks for the Monday Photo Shoot!

Canon s2isJohn Scalzi's Monday Photo Shoot became a regular feature on By The Way on March 7, 2005. Two plus years on and hundreds of Monday Shoots later the basic promise of the Monday photo meme has remained the same. In John Scalzi's words:

"I suggest a thing to photograph, and you either go out and photograph it, or, if you already have a suitable photograph you want to share, go ahead use that. Then post the photo on your own AOL Journal, and then just come back here and post a link in the comments."

Simple and easy to participate are the two ingredients of a great meme but it did take a while for photo sharing via Journals to gain momentum. Photo sharing in 2003 and 2004 was a dicey process at best. Online photo sharing services offered photo sharing but in a limited context like e-mail or password protected gallery viewing. By 2005 enough Journalers had mastered the choices of FTP, Photobucket, AOL Pictures and other photo services to make the Monday Photo Shoot a reality.

On a Monday in March of 2005, John Scalzi asked to see our Sunsets and the AOL Journal community responded. A photo meme was born.

Starting with Sunsets to the current topic of "Frosty," the Monday Photo Shoot has let participants share their photos through the community lens. Our Graduations, our Fireworks, our Holiday Celebrations and, of course, our Pets all became subjects for the Monday Photo Shoot cameras. Great photography, good photography or snapshots, it did not matter just as long as you posted a photo to your Journal and posted your link on time. People noticed, looked in and commented on the photos shared.

Connections were made and friendships formed around the Monday photos. Buddy Lists grew as people discovered not only did they write about similar topics, they also admired the same scenery and used the same camera brands. Shutterbugs, snapshot takers and photo story weavers all crossed paths every Monday on John Scalzi's By The Way. A visual conversation of sorts began to happen in comments across the Journal community.

"Where was that photo taken?"
"What is that?"
"Who is that?"
"How can I make my photos bigger?"
"That's Amazing!"
"What camera do you have?"
"Nice to finally see you."
"Wow - how do you do that?"
"I want one of those"
"Nice blue sky, it's raining here."
"You just made me hungry!"
"I have the exact same rug!!!!!"
"I just see a red X"
"Awwwww, she's lovely."

We communicated through our pictures while admiring the results of the Monday Photo Shoots. Sharing photos each Monday on By The Way. Good fun.

What are your recollections? The Best Monday Photo Shoot ever? Your favorite topic? Your favorite shutterbug? Whose photos did you always want to see? Post your links to your own entries in comments about participating in the Monday Photo Shoot and we'll share them here on the Scalzi Celebration blog in the coming days.


rachealcarol said...

Although I've never taken part in the challenges I've had much pleasure in seeing what people have been inspired to take a photo of. And it's difficult to pick a particular favourite.....so I thought I'd pick a couple of John's as a thankyou for all the suggestions that have sometimes made me giggle when people have added their own humour, and those that have left me fascinated and in awe as I stroll away.

I can't do links but these are the ones I chose. Monday February 27th 2006 'Winter Trying to re-establish it's reverence'.....I love winter, this tickled me that it was trying to do the lion thing, but was actually as weak as a lamb :)

...and Monday April 17th 'something unexpected'....these are robin's eggs.  I was amazed where they'd left them....another that made me smile.

So thanks John for the tips, the pics, and loads of enjoyable browsing.  Gonna miss yer :)


monponsett said...

Mine was "Blog Naked Day."

mariebm56 said...

I most definitely will miss John Scalzi & his Monday Photo shoot.  If it wasn't for him I don't think I would have started a photo journal....& now I am up to 4 AOL Photoblogs.  It all started with The Monday Photo Shoot.
One of my favorites was when he asked for "Opening Day" theme.  

Thank you John for all your great ideas for blogging, & for getting ME get started with JLand thru my photography.  
You were also for helpful when we experienced any issues regarding ANYTHING with the AOL Journals, before Joe the JournalEditor came along.  

Wishing you continued success, John.