Hey, look at the nice letter I got from the Toronto Humane Society:
We'd like to just say thanks for coming over on Saturday and spending the day taking photographs of the dogs. Mel did a wonderful job, beautifully capturing all the individual personalities of the dogs and we're sure these new photos will help give the dogs a better chance at finding homes.
Oh wait. Sorry, that's the fantasy letter from the alternate universe where the THS is a well functioning, gracious, media savvy member of the animal welfare community.
Instead, I got this e-mail:
With respect to the posting on your blog stating that the photos taken this weekend at the THS of dogs available for adoption will be published there. [He's referring to this post]
The photos were intended for the use of the THS to use and we object to their use for any other purpose.
416-392-2273 ext. 2149
So, unfortunately folks, I'm not going to post the photos up here. It's not because of any legal rights which McConachie may think he has, as the photos and all rights pertaining to the photos belong to the photographer. It's because I don't want the THS to remove the photos from their adoptions page (where they'll do the most good) because of some strange and petty convictions about their usage.
I don't even know why I have to explain this but apparently the senior communicator just doesn't get it. The reason the photos were taken is so that they can be sent far and wide to larger audiences in order to get the dogs adopted out. The photos aren't something to hoard. They are for sharing. They are for communicating. They are to show the public at large that there are some beautiful animals at the THS.
It's ironic that today at Apple headquarters, Steve Jobs, who is one of the best communicators on the planet, revealed the new iPad. It's basically a tablet computer, something super thin and light with a large screen and easy interactivity. But it's not so much the device that is revolutionary - after all, various forms of tablet computers have been around for a long time - it's the thought behind what this iPad will encourage users to do: create, share, engage, all in real time. It's like a super iPhone if you will.
So for example, a photo of a dog in a shelter is taken. Maybe more content like video or words or graphics are added. The whole mixed media document is sent out onto the www via Facebook or e-mail or blogs or Google Wave. People get interested. There's chat. There's discussion. There's action. And the dog gets adopted.
Sure, maybe not that quick but you get the picture. Well, most of you get the picture anyway. Most of you already know and understand the picture.
Why doesn't the THS?
Hoarding the dog photos on the THS site is like the on-line equivalent of someone creating a store advertising campaign but refusing to show it to anyone unless they go to the store first. That type of thinking disappeared about a decade ago. You want people to know what you have to say? You have to get your info out there and that, in turn, will drive traffic back to your site.
So, folks, until the THS catches up with the rest of the planet, the only way you're going to be able to see the fantastic new dog photos which Mel took is by going to the THS dog adoptions page. I'd link you to the page but I'll probably only get another notice from the master communicator telling me to delete the link.