Jun 16, 2011

Insta-Wish You Were Here-Grams

My son just asked me to "Instigam" him. For a second, I wanted to tell him to ask Rosie, because it seemed like the kind of space-age request best handled by the robotic maid. Then, I realized he meant Instagram—what I would describe as an addictive app that melds social media with photography and Photoshop, and he would simply say is as good as Bald Booth or Zombie Booth. Instagram—or more accurately, Instagr.am—lets you snap a photo (or take an existing photo from your phone’s gallery), enhance it with eleven different possible effects, and then show if off on your various social networks including Instagram's own social network. It's also a cool way to get people to look at your vacation pics!

My camera died when we were in Ireland in February so I had to rely on my iPhone to capture vacation moments. I wasn't too excited about it until I recently discovered Instagram ... and how much better we (and our low-quality phone pics) all look through a vintage filter!

Instagram makes it easy/fun to inspire vacation envy electronically, but if you prefer to send hard copies of your photos you might want to check out Postagram—a new service that enables iPhone or Android users to print their Instagram/Facebook/phone images as postcards for $1. 

A write up on Wired.com explains, “Postagram takes your photos, lets you add a message (up to 140 characters) and then mails a printed copy to anyone, anywhere in the world. The picture is printed at 300 dpi on heavy photo paper and comes surrounded by a postcard, from which the print can be popped out. Each picture costs $1 to print and send, and you have to do nothing but choose the picture and pay.” (Sidestory: I normally hear of good ideas, smack myself on the empty noggin, and say "I wish I'd thought of that!" but in Postagram's case, I did think of that! I pitched a so-very-similar idea to my coworkers at DivineCaroline.com four years ago, though Instagram wasn't around at the time for piggybacking purposes. Feels good to validate a good idea; sniffle, it would feel soooo much better if I had validated it myself!)

Okay, so using Postagram means you'll miss out on that quintessential foreign-post-office experience when traveling, and your recipient won't get a foreign stamp on their postcard, but on the upside there's a better chance you'll actually send postcards to your grandmother/friends/coworkers on your travels. I know I would have sent this "on the way home from the airport" postcard to my low-tech nana once we landed back in the States in Feb if only I'd been up to speed about Instagram and Postagram at that time.

I'm definitely going to be playing with these apps this summer and I may have to plan another trip home just so I can Instagram my grandmother's hens and cows (shaky grounds considering the costs of flights at the moment!)
You can find me fiddling around with Instagram @Jacintaoh; let me know if you're pottering about there, too, and I'll follow you!

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