News | Blog | PDN Interview regarding websites etc.

January 16, 2013 at 6:26 pm

I was recently interviewed by PDN regarding some of the developments I’d made on FolioSites and why I encourage photographers to embed their tumblr in their websites. It’s all explained in this rant here taken from their site:

One of the side effects of the ever-increasing mobile revolution is the integration of social media into the lives of photographers as well as their clients. This has led to untold hours on sites like Flickr, Instagram and others.

James Dodd (, the developer behind FolioSites (and a photographer him- self), saw this in his own work. “I used to spend a lot of time on platforms like Flickr,” he says. “If you accumulate the amount of hours I’d spent on there, it probably massed whole days, maybe even a week or two over the course of my five-year stint, and let’s not pretend for a moment I was alone in these actions. Facebook is a similar story for just about everyone on the planet now. We’re all just creating content for these companies.”

The time he spent posting new content to sites other than his own, Dodd argues, didn’t always lead to tangible job opportunities. “Whilst I personally received a couple of job opportunities through … clients finding me on Flickr, I can’t say that I was getting a good return on my invested time. The work I was producing and sharing there was ultimately more valuable to Flickr’s owner, Yahoo!, than it was to me. They also had ownership over the traffic to my site and there was no easy way for me to capitalize from this.”

Worse, Dodd argues, there was no transportability to his efforts. “Every piece of attention I’d garnered could never follow me to a different platform should I move. It would either be deleted or stay there in the Yahoo! database, giving them a better Google ranking and more views. None of this was transitioning to me.”

After casting around for another social platform he settled on Tumblr. “I had several pieces of work from my site gather thousands of tumbles and saw how quickly things could work if photo- graphs fell into the right hands. I also knew you could add your own code to your Tumblr theme and potentially grow the audience for my website at the same time.”

The company he launched, FolioSites (, grew out of the code that he devel- oped to integrate Tumblr into a photographer’s WordPress website. After solving the problem of how to make sure a photographer’s Tumblr traffic fed to his or her own website, Dodd started to look at other problems photographers were having. “As I was creating the code I began to see several 

patterns emerging: photographers not backing up their websites, websites get- ting hacked, going down … [because] they’d forget to renew something, they’d forget to update something and [it] would break. So I started to look into ways I could help photographers out with all of this …”

Many of the sites that are hosted on FolioSites feature large, bold and impres- sive graphics and minimal interfaces, the exact sort of sites that are effective on both computer displays and tablets alike. They all have the ability to seamlessly integrate the new and innovative content from a Tumblr or blog with the as- signment work or projects on the portfolio website. And since WordPress works seamlessly with HTML, all of his client’s sites can quickly integrate their social- media work as well. 


I should give a big thank you to Emliano Granado (whose site uses the code I discuss) for sending them my way.

You can read the rest of the article which is as equally interesting over here: