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social comment photography

What we witness may not be "newsworthy" but that doesn't mean we shouldn't attract attention. Take note, and take notes.

Political Operatives Push Tax Protesters' Buttons

Political Operative Pushes Tax Protestors' Buttons. Image and text Copyright © 2009 by Marshall Mayer.

Welcome to take-note.com™, a social imaging collective building a movement to reframe and change our mediated experience by getting exposure, making news and attracting attention.

why: our problem

Since the '70s, global political, economic, technological and social systems have devolved for the vast majority of us while we were told, "There is no alternative." The rich and powerful, who respect no personal or political boundaries, have been actively reorganizing nearly every aspect of our lives for their exclusive benefit. Neoliberal capitalism is the world we grew up in, but not what we want to see for our, or our children's, future.

Images have become the primary way we understand the world, but our first-person, everyday alienation is rendered invisible to each other. Never noted in the corporate media are our social isolation, our anxiety, our precariousness in a society where increasing income and wealth inequality amplifies economic and social insecurity, and political impotence.

Corporate "news" (calling itself news or not; whether broadcast on television, in print, or online) is not our narrative. Corporate media and corporate politicians will never pay attention to us; we exist only as consumers in their market. Corporations, the rich, and their politicians exist only to perpetuate their own addiction to money, power, and inherited privilege. They take what we make, and always a bit more—including our freedom and democracy.

We're left disillusioned: nothing will ever change. Many of us can't envision any alternative. Rather, we accept the hegemony that is manufactured for us. The new normal of diminished expectations is not a pretty picture—unless most of us change the equation.

Let's get exposure, make news, and attract attention!

here: our solution

take-note.com (aka tknt.org as it is known on social networks) invites you to participate in a disruptive approach:

When one is walking about with a camera, one has almost the duty to be attentive.—Julio Cortazar in Blow-Up.

Take notes. take-note.com is first and foremost about the process of critically engaging your everyday world using a camera. Most of us now routinely carry a camera, in our phones. Use it to take notes about your narrative. "What's wrong with this picture?" Face your world to redefine the selfie. Get exposure!

Reframing is social change.—George Lakoff in Don't Think of an Elephant!

Write headlines. Your first-person narrative is not always how it appears at first glance. Everyone intuitively knows what a good headline is (you've read enough of them, in print or online), and you know how they can draw attention. Write leading language to frame/reframe your notes: Why is your story important? It's a question of your priorities and values. Make news!

A meme is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.Wikipedia

Share your point of view. Post your notes here, and together we'll promote them to other social networks online and on land (the most note-worthy will appear on our front page, and thus promoted elsewhere). We are most interested in promoting notes that will engage others in this process of creating a new socially constructed reality on the internet, the "next normal," where the wealthy and powerful no longer appropriate our liberty and freedom. Attract attention!

Pay attention to get attention. You'll know you are successful when your meme does not illustrate someone else's story but is the story. It's your social comment photography.* At the very least, we will be able to dramatically improve the quality of images that are associated with political memes.

how: our commitment

Over time, take-note.com will:

  • Develop the platform to make your notes fast and easy to publish online. Of course, we'll start by building the capacity of this website to quickly and easily add your notes. But, with sufficient crowd-sourced support, we'll also explore building an app for you and your audiences to directly connect with each other.
  • Establish relationships with other publishers, including social networks and bloggers. It's really hard to find social comment photography (or photographers) on the internet, so we will make it easier to expand our audience by distributing notes in new ways, such as memes, field notes, and front page news. We'll know we are making an impact when we realize "if the news is important, it will find me."
  • Cultivate the community of like-minded individuals who share with us our passion to re-envision our future by "leaving the culture without leaving the country" to "live within the truth". Elites will ignore us until we force them to pay attention to us. There is power in our numbers, but only if we are organized for action.

take-note.com is free and open. We are not developing a monetized marketplace of notes (there will never be any advertising here!). Rather, we reject capitalism because at its core it involves the [ownership and] control by some of the time, creativity, and potential of others. We understand, however, that some note takers do need to make a living from their images: contact us about how we can work together.

now: your next steps

The most political decision you make is where you direct people's eyes. In other words, what you show people, day in and day out, is political.—Wim Wenders, The Act of Seeing.

If you like our definition of the problem, our approach, and our commitment, here are three immediate ways to get involved:

  • Share notes published here (including this page) on your social networks. You know what to do: like, share and comment.
  • Use your phone's camera and your thumbs to comment on your new normal. Take note, and take notes.
  • When you want to share your notes to attract attention via take-note.com, contact us.

What you see now on take-note.com (the notes taken by Marshall Mayer, take-note.com's founder) is not the only way to take notes. Rather, it’s only a unique point of view and represents an evolving attempt to live up to the take-note.com mission. You will have your own point of view. Get our attention! Together, we'll attract the attention of others.

We are what our attention is... With our attention on power we are invisible... We can turn our gaze away from power onto ourselves... —Gene Youngblood, Secession from the Broadcast: The Internet and the Crisis of Social Control

* Social comment photography, in our view, is not the same as photojournalism, documentary photography, or social documentary photography, all of which, though valid ways of seeing, almost exclusively strive to tell "objective" third-person narratives.

In addition, we are particularly interested in including unedited video in our definition of social comment photography, as long as your notes are social comment in substance (i.e. mediated by you and about your first-person experience), are created exclusively using a camera pointed at your own experience, are framed by a headline, and are not more than a few seconds long (i.e. are more photographic than cinematic).

where,

We will develop a portlet that finds the three notes taken nearest you. For example:

Fracking Creates Temporary Housing

Alexander, ND  USA

Renters Not Buying New Pickup Trucks

Cut Bank, MT  USA

Energy Production Generates Unintended Consequences

Colstrip, MT  USA

more...
why and how

What we witness may not be "newsworthy" but that doesn't mean we shouldn't attract attention.

 

Take note, and take notes.