The Scottish BAFTA Awards 2009 event earlier this week saw Joe Tree from Edinburgh accept an award, not for work in film or TV, but for the online photo journal site Blipfoto.com
Blipfoto.com is an online social networking platform, described as addictive by its users, which began when Tree took a blurry picture of autumnal foliage on the pavement several years ago.
The initial idea was simple: upload one picture a day with text. From such humble beginnings, word of mouth has propelled Blipfoto.com into a premiere social networking site with thousands of active daily photo blogs, and millions of page views monthly. Members are based in 118 countries and upload pictures ranging from the shaky and hastily snapped (not unlike Joe’s first entry of blurry autumn leaves), to elaborate studio shoots.
Blipfoto was recognised officially as an international phenomenon last Sunday when Tree accepted a Scottish BAFTA in the Web category. Fittingly, the founder promptly dedicated the award to the thousands of people who contribute to the site everyday.
Still a community-based experience, there are over 350,000 images uploaded and over 2 million comments. Blipfoto’s team says the site benefits from its no-fuss, uncluttered format, allowing users to focus their blogging around images that capture everyday life. Pictures of cats crop up next to encounters with Parliament, and China’s dawn light is uploaded as Scotland goes to bed.
The buzz of ‘blipping’ (taking and uploading your Blipfoto entry for the day) has proven a captivating online forum that keeps members coming back daily. Tree engages ‘blippers’ in frequent dialog, expressing a commitment to advertising-free space and a community-first approach.
He also maintains that it is the users that make Blipfoto a success. “It’s their unique experiences and ability to share them with other users, that has captured the attention of larger media outlets,” says Tree.
See below for a full list of the BAFTA Scotland 2009 award winners and also the story Winning smiles.