Photo Credit

Blank Billboard

photo by me!

A blank billboard. Not very impressive. But thereby hangs a tale of how the internet ties us closer together.

A couple of months ago, I heard the Billboard Liberation Front, a local group which alters outdoor advertising to present political commentary, had defaced a billboard in my neighborhood. Since I was going to be out and about with my camera, I thought I’d snap a picture of what those rapscallions had been up to. Unfortunately, by the time I arrived the board had been whitewashed, and, instead of a picture of the clever message the BLF’ers had created, I captured the image above. (Click here, to watch a video of some BLF’ers “improving” the billboard.)

It’s a nice picture, but I didn’t think much of it until I posted it as a Creative Commons image on my Flickr photostream. For some reason, that image has garnered the most page views of any image I’ve posted to my Flickr account (470 so far), and most surprising of all, a company in Charlotte, North Carolina asked my permission to use the picture in a web-based ad they were working on. How cool is that? To compare the original, with the ad, visit the Charlotte Chapter of the American Marketing Association and see how they used it.

I love stories like this because it shows again how online communities can create links between people and groups which never would have existed without the internet. Hopefully, though, this isn’t my 15 minutes of fame!

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