Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Intersection: York + D.C. photojournalist

I was fiddling around on a website called Intersect the other day, because I'm bound to at least investigate anything that bills itself as a new way to tell stories.

While I was there, I was surprised to stumble across a set of stories based in York. The stories, by Washington Post photojournalist Michael S. Williamson, were small riffs on info or meaning behind photos he'd taken while in York earlier this year.

Underneath a picture of an old warehouse, for example, was this text:

You’ve got to love a place that’s so wonderfully blue collar that you can’t tell just by looks what businesses are actually still open or shut down. York, PA’s nickname is the “Factory Capitol of the World,” and rightly so. It’s the home of the famed York Barbell, and though there’s a retail store and museum in town, the company headquarters are in Canada and most of the products are made in China.
The mini-stories by Williamson (see his Washington Post bio page), who has shared in two Pulitzer prizes, were an unexpected treat.

I haven't figured out whether/how to use Intersect, though I usually try anything once. The site describes itself as a way to present stories that are linked by place, a way to "to share and see your stories and interests in the context of your life, showing where you are now ... and when and where you've been in the past. And who else was there."

Did you know of this or have you tried it? Let me know.


  1. I actually met MSW at Three Mile Island at the time of the annual candlelight vigil this past year. We each knew the other would be there, so we met up there earlier and I interviewed him for a 10,000 Words blog post about his merging the iPhone and Intersection for his long-term "Recession Road" project.

    Here's the 10,000 Words blog post I wrote:

    And here's the "background info" post on my personal blog:

    A few days after we parted ways, MSW told me he'd gone ahead to York for an afternoon, at which point he made the pictures you found... on his iPhone. He's a really wonderful guy, and obviously a gifted photographer.

  2. Chris, very cool. I read your blog posts -- great stuff, letting him talk about what he's doing and how he's doing it.
    The idea of capturing that 'instant story' is really intriguing. I wonder how we can work with that concept at the YDR. Any ideas?

  3. Maybe if we set up a way to instantly blog phone photos via our new photo staff blog? I'm sure that'd be doable. But I'm not sure whether bringing in an entirely new social media tool (i.e., Intersection) is the right thing to do, in terms of usage (Intersection doesn't seem to have caught on too quickly) and copyright issues. (Regarding copyright issues, MSW and the Post have worked out an agreement with Intersection for his own project, from what I understand.)

    Sorry for the excessive use of parentheses!

  4. Re the photo blog, it would be a question of how easy/hard it is to post to Wordpress via smartphone. With Tumblr or Posterous, you just e-mail photos and they show up in a post. I'm not sure Wordpress has the same capability. But we should look into it.