Ms. Herr when online

collage & montage draftings

Archive for May, 2008

portrait of goodbye

Posted by Ms. Herr on 05.26.2008

g-ma Aschenbrenner
February 10, 1924 – May 25, 2008



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endnotes on the avatar project & process

Posted by Ms. Herr on 05.19.2008

The new face of Ms. Herr when online launched Friday afternoon on Twitter.

What started with a friend’s critique of the photographic quality of my then default profile pic and my own feeling that the same pic was ill-suited to serve my growing adoption of both personal and professional networking platforms, led to a strong desire for a new social media avatar. Subsequent conversations on personal branding and web presence cemented a notion that one’s avatar was a tool, an iconographic representation of self, serving to frame perceptions of their unique identity.

Already a fan of his abstract fine art work and his Dog a Day series, I was excited to work with Tyson Crosbie (@tysoncrosbie on Twitter) for my shoot, which in essence, was a conversation traversing a number of subjects during which he captured over 50 moments of self-expression.

Having spent much time discoursing the power of social media to engage audiences in meaningful conversations and crowd-source information, I felt it was important to include my own audience in the image selection process. Tyson posted a soft edit set* of 16 images on Flickr and we asked people to select their favorite. (*Link may take you to set of another individual/subject as Tyson and his clients continue to use this process for soliciting feedback. Selections from my set are currently archived here.)

The crowd-selected image is not the image I would have selected…and I consider this incongruence indicative of a successful process. It is often said that each of us is our own worst critic. How we perceive ourselves, how we hope to be perceived by others, and how we are truly perceived by these others are rarely perfectly aligned. What I believe to be my greatest attributes may not sync with those attributes that draw others to me. And so by yielding the selection of my avatar to a voluntary participant group, what rose to the top was an iconographic representation of self that connects most strongly with others.

Want another perspective? Tyson blogged his thoughts on the relationship between the avatar and personal branding.

Posted in self-portraiture, social networks | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

crowd sourcing my avatar selection

Posted by Ms. Herr on 05.10.2008

The soft edits of my shoot are up! 🙂

The purpose of my shoot was a social media avatar to serve as a visual thread throughout my increasing engagement of online activities and communities. In the true spirit of social media, I want to open up selection of the final image. Consider it an experiment in crowd sourcing the expression of identity.

The soft edit set, posted to Flickr, includes 16 images in their original format. The final avatar will, of course, be cropped to create a unique square composition. But to help me get to that point, I’d be flattered if you would view the set, point out your favorites, and provided critical feedback. Which one(s) most genuinely conveys my character? My aspirations? My human dimensionality? Which one embraces joy as a state of mind? Which one connects?

Photography by Tyson Crosbie.

Posted in self-portraiture, social networks | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

avatar: iconographic representation of self

Posted by Ms. Herr on 05.9.2008

Yesterday I had a shoot with photographer and artist, Tyson Crosbie. The purpose: social media avatar.

There are plenty of people who participate in social media and social networking simply as a way to keep in touch with friends. Regularly uploading new pics from various ad- and misad-ventures. Sharing stories, songs, and videos. Making plans. Adding new friends. And adding apps that allow them to engage these friends. All for fun.

Then there are those, who may do all of the above, but also see social media as an essential tool for building personal brands and online reputations. They aren’t just adding friends, they’re building a network. And very likely, they are building multiple networks across multiple social media platforms, from blogging to Twitter to Facebook to Flickr.

At the core of each platform is the individual user profile with various biographical information including user handle, given name, location, about, web presence, and … profile image. This one image serves as an iconographic representation of self. Avatar.

But how often, even among those building online personal brands, do we truly think about our avatar and what is conveyed when we select it. Don’t most of us just search for one of our favorite pics, crop it square, and click upload? I did. But as I continue a transition from just another girl keeping up with friends on MySpace to Ms. Herr when online, I’ve been realizing that my iconographic representation needs to be much more than just a quick hacked pic.

Soft edits will be posted in the near future for feedback.

Posted in self-portraiture, social networks | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Sip-N-See on First Friday

Posted by Ms. Herr on 05.1.2008

On Friday, the Young Collectors will be holding our first Sip-N-See of the year. If you can have a tradition after only a year, this would be ours. It’s an evening of art and cocktails, and we’ve chosen to have this one on May 2nd to soak in the vibe of Phoenix First Fridays, to coordinate with other museum events also happening that night, including a fashion show and a dance troupe performance, and to give our members one more last chance to see the Masterpiece Replayed exhibition. This will be my first Sip-N-See, and I’m pretty excited about it.

A few pertinent details:

event time: 6:00 – 10:00pm
fashion show: 7:00pm in the Great Hall
dance performance: 8:00pm in the sculpture garden
admission to event: free
admission to Masterpiece Replayed: $20 for Young Collectors non-members
food / drink: light finger foods provided / cash bar

If you’d like to come out and play, I’d love to have you come join us. Send an email to and I’ll forward the evite (we’d really like to have an accurate count for this).

And if you come…track me down and say hello!


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