Monday, June 8, 2015

Your e-invite

Last week I made a post that said

Linda and I would have everyone we've ever met at the wedding if we could. We all know that's just not possible, unfortunately.
Hint: I am working on a way to give everyone a glimpse into the day, even if you're not present. All I'll say is that I'm pulling from 20 years of technology experience to do it. More soon...
Tonight I'm here to tell you what that means. It is true that we just cannot invite everyone. Everyone understands this. Everyone married truly understands this. As someone in tech and social media for so many years, I have been thinking about how to gather all the photos taken that day to keep forever. I've also been wondering how to share that awesome day with people all over the world that I've met throughout my life.

We found an app called WedPics. Our friends have used it and it seemed like a great "collector." So we downloaded it onto our phones and set it up. There were some barriers that I didn't like.

  1. Everyone has to download the app
  2. Everyone has to make an account
  3. The app is dreadfully slow (and while we want pics, we don't want people wasting time waiting for an app when they could be enjoying the wedding)
  4.  Every picture has to go into an album
  5. There's no good way to get the pics back out later
  6. Anyone not at the wedding can go to wedpics.com and type in JayLynnWedding, but then they have to make an account
  7. Most importantly, people share to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook constantly and we would have to make people avoid what is most comfortable for them.
So down with WedPics I say! But what do we do instead? Hmmm... well I know HTML and CSS. I have space on a web server. I know how to route traffic around the web and I know how to customize names. So I can make a webpage around this. Oh wait... how will I collect the images? Don't I work for a visual marketing company now that does exactly that? Why on Earth would I use a prepackaged solution like WedPics? Great question!

So here's how it works. We will ask our guests to take photos and post to Instagram or Twitter (Facebook says collecting like this is a no-no, but I have about 72 hours to find a workaround). When they post them, all they have to do is tag them with #JayLynnWedding. That's it!

I have a nifty little javascript that will look at that hashtag 24/7 and collect all the images tagged with it. Then it will display them in a gallery. That gallery is publicly accessible from a link. Now it's not exactly in real-time. Instagram and Twitter get mad if you ask them for photos too often. So every 30 minutes or less (could be as low as every 10), the gallery will populate and build itself.

So if you can't be at the wedding, you can watch it all unfold in as close to real-time as I could get. The link to watch is: http://live.jaylynnwedding.com. There is one photo there waiting for you right now.

If you'll be in physical attendance and you're reading this, I hope you'll participate and make this day special because it'll be saved for posterity. What makes it fun is that we get to see it through your eyes. And you get to help others view it.

So consider this your e-invite to our wedding. We hope you'll digitally join us. 


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