PhotoZen worth 1000 words
Posted by David Gerhard on 7/31/09
Release Date:July 5, 2009
Summary:photosharing and social networking in one
I was originally drawn to PhotoZen by the promise of a visual conversation. Having spent time steeping in abstraction through my undergraduate degree, the thought of an abstract conversation with a stranger was especially tempting. This would be my abstract social life. Pure human to human interaction without the messiness of getting to know them… I supposed.
On a simpler level, I downloaded the free app to my iPhone because I was in an unfamiliar town, on an unfamiliar couch, faced by an unfamiliar cat. My house sitting experience left me in social isolation and this seemed the perfect way to pass the time and fill that desire for social contact (without seeming desperate to all of my contacts on facebook and twitter).
PhotoZen is simply photosharing and loose social networking. There are no profiles, or names. You have your Zen tree, which periodically gets photos placed upon it by the network. You send out your photos to the cloud and they are placed randomly on another’s tree. If you like a photo that is placed on your tree, you can reply back with your own photo that is either taken on the spot or loaded from your camera roll, or you can simply give good karma or bad karma. From what I figure, Karma determines what kind of photos you get, but is pretty general on its targeting.
This is only loosely social networking because if you accidentally hit cancel on a photo from an anonymous person that you’ve been conversing with, you’ve lost that contact forever. This really brought the Zen element to play for me as I learned to give up my intangible possessions and friends.
As I began taking pictures with one hand and petting the suspicious cat with the other, my loneliness and isolation began to dissipate. I was having real conversations without words. Using abstract images produced by zooming into the couch cushions closer than humanly possible into the pixelated world only known through technology. A few people got what I was doing, but for the most part people didn’t, which is ok because frankly it was different of me.
I spent an hour on PhotoZen conversing with a number of people who ranged from landscapes to abstract photos, drawings to lolcats. The images ran the gammut and while I wasn’t a fan of most of them, that is of no fault of the app. Aesthetic is so particular to the individual (I’m an aesthete snob), so when I made a visual connection I was impressed. To say that PhotoZen transcended my expectations might be a bit much.
My drawbacks are reserved to a few bugs and other users. As I mentioned before, you can loose touch with a conversation, which after searching for someone you connect with is deeply frustrating. The program itself sometimes doesn’t respond to the screen touch fast enough or doesn’t respond at all. My other gripe is desperate people trying to find dates (to put it nicely). There is a flagging feature for inappropriate photos, but that isn’t an instantaneous booting of the annoyance.
Ultimately it seems wrong of me to review this app with words so unlike other reviews where I space photos throughout. Here I will place them all together for you to decide if this free app is worth it. It was for me, and probably will be for you too.
Categorized as: Entertainment,Free Apps,Photography,Social Networking
Tagged as: free iphone apps, photo, photoshare, photozen, pictures, Social Networking