Sunday, July 29, 2007

Muggle muddles: a lesson in blogger relations

I was vacationing in Halifax on July 20. It was pouring so we saw the late show of Hairspray at Park Lane. It ended just in time for the start of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows party at Frog Hollow Books - a wonderful indie bookstore. Inside, Harry Potter fans were having a wonderful time all dressed up, playing games and indulging in treats made especially for the occasion. The festivities spread a bit outside the store too.

With my cell phone camera in hand, I thought I’d get a shot or two and share the goings on. Unfortunately, that’s not all that happened. After I took a pic, a security guard popped out of nowhere. He demanded I remove the picture from my phone and stood over me until he was satisfied I did. Bummer! Apparently, Park Lane has a policy forbidding photographs.

In this day and age, they need to get with the program. The world is changing. Just think of how much free (and positive publicity) they are missing by not letting bloggers and other social media enthusiasts snap a few photos.

Technorati tags: blogger relations, cameras, digital photos, Frog Hollow Books, Park Lane


  1. I'm not sure if this is the reason, but if it was a Harry Potter party there were probably kids there and perhaps they were trying to protect them. (If this is the case, good for them!) I HATE it when strangers take pictures of my daughter without asking! I notice a lot of creeps leering at my daughter and some people take pictures of her without asking. So companies, organizations that make blanket policies forbidding picture taking is great by me!

  2. The policy was for the mall in general and not specific to the Harry Potter event. It was late at night. Few children were in attendance and those who attended were in costume. They couldn't be easily identified and the photos I took didn't include close-ups.

    On the subject of kids' photos online...
    My kids don't want me to post pictures of them or identify them online (at least not without their permission in specific instances.)

    I am very sensitive to kids' online safety issues as both a parent and someone who used to work in the kids' interactive space. I find it curious though like lots of other parents of babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, you have no qualms about putting photos of your daughter up on Facebook.

  3. I'm not sure why the mall has this policy, if it was for safety of shoppers, I still like the idea.

    I do post pix of my kid on Facebook. One of the main reasons I love Facebook is that I can easily restrict access to my total account or pix in specific to just friends.

    I've been fairly careful so far only letting people I know and trust be friends at Facebook, so I feel this is safe.

    I also publish info about my family life elsewhere, but I try and not reveal any personally identifying information about her or where we live. Even then I wonder if it is a good idea.

    I'm very sensitive to strange men giving my daughter a lot of attention in person. I'm not as worried about the Internet (until she gets old enough to start posting to chat rooms, forums, etc.).

    Should I be more worried about the Internet?

  4. While in Halifax, I stayed with my uncle who is a lawyer. He usually avoids confrontations and is the antithesis of the traditional stereotypes. I thought he'd side with the mall, in fact, he didn't think the security guard (or the mall) had a right to demand I delete the photos. Lesson learned.

    I don't think you should be more worried about the Internet. My comment about newer, younger parents posting pictures of their kids was more of a cultural one. A few years ago, the thinking was not to post any kid pics except on secure sites. Now parents sharing pictures and videos of their kids online is more the norm. It will be interesting to see how this trends shifts as their children get older.


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