The Frame Game: Blippers stage protest over Scotland on Sunday column

Originally Published in Scotland on Sunday April 17, 2011

 

Scotland on Sunday writer Andrew Hoyle sparked an international backlash when he described Blippers as ‘poncing around’
IT STARTED with a grumpy rant at a trendy internet phenomenon. And it ended with one of Scotland on Sunday’s writers being besieged by photographers on the steps of this newspaper’s office and garlanded with flowers.

In a column in last Sunday’s paper, Andrew Hoyle vented his spleen about Blipfoto enthusiasts – “deeply annoying individuals” and “gormless goats” who could be seen “poncing around” Scotland taking pictures to be posted daily on a fashionable website.

The curmudgeonly Hoyle may have been writing with his tongue firmly in his cheek, but he certainly sparked a reaction.

The Edinburgh-based website’s executives issued a global appeal for Blipfoto lovers to post pictures of themselves “poncing around” with their cameras. Hundreds responded from all over the world in a variety of guises and poses.

Then, in response to a rallying cry on Twitter and Facebook, a 30-strong “Blip-mob” descended on the Scotland on Sunday offices office on Thursday to express their outrage and confront Hoyle in person.

The light-hearted Blippers’ protest was organised to prove they’re just ordinary people who simply enjoy taking photos, poncey or otherwise.

Protesters of all ages gathered to celebrate their “addiction” in which they take a photo every day and post it online for others to look at and comment on. Hoyle bravely confronted the Blip-mob, who courteously presented him with a Blip T-shirt and a bouquet of flowers.

Hoyle said: “It was slightly unnerving to discover that what I imagined would be the most unhinged Blipfoto obsessives were planning to pay a visit to the Scotland on Sunday offices, but in the event I couldn’t have been flashmobbed by a nicer bunch.

“Far from being ‘gormless goats’, they were funny, friendly and got their point across very well.

“Although I can’t see myself ever becoming a proper Blipper, I have signed up and am very impressed by the photographs – especially the ones juxtapositioning light and dark.”

Julie Gracie, from Blipfoto.com, said, “We don’t ponce about, we just like taking photos. We get quite addicted to doing it every day.”

Blipfoto founder Joe Tree, jokingly couldn’t rule out a militant wing with Blip-mobs descending on the doorstep of anyone who disagrees with Blipping, but he added: “We’re just all ordinary real people and the one thing we share is taking a picture every day, and it brings us all together.”

Blipfoto.com started in 2006 and now attracts more than 160,000 unique users, and has received substantial financial backing from private investors and the Scottish Seed Fund, an enterprise scheme managed by the Scottish Investment Bank.

Andrew Hoyle’s offending column can be seen at www.tinyurl.com/6eymzg5

Those ponces in full: www.blipfoto.com/ponces

 

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