March 22nd, 2011
I first heard about the B School a little over a year ago. I swung by the website, spent about two minutes on it, and then left without joining. That turns out to have been a huge mistake! A couple of weeks ago I heard that they launched the B School 2.0. I thought it would be a fun review so I had Doug contact Christopher Becker. Becker set us up with a membership, and voila, for the second time in my life I was visiting the B school. Once I was logged in it took me about 30 seconds to regret not joining the first time I visited. Becker has created something with huge potential to be a GIANT resource for both education and networking for anyone who is willing to put in the time. If you’re not familiar with it, the B school is the brainchild of Christopher Becker, and was designed to be a service that is half a social networking site and half a classroom. Just like Facebook and other social networking sites you’ll create a homepage, post statuses, get updates on a newsfeed, and even join clubs and groups. Unlike other social networking sites it is just for photographers. That means there are no annoying Farmville updates, no one want to play Mafia with you, and you aren’t going to wake up one day to a message from you grandma saying she, “isn’t so sure she likes the people you’ve chosen to surround yourself with.” Good Old Fashioned Learnin’ A forum, tutorial videos, and study hall put the school in B School. The tutorials and the forum are a good resource, but though they’re helpful they’re not anything truly unique. Where the B School shines is in its study hall feature. On a near weekly basis Becker meets with industry leading professionals for a brief lecture on their specialization, and a q and a. Being able to see the photographers whose blogs you stalk for inspiration chatting about what they do best is well worth the price of submission. Easier Networking Than Cups of Coffee The networking side of the B School is made up of a who’s who of the best features from the social networking sites you’ve come to know and love. You’ve got a profile, you can post status updates, join clubs, and message other photographers. You also have the option to post your portfolio, add to a massive gallery of user images, and if you’ve got the self-esteem ask for an honest critique. Worth the Cost of Enrollment Networking and learning about photography isn’t easy, it is work, but the B School makes it easier. If you’re going to put in the time to be dedicated join the B School. Seriously, don’t even finish reading this, go and join. If you’re on the fence I would suggest at least giving it a try. You just need to make sure you get involved, comment in the forums, reach out to photographers you like, and watch the tutorials. If you think you’ll sign up, pay the fee, and suddenly your life will never be the same, you’re wrong. There is no instant solution for the kinds of things the B School offers, but with a little bit of involvement the B School is well worth enrollment. PS - In the interest of full disclosure, we should mention that we received a free membership to the [ b ] school to write this review. See the legal section of our site below for more.