Tag Archives: Facebook

Late to the party

10 Sep

“Instagram could have potentially harmed Facebook’s position, which might indicate why Facebook acquired Instagram.” Searing insight from the analysts at Distimo, that.

Possibly even more mysterious than Facebook’s long-predicted decision last week to buy the second most popular social media service in the world is my late arrival to the Instagram party.

As a keen snapper, and someone who leaps onto every social media trend with the caution of a skittish puppy, I was unusually reticent when it came to Instagram.

The photo editing options appealed, and I liked the retro filter effects. It just all seemed a bit, well, “cheaty”.

But during a bike ride up the Don Valley, I decided to give it a go – and was quite pleased with the results – particularly the size of the files and blog-friendly shape of the pictures.

Here’s a picture near the start of the trail:

Bike ride Don Valley

At this point, the grasshoppers buzzing in my left ear were competing with the asphalt roar of the Don Parkway to the right.

After around 30 minutes, the grasshoppers were winning, and I entered an area dubbed “The Projects” by my other half.

Bike ride Don Parklands

Toronto “Projects”

Although I tried my hardest to bring out the hard, concrete tones in the shot, this being Toronto – not Baltimore – the “Projects” had an undeniably pleasant outlook. Still, good effort, Instagram.

I carried on to Seton Park, which was all dappled sunlight and meandering streams:

Bike ride Seton Park Don Valley

Seton Park

Crossing the Seton car park took me, via Sunnybrook Park, to Wilket Creek, cloaked in BBQ smoke and full of families on long picnic tables. Around a week ago, I saw a beaver here too.

Turning right at the water fountain, I cycled along a shady track all the way to Edwards Gardens – a peaceful spot with primary coloured flowers crammed into every possible nook:

Bike ride Edwards Gardens Toronto

Edwards Gardens

You can’t cycle in Edwards Gardens so I wheeled my bike around and set off back home, avoiding the rabbits hopping into the bushes as I passed by.

So, in conclusion, a really varied trail, which Instagram helped me to capture in a way that wouldn’t normally be possible on my iphone. I still maintain that not playing around with apertures, focal length and ISO is cheating, but when you’re on a 34km bike ride in the Toronto heat, this is a pretty good alternative.

Length of cycle ride, according to Google Maps: 17.2km one way

Time: 1.5 hours one way


  • Take mozzie repellent for after sunset
  • Due to maintenance on the trail that isn’t due to be completed until December, you reach an impasse before Seton Park. Carry your bike up the steps, then carry on in the same direction until you reach Tim Horton’s. Turn left down the hill, ignoring the sign saying “no bikes” (as I’m in North America, is this the point I should mention some sort of legal disclaimer? At your own peril, etc etc).
John Howson

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