Wednesday, July 6, 2011

DIY With Kinzin

As the economy struggles to regain its composure people have become more interested in do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. Instead of hiring someone to build a deck people are looking up instructions online and taking the rocky steps towards making it themselves. Whether it’s out of necessity or just simply curiosity, we are becoming inventors and crafters.

Many times, DIY provides a better outcome that no one else can match.1 There are many reasons why. First, you don’t have to depend on someone else’s expertise. Starting from scratch can be daunting but there’s nothing like having a vision and creating the outcomes. Second, you work with your own timelines. No one is rushing you into decisions. If you need a little time to make sure the means to the outcome are sufficient then you can stop and think about it. Last, but not least, there is nothing like seeing your finished product. Nothing matches that. Nothing.

DIY is not new. In fact, many people do some backyard “tinkering”. What’s new is the amount of new technology that gives us even more options for creating.,, are just a few sites that provide instructions and guidance for creating with technology.

The most common and accessible technologies that most of us share are smart phones and affordable digital cameras. They provide us with countless digital photos that, more often than not, just sit on our computers or the smart card. So what do we do with them? How do we make these great photos memorable? These are questions that we ask at Kinzin. That’s why we make tools to allow anyone to easily make books, trading cards, greeting cards, etc. We are the DIY of photo creations. And believe me, all the Kinzin mothers are thankful that we take the time to give them a photo gift instead of a hard drive.

1 If you’re not convinced and want to read more then check out this research by the Social Issues Research Centre.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

What is Social Publishing®

(and why it’s not simple Photo Sharing)

By Peter MacLean - President

The Theory
A social publishing system combines web content management, social software and application frameworks into a cohesive set of technology for assembling a web site that provides structure for people to share ideas, preserve memories, and engage each other in proven patterns of expression.

Where Theory Meets Reality

Inherently the process of taking and printing photos is an action that is socially based. Individuals who take photos in large part do so to capture a social event with the intention of sharing these moments with other people at a later date. Due to the social nature of photography and printing images, Kinzin has identified the importance of creating an environment that encourages the sharing and printing of images in a permission-based community environment.

Kinzin is the intersection of social networking and photo publishing. It started with taking a close look at how people interact within their own lives. It could be your kids’ soccer teams, their classrooms, your extended family, your friends or your hiking club – social circles and communities that embody your personal interests and values. Kinzin's Social Publishing® service is a unique environment on the Internet that lets individuals, groups and communities engage each other while privately sharing photos and messages about their shared experiences.

Aggregated Community Assets
The image sharing and printing environment that is achieved through Kinzin's Social Publishing® service is one that not only encourages a collaborative approach to photo sharing and printing, but also supports inherent social interactions that drive photography as a whole. Members of a group within Kinzin’s application software not only have the ability to view and print images, they have the ability to post comments, notes and stories associated with these images — ultimately providing members with an enhanced emotional attachment to these images and assisting with the inspiration and creativity needed for printing and creating photo expression products. Unlike traditional photo-sharing, Kinzin's platform allows for collaborative photo expression product publishing: a user can simply invite members to share photos within his/her private group and each group member is able to create uniquely personal photo products from the group's shared content.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Trading Cards = Personalized Business Cards

When people talk about photo business cards they usually think of a plain card with contact information, and possibly a logo – however, Brian Oberquell sees them a little differently.

In addition to being Kinzin’s QA Engineering Lead, Brian is a freelance pyrotechnician who uses Kinzin’s personalized trading cards as his version of a business card…here’s why:

“The pyrotechnic field isn’t terribly large so it’s nice to be able to make yourself stand out, and a customized card is a great way to do it,” Brian says. “Having your photo on the card is an effective way to help people remember you, and the ‘stats’ fields are a perfect way to show contact information listing the licenses I have and also allowing me to provide a list of show credits. This gives potential clients the information they need, and the fact that the cards are bigger than they expected makes them a bit more memorable.”

By adding a face to a name, Brian is able to make meeting new business associates more meaningful to his pyrotechnic business.

Other people who can take advantage of personalized photo business cards are photographers, personal consultants, actors, models, athletes, journalists and more.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Making A Photo Book For Mom

You know that Mom will love a book full of photos and stories about her dear loved ones.

Here is how you can get started:
  1. Go to and click on “Make A Photo Book”.
  2. Next, upload a bunch of photos of the people that your mother loves.
  3. If you don’t have enough photos then save your project and create an account so that you can continue later or invite people to help.
    • Kinzin is different because it allows you to collaborate by sharing photos in a private space.
    • Tip: Email your invitees and let them know what you are doing and why. This will ensure that they are on the right track.
  4. Once you have invited people and they have uploaded their photos then you can go back to your saved project. New photos will be there for you to use in your Photo Book.
  5. Creatively add the photos and text by dragging them onto the targets in the pages. Blocks of text can be used and short captions can also be added to the photos themselves.
  6. Once the pages are filled then all you have to do is add the Photo Book to the cart and complete your purchase.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New: Make Personalized Print Products Without Signing Up

Kinzin has developed a new feature allowing visitors to to create personalized print products without signing up.

We realized that a few people have a bigger interest in creating the products than collaborating within a group or participating in Social Publishing™.

We made it possible to do both.

Rest assured, whether you decide to start a group and/or make print products, the quality of the experience will always remain high.

Try it yourself.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Transparency. How It Becomes Lost During Disaster Relief Efforts.

By Julie Gendron

An important component of Kinzin for community organizations is our fundraising capabilities.1 In this situation, the transparency about who is receiving what monies is simple.

However, in the case of disaster relief like what we are seeing in Japan, it becomes more difficult to distinguish between organizations that are accepting donations and organizations that are actually delivering relief.

Some people are simply saying “Don’t donate to Japan”.2 This messaging is confusing when we hear about people still in need. Here are a couple of important things to know before you decide what to do.

Organizations around the world accept donations even if they don’t have a plan already in place for directly helping the people in Japan. If they accept the money and then never get into Japan to help, it may go to another arm of their charity. This may or may not matter to you but you should be comfortable with the charity’s other directions. There are plenty of people in need in this world and many are not televised or tweeted about.

Over 90 countries have offered assistance but Japan has only accepted it from a handful. Some relief workers have even been turned away.3 Japan is a rich country and is quite prepared for most disasters.4 In some cases, nothing can speed up relief efforts that have no precedent. In most cases, charities and NGOs can’t solve the major infrastructure problems that are preventing help from arriving faster.

Humanitarian aid watchdogs suggest the following:

Hold off on giving until more is known about what is specifically needed and which organizations will be delivering help.5 Add a reminder to your calendar to make sure you don’t forget to check in on the situation.


Give to local organizations in Japan. You can find suggestions on this site.

The Canadian Red Cross has also reported that they are sending donations directly to the Japanese Red Cross Society.


If you really want to give NOW then find other organizations that are helping on other fronts in different ways. Chances are that communities in your own corner of your world need help also.

up 1 Kinzin allows qualifying organizations to fundraise through the sale of photo products that they produce for themselves using Kinzin’s product builder.
up 2 “Don’t Donate Money To Japan”, Felix Salmon, , March 14, 2011
up 3 “Aid: Good Intentions Are Not Enough", Conor Foley,, March 17, 2011
up 4 “Q+A: How Is Japan’s Relief Response Coordinated”, Francois Servranckx, AlertNet,, March 15, 2011
up 5 Why Waiting To Give To Japan Is A Good Idea”, Good Intentions Are Not Enough,, March 14, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kinzin Has Moved

Take note of our new address:

Suite 320, 369 Terminal Avenue
Vancouver, BC, CANADA
V6A 4C1

Our support information is the same.

PHONE: 1-888-6KINZIN (1-888-654-6946) (Mon-Fri, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM PT)