That's beautiful, Jefferson. It does my heart so much good to see SmugMug's Journal style used so beautifully.
My motorcycle forum has a crazy popular dedicated place for photo essays of amazing rides through places like Africa. It was a major influence on me for starting Cake. One critical ingredient of its success is the ride reports are discoverable because everyone is there looking for ride reports. It's much harder for most people, unless you're famous like Jefferson Graham, to drive people to your own blog.
And yet if you try to do a ride report like that on places known for discoverability — like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and Twitter — you find that they're really set up for single posts, not photo essays.
The other thing about photo essays I love is getting great interaction between readers and writers. You get that on Adventure Rider in spades but now that it's so popular, sometimes you get more than many authors and readers want because it can add noise.
I have a million butterflies in my stomach because of a feature we're rolling out shortly on Cake where readers of panel conversations, like the one you're on that apm organized about photo editors, can submit questions for the panel to consider. For example, I want to ask that panel "Isn't lens choice a form of editing reality? If you choose a 85mm f/1.2, a photograph unaltered by editing will have a very out-of-focus background to draw attention to the subject of your portrait. That may not be true to what your eye sees."
If the panel likes my question, maybe one of them answers it and both the question and answer end up as part of the photo essay — not relegated to the bottom among public comments.
So the dream is to get the essays where they can be discovered, to make them beautiful (I think Cake needs a full-bleed option for photos in conversations when we can get to it), allow several authors to collaborate together on the photo essay (panels), and to make the Q&A part so much better than it is anywhere else on the Internet. 👈 I think those last two are problems the Internet hasn't solved yet, we're trying, and hence MY BUTTERFLIES!!