I recently made a post on my idea for the Ideas Factory - a place to collate all the good ideas we have on the Steemit blockchain utilising the "ideasfactory" tag.
This is my first idea for the Ideas Factory and involves an idea to help enhance the blogging experience for the whole Steemit community:
We all need images for our blog posts whatever the subject.
It is hard to read a large amount of text, no matter how well formatted it is, without some images or photos to add visual interest and flair.
Not all of us are photographers/artists and not all of us can afford a four figure a year stock photography/image site subscription.
There are some options for using free images and public domain images such as Pexels.com but these can be quite limited not to mention hard to find.
What about a Steemit stock site?
I think someone previously suggested creating a stock photography/image website that is based on Steemit.
Whilst that would be fantastic we must consider realities.
Stock imagery is a multi billion dollar business and it would require significant capital to setup a site which was both useable and could compete on price and quality with the big names in this realm.
It would also require a huge number of photographers/artists and considerable time to create a competitive library of images.
Most of the big names have been around for years.
It would be more useful to be able to pay for existing stock sites using SBD in my opinion and that won't happen until Steemit is big enough to make it worth the while of the Stock Image companies.
Further not everyone is able to justify or afford paying for images so a traditional stock model doesn't necessarily help those people.
The Solution - the "Steemit4free" tag
Photographers/Artists on Steemit who wish to help the community can make their work available under a special "Steemit4free" license which allows editorial resuse on the Steemit platform.
(Please read the "Using the tag" section below at the very least before you start using it though).
What's in it for me as a creator?
- people see and use your images
- you get credit for them (either through site integration or standard credit in the post)
- you raise your profile and improve your community reputation
- you benefit from other people copying your example
(e.g. I mainly photograph portraits so I don't have any images of blackboards or science equipment which I might need for a post. Somebody else might need portraits. This lets us both benefit through exchange).
Benefits to the community
- a bank of images for easy FREE and frictionless reuse
- a feature that other blogging platforms don't provide
- a unique set of images for use on Steemit
- a creative outlet for users and appreciation of their work
It probably won't remove the need for other images completely but it will at least help reduce the need for them and keep things within Steemit. New users will at least have a starting point to search for images.
Steemit site features to assist with this
Although this could be implemented without any further work using the basic post tagging feature and image credits it would be much more valuable with some specific Steemit integration.
One way to streamline this and make images easier to discover would be by allowing them to be marked as follows when we are using the editor to link them:
PD = Public Domain
S4F = Steemit4Free
O = Other e.g. CC (which I haven't added due to the variety of types), stock images etc.
This could further be enhanced by adding a limited number of tags (e.g. 5) to each photo and also a credit tag to indicate the steemit name of the creator.
These marks and tags could then be searchable within the Steemit Search to make the images easy to find.
Won't this sort of integration cause blochain bloat?
Not necessarily. 6 word tags and one type flag per image would not use up a lot of information. To save space on the blockchain the actual word tags could be hosted on a separate server and simply link back to them. This would be similar to the split between links and hosting of images on the current blockchain.
Do we need releases for images (model/property)?
The simple answer is No.
Due to the nature of Steemit as a blogging platform images do not need a model or property release as the nature of use is editorial not commercial.
The fact that the post could earn money does not change this as most editorial posts earn money in some way.
If at some point Steemit started hosting advertising - any images used for that would require releases.
Using the tag:
How to contribute:
If you have work (photo or other art) you would like to make available make sure:
- you own the copyright for it or you are the photographer (copyright rests with the photographer unless they sell it).
- you are happy for people to reuse it editorially on Steemit.
- you tag your post as #steemit4free - most important.
- if your posts contain any photos/images that you don't own or should not have the tag make this clear in the post to avoid confusion.
- select only high quality images, for example for photos they need to be at the very least in focus, sharp, well exposed and lacking in noise (see also the section below on "What images should we use?")
If you want to use images under this license now:
- use the tag.
- make clear which images the tag applies to if you have a mixture of images.
- link back to the original post and credit the creator both as a courtesy and so others can find it if necessary.
- remember the tag only gives permission to use images on Steemit, so don't use them on other sites unless otherwise indicated.
What kind of images should we use?
We have all seen the super high-class, high budget professional stock images that really stand out (as in the example above). I am not envisioning Steemit4free as taking the place of those kind of images (at least not at first).
Those images are actually very expensive to produce and require a huge amount of work.
There are many stock images that are actually quite simple. I will illustrate this with some examples from my Thinkstock account below.
The image of the notepad and the blackboard a are both examples of photos that don't require expensive equipment or models to create:
Further most images like these can express multiple concepts and ideas. Even some relatively simple images can look great and really help to enhance and emphasise the points of a good post. Take the very first image in this post right at the top. It uses scrap paper to brilliant effect to illustrate the concept of ideas.
You don't need very much to recreate it. Just some imagination.
The same is true of the photo of coloured pencils below - just some coloured pencils and a white background are all that are required. This could be used as part of a post on art or the artistic process.
Some images can also have very generic use and can be combined with captioning to fit almost anything. A good example would be images of textures - these often look beautiful and you can apply them to almost any subject.
Finally even though most people may not consider themselves photographers we all have high quality cameras with us wherever we go.
Why not make use of them?
Are we only talking about Photos? No.
I know we have many talented non photographic artists and their contribution is just as important. Some of the best stock images are non photographic art as shown above.
The image above gives a great example of high quality artwork which I found on my stock image provider ThinkStock's site when searching for the word "complicated". The image shows metallic tentacles which could represent a number of concepts with complexity being just one.
Any kind of visual art could apply.
Indeed strictly speaking it doesn't even have to be visual. Any kind of art could be used - particluarly for people who are visually impaired sound may be just as useful.
Our biggest resource on Steemit is our talented and creative community - let's make use of it.
A competition to raise interest and reward creators
We already have a fantastic competition in the form of the Steemitphotochallenge which helps to encourage creativity and reward people for their photos.
The same model could be used to encourage Steemit4free submissions.
If we could get some whales onboard to help support it we could have a regular weekly or monthly competition to reward the best images made availble under the tag.
This would both encourage people to create this kind of work and also raise awareness of it and hence facilitate its' use.
An Example Photo for "Steemit4free" from Me
I will be looking through my photos to see which are appropriate for the tag. Most of mine tend to just be basic portraits so aren't very useful for regular posts. Here is one of my favourite photos that could be used.
It is called "Darkness" and indicates the fading into darkness that occurs during depression. Please feel free to make use of it. (Model is Rachelle Summers).
I believe it could also used for Halloween or to promote anything dark or horror themed at this time of year - not just serious matters like depression.
I think Steemit4free could be a great addition to the community. In it's most basic form it does not require any extra work.
To make it realise it's true potential some assistance and integration would be required from the Steemit team.
With any kind of image use, discovery is the main issue and a good system of discovery, with subject and license tags would help to make this truly useful and user friendly.
I will also be on the lookout next time I am out and about or taking photos for any extra photos I might potentially take that would be useful for Steemit4free.
It needn't take much extra work - just a little thought.
Like I said we all have high quality cameras with us all the time now. We just need to make use of them.
Please let me know what you think. Unfortunately I am not a programmer so cannot comment on the programming side or implementation of code on the Steemit side of things.
Thank you for reading.
The Obligatory Kitten Photo - Bubbles
If you like my work please follow me and check out my blog - @thecryptofiend
I have also created a new channel in the chat dedicated to photography of people/portraits called "Photography-portraits-people". Please check it out and post your photos there.
Some of my Previous Posts and Tutorials:
- Rachelle Close Up Portraits and Silver Toning Experiments
- Will AI and Robotics Create a New Form of Slavery? (Part 2 - Humans as Slaves of the AI)
- A Thousand Paper Cranes - the Insanity of War and My Trip to Hiroshima (with my personal travel photos)
- Will AI and Robotics Create a New Form of Slavery? (Part 1 - Humans as Masters)
- Make Minnows Into Whales - Use the Main Steemit Account as a Curation Guild to Elect "Super Curators"
- Daisy at the Castle Keep - High Contrast Black and White Photos
- The Updated Steemit Etiquette Guide - New Additions and Your Help Needed
- A little idea for Steemit that could end up being a big idea for progress: The Ideas Factory
- The Missing FAQ - A Beginners Guide To Using Steemit