Steemit4free - An idea for a library of free images for Steemit reusesteemCreated with Sketch.

in steemit •  2 years ago


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:

The Problem

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 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.  

These links (link1, link2) provide a good summary. 

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.

Go to any stock image site you will see a variety of visual media used, - photography is just one.  Artistic pieces be they raster or vector art are just as useful and important.  

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.

Image Credits:  All images that are not my own are taken from my personal Thinkstock account (except images 4 &5 which are from my Istockphoto account).

Some of my Previous Posts and Tutorials:

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Thank you for this idea. I'm an artist who just created an account here and I will do this with at least some of my works (especially those I've already released into the Public Domain)


Cool I've not had much time to do much photography the last few months to add to it so would be nice if others could start reviving this. Please send me your links in the chat and I will share.


Thanks for sharing your numerous Steemit images with everyone! :)


Great. Thank you for sharing your work:) Those graphics and art will prove very useful!


Welcome. I hope people will put them to good use :)

This is a really good idea!


Thank you:)

This is a really good idea! I just used the steemit4free tag on my latest post and I plan to start contributing more images.


Thanks I will check it out:)

Great idea! I'll try to talk my artistic spouse into posting some pictures with this tag :)

One thought (for the community) is that this would really take off if there was a hosting service to go along with it, where all the images could be stored in a repository that users could search through. Any thoughts?


Well I think @andrew0 has suggested his site in one of the comments. Alternatively we also have @blueorgy's SteemImg - which is what I always use and has some quite advanced features compared to other hosting sites. I don't think it has to be associated with a single host but it might make it easier to find things if there is no way or intention to incorporate any of these features on the Steemit side of things. If you think about it the Steemit blockchain itself can act as a source of aggregation to an extent by storing all the links.

Yep, another top notch idea:D~


Thank you:)

Thank you. I have a "stack" of photos I can add to this project that is once I figure out the whole SteemIt thing. Gotta get my tagging thang on.


Fantastic. Please let me know when you post them:)

I suggested a similar idea to timcliff's Steemit Wish List to have an aggregate of copyright-free photos to use, but had no idea how to implement it, so thank you for doing all the thinking behind it! I hope it takes off! (And BTW, that linked text in this comment, that I just learned how to do via Markdown from your tutorial - thanks again!)


Thanks will check out the link.

Edit: Glad you like the recent tutorial for some of the more advanced formatting you need to combine Markdown with html/css features but I tried to keep it to the basics so as not to confuse people too much.

That would be really, REALLY nice! thank you...


Glad you like it. I've already done a few posts for this:)

I already started the project and would like to give my support for this project. On Steemideas I can put all authors who want to share their pictures, with hosting too...
You can check the official launch post of the website here


That would be fantastic thanks and would certainly help:) Thank you.


Let's meet in chat and we can arrange everything, already should have some authors available for this service!


Cool. Just dm me. If I'm not there I will get back to you.

This is brilliant, and solves a real problem here if implemented widely. I especially like the idea of building the "photo credit" / "image source" right into the Editor - it's such a pain to take the time to go back and link to the source (altho needed of course). Get charlieshrem on board asap btw, because his steempower editor is probably the wave of the future ;)
And hey I'm already tied of the re-steem feature (at least until I can view my blog without all the re-steems) but I'm re-steeming this* for sure, hope it catches on.
Best, Guy
*after a few more minutes pass and i upvote it first, haha


OK thanks for your support. It would be great to get Charlie's support he might have more of an idea how to implement it on the site itself.


He would, and I'd imagine with his support you'd hit a homerun on this, imho


Thanks. I don't have any way to talk to him directly though.

Love it.

Im new to steemit, still figuring it out. but:

Does #IdeasFactory or steemit in general allow for a collaboration situation where 'profit' or credit in steem can be distributed to the collaborators without them having to know each other? Can a whole bunch of people collaborate on something in a way that they can all take credit for?


There's is no reason why it can't eventually - right now it is just a tag. People can certainly collaborate and split payments etc. but some form of trust would be required until it can be built into the platform itself. I remember someone talking about an escrow service which might assist (if people want to split payments) but can't remember if it was actually implemented or is a future feature.

I think we have a case of "steempathy": Three days ago I started playing a bit with photography myself, and I intend to make a mini-series of 7-8 beautiful themes that appear on Greek coins (numismatic art so to speak)... An example is here: )

Anyway, my idea was to release the rights into the public domain, and I've written under my posts: "Copyright notice: I release these in the public domain, for use or edit, by anyone, for any reason, with no attribution required."

My rationale was that just as we take from pixabay, we could give something back to the Internet as well. And I've been thinking about how we could spread this into building a very good image repository over time, that provides the internet with good, free-to-use pictures - which would also help us, as a platform, to be self-reliant in the long-run. And you've now expressed this in the idea above. Nice :D


Thanks. Yes those are very cool:)


Could we somehow automatise this and build a real Steemit4Free stock site?

With images automagically copied from posts here to the database, then searched there and posted back here with shortlinks directly from the database?

This was the picture that I've got seeing the title of the article and before reading it all the way down.

No, I am not volunteering for building the site :)


In theory it could be done but would require both money and programming skills! Maybe if the Steemit team support and the community like it we can eventually do it. I don't have the programming skills to set it up myself but would be happy to put something towards the costs.

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Thank you:)

Great idea and a good taste! Thumbs up!

Wonderful idea! Can't wait to find out about the other ideas you have in the hopper! :)

I think it's a fantastic idea and you've put a lot of thought into the type of quality you are seeking for the project. One of the things that came to mind though was which already allows members to share images, but also use the picture link for their Steemit articles, especially if they don't have a website or FTP client. There are a couple of issues I see with that site. 1. quality is not always good. 2. i think there may be copyright issues with many of the uploaded photos.

I personally use pixabay for CC images and art and I know that when submitting a photo for their site, they have very specific guidelines and a team of people who review submissions. Something to think about.


Thanks for a brilliant response.

I suspect you are right about the copyright issues for uploaded photos. Ultimately it is up to the poster to ensure that they have the appropriate permission to use images - for this tag the guidelines are very clear and if they submit images they don't own then they are responsible for breaking the law not the people who might use them afterwards.

Although it could be integrated with a particular host that is not absolutely necessary and I think people should have a choice of hosts which they can use.

It's a good idea, but releasing under Creative Commons Share Alike is easier.


I love CC licenses but I think people do find them rather confusing. Further people like to have a quick and easy to remember phrase.

Very good idea, in my opinion.


Thank you:)

Very fine idea - I would appreciate:-) Thank you for the well structured post.


Thank you:)

This is a fantastic idea!! Thank you for sharing this @thecryptofiend, you're awesome!


Thank you. Glad you like it:)

Great idea. I could probably conjure up different Steemit logos for marketing or something. Seeing steemit on a white-background gets boring soon.

Will be quite nice to see this idea turned into reality.


That would be great:)

Fantastic idea to move things forward with Steemit, really helpful for us users who struggle to find the appropriate images we're looking for and also worry about copyright issues.

Great post, @thecryptofiend.

Good thinking <3


You never cease to amaze me @thelord. lol!!


Thank you. Are you able to see the images OK seems to be an issue with a lot of posts where the images are not showing?

This is brilliant!

I'm very new to Steem, but this postm and its author, has really caught my attention.

Looking forward to taking part.

I'm new and just seeing this. Are there places within steem where certain groupings are saved, or is it within the hastag that we would keep them or look?

This is a great idea. It's my first day here so I'm just finding my way around. There's a lot to take in, but I'm already beginning to feel in good company. I'll consider this Steemit4free idea with some of my images.

very nice piece of information. simple and effective way of explaining. Its great information regarding images and photography.Thanks for nice idea.