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Author Topic: Symbiostock Refinements: Large Scale Community + Open Source Standardization  (Read 5418 times)

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Leo Blanchette

« on: August 27, 2013, 21:59 »
0
This thread is a passive discussion to start refining everything that makes "Symbiostock".

Mostly a big thank you is in order, because this is not the product of any one person. This was a little system created out of necessity, and although there's been some tough little hurdles - things have advanced quite far.

I'd like to discuss a few things simultaneously.



Community

The fun subject! Generally I've never been a big fan of the word "Community" on the internet because it tends to foster some unhealthy dependencies and preconceptions. But the fact is a good balanced "Symbiotic" relationship is what's built things up until now and will help things continue in that direction.

Here's an example I love: http://www.ubuntu.com/

Perhaps you have examples / inspiration as well. What we have is a very helpful and knowledgeable set of people who continually  aid one another. Although I hope to keep things alive here on MSG its possible Symbiostock is ready for a dedicated community hub. The www.symbiostock.org address is reserved for that. Amanda had expressed interest in helping with that.

Although its not possible for me to follow every forum discussion, I see a lot of re-occurring names constantly helping new webmasters with their start-up challenges. At this point I really think these people should have a big say in the "new home" for Symbiostock.

What would you like to see in the www.symbiostock.org community hub?



Central Search

Cascoly has been using Symbiostock's API to create all sorts of external and useful analytics. AJT Adopted www.symbiostock.info and turned it into another central search engine. While the "Hub" framework is still a little far off, I think we really need to start helping AJT's and Cascoly's effort since its Symbiostock's first and most successful central search.

What can we do to help the central search engines? Perhaps its time to enable built in functionality to interface with them?



Networking

Another unsung hero of Symbiostock (a little down at the moment) was Matt (Travelwitness) who opened up the .net address. Its a very portfolio driven effort, giving much attention to the artists and websites.

What can we do to help that effort?



Streamlining and Standardization


Finally I can go through Symbiostock's code and really improve it. Please post every bug, glitch, and issue you can find. We can drop memory overhead and reduce database use. I'll make a bullet list under this heading, and fix as many as I can. Besides that I'm going to standardize the code and make it completely pluggable so developers like PLRANG can continue to give you cool new features.

The result will be that developers will have access to an online codex-level knowledge base so that Symbiostock Wordpress implementations do not have to be the product of one or two people.



Symbiostock as a Brand


What makes Symbiostock is not necessarily code. Its illustrators, photographers, and developers, working together. This means that various apps (independent and integrated) should be built around it. It should be encouraged.

With this idea comes a lot of "Standardizing" so that as an open source brand Symbiostock is freely able to be built, expanded, and symbiotic.

Ultimately the idea is to keep the potential for making a living as Photographers and Illustrations as strong as possible. Each of the above named efforts could actually be aided by groups of interested people.

This is quite a crossroads since the search engines (Cascoly's and AJT's) have surprassed 100,000 images and 95 sites. The premium upgrade is out for those who need it, and is obtainable multiple ways. We have a real nice framework here. If we make intelligent and meaningful decisions, forward is the only way to go! :D
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 22:01 by Leo »


« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2013, 22:31 »
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I agree we should have a central area dedicated to support and help like what's been done here.

I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to coding anything like this but maybe something set up with the search engines to ping them when new content is available.  I'm not sure how much of a server load that would cause to the search to have a melt down.  Do they update once a day with network information?


Leo Blanchette

« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 22:33 »
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I think AJT and Cascoly have their individual routines set up...so once they are aware of someone's site there's probably a nightly or weekly routine they do.

« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2013, 22:42 »
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Okay.  I just worry about if an automatic plan is put into place like say once an hour that it would kill the sites.  And by the term kill I mean massive melt down that would make them inaccessible.


« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 23:31 »
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I add sites as they appear in MSG, then update  weekly or when the site has 5% increses or so.  will be moving to an automatic system eventually, but all the server usage will be on my site not the individual, other than copying  the data xml whoch takes at most a fe seconds
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 00:52 by cascoly »

« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2013, 00:03 »
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I was worried about yours and AJT's sites having a meltdown when more people start to get SY how much of a server load your sites would take when you implement to automated.

Ship can't run if the engines are down  ;)

« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 00:19 »
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An idea I have in mind since a week or two: Wouldn't it be great to showcase what Symbiostock already can offer (over 100.000 files) on the central symbiostock search. Being a buyer I would expect to see photos and illustrations there. It could be done with changing big photos (like alamy does it for example). But to emphasize the network I would suggest showing many, many small photos and illustrations  ... like matt has done in the last slide of symbiostock.net (btw matt we reached 100.000 ... but the last slide still says 60.000  ;) )
So perhaps everyone could provide one or two small files for that purpose.

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2013, 00:24 »
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I really like that idea. Its almost a given with image search...if AJT wants I'd love to help implement that.

One more step forward (to those who feel its beneficial) we could put in a prompt on the main theme to do a nightly query on the latest image amount on the central search engines. Then the buyer could see "search from over 1,245,932 images! with a link to those sites.

« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2013, 00:35 »
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Glad you like the idea ... but honestly I didn't really understand your suggested step forward. Could you explain it a bit please ...

« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2013, 00:40 »
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I really like that idea. Its almost a given with image search...if AJT wants I'd love to help implement that.

One more step forward (to those who feel its beneficial) we could put in a prompt on the main theme to do a nightly query on the latest image amount on the central search engines. Then the buyer could see "search from over 1,245,932 images! with a link to those sites.

negligible server time since you just sum # images from X site's symbiocard; these #'s are already given at the bottom ofour network lists, along with mean asnd median portfolio values (eg half the sites have 450 or so images evn though average stays around 1000.

what places more demands are searches using multiple keywords  and here, one quick way to improve is do determine the most efficient order for searching -- ie, first search on the keyword with least entries, reducing 100K images to say 30 for the second search, etc

and that's not even using anything sophisticated yet

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2013, 00:40 »
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Glad you like the idea ... but honestly I didn't really understand your suggested step forward. Could you explain it a bit please ...

Basically when someone searches a site it has a prompt that there is a central search engine, and how many images are available.

« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2013, 00:45 »
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Glad you like the idea ... but honestly I didn't really understand your suggested step forward. Could you explain it a bit please ...

Basically when someone searches a site it has a prompt that there is a central search engine, and how many images are available.

and those kind of stats could be stored in a simple summary table, accessible with 1 call, updated whenever any of the stored variables change

« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2013, 00:47 »
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Glad you like the idea ... but honestly I didn't really understand your suggested step forward. Could you explain it a bit please ...

Basically when someone searches a site it has a prompt that there is a central search engine, and how many images are available.

Sounds good to me ... I guess it's reasonable to show our buyers whereever we can that there is a big and growing database of files they can choose from.

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2013, 00:49 »
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Its the give/take thing. People leaving, but people landing. Mostly though I like the idea of giving large previews like on Matt's site.

« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2013, 00:54 »
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I was worried about yours and AJT's sites having a meltdown when more people start to get SY how much of a server load your sites would take when you implement to automated.

Ship can't run if the engines are down  ;)
there's no danger of a meltdown -- just a delay as the db gets a lot bigger,, esp for searches on the popular keywords like 'white' or 'green' or 'illustration' with 15000 results.  for these we need to come u with a better way to process and display-- showing the first 500 results, then letting user ask for more or refine their search.  eg, or combining similar, or keeping pre-searched arrays in storage, etc, etc -- lots of approaches

« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2013, 01:21 »
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Ah see I get it now :)  Kind of like a show me more type of thing that would call into different tables depending on how much the keyword calls up sort of like reserve tanks.

I've never really done much with databases other than storing information when I tried making my own little update blog.  But never anything more than adding and calling information and nothing on the scale that you guys do.

« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2013, 02:47 »
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Basically when someone searches a site it has a prompt that there is a central search engine, and how many images are available.

Symbiostock.info has symbiocard with portfolio size, which in this case is a number of images in database. I can also make a file containing only number, no problem.

Search engine is fetching images info from all sites every day, so now there is no need for additional functions (now).

I thought about plugin (or built-in function in Symbio), giving new search option. Now is "Search Images/Blog", could be "Search Local/Global/Blog" (or sth in this kind), with possibility to switch off global and blog in config area.

List of sites is growing and I should to do something with it. List them in more columns, paginate somehow, move to subpage?

« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 02:52 by ajt »

« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2013, 02:54 »
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List of sites is growing and I should to do something with it. List them in more columns, paginate somehow, move to subpage?

Can you give options to sort maybe - number of images as now/ alphabetical / new images uploaded in last 24 hours (or however long your updates take) ?

This way they could still be a long list ?


« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2013, 06:31 »
+1
COMMUNITY

I'd absolutely prefer Symbiostock having its own platform while moving away from "microstock" or any other known stock standard. Symbiostock is and should stay whatever the artist makes of it. And let's face it, when "microstock" stands for volume sales at peanut earnings (per sale) - most Symbiostock sites don't fit in anymore anyway.
Let's give Symbiostock an aura of independence, freedom and individual responsibility.
I'm sure this will attract many more people who don't like the principles of microstock (anymore).

« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2013, 07:51 »
0
COMMUNITY

I'd absolutely prefer Symbiostock having its own platform while moving away from "microstock" or any other known stock standard. Symbiostock is and should stay whatever the artist makes of it. And let's face it, when "microstock" stands for volume sales at peanut earnings (per sale) - most Symbiostock sites don't fit in anymore anyway.
Let's give Symbiostock an aura of independence, freedom and individual responsibility.
I'm sure this will attract many more people who don't like the principles of microstock (anymore).

I tend to agree with you ... but only to a certain degree. I think staying here (at least for a while) would have the advantage of discussing in midst of many others who might read us here and might therefore decide to join our network.

timd35

« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2013, 08:38 »
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COMMUNITY

I'd absolutely prefer Symbiostock having its own platform while moving away from "microstock" or any other known stock standard. Symbiostock is and should stay whatever the artist makes of it. And let's face it, when "microstock" stands for volume sales at peanut earnings (per sale) - most Symbiostock sites don't fit in anymore anyway.
Let's give Symbiostock an aura of independence, freedom and individual responsibility.
I'm sure this will attract many more people who don't like the principles of microstock (anymore).

I tend to agree with you ... but only to a certain degree. I think staying here (at least for a while) would have the advantage of discussing in midst of many others who might read us here and might therefore decide to join our network.

Good point. That is how I learned about Symbiostock. I had put down the camera for a while and when I picked it back up I hopped back onto MSG and that is where I ran across Symbiostock.

Just thinking out loud but maybe a general thread on MSG but have the user specific, technical support, development, SEO, and such to it's own site.

« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2013, 08:43 »
+2
Community:

I think if we had a separate community  - we could have a forum for potential buyers as well as sellers so if someone wanted a particular project done instead of going though all of us they could ask on a forum.

If it had moderators we could put useful tips and tricks together so they don't get lost which would be useful for new site owners (and existing ones).  A lot of people are unlikely to come across us here or venture in once they see microstock (with apologies to Leaf) but if they are searching for Symbiostock and find a thriving community then it might benefit us all ?

« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2013, 08:54 »
0
Community:

I think if we had a separate community  - we could have a forum for potential buyers as well as sellers so if someone wanted a particular project done instead of going though all of us they could ask on a forum.

If it had moderators we could put useful tips and tricks together so they don't get lost which would be useful for new site owners (and existing ones).  A lot of people are unlikely to come across us here or venture in once they see microstock (with apologies to Leaf) but if they are searching for Symbiostock and find a thriving community then it might benefit us all ?


I think this is a good idea. One problem with forums is the natural tendency for threads to get derailed. There is a lot of valuable info on any one subject, but it gets lost in threads that werent about that subject and so are not titled that way. Moderators would be able to help keep everything sorted and in its proper thread.


Having a separate buyer and seller area is also an excellent idea.

« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2013, 18:38 »
+1
i'd prefer to stay here as long as we're welcome on the site (thanks again!)

main reason being MSG is a prime site for people microstockers to look -- a separate sym site would only be found by those looking for it. 

re buyers - even fewer buyers are going to discover us by looking for sym - they'll find us from google searches, then stay within sym because of what it offers in searches and pricing

« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2013, 18:41 »
0


List of sites is growing and I should to do something with it. List them in more columns, paginate somehow, move to subpage?


Can you give options to sort maybe - number of images as now/ alphabetical / new images uploaded in last 24 hours (or however long your updates take) ?

This way they could still be a long list ?


I do a number of such sorts at http://symbiostock-search.com -- alphabetical, by # of images, by interest, by promoted and combined keywords, network connections, etc

i'll have a sort by specialty soon (need a separate table since the 2 specialty fields need to be entered separately)


 

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