When I return from a convention, I scour the internet for photos from the event. Many convention-goers do the same, as evidenced by the many “looking for photos” threads on forums and social networks. I’m building a searchable list of galleries from many different events that is more permanent and easier to search than those “looking for photos” threads.
I’d rather have other people do my work for me, so I built a public page where people can submit galleries.
People would rather have a machine do their work for them while they are doing my work for me, so when someone submits a link to a Flickr album, the website uses the Flickr API to pull in the rest of the data.
The main functions of the site (submitting, moderating, and displaying) are all working and stable, so now I can think about improvements.
- Integrate with other sites’ APIs
Flickr is not the only image host with an API. I should integrate with SmugMug, Imgur, and Facebook. Automating data entry makes it easier for users to submit galleries, and makes the data submitted by users more reliable. It’s good for both of us.
- Make the site prettier
The styling on the site could charitably be described as “basic” because I focused on functionality. User experience is important, so I should make the site smooth and pretty.
- Label NSFW content, and galleries that require logging in
If a user can’t view a gallery, a link to that gallery is a waste of time. Some image hosts, like Facebook and Flickr, may require users to log in before they can see the gallery, so I need to warn users before they click. Users hsould also be informed before clicking on links to NSFW photos.
- Allow users to report dead/bad links
Sometimes links go dead, or domain names expire and are taken over by squatters. Anyone who finds a dead link should be able to report it, so I can remove it. This saves me the effort of periodically checks all the links, and lets users help make the site a better place.
- Rating system
Someone who doesn’t have time to look through 100 galleries from a certain event may want some way to decide which few to look at, and user ratings are one way to provide that. I think that “popular” and “good” often diverge, so I’m unconvinced that directing people to popular galleries is a good idea. I could curate my personal favorites, but since what I like and what the masses like are different, that feature may not be useful to the users.
- Add more content
I have added hundreds of galleries already, but I’ve been collecting galleries for a long time, so I have many more to add. The more content is on the site, the more useful to visit, which means more people who like it and may contribute. It snowballs.
- Get other people to use the site
All this information is only useful when people know about it and use it. After each event, I’ll post in the various “looking for photos” threads encouraging people to use the site.