May 16, 2006, 12:36 AM
Post #1 of 1
We are getting closer to the gallery space openings.
Gallery Spaces opening soon!
We are about to enter the beta stages.
During this beta, only participating members of the Meetup group will be invited to set up a gallery, as well as certain models or others who have worked with these participating members on a regular basis. In stage 2, the system will be opened up first to members of the meetup group. Stage 3, to anyone within a 50-70 mile radius of pittsburgh, then in stage 4, to those within about 150 miles. There is a debugging/security/bug-fix reason for doing it in stages like that. Hopefully, the system will be fully opened before the end of the summer.
The first stage beta will begin before the end of May, hopefully, by the end of this week.
The second stage beta will begin by the end of June.
The Third and Fourth stages are planned for Mid July and Mid August.
There are a few rules, which may seem harsh, but if you've been on any other systems, you'll understand why they are here, and you'll probably even be glad they are here and breathe a sigh of relief they were implemented from Day 1.
You *MUST* be within the Pittsburgh region, and you must have entered valid information in the original sign up through the Community.cgi system which manages all the logons for this site. There will be several checks to make sure information is accurate, and we aren't going to tolerate *any* monkey business.
NOTE: This is a professional system. There are plenty of other "hot chat" or dating systems out there. This is *not* one of them.
In case you have not read the rules (clicked the link in the menu bar of the main site), or don't understand the intent and spirit of the Note above, here is a summary of the major portions:
1) Your community profile (which is *not* used by anything but the logon system) *MUST* be legitimate, real-world, brick and mortar contact information. If not, your profiles will be permanently deleted, you will not be allowed back on the system -- for any reason. This is an absolute. Any attempt to gain re-entry to this system will be considered computer tresspass, theft of service, and anything else we can charge you with. We are *serious*.
2) You can set up several additional public profiles within the network, from your general public one, to your model or photographer profile, and your Forum profile. These profiles *may* use alternative contact information, but must not mislead anyone as to age, sex, or anything else. We realize you may need to be anonymous in public, or have alternate emails or addresses. We ENCOURAGE that. But, it does *not* excuse erroneous information entered in #1. Be warned. See #4 below.
3) Your avitar may only be an image of you, or non-human-person photo you have taken. Tree, rock, dog, pet snake, etc. You may not use any misleading image as to sex, age, or such. You may not use a female image of any sort if you are a male, nor vice versa. This is a 100% enforced, and a 100% bootable offense. No second chances. Refer to the "Note" above.
4) We envision this system as a SAFE place for people to meet, because everyone will know everyone else IN THE REAL WORLD through no more than one or two degrees of separation. You will either have worked with them, or worked with someone who has worked with them. Unlike other systems, the "friends" system will be used to track people you have ACTUALLY worked with, and thus, in a way like "Feedback" on the auction sites, give newcomers some comfort or assurances people are who they say they are. Failure to abide by rules 1, 2 and 3 above, violate this purpose, and thus is contrary to the rules and spirit of this site, and you will be booted for violations.
5) Finally, you must be 18 to join this site. We realize that there are models of all ages, but not on this site. Period.
6) Oh... I almost forgot. This is a TFP/CD site, so *NO* rate information, or other such statements like "I'm limiting my TFP work for awhile." If you do, we'll limit your profiles ;) Later on, we'll have a general commercial site, and we'll even offer to migrate your profiles for free, but for now, this site is a TFP for art's sake site. And *please* don't try to get around it. This site is crawled by humans, and several 'bots looking for key words or phrases, and profiles *will* get deactivated -- if a HUMAN agrees you are breaking/pushing the rules (we don't trust 'bots for anything like that).
So much for the rules :) I'm serious about them, they are for everyone's safety. After 20+ years on-line, running all sorts of forums and websites, this is the ONLY set of rules that works, especially for a system where people move out of the virtual for their meetings. It's not 100% fail safe, but it *does* increase the safety and decrease the problems significantly.
1) You will have a PUBLIC profile, as well as your private options one.
2) You can set up a Photographer and/or Model profile as well. These profiles have both free-form text fields as well as a series of check boxes to make searches more targeted and meaningful.
3) You can request a Gallery space (this has to be done manually for now).
4) You will be able to create sub-galleries, manage a portfolio (separate from your gallery), and add a fairly large number of images to your area.
5) Comments, ratings, reviews, and more will be available for each image, and your gallery/portfolio as a whole.
6) Friends system will be set up to allow for people you want to work with, people you have worked with, people you won't work with again (as long as you worked with them once), and people who want to work with you. We'll probably also add a "People you admire" and a "People who admire you." area as well, just to be trendy.
7) You can feed back, and suggest ideas. We are *not* trying to be MySpace, or anything similar. All profiles galleries, and such will have a similar look and feel. People will be able to find information in the same places on each page, and get comfortable with that.
8) An impressive search will be added in phases, to allow fine-tuning for people, images, or services you may need or be interested in.
9) We are *NOT* limited to people pictures only, and your best tree, frog and flower shots are welcomed. We hope to phase in a stock photo agency feature later on, where you can sell your images for various uses, and generate a little income off them.
10) for everyone's pleasure, there is a minimum and maximum size for images. 340x480 images will not be accepted, and all images must have at least one dimension of 800 pixels, and be no more than 800x1200 in size. Once the stock agency feature goes live, you'll be able to link to a higher resolution image for sales. Images will be resized into several formats for use on the site, from a logo-sized image (120x200), to a medium-sized image (600x900), to the full-sized uploaded image (800x1200). People surfing the site get uniformity, but anyone wanting to see the full-detail of your work can view it, and you can get to show it off. No postage stamp sized images, and no 5-meg downloads for now.
11) Some of the "enhanced" features being enabled, are search scoring, which will increase the highly-ranked images and galleries, and demote the lesser ones. Certain fields such as "Does Nudes" will be checked against the use of words like "Nude" in the profile fields, and will demote any profiles/galleries that have "Does Nudes = No" but has tried to keyword spam by using "Nude" in the profiles. Images/galleries with huge watermarks decrease a users/viewers pleasure, so will also be down-graded in the search system as well. Part of the delay in opening has been enabling the hooks to do this fine-tuning, and karmic ranking of the site content. Other anti-keyword-spamming features are being enabled, and will actually downgrade (to even removing) images, galleries or even entire profiles from the search system. Misleading keywords don't help anyone, and make the system useless. Honesty is the best policy ;)
12) Keywords. We'll be adding drop-down lists for major keywords, and interest groups, that will help you get your images in to the right searches. You can then add specific keywords for your images that will help more finely tune them for searches. "Sunset" will be a keyword, and specific targeting would be entering any specifics such as colors, objects in the foreground, etc. "Ocean" and "Water" will also be suggested for you, as will other common keywords used for the main theme "Sunset".
13) The photographer and models profiles have a series of check boxes for things you do, or don't do. By using them, there is a standard of search criteria that will help people find you, or screen you out. The biggest is "Nudes" and we have monitoring systems in place, and being developed to prevent over- or mis- use of that. But, as photographers, many of us have specialties such as motorcycles, planes, reptiles, dogs, insects, children, whatever. I came up with some funny ones to test the check-box code, but I'm willing to take suggestions for new ones as well. Models, the same. What checkboxes would make it easier for people to find you?
I'll update this as it goes along.