New Gallery Feature: Send a eCard

Discussion in ' Site Help' started by mottershead, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. Yesterday, I wanted to send an eCard to my daughter for Valentine's
    Day. I discovered that most eCard sites are pretty cheesy. Then it
    occurred to me that this would be a nice addition to So I
    implemented the ability to send eCards from last night. A
    bit, ahem, late, for sending Valentine's cards, but I hope people will
    enjoy the feature.

    The button for sending a eCard is on each photo. It is free.

    At the moment, consider it beta test software. I'd appreciate any
    feedback on it that you care to offer.
  2. Since one can send any photo, is the author of the photo notified that his photo has been used as an eCard? No need to know who send it, but just the fact that it was used.
  3. What an excellent idea Brian; nice one!
    Just tried and it works perfectly. Bit of a shame it doesn't attach a copy of the photo, but this way it is certain to draw loads of people to the site. top marks!
    Ah - just tried to click on the name underneath the photo:
    Not Found
    The requested URL was not found on this server.
  4. Brian, I just tried it and like the idea very much. As my daughter would say, "it's hecka tight." One question, though -- would you please confirm that the names and email addresses we provide will not be used for any purposes other than to send the ecard? I see your note that the information will be kept private, and hope I am understanding that this is what you mean. Thanks.
  5. You know what-I really dislike this new feature and am thinking about withdrawing a fair number of pictures in my portfolio which I wouldn't have put up if I'd known they were going to be this easy to distribute. The E-card thing makes a big change to photonet, as it alters the nature of how the photos are accessed and, if successful, who will access the photos. Just two of problems I imagine arising are
    1-An incredible increase in copyright infringment, for the most part undetected (and undetectable) by the photographers concerned.
    2-An obvious spam opportunity for abusers out there.
    Generally it seems the rate of change at photo net is slow. A new policy seems to undergo a rigorous debate process before implementation. However, this change seems to have been made on the spur of the moment, without any real thought or discussion going into it. Sure, there are possible benefits, for both the site owners and the photographers using the site. But there is an equal, if not greater, potential for abuse which I think you simply haven't thought through enough.
    By all means press ahead with this idea-but maybe a period of discussion/consultation would be useful. Perhaps it would be worth consulting a few dozen long term members to get feedback on your idea before you continue with its extremely sudden implementation.
    Darrell M
    ps-just how easy was its implementation. I've written a few scripts in the past and don't think I could have knocked something off with quite the amount of speed you say you have.
  6. A great feature Brian. My sister always wants to know when I post new work. She also consistently forgets how to get to my member page. Now I can just send her an e-card and she can click on the link. Great Idea!
  7. All other links on the page work fine.
    It occurs to me that given how worried some people are about the net, (re: recent conversations about paying for PN by Credit Card..) maybe a bit more text in the email would reassure them; maybe a straight link to It does look a little bit similar to alot of the spam i receive... just an idea. thanks, Duncan
  8. Darrell - all photos on PN are as easy to send as this already: simply right click and select SEND or EMAIL PICTURE.. depending on your windows version...
  9. For sure-but this is a far more open invitation. A photo will whizz around the web a lot faster like this
  10. Duncan, I know your point that you can send the photo already by email easily was addressing a different issue, but I wanted to point out that by sending an ecard you are sending a link that, when opened, allows the viewer to see not only your card but also access your entire portfolio, which I like as well.
  11. I tested it and the eCard function seems to work well. All that is getting mailed out is a link. There is nothing going out that isn't openly available on the web.
    You might want to add an "If you received this message in error, please delete." Some of the content on the website is controversial and eCard recipients may not be a willing party to the terms and conditions. A disclaimer might help protect website from mischief.
  12. Please note that we are not sending anybody's photos via email. In effect, the "ecard" is simply a link to a photo in the Gallery, accompanied by a message. There are many other places where people can find links to Gallery photos.
  13. We are keeping track of the ecards being sent, and we could easily add that information to the details displayed about the photo. For that matter, if the feature is popular, we could use it to create a new "Top Photos" ranking: photos sent most frequently as ecards.
  14. A very nice idea ....i tried it and like the format.
  15. Thanks Brian, but I must admit I am growing increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of giving the names and email addresses of third parties to the site (or any other site for that matter) without an assurance that these names and addresses won't be used for any purposes other than sending the ecard link. Can you please confirm that they won't be used for any other purposes other than sending the ecard link? Thanks.
  16. I tried it and got this error message!

    Problem with Your Input
    We had a problem processing your entry:
    extra characters after close-quote
    Please back up using your browser, correct it, and resubmit your entry.
    Thank you.
  17. Any email addresses that are entered into the system for this feature are covered by our Privacy Policy, whcih already covers this case.
  18. My first 2 tries never worked but my 3rd and 4th worked!
  19. Hypothetical situation: I have a new image that I want all my friends to rate. I send them an e-card with the image and we get instant mate rate. Of course, you can see who would be using this feature in this way. But it does concern me.
  20. Hypothetical-I have a photo, unique and humourous. X likes it and sends it
    to his friend Y, an office worker in the City, who also likes it and sends the
    link to everyone in his address book. Lots of traffic is generated (good) but
    what kind of traffic? Photonet is a site for enthusiasts in the art of photography
    but could quickly become a more general site where visitors do not accord the
    same respect to issues such as copyright as the current users. Hey, if you have
    an email address you can join, rate, comment on any picture very quickly. Of
    course, this possibility currently exists-but photonet only seeks an audience
    of photography enthusiasts. The ecard brings the possibility of a whole new
    audience whose presence we may quickly regret.<br>
    I could be wrong but, despite everything I've read above, my worries remain.
  21. Thanks Brian, having just read through the Privacy provisions linked at the bottom right of the page, I can see why its not so easy to confirm what I asked. I support this idea, but I still have some questions, so let me try to hone in on my concern.

    As far as I can tell, the Privacy provisions were not written with the kind of ecard recipient information we would be providing to you in mind. That is, without the third parties' consent or visit to the site, we are giving you their name and email addresses. I am reluctant to do that if there is the possibility that these names and addresses will be used to solicit or send other information to these third parties besides my ecard, or sold or distributed to other websites that might do that kind of thing.

    Your Privacy statement does not really address this situation, as it is concerned really with "users," which are contemplated as people visiting the site, and registering or not registering. In fact, you advise in the document that if you do not want your name to be used, you should not register. But that kind of "opt-out" is not possible for people whose names and addresses are provided without their knowledge or consent (and who become "users" of the site as the result of a linked invitation, rather than by taking some initiative themselves to find it). In fact, the Privacy document could be read to suggest that you will use the ecard recipient information to contact them in the future, as it states:

    "We use the information we collect from you as a registered user [such as me] to build features that we hope will make the Services more attractive and easier for you to use. This may include better customer support and timely notice of new services [open-ended, not necessarily limited to registered users, therefore possibly suggesting notice of new services would go to ecard recipients]."

    I do not want to expose my family, friends and acquaintances to the possibility of unsolicited email in the future just because I sent them one of my pictures directly from the site. If you can provide an assurance that this won't occur, I think I would be okay. But without further clarification, I'm afraid I won't be using the ecard feature.

    I hope you can appreciate my concern. My suggestion would be to revise the Privacy policy to make very clear how this specific ecard recipient data is going to be used and not used by the site, as the statement presently doesn't appear to contemplate this situation and could leave a confusing situation.

    Appreciate any thoughts you might have, thanks for listening.
  22. Hypothetical-I have a photo, unique and humourous. X likes it and sends it
    to his friend Y, an office worker in the City, who also likes it and sends the
    link to everyone in his address book. Lots of traffic is generated (good) but
    what kind of traffic? Photonet is a site for enthusiasts in the art of photography
    but could quickly become a more general site where visitors do not accord the
    same respect to issues such as copyright as the current users. Hey, if you have
    an email address you can join, rate, comment on any picture very quickly. Of
    course, this possibility currently exists-but photonet only seeks an audience
    of photography enthusiasts. The ecard brings the possibility of a whole new
    audience whose presence we may quickly regret.<br>
    I could be wrong but, despite everything I've read above, my worries remain.
    A lot of photos here are going to start turning up in other places. This happens
    already. Get ready for it to happen a hell of a lot more.
  23. David, all this feature does is to "tart up" emailing someone a link to a photo page on as an "ecard", which is already something that someone can do if they want. People intent on mate-rating did not need a fancy ecard feature to send each other email about new photos being posted. In fact, since the "ecards" are being stored in our database (so we can deliver them to the recipients), I would think that mate-raters would avoid using it, since there would be record now in our database.
  24. I suggest to add a new check box 'Allow eCard Feature' (default is checked) when the photographer uploads an image and use this flag to determine whether the 'Send eCard' tab will be available or not.
  25. Darrell, sending links to a photo on is not a copyright infringement. A link just facilitates/motivates a person to look at the photo on, and maybe other photos in the portfolio. That is good, no? That is what we are aiming for with this feature. It is why it is "free" to send a eCard. It basically facilitates person A to tell person B to look at a photo in the Gallery. That is a new visitor to the site, potentially a new member/participant. Why should we depend on Google and Yahoo for all our new visitors?

    Any copyright infringement comes from people making a copy of the photo and using it for some purpose other than "fair use", such as for an illustration on their own web site, and eCards don't have anything to do with that.
  26. <p>Ben, sorry, you didn't read the Privacy Policy carefully enough. Read the section on Email Addresses again. I just added a mention of the eCard feature to make it even more clear.
  27. Thanks, but no thanks. I prefer to make my own 'e-cards'.
  28. Thanks Brian, works for me, appreciate your understanding and responsiveness.
  29. Sometimes the great ideas are not great for every member. I would prefer that the majority of my photos not be available to the general public as eCards and yet I understand why others would like this feature. In my case, I actively market my photos and for someone to find that they are being used here at no cost could jeoperdize my other marketing efforts. I know that anyone can link to them already but an eCard is different. The only way this could work for me would be on an opt in / opt out basis by individual images. It is because of these concerns that my photos are posted with a copyright notification.

    I also have some concerns about the quality of traffic that this could generate as some others have mentioned. You have stated in the e-card, "PN is the Web's preeminent site for serious photographers." I would prefer that the focus remain on the serious photogrpahers.

    That's my 2 cents.
  30. Since each of us naturally wants to control use of our own images, why not limit ecards so that we can each only send ecards of our own images?

    I did not understand before looking at Guy's portfolio after reading his message above that it appears that I could also send an ecard of GUY's image. I don't think that's a good idea at all, too fraught with the possibilities of misunderstandings and misuse. am I understanding correctly its open nature presently?

    Brian, don't you think some limitations are advisable so we can better control use of our own images by other users of the site?
  31. I have no images posted but I wonder what will happen when someonelinks an ecard to one of the more risque nudes?

  32. The ecard is simply a link to a photo on the site. I'm not getting the "control" issue here. Do you want to "opt out" of having your photo indexed by the Google robot also? You're posting the photos on a PUBLIC web site, and you don't want links into your photos to be publicized? I'm trying to get traffic for the site, you know. That means I'm trying to get traffic for the photos and portfolios posted here. Are you saying that you want to be able to opt out of traffic to your portfolios? Why are you posting the photos?
  33. Brian, I wonder if changing the name from e-card to e-link or something would be helpful. While I understand that using this feature only sends a link to the image, just as if I copied the link into an e-mail and sent it through regular e-mail, the name "e-card" suggests the image is actually attached and being forwarded. It really isn't a "card" the way some other sites are set up. No need to confuse this PN feature with what other's are doing. It's just an easier way to send someone a link to a photo- a feature I look forward to using.

    I don't think a TRP page should be created to show the images most sent as "e-cards". That would only invite headaches and wouldn't necessarily represent the best photos. I can see the feedback posts now....

    My e-card counter doesn't seem to be working. How many times does my photo have to be sent to be included in the TRP? My photo has been sent to 500 people (by me)why doesn't it show up in the TRP? Can't you do something about the nudes? How can the site allow links to nude photos to be sent this way? My wife clicked on the link and was so traumatized she can't cook my dinner.

    You get the idea.
  34. Brian, I'm fully aware that sending a link is not a copyright infringment and it's a touch ingenuous of you to reply to my concerns in the way you do as its clear this was not what I was saying at all. If you are certain the ecard link will not lead to an increase in copyright infringments please say exactly that and I shall sleep soundly tonight. I myself think Jerry's idea is excellent. How easy would that be to implement? Also, could it be done retrospectively because, as of today, all the photos on the site are being displayed in a manner the contributing photographers would not have been aware they would be.
  35. Brian, let me try to explain my own sentiment. I post here mostly to learn how other photographers view my photos, not primarily as an avenue for the distribution of my photos to "lay people" (for lack of a better term). It may sound silly to you in light of the public nature of the site, but that's about it for me.

    I agree that if an open-ended ecard feature became popular, it has the potential to change a "photographer's community" into something different and less enjoyable -- our works become "product" for others to choose from, rather than "art" to discuss.

    Regardless, as a poster, I have so faor been able to control the title of the image and the explanation of it. If someone writes something about it under the image that I don't care for, I can write's abuse address or delete the image. I lose that control with blind ecard distribution. I kind of cringe at the thought of someone sending my photo to someone with a message that potentially provides a "spin" on the photo that I don't appreciate or uses it for a joke or what not.

    For what it's worth, an opt-out feature would be fine for me, including if it were not the default, but had to be affirmatively chosen.
  36. Neat feature, Brian. I agree with above that it should be limited to one's own images. Thanks for coming up with this idea as I'm sure many will find good use for it.
  37. So, the message is clear. An opt-out option would make the idea feasible. Do we want more traffic? Yes, of course and lots of it. But if I run a camera shop i don't want 5 people coming in to buy fish.
  38. Darrell, the risk of copyright infringement of photos on is proportional to the exposure they receive. There is zero risk of being stolen for a photo that is buried on the site and is never seen by anyone. Photos that are recognized as Photos of the Week, or Featured Portfolio, or which are among the Top Rated Photos, or in the portfolios of Top Rated Photographers are more likely to be stolen than photos that don't receive that recognition. Photos that are submitted for critique and which go through the "Rate Recent" queue are more likely to be stolen than photos that are not submitted for critique. Photographers who appear on favorites lists are more likely to have their photos stolen. People who receive comments on their photos are more likely to have their photos stolen because people and search engine robots can follow links from members' photo comments to the photos. Photos with higher view counts are more likely to stolen.

    The ecard feature is like all these others. It is intended to make photos, portfolios, and photographers visible and to attact visitors and comments to their portfolios. It is nice mechanism for visitors to tell other potential visitors: here is a photo that I admire and I want you to see. People could have been sending links before, but the "eCard" aspect dresses this up, and makes it a social thing that people will be motivated to do.

    It is like all the other mechanisms for building traffic to photos and portfolios. So, yes, ohotos that are sent as eCards are more likely to be stolen than photos that are not sent as eCards. The same as true of photos that are in POW, Top Photos, User Favorites, Rate Recent, Critique Requests, and all the other "features" of the site which are designed to gain traffic and viewership for photos and portfolios.
  39. Darrell: You can go to any page in PN, copy the link that apears on your browser, and then send it to your friends through an email. There is no control over that and nobody can prevent it. If on the other hand, you use the new send ecard option, at least Brian and co. will know that your image have been used.
    Your images are no more public now than what they already were.
  40. To put it bluntly, I think It cheapens the site a bit.

    Jerry's idea is great.

    It can keep everybody happy while site can get its exposure as well if photographers decided to use the e-card option.


  41. I should add, the ecard feature without control also complicates and possibly makes difficult what I tell subjects that I photograph. Its been easy to explain posting here up to now -- for example, I sometimes tell people posting on the site helps me improve and evaluate the image with feedback from other photographers, and it does.

    But to suggest to subjects that their image might also be used as an ecard by strangers for unknown purposes, well, that's really quite different, and for some it could be disturbing. It feels uncomfortable to me to even bring up, which means I may well post less portraits without some control.

    In the end, much of certain genres that I do are ultimately for delivery elsewhere than here -- this is more my learning lab. I don't need ecard distribution by others for some of my work that I can't control.

    So, for me, pics of flowers may be one thing, but portraits, which I do a fair amount of, are altogether different. I don't think I could forgive myself if a portrait I posted was used by someone to make an unflattering joke, for example.
  42. Brian- nice addition, I love it!
  43. . . . I have relationships with many of the people I photograph, and they understand my postings here. If the ecard feature remained open ended, I would feel compelled not only to post less for fear their images would be used inappropriately as I've explained, but I'd also have to consider deleting some photographs already posted (such as of some of the children in my portfolio) because I do not feel it appropriate for these images to be "product" for ecards. Its not what I discussed with the parents, and its not what I think they or I want. So its quite tricky. An opt out would have to include an opt out for what's already been posted for me to avoid doing this, which I very much do not want to do.
  44. Ben, the photos in your portfolio have received 2.9 million views, probably more because for technical reasons we don't count 100% of them. Did you think that all those people are fellow photographers participating in the site? The site receives 180,000 visitors per day, mostly in the Gallery. Most of those people never log in. They just look at the photos, especially the ones in TRP, or in the portfolios of people who are featured in the TRP.

    You're publishing these photos on the Internet, guy. Didn't you realize that? If the subjects of your portraits wouldn't be comfortable with their images being published on the Internet, then the reason they are comfortable is "ignorance is bliss".
  45. I think it's a good idea..I came to Pnet as someone who had a camera and took LOTS of pictures of flowers...A friend I worked with had signed up here and he showed me his portfolio...I was a "lay" person. Now photography is my passion...looking at the photos here is what inspired me to get more involved. Had I NOT been interested in photography I doubt that no matter how beautiful the pictures were I would have stayed long.

    I think as long as it stays a "link" and not a feature that people can add text to the should be fine. It's not something that isn't already done anyway.

  46. Brian, would it be difficult to have an "opt-out" feature? If not, it seems that would be a reasonable solution to address the concerns, even if you don't share them.
  47. Brian, its one thing to post an image publicly, it another to have an ecard of a photo of one of my subjects sent with a message like "Happy Birthday, you are as dorky as the person in this photo!" That is the difference -- the photo becomes a plug-in to someone else's end product, not an end of itself, it turns the photo into product to be manipulated rather than an end in itself, and one which can be misused without my knowledge. Is that really so hard to appreciate?
  48. Example, Brian -- a few years ago, I had what I considered to be an anti-Semitic message left on one of my photographs, a portrait of someone who was obviously Jewish. I can't remember what happened, I either removed the photo, or sent a message to and it was taken care of. But now, that photo can be put on an ecard and distributed without my knowledge (and with my name on it, I might add) with the same anti-Semetic message. I can't allow that possiblity, even if small, even if it can be done now by right-clicking. Can you see this?
  49. It might have been mentioned before and I didnt read it (its a long thread) Wouldnt it be better if the photographer had the rigth to allow some of his works to sent and not others? Or all? Or none? Without the authors consent I dont think it should be possible, If the author agrees totally or in part I think its a good idea. I dont have the habit of sending e-cards because I dont like most of what is available, I would send some from images on P.N. but only if I could read that the author approves it. As for my own photos I wouldnt want some to be sent and I wouldnt mind that others were. I think this should be considered. Thanks.
  50. Brian, here is a link to one of my photos that could appear anywhere on the web.
    Click Here
    [ Links to ecards removed. URL's to ecards are only valid temporarily. I don't want the Google robot indexing ecards that are going to be deleted after a few days. ] All kidding aside, the difference in how the same picture could be used or abused is obvious. Certainly it would probably be used for good purposes yet we would never know when a flattering or un-flattering eCard had been sent. The fact that it is encouraging individuals to use an image outside the norm of viewing, critiquing and rating only adds to my reluctance to participate.
    Limiting the feature to ones own images as Wilson suggests would be a different matter but the way it is now I can eCard anyone?s image.
    By the way, Brian, why would you not want an opt in / opt out of this feature? Is it a technical, operational, cost or control issue?
  51. Sorry, you will have to cut and paste my Click Here links. For some reason they do not work.
  52. Excerpts from "About Us" --

    "From its inception, the site has aimed to be a "photography learning community", in which more experienced photographers, both avid amateurs and professional, provide mutual support, as well as being a resource for those interested in learning about photography. Since the site has been in existence since 1995, it is common to find contributors on the site who are now experts but who first visited the site years ago to ask beginner questions."

    "The audience consists of photography enthusiasts and would-be enthusiasts, but with a significant number of semi-professionals and professionals. In recent years, with the growth in digital photography, there has been a substantial increase in novices visiting the site to use it as a learning resource. The audience is predominantly (80%) male. Although the audience is drawn from the entire world, especially contributors in the Gallery section, it is is predominantly American."
  53. Brian, right from the top you state it was an idea you came up with yesterday. There's a photo I took yesterday which I think is my best ever but by the end of next week I'll probably be wondering what exactly I saw in it. The ecard is an idea with some merit but the more I think about it and the more I read on this thread the less I like it. Now, whilst appreciating you are a busy man, I wonder if you could address the following concerns
    1: The entire database of photos are currently displayed in a way the contributers did not expect when they uploaded their images. I'll be delicate here and say i find this somewhat troubling. Others may be a bit more pissed off about it. How do you feel?
    2: The opt-out option. Does it exist as a feasible option? I think a simple yes/no/i don't know at the moment/ answer will do it for me here, as opposed to a answer questioning whether we want the traffic or not.
    3: Do you acknowledge that the ecard offers avenues of abuse which were highly unlikely to have been exploited before?
    If the 1st point troubles you it presents an opportunity to withdraw the ecard for now and further consult members, other elves, family, friends and so on. As you say, it was a spontaneous idea and perhaps you have implemented the idea rather too quickly. I don't know. With some thought and consultation it may greatly enhance PN but as it is it doesn't work. Even if my concerns and the concerns of other people on this thread are ill-founded you are at least now aware that these concerns exist and might lead to some contributers withdrawing works from the site. Surely not the result you wanted for your good intentions.
    Finally, inspired by Guy, I sent myself this rather lovely ecard, just to see how well it worked. As you will see Brian, the quality of the photo is greatly diminished, as is the quality of the site if you carry your plan through in its current incarnation.
    [ Link to ecard removed. Those URL's are intended for the recipient of the ecard, and the ecards URL's are only valid for a few days or until the recipient has seen the message. I don't want Google robots indexing ecards. So, don't post links to ecards. -- BM]
  54. I will implement an opt-out feature for subscribers.

    The quid-pro-quo on this site is that people upload photos for critique, rating, sharing, and public exhibition, and this is paid for by advertising, for which we need visitors and traffic. If you want your photos on the site, using our bandwidth, servers, sys admin staff (me), etc, you have to let us try to drive traffic to those photos and to the site generally so that we can display ads and pay for that bandwidth, etc. That covers whatever traffic-generation mechanisms we come up with, including eCards. You don't get to opt out, and you don't get to pick and choose which features of the site your photos will be involved in. If you don't want your photo on the site, don't upload it. If you aren't a subscriber, and you do upload photos, you don't get to attach a lot of strings to how they will be featured on the site.

    However, subscribers pay for their bandwidth, etc, through an annual subscription fee. This is why we do not show ads on the photos of subscribers, and why we don't show ads on Gallery photos and portfolios to visitors who are logged-in subscribers. eCards, as they have been implemented, are a mechanism for emailing links to photos, accompanied by a message, packaged in a way that makes it easy and gives people a motivation for doing so. Specifically, it ties into the somewhat bizarre social convention of "sending a greeting card". I don't see why someone who has posted photos on this site would not want to facilitate mailing links to the photo, but I guess it is a case of giving the customers what they want. So, there will be an opt-out for subscribers, which will allow them to restore the status quo ante of no ecards for their photos.
  55. Thank you Brian, VERY much appreciated. Your responsiveness and understanding encourages me to help the site succeed as much as ever (for better or worse perhaps!).
  56. What's all the fuss about.

    From how I read it. No one is sending any pictures anywhere. They remain at Sleep well in the knowledge that your precious imagery is still snuggly nestled away in their folders at PN and not roaming the streets of cyberspace unsupervised. The "e-card" is just an additional link device and changes nothing really.

    If policing the intellectual property of your images is an overriding concern to you, then do not (I repeat do not) publish them on the web. If you are concerned that your images may be "stolen" then post up with a copyright notice across the image area. It looks ugly and nobody will want to view your work but it does have less chance of being stolen... or alternatively the best security is simply don't post photos into the public domain at all.

    Photo Net is part of the public domain. The public can freely visit the site and view images having arrived here via search engines with links to PN. It is in PN's interests and by extrapolation member's interests also for more people to visit the site. At least the e-card concept is an internally monitored process so it comes with a degree of control.

    If you do not want people looking at your images it begs the question of why post them up to a public site, particularly one that has the through volume of this place.

    I would have thought that it is not in the interests of PN to pass on personal information. If they did it would kill the site pronto. People would leave in droves.

    Relax and enjoy the new feature.

  57. Hi Craig,
    glad you posted cos it led me to your portfolio, which is excellent. I will be back there to comment later. I agree, the photos are already online and ripe for abuse and, seeing the old format, I opted to take the risk. However I think the ecard introduces a new aspect. It encourages non-photographic participation on the site and my fear is that the new non-photographic participants are far less likely to share the concerns for copyright that the photographic community will. I could be wrong but if I'm not....
    A further concern is the quality of the reproduced image. Click on the link in my earlier posting to see what I mean. The quality is painfully diminished. Better still, send yourself an ecard of your own Portrait of Eliza, a heart-stoppingingly beautiful image. See what happens to the quality of that photo and then come back and tell me you are satisfied with this quickly conceived and executed idea. Imagine someone sending said image to whoever they want with their own text added to it and photonets logo at the top of the page and suddenly it might not seem like such a good idea to you.
    Brian, thank you for your further thought. I hope all opt-outs can be retrospective. Also, I wonder if it wouldn't be best to apply the ecard only for images uploaded as of today. There will be many photographers who infrequently check their portfolios and so will not be aware of the new context in which they are being displayed.
  58. Brian, "I discovered that most eCard sites are pretty cheesy."

    Isn't this making cheesy?
  59. er...sorry Craig, you can't click on the link from my earlier posting as Brian has removed it. Shame really, cos it did ilustrate my point quite well.
  60. I don't think the eCards are cheesy. I think they are nice, even if I do say so myself, since I designed them. Except for a different header, they look very similar to the regular photo page, which I also designed. The main difference is that the personal message is displayed instead of the regular Critique discussion, and the links are somewhat different.

    Thinking less of, or of the eCards, because someone can potentially write something vulgar about a photo in a private message is like thinking less of the New York Times because some people use it to line their cat box.

    You can't control other people to that extent, and if it were important to me to control other people, a community web site where anybody on the Internet can post is not the place I would be trying it.
  61. Darrell, I sent myself an e-card. All it did was send a link that when clicked took me to the photo on PN. It appeared to be the same thing anyone would see that clicked on my photo from my gallery. I don't see how the quality would be diminished. Perhaps I'm missing something.
  62. Laurie,I don't think Darrell was talking about the quality of the image in the eCard. It is the same image.

    What Darell posted was a link to an eCard that he sent to himself. It was a photo of statuesque nude girl. As an example, Darrell's message was a series of crude remarks about her anatomy.

    Darell is concerned that people will write vulgar things in eCards about the photos, and that this will diminish the photos and the site. He seems concerned that by allowing the links to the photos to be sent with private messages (i.e. "eCards"), he loses control over how the photo is presented to people, and surrenders that control to whoever chooses to send an eCard.

    I don't think it is possible to have this level of control over what other people do. To me, it seems like an artist hanging around in the museum where his work is exhibited, listening to the comemnts, and trying to have ejected anybody who says anything vulgar about his work, on the grounds that the vulgar commenter is framing the work instead of him. The only way you can maintain that level of "control" over an image is to keep it in the back of your closet in a shoebox.
  63. the ecard i sent myself linked back to an image about half the size of normal, horribly compressed, and just plain poor. Damn, it was sad. i hope no-one sends ecard links to my photos as they are already bad enough without this added handicap.
    perhaps brian, it would be ok to allow me to repost the earlier link. Delete it in 24hrs before google and other search spiders pick it up, but leaving it up long enough for other pn'ers to see my point whilst the thread is topical.. (forgive the cheek)
  64. Darrell, the image is the same as one sees by default on the photo page. If one normally sees the "medium" view (i.e. the version that has been resized by, then that is what one will see in the ecard. If the "large" view (i.e. the original) is what one normally gets, because it was already a reasonable size for web display, then that is what is displayed for the ecard.

    The only difference is that I thought with the ecards that they should be sized so that no scrolling of the photo would be required on a typical monitor. So the HTML code specifies them to fit in a 512 pixel square. If the normal view is bigger than that, then the browser is going to resize them on the monitor. Some browsers don't do a good job of interpolating. Other browsers do fine. I didn't notice with the ecard that you posted that there was any degradation in Firefox. If you have a different browser, there might have been a problem.

    You can't control what people will write in an ecard message. Another thing you can't control is what browser people will use.
  65. I'm a sad microsoft IE6 user, automatic resize turned off, monitor 768 x 1024 and the image was squashed to bits on my screen. Brian, maybe you should test the ecard on several monitors before fully implementing it. I can't help but think again that the idea has been hurried into.
  66. I do think Darrel has a point. You don't even have to be logged in to send an e-card. If you go to the community pages it is pointed out to you that there are probably more visitors to p.n online at any given time than registered members. Non registered visitors are requested to leave their own email address before sending an e-card but that could be made up.

    I wonder if anyone else agrees with Darrel.

    I do get the feeling that this is a cheap way of attracing people to P.N. and will attract the kind of attention that no one wants. Time will tell.
  67. hi David. There have been a few people expressing concerns in this thread.
    Much to his credit Brian quickly addressed them and has said he will make a
    change to the ecard as it currently is. however, I am suprised that more people
    aren't protesting. Although the addition of an ecard is not an enormous change
    it is still quite significant and I would have expected the masses to come storming
    the barricades. That they haven't suggests somewhat that Brian and others could
    be right in thinking it will prove a popular innovation. We should know within
    the next day or so whether a sh**storm of protest is brewing. I've gotta go
    to sleep now but hopefully David you will pick up the fight for me, and twist
    more concessions from the evil, all powerful Mr. Mottershead.<br>
    brian-this particular artist is not lingering in the gallery waiting to pounce
    on his critics. He's at home, comforted by the thought that if barbarians start
    writing all over the note left beside his work, the museum guard will intervene
    to stop them. He'd only be worried on hearing the guard simply gave them a bigger
    pen. Also you haven't really addressed concern 1 from my earlier post.
  68. I like it - I like sending e-cards and what better than to use my own! When you send the card, it does have your name and copyright, so I don't see the problem. I've had my images all over the Web and didn't give permission to most. However, I make sure I post only low-resolution images to try to limit anyone actually printing my pictures.
  69. Darrel Sincere thanks for kind words re my PN folio. The reality is I'm an average photographer and produce little beyond stock level of imagery. Much I have posted up here are snaps I've taken along the way. That may sound self-effacing but I do know quite a few real photographers across a number of genre. So I can't kid myself that I am not that which I'm not.

    It never ceases to amaze and amuse me how precious folk can be about their photography around here. This attitude greatly inhibits a primary function of this site, ie. a valid discussion over photography in general and the works offered for viewing within PN. The only places at PN I see honest (sometimes brutal) open discussion are the W/NW threads at the Leica and Street Documentary forums. That's one of the reasons I support this format for those forums. They generate vigorous debate between serious practitioners of the medium. That is supposed to occur right across the site but is stifled through folk being way too precious IMO.

    To control of quality issues, I haven't been working for the past year but you should see how poorly some of my former clients have treated my imagery.

    Quite a few of the pics at this site are my stuff. Once an image is realised into the public domain it takes on a new life. The imagery developes an identity all its own. As others interpret it for their own purposes and through their own eyes, the author of the image relinquishes a degree of control. That's part of the image making process. I would encourage others to let go their imagery and have it live.

  70. Sorry, that's Darrell of course.

  71. Laurie, in case that was a dig, as we English say: Dont take the P***
  72. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    Now I'm sure the following ideastream would only become manifest in the minds of the most minuscule and minor number of PN vistors:
    "Hey lookie there Butthead, what a great non-idea! I can send hundreds, no thousands, of links of my very fav PN pix ANONYMOUSLY to whomever I choose while appending all manner of juicy BS to them with total impunity. Oh Joy and Rapture!"
    Yeah...way to go Brian old buddy. This constitutes a significant change to this site, and a significant change to what I agreed when I first became a PhotoNet patron.
  73. Another one who would rather have the "right" to decide whether to have this option activated or not; and that the photographer is the only one who can choose to have this new facility implemented for their images.

    Brian, if you finally implement the "opt-out" facility, will this be applied only to the future uploads? What will happen to all the images we currently have in our portfolios?

    By the way, I fully agree with Ben S� comments.
  74. Brian, I think it's a great idea.

    Of course, you may have to set up a new category for cheesey ecard shots! ! !
  75. I often send links to my shots to my aquiantances, and I like a lot the idea of doing it in a nice way with a personal message through the eCard feature. Another great idea of Brian's: thanks!

    Should someone else use my photos, what the h**l, they can cut and paste a link anyhow, so I do not care. That's the internet after all.

    However, I would love the possibility of being able to send the LARGE version, though, and not the resized one.

    Could we arrange things such that if the "send as eCard" button were pushed while viewing the LARGE version, the eCard is generated with the LARGE version without resizing to the medium one? This I would really see as a great bonus.
  76. I seem to remember a post from you in a recent forum about someone running a website where most of the images (including one or more of yours) had been stolen from While I appreciate any half wit can steal images from the site, I feel Brian's most recent feature will make it possible for a complete wit to do the same.
  77. Brian,

    Images upto about 700 pixels 'larger' view display as the normal unsized image, I'm not entirely sure of the actual limit, but 512 pixels (511 to be exact) is the size for images in the forums. So, by resizing to these dimensions the e-card feature DOES indeed display our images differently - if this is indeed what it does.

    600 pixel example

    679 pixel example

    I like the idea though, I can send photos of my kids directly to my family with even more ease now.
  78. Walter, "Yeah...way to go Brian old buddy. This constitutes a significant change to this site, and a significant change to what I agreed when I first became a PhotoNet patron." I guess Brian should have cleared this new feature with you first, can't understand why he failed to do so.
  79. yes ben, you can send your pictures a whole lot easier this way. And so can absolutely anyone else who visits your page.
  80. I think that Brian's idea is essentially a good one and he has addressed photographers concerns by agreeing to an opt in/opt out feature; this appears to be about as close as one can get to satisfying everyone. How's that for middle of the road diplomacy? cb
  81. OK, I sent myself an ecard and now I see what you mean about the messages and the image quality. Darrell and the others have a point on both things.

    Why cant the image be displayed at the same size as they apear in the gallery photos, and not as an badly compressed JPEG? I do try to optimize my images for that size and you are throwing my whole work away...

    Secondly, I dont like at all that somebody can write comments to my pictures, and have those comments stored in the PN database, without me knowing it. If those comments are meant to be private, they should remain in the email and not linked to my images in the PN system. If PN is going to show them like that, the least I expect is that I am able to review them (but then, they would not be private of course)
  82. Whilst I can understand the concerns of others it has always been possible for people to send your pictures to others. I would guess that most people don't even send a link. They download them to their hardrives and send them as attachments. You can bet that most of the nudes on this site have been downloaded to hardrives and emailed thousands of times along with many of the other images complete with offensive comments.

    As photographers we have to be responsable for the images that we post. We have to accept that others will use the images for their own purposes and if we are that bothered then we should find other ways to share our images with others.
  83. The messages are stored only long enough for the recipients to read them, which is a few days.
  84. Good work, Brian
  85. Darrell M Patron, feb 16, 2006; 07:02 a.m. yes ben, you can send your pictures a whole lot easier this way. And so can absolutely anyone else who visits your page.

    More power to them, my photos are here so they can be viewed - otherwise what's the point?
  86. The opt-out is implemented. Subscribers can specify on a per-folder basis whether ecards are enabled or disabled for photos in that folder. The toggle is in the "Folder Options" for each folder. The default is enabled.
  87. Seeing as this forum seems to be whole heartedly(ish) embracing this new feature, I would like to say that Charles Becker's idea of having the ability to opt out is the best idea.
  88. Thank you, Brian, simple, works beautifully, appreciate the ability to easily keep some in the ecard pool, while cabining off those I'm uncomfortable with making available. This thread reminds me of sausages -- the end product tastes great, but stay out of the kitchen!
  89. Why was my post deleted then.
    No it wasn't rude or offensive but it didn't say "well done".
  90. I think this debate comes from the fact that photographers participating in this site have diverse goals.

    Many people are looking for a space where they can exhibit their photographs publicly and receive feedback, or at least visibility, from a wide audience. The audience delivered by to their portfolios includes other serious photographers, which is positive, but they recognize that the audience is, essentially, the wide public. These are probably the people who are monitoring the view counts on their photos carefully. This group may see as a simpler alternative to a personal portfolio web site, or perhaps they already have a personal web site and see their space here as a funnel for traffic to the personal web site, and as a way to gain more visibility for their work. For these folks the fact that has 180,000 visitors per day is one of its main attractions. I would expect that most people in this group would see the eCard feature as another way to attract viewers for their work, and would be in favor of it.

    Others see as a kind of Internet camera club, where the goal is to interact with other photographers and get feedback. For these people, exhibiting their work to "the public" is not a goal. Indeed it may be a negative feature. When they post here, they don't think of themselves as publishing the photos on the Internet. They are interested in receiving comments that will help them improve, and the support and encouragement from other photographers. This group likes the fact that describes itself as a "learning community for photographers". Those 180,000 people per day trampling around while the camera club is trying to hold its meeting, looking over the shoulders of the camera club members, gawking at the photos, maybe appropriating a few of them here or there for wallpaper or their blogs -- well, they are an annoyance or a distraction. This group are the people who tend to think that rating/commenting should be limited to subscribers, and probably wouldn't mind if were a subscriber-only site. I would expect this group to be at best indifferent to the eCard feature, and many of them won't like it because increased visibility for their work isn't a goal, and the eCards represent a loss of control of their work.

    I'd like to serve both groups. But if anybody is wondering how I think of the Gallery, and where I put the emphasis -- well, it isn't called the "Gallery" for no reason.
  91. Louis, when I deleted it, I sent you an email asking you to repost it in this thread. Check your email. The reason the thread was deleted that we already have this thread on the same topic.
  92. actually, the ability to opt out was not my idea at all; I was just reminding folks that due to some concerns, Brian had already agreed to this feature. With Brian's latest post, this should please both groups he mentioned that make up the users of this site. David-don't tell me we actually agree on something! :0)
  93. Thanks Brian, appreciate your summary, its a fair one. I might add, as I've learned sorting out my feelings in this discussion, that you can be in either camp depending on the photograph -- I've been wondering how to get wider distribution of the flower photos I've done for example and like this feature for them, as well as the chance to help the site attract more viewers with that work. Thanks again.
  94. In the other post you refer to, the issue was that the person lifted the photos and posted them on his site with no photographer's credit and no link back to PN or the photographer's community page. The photos were displayed as if they were his own work. That is a violation of copyright. While I understand the concerns with the e-card feature, it isn't a copyright violation. Only a link is sent with the card. The recipient must click the link which then takes them to the image on the PN site with the photographers name clearly posted under the image.

    I guess my point is that people were stealing images long before this feature. If someone's is inclined to do that, they don't need the e-card to accomplish the deed. For people who do portraits, nudes, etc., I can see where making it easier for people to send links to your images may not be as welcome. I do have a confession. On several occasions, I've sent links to your photos to my sister. She's a secret admirer of your work. She refers to you as the "Pepper Guy" (she's bad at remembering names)

    Brian's opt-out compromise will hopefully be the answer.
  95. Maybe I missed something. I didn't see Brian's comment about opting out. (It's late here and I need to sleep.) It was a suggestion made by someone else and I hope it is implemented. My point was that since there are more non registered visitors on this site than registered then a simple link to send ecards will put the images in direct hands of those that would not visit the site normally. This is why I feel it is a cheap attempt to attract more people to the site which I truly feel will attract people with no interest in photography. I do feel more photographs will be stolen because of this.

    Your sister has impeccable taste. Give her my regards and keep sending her my links.
  96. Brian, in thinking more about your summary, I assume you understand that you are representing to ends of a continuum, and that there are many people somewhere inbetween. For example, I do enjoy the learning community, obviously [or duh! as my daugher might say] but would not like ratings and comments limited to subscribers, and enjoy and recognize that I am "publishing on the Internet." But regardless of the wide distribution given to what I post, I value it most for the feedback I get, not for the sake of distributing it. I'm sure others can give you many different permutations on your descriptions as well.

    I raise the issue because I think its not an either/or, that uses of the site are quite varied and complicated, and that the diversity makes the place stronger. I support the big tent -- including those who come to look at photos because they like pictures, even for ecards -- their appreciation, and feedback possibly, of works here ca be valuable as well.

    I urge you to consider, to the extent you market this ecard idea, that you do so with a special attention to preserving the public perception of this as a place for serious photographers and those who appreciate serious photography. Its essential to retain quality photographers' participation I think (though we can all take this stuff too seriously, I think). Marketing the ecard option with that in mind might help to keep the cheese potential to at least the low-fat variety.
  97. I like the idea.

    But as soon as I saw the feature go in I knew there'd be a thread like this...

    BUT -- anyone posting their work online is aware of the risks or should be. If you're not willing to accept them, stop posting. This feature doesn't violate copyright, and in pointing the viewer back to my image, perhaps more ppl will see it -- which is why I post in the first place. (in order to get critique etc) I've learned a lot here in the last year, and it's been worth every penny of my subscription.

    Control is an illusion, and even more so once you let your creation loose on the internet. If you want total control, don't post. In the mean time, I'm going to enjoy the new feature! (and go take more pictures!)
  98. The only thing I would like to add is I hope Brian has taken precautions to prevent people from using the PN mail server for spamming.
  99. Laurie makes the point again, anyone can steal your image off PN at anytime & most other sites too. Why would Brian's new e-card pose a problem. It's nice that Brian wrote an "Opt out", but if you think that this will stop any individual from stealing an image & copying it & making a card or writing a nasty note on it, it won't.

    Ben- I agree about children. I post a lot of my own grandchildren, but I would never post any one else's child that I had not explained the situation to the parents & they fully understood. For that matter, I wouldn't post an image of any person without this explanation & signed release. I can undersstand your concern, but...... if you are concerned about something bad happening, you should not post them on PN & most other places on the net. There are some places on the net that don't allow you to copy the images.

    I have no problem with other's copying my stuff, as Kim stated, posting in low resolution, helps prohibit printing of any real quality.

    I personally have sent a few e-cards & I really like it! I'm always amazed at those that just can't navigate themselves to PN or any site for that matter. This helps them out. Thanks Brian!
  100. You know Jayme, I've tried to be as precise as I can and you and some others don't seem to get it. I am not concerned about posting on the internet and take the precautions I need to. I am concerned that images of people I know and care about, and which I post here, will become the butt of jokes or worse through the ecard procedure, and that possibly, even though the possibility is remote, that their feelings could be hurt. No release can take care of that. I'm not worried about protecting ME, I'm worried about protecting THEM.

    Its one thing for someone to lift the image from pnet without my permission, its quite another for pnet to make the procedure available so that someone can send a link to a photo, say of my own son, with a demeaning message, and with my name on it, implying my sponsorship, or at least permission, in such a procedure.

    If that doesn't concern you, well, I suggest you think about it a little more.

    Perhaps I just have my panties in a wad, as I've had an experience, as I describe above, with someone leaving an inappropriate comment on a photo of Jewish friend of mine. But as long as I can limit the possibility of misuse of my photos -- again, LIMIT that possibility --I will do what I can, knowing the risk of posting in a public site, albeit one that advertises itself as "a photography learning community" of "photography enthusiasts."

    As I have already stated, Brian's opt out works for me. To be blunt, you are beating a dead horse.
  101. I like Brian's division of the two types-very simplistic. In the same vein I will add that a cursory glance at the portfolios of those contributing to this thread reveals that, to some extent, those who have a vast majority of photos of landscapes, flowers, et al, are pro and those who have a majority of pictures with people, ie nudes, portraiture, are against. This may possibly arise because there is a genuine fear of abuse with text. It's difficult to be abusive about a rose (or that ugly fat lily) However, let's be clear here-any visitor can attach any comment to any photo. So, the Dallas women who shyly agreed to pose and have a photo put on a photographic website, could find herself winging around the inboxes of offices in New York and the art schools of moscow with a jokey comment attached to her image. The same fate could await the Polish kid with bad acne used in a poetic portrayal of teenage angst...and so on and so on. This I think is the basic fear of allowing ANYONE to add text to an image on pn.
    This problem is resolved almost completely by the changes Brian has made and I thank him for doing this so quickly. Answering all our worries with the right hand whilst re-writing a script with the left. Some talent you have, my friend. Guess you have to press your shutter with your toes. (that's not a comment on your photographic skills btw-which are fine and will be ecarded in abundance)

    Cathy-you say 'this feature doesn't violate copyright'. I'd agree with you and I don't think anyone suggested it did. What it does do is bring a different audience to PN. As i wrote earlier, my fear is that the new non-photographic participants are far less likely to share the concerns for copyright that the photographic community will. Brian will possibly agree with me here.
    Brian-a couple of issues. All is now cool in my garden and I can de-ecard my entire portfolio if I wish. However, you indicate this is not a courtesy you intend to extend to non-subscribing members of PN. It seems a shame. People WILL self-censor if not provided a choice. The non-subscribers obviously have some value to PN otherwise why have them. And would it really make much difference to the possible revenue streams from additional visitors if non-subscribers are given a choice? Bear in mind, your idea looks like it will be popular and therefore non-subscribers are just as likely to keep the facility as paying members. If you balance possible loss with possible gain in this equation it is evidently worth extending the largesse shown so far to everyone.

    The quality of the ecard is still really poor on some monitors. I checked this out with a few friends today and the result was about 50% fine 50% dreadful.

    My final concern is that this ecard has been implemented very quickly and without warning. As I say, all is cool in my garden but still the entire database of photos are currently displayed in a way the contributers did not expect when they uploaded their images. Now, that just ain't right. Some of these contributors won't give a damn, but a minority will be totally pissed off about it. I'm here today and can see what's going on but others might not be back for awhile and they have posted to one type of site but now are getting something very different. As a courtesy to them and also to give yourself time to iron out any flaws, could the ecard not be suspended for a week or two, publicised (a big banner on the home page should do it) and then re-launched?
    Sorry to bang on. I'm not going to say another word on the subject.....and the queen of spain is coming for lunch
  102. . . . "Since each of us naturally wants to control use of our own images"

    Please allow each user to enable or disable this feature. Some will like this feature, others won't. I personally do not like it, and wish I could turn it off. My two cents - Thanks,

  103. Darell, I'm glad you're fine with it now. The quality issue is unfortunately a trade-off between wanting to have a size that will display on the majority of monitors and not wanting to alter the image from what the photographer uploaded. I think making the image fit is even more important with ecards that with the regular photo pages. I can perhaps make the ecards a tad bigger so that the resizing happens less often. At present, on the photo page the "medium" view is sized to fit in 650 pixels of width and the height is allowed to fall where it might. The ecards use the medium view (or the large/original view if that already fell within the parameters) but the browser is directed via the HTML to fit the image within a 512 pixel square. The photos that are most likely to be impacted are the portrait format images that were longer than 650 pixels even in the medium view.

    Finally, on the point about changing the ground underneath where people were standing: That is always going to happen. The site is not going to remain the same as it was when someone became a member or became a subscriber, and nobody gets a veto on the evolution of the site just because they signed up or paid the $25.00, and uploaded some photos or posted something in a forum. The Terms of Use are full of disclaimers to this effect. Of course, anybody who is dissatisfied with changes can decamp (or not renew his suscription). So when/if we (r)evolve the site, we have to take that into consideration.
  104. Brian, with the considerable respect I have for you, I think you set up a "straw man" argument in your last message. I don't see where anyone tried to veto changes you deem need to happen. You came up with a new idea, you asked for feedback when you did it, which was very much appreciated, people gave it in good faith and more (as usual of course), and you took from it what you thought made sense.

    My point is, the product may well have improved as a result of this unique, sometimes messy, interactive process (don't ya wish Microsoft worked like this?), and the process showed that this strange beast called the "feedback forum" can work. Seems like a succesful thread to me. Thanks again.
  105. I was responding to Darrel's notion that any new feature which someone might deem a change to the terms under which he posted to the site should require an opt in. I don't agree to that, and the Terms of Use make it very clear that while anybody can offer feedback of changes (and indeed it may be solicited sometimes), participating in the site doesn't give anybody the right to an opt-in, veto, etc on new features or changes in the site.

    Indeed, just because we eventually provided an opt-out for subscribers on this one does not mean there will always be an opt-out either. Other than, of course, quitting the site, a possibility which the people operating the site will have to reckon with when planning changes.
  106. Thanks Brian for clarifying.

    Indeed, there are no guarantees, there may not always be a either. But surely, surely, we can have fun while there is.

    Whatever my own sentiments about it for me, I will always think of the ecard idea fondly because its genesis was in your sending a Valentine to your daughter. Perhaps you can name the card after her as the muse on this one; regardless, may we all be worthy of our childrens' love.

    Take care, thanks very much for dialoguing on this. I'm done, and the queen of spain is coming for dinner.
  107. I am happy that there is an opt out on this one. (Missed it last night...) I have two questions though:-

    1. Would it be possible to do it on a photograph by photograph basis and not a folder basis?

    2. If I do opt out, can I opt back in?
  108. Brian, thanks for changing this to an opt-in/opt-out feature. I appreciate that consideration.
  109. Not to have an auto response or anything here. I joined for the maturity content. The features were simple, to the point. I didn't join a photo greting card company. I don't nescessarily want my photos being E-carded to people. I sent my self one, so I know what they look like. It's not a thrilling Idea to me. I don't upload my photos so that people can ecard eachother with them.

    I think that if this feature is to stay, there should definately be an option when you upload a photo, to have or not to have it available for an e-card.

    At present, it's a horrible idea and I don't think it fits with what this site is about.
  110. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    Brian, I thank you for providing those who wish it a means of not having this new function enabled. I know you honestly thought that it would be a good idea and that people would warmly welcome it; it does have many merits. I know you did not expect the kind of reaction that you received from some of us...or, perhaps you did. Regardless, I am glad the opt-out now exists. As already mentioned above, why not extend it to everyone? Very few would use it and you would still have your increase in traffic.
    On another note, I mentioned that this was a significant change to the site and one that I did not agree to when I joined. Several years ago, during one of the darker moments here, I started a Feedback Forum thread in which I asked you for a refund. You yourself said that refunds are rarely allowed (understandable) but that in certain situations they could be allowed. You said that one such situation was if there was a siginficant change in how this site operated. I tried to find this thead but it does not seem to exist anymore.
    Sometime later, after the dust from that time settled, I reupped for three more years. Look, I don't want a refund. I don't want to quit the site (even though last summer you banned me from posting here). I just want to post photographs, study photographs, enjoy photographs, and learn and share knowledge with others. That is what this site was originally for.
    But I do not want to be treated like garbage either. The e-card has merits, I agree with that. A lot of people are going to use it; probably too many, as was also mentioned. You asked for feedback on this and that is what you got. Is it really that hard to have some consideration for what other people think? Regards.
  111. Hello Brian; are you taking the idea forward about showing which photos have been sent as ecards somewhere in each photogs work/detail space? (Probably not after everything i read above, but am curious :). thanks.
  112. J Hill, "At present, it's a horrible idea and I don't think it fits with what this site is about." Easy, don't do it and get on with your life.
  113. Walter, "You asked for feedback on this and that is what you got. Is it really that hard to have some consideration for what other people think?" You had this to say further up in the post. "Hey lookie there Butthead, what a great non-idea! I can send hundreds, no thousands, of links of my very fav PN pix ANONYMOUSLY to whomever I choose while appending all manner of juicy BS to them with total impunity. Oh Joy and Rapture!" You may want to go to the library and check out the book by Dale Carnegie "How to Win Friends and Influence People", it would help you turn around your current strategy of communication in a more positive way I think.
  114. Walter, I don't recall saying that refunds of subscriptions would be considered in the case where someone disagreed with changes to the site. If I said that, I shouldn't have, and I take it back.

    It is off-topic, but since it has come up: our refund policy on subscriptions is that we give refunds in the first 30 days no-questions-asked, unless the account has meanwhile been banned for misbehaviour. (I can't recall anybody ever being banned during the first 30 days of a subscription, so that case has not come up so far.)

    After the 30 days, our policy is that we only will give refunds in situations where if we didn't do a refund, there would be a credit card chargeback anyway. Since there is open-ended Trial/Guest period, and what we are selling are subscriptions, just about the only cases I can think of where the credit card company would do a chargeback would be where there was some problem with the processing, like the person paid twice, or the subscription didn't get registered.

    In the last year, during which a few thousand people paid for subscriptions, we've done about four refunds during the "no-questions -asked" 30 days, basically because people had buyer's remorse. We have had one credit card chargeback, and there is another one pending. Both of these were because of unauthorized use of the credit cards.

    No subscription-based web-site could operate on the basis of giving subscribers refunds whenever they were displeased with changes. You'd either end up freezing the site, or you'd always being doing refunds because no change pleases everybody.
  115. Reading that long thread of pro and against the ecard feature , I think it was good Brian, to add the opt-out possibility .
    I think that even PN is a public domain, and photos can be taken out without permission ( and I have found some of mine in other sites), I still think that it will augment the phenomenon.

    There are photographers that will use it or not , but I think that it has to be a free decision of each one if he wants his work to be part of it or not.
  116. Ben- I do see your point & I understand what you are saying. I just can't find a significant difference between Brian's new e-card & me right clicking on the address line of one of your images, copying it, then returning to my e-mail & in a "mass" mailing, pasteing your address into my mass mailing. The most significant difference I see is that Brian's ecard would be "prettier" than my email :)

    No one wants our images abused. Brian has come up with a satisfactory solution to the complaints. Really fast too!

    Ben- I didn't think you wore panties :)
  117. Maybe I missed it, but I don't see much discussion on including an automatic notification feature that lets the photographer know who sent an ecard of one of your images and to whom. It's always nice to know who likes what images in what venue. I suspect it would also greatly reduce the possibility of abuse. We already receive notification of request for email addresses. What do you think?
  118. I'll probably let photographers know which of their photos are being sent as eCards, and how many.

    But I'd have a problem with disclosing the email addresses that were used. I'd be afraid that someone would put up a portfolio of nice eCard-able photos in order to harvest email addresses, and generally disclosing the email addresses just seems open to a lot of abuse. Next thing that happens is I get email from someone who sent an ecard link to his mother, and then Mom got harassed by the photographer.

    If a photographer isn't comfortable with links to his photos being sent via the eCard feature without knowing who was sending and receiving the links, then I think it would be better if he just opts out.
  119. Carl, you are right, but do you mean a feature that will send you a copy of the ecard ,photo and text? or only notify you that one of your images was sent to a certain address for a certain event?( like birthday etc...).Aside from the Opt-out solution, it can be some other solution that will help reduce the problems people wrote and uploaded in the thread.
  120. When I first put my work on the web I was surprised and somewhat appalled by the number of people who were "borrowing" images. One search revealed that there were 9000+ pages relating to either hotlinking (mostly from or just plain stealing my images and these were only the ones that had some sort of credit or link and were therefore searchable. God only knows how many pages were out there that weren't traceable, probably just as well that I'll never know.

    I have to say that my attitude towards unauthorised web use, hotlinking etc. has softened over the years. These days I've more or less accepted that it's virtually impossible to control where the images appear and I now tend to look upon most instances as just free publicity. The only time I take direct action is if the images are used in a commercial context or if they are using too much of my bandwidth or if I don't like the way in which they are being used. I suppose that if we choose not to opt out of the eCard thingy we are allowing the use. It would be interesting to know how often our images are being used in this context and this information would perhaps help us to determine whether we want in or out.
  121. I feel like I'm sending a mixed message when I ask someone to pay art prices for photographic prints while allowing to promote their use for any purpose on the web, the latter being different from the more passive policy of not being vigilant about going after every innocent use that you're on record as discouraging.

    I think that at least knowing the amount of activity, and on which images, may be a reasonable compromise. Pnina, your idea of being able to see the text that accompanies an image, even without knowing the addresses of the sender or receiver, would be better still.
  122. Carl, there is a big difference between a 50KB 'ecard' which is sent to one recipient and available to that recipient for a few days on a web site, and a 8x10 or 11x14 signed and framed art print, as I'm sure you know.

    Out of curiosity, if wanted to license your photos for ecards, what would the royalty be per "ecard" sent? What would it be per photo for unlimited "ecard" usage? Bear in mind that with that model, it wouldn't be like the current implementation. In that model, the person would actually be sent the image attached to the email which they would be able to file in their mail folders along with the message, keep, and maybe print out on the ink-jet.

    You can opt out of course, but I would think that a photographer selling art prints would regard someone being sent an ecard of an image as a potential customer and look upon the feature as advertising. No charge for this advertising, Carl, since its you. :) But if you want a few million impressions of a nice leaderboard, we can talk. Cheers,
  123. I personally decided to opt out, and opt out completly by removing my portfolio. I need to take the time to consider all the personal pros and cons to this feature and my feelings associated with it and the overall site and its evolution. I was just getting ready to sign up as a subscriber, and am glad now that I was too busy to do it last week when I ready. Brian, obviously you are in the drivers seat here, but perhaps in the future you might create a forum for your new ideas and test them out there first. I am in that group that saw Photo.Net as a tool for learning, not for self promotion. There are numerous other ways for me to share my photographs with those I choose to view them. I would prefer, as a general rule, to NOT have a downloadable feature for photo's, similar to stock photography sites that disable Windows ability to pull the image off the site. I feel that each individual photographer here should have the ability to determine if a file is downloadable for each individual photo/file. I know that many people like to download photos and manipulate them as a way of demonstrating a certain PS feature or to suggest a different crop or other adjustment. I think that the submitting photographer should determine for themselves whether they want that feature or not. My "two cents" worth. Thanks
  124. Who said Ben wore panties? Seems a strange thing to say. Is there photographic proof? If so, could someone ecard it to me.
  125. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    please re-read what my first comment said. My Beavis and Butthead scenario was intended to draw attention to a potential area of abuse that the e-card system could be subject to.
    And as far as your ad hominem attack, I do not need yet another despondent soul who sees his glass as perpetually half empty to recommend Carnegie to me (actually, I prefer Sun-tzu myself). Perhaps you should police your own shortcommings before looking at those of others. My friend, Bailey would give you so much more mileage than I ever could, why don't you go have an argument with him? Regards.
  126. I just thought of another great use for ecards. I could send links of some ultra-graphic nudes to all those people I suspect are prudish and keep giving me 3/3's. Wonder if anyone else has thought of that. If not-they will soon. On the other hand, I might email nice photos of cats and tweety birds to all those pornographers masquerading as nude photographers-a sort of alternative critique. What do you think of the idea, Brian?
  127. Darrell, if we eliminated all the features that could possibly be abused, we might as well shut down the site because there wouldn't be any features left. Yes the same ecards that can be used to send a Valentine's day greeting to your mother can be also be used for less pure purposes. It's a communication medium; it can be used for any purpose whatsoever, good or bad. You can write your bank hold-up note on a Care Bears greeting card if you want.

    I suggest you stop exercising your imagination and stop thinking of all the bad things they might be used for. You've opted out of the ecards, so it isn't an issue for you any more. Moving from what-if to reality, I would dare say that the only nasty message that has actually been sent on an ecard so far is the one that you wrote and posted yesterday as an example of how ugly and vulgar some people can be. I'm not sure what you are proving, but it isn't anything about ecards.
  128. Whoops-my apologies. i thought you wrote that you'd 'appreciate any feedback on it that you care to offer' I wrote the last post to make you aware of another possible avenue of abuse just so, if you were inclined, you could add safety mechanisms. Anyway, thanks for responding to my initial concerns. You got a little tetchy and occasionally a little mighty along the way, but you also proved you can listen. i think the thread has proved valuble to all concerned. Big thanks to you.
  129. Walter, I have actually suggested to that very same lad that he read that very same book and I think he did because his postings have been much more civil and polite lately. It takes a village, you know, to improve things.
  130. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    "Pnina, your idea of being able to see the text that accompanies an image, even without knowing the addresses of the sender or receiver, would be better still."
    This is a joke, right?
  131. It will be good if we can choose to add this option or not. A simple click in our workspace (for example) saying ...
    " Do you wish to install the e-card option on your portfolio?"
    or only on the pictures we want when we download them. Same as : "request a critique", why not "allow for e-card"?

    Some of us will feel I think it's a great idea to share our work with others photographers, and that's why I gave my little fee to help. But I feel being manipulated that somebody decide to do this without asking me before!

    I am not angry, just disappointed.
  132. has the opt in/ opt out feature been enabled yet? just curious as I haven't been able to find it.
  133. "Pnina, your idea of being able to see the text that accompanies an image, even without knowing the addresses of the sender or receiver, would be better still."

    This is a joke, right?

    Not at all. I think a lot of people are still on the fence about this and may give it a trial run. How else will you know how your images are being used except by reading text?
  134. Carl, this feature facilitates and encourages people to email links to photos on to other people by putting that action into the "greeting card/eCard" frame. To frame it in that way, the ability to write a personal message has to be provided, because that is how people think of "cards".

    This feature replaces what people can already do for themselves, channeling the behaviour into a legal form, and trying to capture more of the benefit of it for the site and the photogapher than either would gain from illegal forms of the behaviour. When someone simply copies an image on the site and emails it as an attachment to someone, or grabs the image for a blog, the site and the photographer gain no benefit at all.

    Now, you are saying that in order to be comfortable with this as the photographer, you demand to know who is emailing whom about your image, and precisely what they are saying? No wonder Tony thought you were joking.

    I'm afraid you are going to have to decide what you think of this feature and whether to opt-out without that information, because that is not going to be provided. I haven't even looked at the specific senders+recipients+messages on the ecards myself. They are personal messages and they will remain personal.
  135. Brian, as a rough gauge of how successful this new feature has been, would you be willing to share with us the overall number of ecards sent so far?
  136. 850 ecards have been sent so far. 550 of those were photographers sending their own photos. 137 were members sending the photos of other members. 163 were unregistered visitors sending the cards, or they could have been members who weren't logged in at the time. 675 distinct photos from 505 distinct photographers were involved. The most any one photo was sent was eight times, and this was the horse photo on the front page from the current "Featured Portfolio".
    The only photo from the Nude category that was sent was the one Darrell created as an "example".
  137. Great stuff Brian, it's good to see that the worst fears of some have not been realised.
  138. v



    I have been skimming through the discussion and saw that very strong and polar-different opinions were expressed. I just want to share my opinion. I tend to feel that
    (a) e-card is a really nice feature (and ideas about it already roamed my head months ago, but I never voiced them somehow), so - Thank you, Brian!
    (b) I already know several people who are "my friends" who told me that they have downloaded my whole portfolio on their hard drives thus thinking they have expressed their love to my work. Now, that was done without asking me whether they may or can. And I was not happy about it, but, after all, I can't stop them, so why not let them.

    Now, I know that sending out an e-card can easily increase the number of "friends like these", but what I am trying to say is that, being a public domain, does not give more room for abuse and copyright infringement with the new feature.

    If one is really concerned with copyright issues, then maybe its time to start using electronic signatures and other (already developed) ways of signing your work.
    Bottom line: I think the feature is damn cool :)
  139. There's a little red 'NEW" icon after you click on the e-card link.

    But doncha' think that icon ought ot be seen *before* the link is clocked on?
  140. Are there any pros reading this who earn a significant part of their income shooting stock? I wonder what your views are on this feature?
  141. I'd still like to know if the opt out feature has been enabled yet as I don't see it anywhere and my previous question has not been answered.
  142. In the Folder Options, you can opt-out for that folder.
  143. aha! thanks Brian. cb
  144. I think this is one of those situations where you can please some people some of the time but not all the people all of the time.

    I for one think the card is a nice feature and intend on using it from time to time. As far as others using my images in an e-card, well this is a public Web site where the public has access to all 90 gazillion images.

    I read both sides of the argument and there are good points on both sides. In closing, I am sure if some wierd abusive situation comes out of this, Brian will react and take care of it as he has done in the past.
  145. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    Hey Carl, this thread is relatively deceased, but your question deserves some feedback. How about starting a new thread? I would like to know the consensus of the Pros also. Regards.
  146. I would like to have a possibility to block the ECARD function per photograph (or folder). Is there any plan fot that? Thanks jana
  147. Sorry, I have read the complete thread . I found the solution there - about disabling the EMAIL feature on the folder level. Thanks jana
  148. Read it all! Whew!

    John (Crosley)
  149. Dear Brian, I like very much this new opportunity. I used it some times. I have only a question. It is (now or in the future) previewed the possibility to have a list of the personal e-card sent? A list from my portfolio and eventually another list of the card sent using other's photos?

    Sorry for my poor english, I hope You anderstand my question. THANKS!
    Ghiga 2
  150. Ahemmm.... :) UNDERSTAND. (not anderstand), yeah. ciao!
  151. Thanks for adding the ecard, the only suggestion I have is to have a button so those who don't want someone to use it as an ecard have the option to turn it off for one or all of their photos. I personal like the option to send it to friends and family:) Thanks for adding ecards!
  152. You can turn this off on a per-folder basis.

Share This Page