The developing technology around online publishing is continuing to evolve, even as we speak as innovators and application developers begin to make good on their ideas into the real world.
Things like Ghost, which is going to hit our shelves in the very near future, are taking a good hard look at not only the future of publishing but also what the history shows us to be both good and bad about digital publication.
As a result, we like to cover all types of publishing systems, methodologies, and apps – not all of them are good and most are downright dreadful, but I’m always open to giving them a shot.
This one captured my attention for much longer than a few minutes because it strictly focused on the photographic journalism. I documented my walkthrough of the application for your viewing pleasure!
Fotopedia bills itself as being a service that showcases “images for humanity.” I’m not exactly sure what that means but that’s ok. It was hard to find exactly what their angle and approach was but some digging eventually revealed itself:
Fotopedia is breathing new life into photos by building a photo encyclopedia that lets photographers and photo enthusiasts collaborate and enrich images to be useful for the whole world wide web.
Ah, a photographic encyclopedia? Ok. Here’s what they are trying to do:
- Create an encyclopedia for humanity.
- Create the largest photo distribution network, which will provide an effective avenue for photographers to promote their premium content.
- Create a consumer-friendly interface that makes it easy for anyone to create a page about subjects that matter to them.
So I decided to check it out, first on the iPad app:
This is my entry point – very visual and visceral, just as images should be.
Exploring more I found some articles and began checking out the overall experience. At first, I really liked what I saw.
Walking through the images was natural and easy. I enjoyed the very crisp and quality photos – the presentation layer was nice and uncluttered.
Ok, time to become a “Reporter” myself. I began the process of signing up – the reason? I wanted to rate one of the images:
Walking through the sign-up process was simple. I was quickly back to where I began after verifying my account.
They have natural sharing options and even a news feed of not only the things that I do but “achievements.” Those elements always seem to work.
Time to get my own story drafted and published.
Photos were too small to begin with so I had to revert to much larger images.
You can even add relevant links to Wikipedia articles and such.
Or even geographic locations of where you took the images.
I added 2 more images (for a total of 3) and was ready to get my test started but I ran into a snag as I was required to have at least 6 photos in my entry as well as have a title for each – bummer.
I understand the need because they are trying to create a photographic encyclopedia, but this hampered my interest in publishing to the system because I simply wanted to publish, not necessarily engage or contribute to a much larger body of collected works.
Perhaps this is the most significant difference and which may create a lot of buzz or prove to be the network and application’s downfall – can you actually build a photographic library and require all these hoops to jump through to contribute? It’s not like Wikipedia where the community regulates quality – here, the application does that instead.
This technological point of curation versus community-lead curation is interesting to me.
I jumped onto the web layer and experience for a bit but then abandoned the publishing experience altogether. I most likely will never return.
That’s my initial experience with Fotopedia – will you take a stab at it?