We are really excited about our new co-branded contest functionality and our partnership with Gary Fong to power his Lightsphere photo contest. Gary is trying to find the best images produced using a Lightsphere (his best selling collection of flash diffusers) and we are managing the contest for him from start to finish including image submission, voting and assignment of awards. The contest will work just like any of our weekly contests except that submissions will have to come through a custom submission page and can be in any category on Pixoto.
When Gary suggested that we run a photo contest for him I immediately knew that he was on to something big. Photo contests are an amazing way for brands to connect with their customers and create engagement, but they are also immensely time consuming to manage. Our ImageDuel™ system solves all of that by turning image selection over to the community in a way that can’t be gamed.
If all goes well with Gary’s contest we hope to host many more for a variety of companies.
While we know that this contest won’t be relevant to many of our members, if you happen to have a lightsphere you should check it out. You never know, $1000 could be yours.
Learn more at http://www.pixoto.com/contest-gary-fong-lightsphere
Since the beginning of time (well of Pixoto anyway) we’ve known the best way to handle the transitions in ImageDuel was to preload the next set of images while you were deciding on the first. This would dramatically speed up the duel process and create a far better user experience. Unfortunately it also turned out to be really, really hard. Now Scott (our CTO) is, quite simply, one of the best programmers on the planet and if anybody could make it work – he could. We know it sounds simple – but given all sorts of challenges like session data, race conditions and an iterating algorithm – it really isn’t. But he has persisted and after months of putting up with the dreaded spinning wheel:
ImageDuel Preloading is LIVE!
We hope you enjoy the new ImageDuel just that much more – and we congratulate Scott on a job well done.
Keep in mind if you choose images too fast you’ll still see the wheel – so pace yourself and really critique the images in front of you.
Due to the amazing number of images being submitted to Pixoto we have increased the image limits for cash prizes in this weeks, and future, contests. Details can be found at www.pixoto.com/contest
Of course the answer to the above is “YES” — in so many ways! Pixoto helps you by enhancing skills, understanding how your photography is viewed, offering validation for prospective clients, enhancing self-confidence, exposing your work to more people, etc. etc. But how about enhancing your Google credibility?
We just did a study: We took 333 Players who had won at least 1 award on Pixoto and ran a Google search for their names. We then recorded the placement of their Pixoto profile page in the search results. What we found surprised us — especially since we haven’t even started to focus on SEO yet:
51% of the time the Player’s profile appeared in the top 5 results. 20% of the time it was the #1 result!
Prospective clients will usually Google you before hiring you. And when they do, Pixoto provides you with a nice place for them to land. A place where your work has been evaluated by your peers and deemed worthy.
Don’t take our word for it. Go Google yourself!
We just completed a new release of Pixoto with the following enhancements:
- Facebook/Twitter awards autoshare: From now on we will automatically post an award notification to your Facebook wall or Twitter feed if your Player settings are set to do this. The post will simply say: “My images just won [Number of Awards] ‘best of’ awards on Pixoto.com!” and will link to your profile (or your image in the case that you have only won one award). We believe this feature is great for our Players because it helps expose more people to your photography and increases your credibility – and good for us because it exposes more people to Pixoto. A true win-win. You can set this feature on and off on your player settings page.
- Forgot your password? You can have your password reset now. Also – if you try to log in with email when you previously signed up with Facebook we’ll let you know. This is the kind of basic usability we are focusing on as we move closer to version 1.0
- Some ImageDuel enhancements that are necessary to do pre-loading of images.
- Other bugs and stuff
Let us know if you experience any issues and, as always, keep the feedback coming.
We’ve gotten some pretty consistent feedback from our users that they don’t like the “It’s a tie” button in ImageDuel. They have also told us that they want the ability to skip image pairs that they don’t feel qualified, or interested, in voting on. Unfortunately we also came to the realization that people were actually using the former to accomplish the latter and this wasn’t good for the consistency of our ratings.
So as of now you can’t choose “It’s a tie” but you can refuse to vote on the images by pressing skip.
This will also help alleviate the problem where two images of inferior quality were paired together. Previously you’d have to vote tie or choose a winner and that will increase the ImageScore of one or both of the images. Now, if you choose skip, the chances are in the next pairing it will be a different set of image and there will be a clear winner. So for now go ahead and skip image pairs where both are of inferior quality (or where you can’t decide).
We’re interested in your feedback so feel free to comment below.
We probably should have done this sooner, but better late than never. We’ll post updates here about the lastest goings on at Pixoto. We hope to also include content from our members in the near future.