Thursday, February 09, 2006

How easy is sharing?

I spotted this post on the editors' blog in Modesto the other day, and it raised an obvious question: how hard/easy would it be for others to do this?
The traffic accident picture above appeared in The Modesto Bee in recent weeks, and it has a distinctive trait. It was taken not by a Bee staff photographer but by a member of the public. Someone happened onto the scene of an accident and, using a digital camera, took pictures. This is a solid news photo, and we were pleased to be able to offer it to our readers.
Since they obviously have the technical capacity to receive and use reader submissions like this, does that mean everybody can (or easily could) do the same?

I know some of you already do things like this -- the nightclub photos at ADN's "Play" site come to mind, and I know I have seen lots of reader photos on Heraldonline in Rock Hill. What I'm really asking is how much of this capacity/capability can be easily shared? What kinds of sharing (of tools, not content) do we do now?

10 comments:

  1. I'd also like to know what the process of verification is. I know I've proposed something similar to this to be used here in Fresno, but was shot down because of trying to verify everything that came through.

    What's everyone do for that out there?

    ReplyDelete
  2. We've created a simple interface to let users submit photos. We're using it now to take readers' weather photos, which we publish in the paper and on the site. The same code will be used in a broader sense once we work out some photo copy flow roadblocks.

    Photo Submission Form

    As far as verification, we ask for contact info so that we can at least get in touch with the reader and ask any questions we need to. But, in one sense, I'd suggest we all think of these kind of submissions the same way we think of quotes we get from sources. We consider the source and the nature of the quote and adjust the intensity of verification accordingly. It isn't perfect, but it's something we should at least be familiar with.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The photos we've received from the public are typical walk-ins, just like the occasional walk-ins we'd receive during the film era. Some of the people come to the building, others call or e-mail. We talk with them, ask them to describe the images and how they received them, then ask them to sign a standard agreement.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The photos we've received from the public are typical walk-ins, just like the occasional walk-ins we'd receive during the film era. Some of the people come to the building, others call or e-mail. We talk with them, ask them to describe the images and how they received them, then ask them to sign a standard agreement.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The photos we've received from the public are typical walk-ins, just like the occasional walk-ins we'd receive during the film era. Some of the people come to the building, others call or e-mail. We talk with them, ask them to describe the images and how they received them, then ask them to sign a standard agreement.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The photos we've received from the public are typical walk-ins, just like the occasional walk-ins we'd receive during the film era. Some of the people come to the building, others call or e-mail. We talk with them, ask them to describe the images and how they received them, then ask them to sign a standard agreement.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Two quick points after watching this discussion the past few days. One is that best sharing topic we've found recently are weather photos, which run every few days at the bottom of our weather page. We get so many that there's always a good selection and they add a dimension that has become very special.

    A second, somewhat off-point comment, has to do with editor blogs and the importance of attaching them to ongoing news stories. This week, as the cartoon dispute has played out, we've been running a blogs that gotten very strong response and some of the best, most thoughtful and also emotional discussion we could have hoped for. Here's the link:
    http://www.startribune.com/blogs/editors/?p=19

    Anders

    ReplyDelete
  8. Late last year sacbee built a photo-submission tool to help the Features department field entries for a travel photo contest.

    It took in 4,000 contest photos and became our entry tool for all public photos. Its ability to build slide shows has made it the time-saving tool of choice for quick building of staff galleries too.

    Outside of that contest, in three months it has taken in about 2,000 photos. The user photos did about 200K pageviews last month (driven largely by 50 user photos of winter storm damage). Bee photos did 350K.

    Users love to send in pet photos -- 273 so far.

    It was built by techies Martyn Adair and Eric Parker, taking the no-cost, public-support LAMP approach (Linux, Apache, MySQL and Perl).

    It's portable, and you're welcome to it. Running it at your place would require a degree of tech staffing. There are other possibilities, if anyone is interested.

    It's integrated with InSite, so only registered users are allowed to post, which is a degree of user verification. That's also got a sneaky, business motivation, so I'll twirl my cape up over my face and slink away now.

    See the pet gallery here: http://data.sacbee.com/photography/view/pets

    See the submission tool here: http://data.sacbee.com/photography/upload/pets

    See the galleries collection page here: http://data.sacbee.com/photography

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ralph, do you publish a blanket disclaimer with the photo submissions, i.e. all photos become property of the Sacramento Bee etc.

    Anders, the blog tip (linking to the story) is helpful. I notice the fields require people to offer their namem, I wonder if the software rejects posts without names and how you know if the name is real.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Melanie:

    At the point of clicking the button to submit your photo, there's this, worked out with Legal:

    Terms and Conditions

    All images submitted become the property of The Sacramento Bee. You are authorizing unrestricted use of this image by The Sacramento Bee without any compensation to you. By clicking the "I agree" box below, you agree to these terms and that you are the photographer or have the photographer's permission to submit the image. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information.

    I agree to the above Terms and Conditions. (CHECKBOX)

    ReplyDelete

 
/*