November 11, 2011

Pickture This: On A Venture


It’s a Friday evening, and as most often is the case, I am at home, working on a post, carefully crafting the metaphors, similes, paradoxes and forming a good, balanced argument about the forthcoming topic.

“Sorry?” I imagine you are saying. “A balanced argument?”.

The truth is that I have just come out of an intense English lesson, so my mind is full of useless poetry and non-fiction analytical skills, for which I shall have very little use for later in life. My writing is ok, right?

Moving swiftly on from what I imagine my parents are going to talk and painstakingly lay out why poetry analysis is useful to me about after reading this, I would like to introduce a new topic on this hallowed blog (bit of an overkill there? Thought so).

I have decided to follow, advise (where advice is requested) and cover the ventures the many pupils do at my school. Before you click away from this, please note this. The kids at my school are a bunch of “interesting ones”. May I present you with Henry Dyer, who calls himself speshul. He, as well as many others, like to make stuff: I make articles, others build CNC machines and Henry makes the Crystal Palace exchange and the school servers overheat with the constant OnLive streaming. See, technically we are all speshul. To define “ventures”, I am going to say it is anything that any pupil or member of staff makes and invests effort into, like the aforementioned CNC machine or the following, all with close collaboration and permission.
So, without further ado, May I present Alex Forey. An aspiring web developer (I think), amongst other things. Together with multiple other projects, which I shall hopefully also cover here, is a website called Pickture.me (slightly egocentric, I know!). Now, before you start forming a negative image in your mind about this site, there are some things one should be aware of, mentioned later.

Pickture.me is a “Self proclaimed Indie Photo Upload Website” (some quality copy & paste there on my half). What does this exactly mean? To be honest, I am not quite sure, and I think neither is he! It’s a photo upload site that calls itself indie, right Alex? One is now thinking that this is just like every other photo upload site out there, but there is a twist, otherwise why would I cover it? I have high standards! Alex explained to me in detail that sites like Flickr, Facebook, yFrog, etc. all have some little line of text in their Terms and Conditions that many users oversee (when I say oversee, I mean cannot be bothered to look at those damn T&Cs). Namely, that the company holds the copyright on your photos. For the average person, that would mean that if they wanted their own photo to be used in a magazine, lets say, they have to ask the permission of any sites that photo has been uploaded to. Get it? Pickture.me gives the uploader all the copyright rights, allowing you to do whatever you want with them! I have even talked to him about adding Creative Commons support so users can show what rights they relinquish, for example, look at the footer of this page.

The site is still in development, even though you can sign up for it today. The current live design is not exactly aesthetically pleasing, but the upcoming one, to which I have been given a special developer preview of, looks much, much better. Considering it has been in development for only a short time and marked up/coded in its entirety by one person, who happens to be about my age, I can say it is pretty impressive!

Again on the looks topic, it is not exactly obvious when you first glance at the site what exactly sets it apart. The “Self proclaimed Indie Photo Upload Website” tag may seem a bit deterring, but have no fear, its legitimate! The special features that set it apart are hidden within the small text and privacy policy

There are, and will be inevitably, some bugs and some things that need user input and recommendations to improve the site. A few I have found are to do with the uploading process, that it will require you to use tags even if you do not want to. There is also currently no private option, no especially easy way to see others photos and no social integration, although all this plus an app for twitter, Facebook and iPhone are coming soon!

In total, the site has a promising portfolio of features and the developer is a nice person, who is dedicated to improving the site and making it great! It’s a nice start, but it needs work, and a very good way to inspire work is to support him. So, sign up to his facebook page and register an account on pickture.me. You never know, it might become the next Flickr, and I got the first exclusive review of it (for the time being)! I shall be following his other ventures with great intent…