Bird, wildlife, and landscape photography by Jon Rista
500px is a GREAT site! (And 500px WP Widgets?)
Hello readers. Sorry I haven’t written anything in the last week. That rental 300mm lens came with its own cost. To be reimbursed the rental fee, I am on the hook to write some blogs for photo.blogoverflow.com, the companion blog to photo.stackexchange.com (a photography forum I moderate). I’ve been trying to make the blog entries there top-notch, as StackExchange was kind enough to reimburse the full weeks rental cost for the 300mm lens and 2x TC. That hasn’t left much time for my own blog.
I am still here, and will be publishing some more blogs soon. In the mean time…I’ve been trying to find some 500px widgets that will work with wordpress.com blogs. There seem to be a few that will work with custom installations of WordPress (such as photo.blogoverflow.com mentioned above, which is itself a custom wordpress installation). I was really hoping to find a 500px sidebar widget to replace my current flickr one. I’ve never really been a fan of flickr. I think way back in the day, they were hip and new…today, whenever I post something that gets any recognition, I get swarmed by the rather frustrating and overbearing flicker “groups” community, which requires a lot of effort to actually get any recognition, a lot of posting of official group rewards and badges, etc. I don’t find it to be a very realistic system, and it often rewards mediocrity because of all the “required dues”, rather than really helping quality work stand out. Its one thing to recognize the potential of a new photographer…its another thing to reward work that needs improvement…I think in that respect Flickr does a disservice to fledgling photographers who need honest critique to help them improve their work.
I started out on DeviantArt.com many years ago (primarily as a source for windows desktop customization, and only more recently to host my photography). However DeviantArt, while a great online resource for artists in general, is not really the best place to host photography and really get some recognition. If you were well-established many years ago at DeviantArt, then its a breeze…everyone already knows you, you probably have a thousands of followers, new submissions rocket their way to the front popular page, and everything is great. Its like one of those hyperfunded 401k accounts that let you take out a 400 thousand dollar loan and buy a house without a bank…a self-sustaining machine. If you try to break into that community these days, you have to literally compete with millions for attention. DeviantArt’s algorithms for selecting popular art are primarily based on the number of views and likes…so if you don’t get many to start, you’ll never get many.
I’ve found that 500px.com is a great site for newer photographers to get some recognition. Their popularity algorithm is more acceleration based than volume based. The rate at which you get likes and favorites after uploading is what helps accelerate you onto the upcoming and popular sections. It also encourages a useful “give and take” community attitude. People really reciprocate there. If you actually view their works and offer your kind comments, a vote (‘like’) and favorite the ones you love, those same people will visit your portfolio and reciprocate every time. Once you get rolling, your “Pulse”, the measure that determines how near the “front” page of 500px Popular and Upcoming you’ll be, starts pumping. More views in a given time period help move you up the ranks, from fresh to upcoming and finally to popular. Once your up there, then things just start rolling…you get random views from those browsing the popular category, gain a few new followers, and start reciprocating yourself. Overall, I think its a really great community. Simple, strait forward, friendly, and balanced. You don’t have to be an eons-old member with a thousand friends to get recognition…give, and you’ll get. A community of sharing.
So, as you’ve probably guessed by now…I’ve made 500px.com the primary outlet for my photography online. I’ve also filled up my allotment of Flickr photos on a free account, and I don’t really care to pay them for the ability to upload unlimited photos. It would be great to have a little photo roll on my blog, showing my recent uploads. I always intend to write blogs about my endeavors, but blogs take time…where as uploading a photo takes moments. So! If you know of any handy 500px widgets that work on wordpress.com, I’d LOVE to hear about them! 🙂 Thanks!