Creativity

Social Selling, the Problem with Foap.

About a year ago I downloaded and installed Foap on my iPhone. I liked the idea of selling my photos to a stock service with little effort. Like many apps, I tried it, put it back on the shelf and stopped using it until I saw a couple of weeks back that Foap had snagged another round of funding and was expanding the service globally. So after seeing the news about funding, I opened Foap to see if things had changed with the app,, and the service.

I’ve been using Foap for the last two weeks and have uploaded 50 or so photos to the service. If you are unfamiliar with the way Foap works it’s pretty simple. You upload a photo, then you rate 5 photos on the service and your photo gets placed in line to be voted on. All photos go through a Foap user review process. You get enough votes, your photo goes live and is up for sale. The higher the rating, the better your chances, thanks to ranking and exposure.

Here’s the rub though. Because everyone is voting, and wants their photo to be ranked high, people tend to give everyone a 3 stars or higher rating. Even if the photo is completely awful. Consequently, a large portion of the Foap catalog is for lack of a better term useless. Now before anyone starts typing up a flaming hate comment, I am not slamming all the photos on Foap. There are a ton of absolutely amazing images out there. The problem is using a peer based ranking system, in an environment where everyone wants to be popular and sell there images.

The lack of objective curation of the app effectively neutralizes all of the content housed on the Foap servers. As a person that purchases stock photography on a regular basis I have browsed thousands and thousands of image on Veer, Getty, iStock etc. The images that are on those sites, have been curated and edited by professionals that know what is going to sell, and what is going to make their catalog superior to the competition. Foap might be a peer driven social network of stock imagery, but in the end Foap and it’s users are competing with every stock library in the world. Because of that, I think Foap needs to have some level of professional curation and editing. Why? Because its all about quality.

All of the images below are within 1 point of each other in ranking. They all average about a 3.8 of the Foap scale of what is good. I know the subject matter is different across the images that are shown, but you have to admit the quality of some photos is much greater than others with the same ranking. And this is why Foap needs some form of editing, or enforceable guidlines for how a photo gets rated.

Just to let you know, I am no a disgruntled Foap user. I’ve been lucky enough to sell 2 images out of the 700,000 that Foap has in it’s ever growing catalog, and I actually think that Foap could work. It’s a great idea, but it needs some form of policing if it wants to be successful long term.

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61 Solutions “Mischief” for Digital Artist Everywhere.

I am always on the look out for digital painting and sketching tools to add to my arsenal. 61 Solutions launched Mischief last month which is a vector based painting and drawing application that looks pretty slick.

Using both pixel-based brushes and the scalability of vectors, Mischief give you infinite zoom, and scalability, without loss of detail. This combined infinite canvas size makes this a pretty powerful tool for digital artist. With a cost of $129.00 it hits a sweet spot giving you big features while not breaking the bank. You can try it for free for 15 days before you have to commit to buying which is an added plus for those on a budget. Below is a list of some key features of Mischief.

Mischief Features:

Infinite Definition

Mischief uses a revolutionary new stroke representation. Get the richness of pixel-based brushes AND the scalability of vectors. Zoom in to any size and get a PERFECT edge. Export at ANY size and resolution.

Infinite Canvas

Mischief has a truly infinite canvas. Your artwork can grow organically without constraints. There is no need to preset paper sizes or resolutions or to resize the canvas during drawing.

Unprecedented Zoom

Mischief handles a zoom range of 50 trillion to one. Create artwork with extraordinary levels of detail or draw a story, within a story, within a story … the possibilities are endless.

Highly Responsive

Mischief exploits the massive parallelism of today‘s GPUs. Get unprecedented performance even for very complex artwork. Scale, pan, and rotate in real-time without compromising quality.

Small File Sizes

Mischief files are smaller than comparable Photoshop and Illustrator files. Sharing high resolution artwork has never been so painless.

No Manual Required

Get started instantly; just pick up your stylus and draw. Pen and paper styles, tool selection, layers, and all the essentials are right at your finger tips. No complex menus or hidden features.

Career Choices, and Work Experiences.

Not everyone finds a job, or career, that they truly love doing. Something they are passionate about. Something that allows them to be creative, and passionate about what they get to do everyday. If you do, count your blessings and be happy. I’m one of the fortunate ones. I love my career.  I get to make something new and exciting every single day.

“Your relationship with work is largely determined by your past. Think back to every job you’ve ever had. Every hobby. Every time you were excited about something you had created. Everything points you somewhere.

By looking back at our relationship with work, we can make much more confident decisions about our future.”

Music: Mahalo by Ratatat
Instructors: Dennis Crowe and Michael Vanderbyl