Writing a blog I think I need… want… interesting images. When I first started (2009 blogging), and talked to some of the better known bloggers for advice, Hamlet for one – so you can blame him to some little extent for me, they advised that each article have an image or two. So, I’ve done that… most of the time.
I find that if I am reading a blog and it has no image with an article I am much less interested. So, from advice and personal experience I include images.
I used to spend time creating images for the blog that were article specific.
I would take images at user group meetings for articles covering the meeting. Those started to get rather repetitive as there is little if any change week to week.
I have been taking video at meetings. For the Bento meetings I’ve been putting the video up. I think video shows how Bento has developed and what people were creating. Lately RL has kept me away from the Bento meetings. 🙁
But, finding regions and getting images that relate to current news becomes time consuming. Faster and easier is better leaving more time for research and writing.
I used to create images to illustrate and support the subject of the article. Occasionally I still will, just not often. For some abstract subjects, like scripting, that got to be tedious and way time consuming. I save that effort, these days, mostly for my tutorials.
It seemed to be taking longer and longer to come up with good images. It was turning into tedious work. SL is supposed to be fun. I needed a faster way to come up with images. Flickr was the answer for me. I’ve tried others. Flickr is just more comfortable for me. I like their search.
But, then there was still the problem of getting good quality images that depict Second Life™ well. I no longer like what I call 2008 quality images of SL. In 2008 I was taking images with my Nvidia 8800 video card and there was no ALM. SL rendering and image quality has greatly improved since I joined SL, 2008. The old images are icky flat.
In 2010 I started to use more Flickr images. But, finding good images on Flickr is also challenging. There are tons of old images and images made by low powered computers. Stuff that looks t00 2008’ish. So, while I’m interested in very few of those I want something better. Searching provides no way to filter out the images I don’t care for. I needed a way to find good artists and follow them.
I started out looking at the images provided by The Pornstars® as The Sexiest Photos of the Day. I don’t find them all that sexy but, there are artists in the line up doing some awesome high quality images. I started collecting the ones I liked. The problem with these is a large percentage are NSFW and unusable for my blog. Because of the advertising agreement, no porn. Also, I tend toward avoiding nudity, unless it artistic.
Corsario Lionheart has way classy stuff I love. It verges on nude and what I consider borderline NSFW. See: Odalisque, Psylocke, and Sekhmet. She has ‘Sharing’ turned off so using her work in the blog requires I step out of my fast paced workflow to stay in compliance with Flickr ToS. In general I just don’t use images that require that extra time.
I tend to be watching for new ways to find the good artists. I have a few ways now. There are Flickr groups. But, some of the groups with good looking images haven’t had an addition in years. A few are active. For instance, Stunning Second Life Images, Second Life 600+, Second Life is looking good, and others.
But, for the 600+ they are looking for 600 views and 10 favs. But, I want to find those with lots of favs. The ones people like. 99+ favs are generally great images.
If you don’t know, there is a whole game thing on getting views. So, I tend to discount the views count. Fav’s are more difficult to fake. A number of images have the Fav count shown as 99+ in my browsing. I have yet to find a way to search for just those images and artists/photographers.
The closest one can get is to search and then change from ‘Relevant’ to ‘Interesting’, which includes a factor using Fav’s.
But, I have stumbled on a way to find higher quality art. It is sort of one of those “DUH!” things for me. I now look at the Favorites of the artists I like. I find people like Marcy Tomsen who has 3.9k Followers and almost every image gets 99+ Fav’s. I love almost all the images in her favorites. From there I expand may collection of artists I like.
I can then search in her Photostream and switch the results of that search to ‘Interesting’ to find her most popular images, 5,142 views, 255 faves, 72 comments. Today that image is:
Getting 255 faves is impressive. Many images have tens of thousands of views and way fewer fav’s.
So, when you find an artist you like, check out who they have fav’d.