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Inside STRKNG

08/2015


Hello everybody,
I have developed the website http://STRKNG.com together with my company norm-4.

As I often explain the project, I would like to collect everything worth knowing about STRKNG once concentrated.

Have fun reading! There are probably too many words ...: /

Creation / idea

The idea for the site came to me after a few years of personal experience photo-publishing on various photo portals. Some things I found there good, but many not.

STRKNG is an attempt to generate and establish a useful photo site (for my consideration).
The common practice on many pages, only commenting to images to find attention for themselves and possibly build a superficial buddy network - I don’t like and find awful. In addition I have neither time nor inclination to do so. If like something I just want to like it. If I adore something, then I write probably to the maker, without demanding anything in return subliminally.

Common practice: „Hey You, nice Photos! Perhaps you would visit my profile to see my work. You may also like my Facebook Page “, „V+F“, „ hi, please can you rate my photos “, "HI. Invite you...this is my website: .... . It will be a pleasure to welcome you....direct link to the page is on my profile" ....

What also bothers me is the extreme flood of images, which one is daily unfiltered exposed to. Yes, I admit, also by me ....
When I have time to browse pictures, then I do not want to dig through tons of scrap. I want to quickly get to the point. I want to find and see the best.

Flickr flooded the system by the mobile synchronization with millions of Selfies to get food for the Print Service and left the focus to photography.
Facebook filters away much scrap by a reasonably smart algorithm at least - unless you have cleaned or muted your "friends" good.
With Instagram apparently not, I just go there to put some new images quickly once in a while then I run away quickly.
The publishing of own work on the Web is a huge time-waster. For me services like Twitter or Instagram are hair-raising, because you have to fueling it permanently to be heard.

A place seemed tempting, where you can introduce yourself short and concise, where the visitor are free to pursue further links. If the page was also able to take away some publication work on Twitter or other sites, even better.

Thus, the basic functions were found to a new photo site:

  • anonymous awards
  • no comment function
  • clever ranking system
  • very limited upload, only concentrated portfolios
  • structured catalog
  • publishing automation


Vision


That would be very nice to have a site one day, where you can quickly find and enjoy the finest portraits from Japan, the most popular models from Berlin or North Rhine-Westphalia, great conceptual photos from South America, Fashion Photos from Asia, Master of alternative process, the fine street photographs from Europe, and so on, and so on.
A global collection of pictures, photographers and models – ordered by topics and relevance.

In order to implement a relevant sorting and get rid of flattering manipulation, PageRank algorithm was included (simililar like used in Google):
You can assign a limited number of valuable stars. If there are no more stars left and any image, photographer or model appears better then your selection, you can deduct a star at a weak position.
Portfolios with many stars, gets more weight (relevance), when they award a star.

It has been found that the method works very well so far. Quality can emerge reliably through the process, especially when there are many participating members.

A so filled site has an enormous potential.
It is very helpful for service research and little established good artists and new faces have a better chance to be seen quickly by the world.
Of course as a site operator you can also make many beautiful things, eg participation in a (Photography / Art) exhibition on a particular subject.

Implementation


More important than the current technology (bootstrap, responsive, Ajax, PHP, mySQL, OWL Carousel, SEO) is the editorial concept.

To offer users a long-term pleasure with the page, quality is more important than quantity. The best images and portfolios sort upwards.

A problem while building such a "pyramid" is, that good images and portfolios which come later are easily overlooked - especially when the mass increases.

To work against the problem of invisibility of new good images and portfolios, the following techniques have been established:


Current status


Currently (08/2015), 11 months after the launch we have gathered 3,740 images from 450 photographers and 50 models from all over the world. I am very pleased to see the high quality of work mostly coming in.

Thank you for the great support by displaying your work and your portfolios!

A special thanks also to the dear incubators who have supported me from the very beginning, when the thing was still empty!

  • 201 Germany
  • 32 Italy
  • 22 France
  • 20 Vietnam
  • 19 Poland
  • 18 United Kingdom
  • 14 Spain
  • 13 U.S.A.
  • 12 Taiwan
  • 11 Greece
  • 9 Netherlands
  • 8 Brazil
  • 8 United States of America
  • 8 Colombia
  • 7 Argentina
  • 6 Russian Federation
  • 6 Australia
  • 6 Portugal
  • 5 Canada
On Facebook, it looks somewhat better with nearly 7,700 followers. In the future I hope fort he Twitter Tool to break through (constant dripping). Here is a nice automatic growth recorded, currently nearly 750 followers.

(Update 05/2016: 910 active members, 6,750 images, Facebook: 11,950, Twitter: 1,160, Instagram: 3,904)


Interim conclusion:
Of course, I had hoped that there was a little more momentum at the beginning and we have already cracked the 1,000 participants after one year, but I am optimistic.
I think the whole thing is on a good and relaxed way and hope you see it that way too.

Participate!


The argument that you are already logged on many pages and do not have time to care about another site, does not apply, because participating is fast and hardly needs care:

Your portfolio is working for you. Normally your newest best image will not appear every day: If you have a better image for your portfolio in a few months, you can replace a weak image. (2min)

  • Eventually it's one day raining and you have quite a lot of time, then you might like to look around a bit.
    Give love and partition your star (about 1 hour)
That was it already, more is not to do.

Note:
Photo enthusiasts (guests) may incidentally also sign and distribute star. The influence of the guests on the overall ranking will be mitigated, however, in the future, in order to counteract manipulation.

Collaborations


The site sees itself as a pure best-of collection of portfolios, as a promotional machine for the participants.
It serves as an online catalog and as a reference in the Web, similar to Wikipedia to find and enjoy quality photography quickly and directly.
Thus is cooperation with other pages in principle no obstacle because STRKNG is a dynamic reference for clearly defined portfolios and does not presented daily projects.
The previous cooperation efforts are unfortunately fizzled, but I hope that it is a matter of time to find good partners.

We are looking for:

  • creative minds with good ideas on how to effectively promote the project
  • general sponsors to offer attractive specials for the participants
  • high-reach websites with influence on international photographers or models – there is already implemented an affiliate system, which provides for participation of the partners in the event of success (pay per sale), just ask!

So, for now this should be enough.

If you have made it this far: Respect! :)



Thank you for your interest and your time!

Best regards
Cem