A new fix for stock media


Image credits: Stocky
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(4 votes)

I see the current stock media situation as a dried-up well. It has some great work and a lot of junk being sold, abused, stolen, and recycled, roundup after roundup.

Furthermore, owners heavily protect work that is meant to be given away. Protecting your property is very important, but why give--what is usually casual amounts of work--halfway?

As a designer and open source fan, I feel that the web design community could truly benefit from taking a look at the open source community. Simply looking at the progress of giants like Mozilla makes this obvious. I'm not suggesting that designers jump ship on their current methods of community freebies, but I do see the benefits of creating a place of unity that encourages quality work and collaboration. Doing so could benefit the design community, as well as many small businesses.

I am trying to create such a community with a new take on stock media. With your help, Stocky will be a new place to cultivate design that can help others in their own endeavors.

Stocky vs. Flickr

Flickr is a great choice for photographers (and videographers) who want to display their talents. It is also a way to list photos and videos for commercial use. This open source part of Flickr is a nice addition, but it still leaves Flickr geared towards limited mediums (photos and videos). Being medium-restrictive with no methods of collaboration (e.g., uploading alternate versions) keeps the Flickr community different from the community I am trying to launch. Collaboration is also still pretty taboo for designers. Artists and programmers do it, but designers are usually so protective of their work that this carries over to the work they give away.

Stocky's goal tries to go beyond sharing a brush here and there for self promotion. I am trying to create a new breed of stock media that takes its influence from the open source development and collaboration process. This means that a photographer uploads photo A and another photographer gets to play with it and upload it as photo B--an alternate version. This also means that the front-end development that graphic designers often do can be shared and built upon. Vectors, templates, brushes, and audio also lends themselves to similar forms of collaboration.  A lot of great media exists but is scattered among monotonous and arbitrary work.

Stocky will be a framework that experienced and inexperienced designers can join to upload their work, decide licensing, and allow (or disallow) collaboration/derivative works. Stocky will document these works and host and help share work for blogging designers and artists to create a community of development that benefits other designers and small businesses.

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