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Friday, February 25, 2005

I Heart Stock.xchng

Can I just say right now that I love this web site called Stock.xchng ? I try to make this blog as visually interesting as possible, but finding good photos is always a struggle, and then there's the copyright issue.

So this website called stock.xchng, based in Hungary, has a really well-organized library of over 100,000 photos taken by a community of photographers who want to offer them to the public free of charge. All they ask is that you give stock.xchng a credit and send a courtesy email to the photographers and let them know you are using their work.

The site has a sort of self-regulating function like Kos, where registered users can vote on a scale from 1-10 for each photo, so you can see how different works are evaluated. I've been using them for a couple of weeks and have gotten a lot of wonderful feedback from photographers from all over the world who were happy to have the exposure.

There are other free sites, but most of the ones I've found seem to be run by Mormons for industrial brochure manufacturers or something, they're a bit dry and institutional, and don't have the lively photo collection that stock.xchng does, nor are they nearly so well-organized or community based.

So bloggers, go nuts! No more excuses for long, boring blocks of unbroken text that scare the pants off readers. Disregard if you are a Freeper, in which case said text will be frightening no matter what, and the visual intimidation is a public service.

(Photo, as usual, courtesy stock.xchng)