As the year is running out, it´s time to Iean back. I was asked to write about Tops and Flops 2006 in the editorial and stock photo industry, covering software providers, micropayment sites, the big stockhouses, unknown facts and more or less glorious sacrifices on the altar of the picture trading industry.
Not like earlier this year in The 23 Best, But Still Unwritten Stock Photo Industry Headlines For 2006 with irony and sympathy, but rather with facts and numbers. However, after the surprising feedback to the unwritten headlines the only person who would really benefit from this in terms of money would be my attorney, so I´ll skip this one for now.
Instead I turn to one of the most weird ideas ever submitted for reviewing, the small specialist and user-generated, how to say, image collection Church Signs and the sister site Church Sign Generator.
Church Signs is dedicated to "funny church sign pictures: you've seen them - the signs in front of churches, with a witticism or a pun that made you groan". The database showcases little over 200 images from dozens of contributors spread all over the U.S.
Austin-based web developer Ryland Sanders describes his idea:
It started when I was driving home from work in my hometown and seeing all the signs in front of churchs around here. I thought they were funny, sometimes unintentionally funny, so I took a few pictures and put them on my blog. Then I took a few more, and a couple of people sent me pictures they had taken, so it made sense to have an entire page devoted to it instead of just unrelated blog entries.
Church Sign Generator on the other hand allows you to select a church sign template, to enter any text desired and to create your own customized church sign. Ryland Sanders notes:
The reason for the church sign generator was that some of the pictures people send me are obviously staged, where someone had purposely rearranged the letters on a church sign (usually to spell out something vulgar). One day for fun, I took one of the photos I had and pulled it into Photoshop and played around with the letters and made a couple of faked church sign photos, and that was funny. Then I had the idea that it might be cool to have a program that allowed you just to type in the letters you want and have it put them on the sign for you, so I wrote it and put it on my website, and told a few friends about it, and it took off from there.
As to no surprise, Church Sign Generator is economically much more succesful than Church Signs. In opposite to the only litte over 200 images of Church Signs, Flickr instead returns meanwhile over 8,000 images when searching for church signs.