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Steadishots.org Overhaul

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#1 Afton Grant

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 06:32 PM

Hey everybody!

Over the last year or so, my commitment to the SteadiShots website faded a bit. Business picked up considerably, I got myself married, and now I've got a kid on the way. As I understand it, having a kid around does NOT free up any time. With that in mind, as well as a desire to improve the SteadiShots website and experience, I felt it was time for some updates. I wanted to make it more interactive. I wanted to allow for content to be updated more easily and frequently. I wanted to inspire greater discussion about the shots and the operators that shoot them. So as of right now, some of the big changes have been posted, with many more on the way.

User Submissions
Utilizing the numerous online video services available now that offer EMBED codes, allowing easy sharing of the videos, user submissions now leverage this capability. Any user can visit the site, click "Contribute" and fill out the form, including their own description and, if they're the operator, commentary of the shot.

Submissions will need to be authorized prior to going live on the site. This is simply to weed out any potential spam, inappropriate, or non-steadicam related shots. It involves me receiving an alert and then clicking on a single button to publish the shot live to the site, so the entire process is very quick - anywhere from a matter of minutes to a day, depending on my availability.

There is a brief list of terms prior to the submission form. Please read them if you have a shot to share. It is not a place to post demo reels for feedback. It is not a place for product advertising. There will be some quality control. Not every shot needs to be a Goodfellas shot, but I do want every shot on the site to have some element of discussion or interest. As the user, you have the ability in the Description field to describe what about the shot is interesting - as I have done with all the other shots on the site. Please be descriptive!

If for some reason you have a video file you're dying to share that isn't already on a video website offering embed codes, and you can't put it on one yourself, just get in touch with me through the site, through here, or through whatever contact information you may have for me and let me know. We'll figure something out.

Articles/The Blog
I'm going to try this one out for a bit. I've attempted blogging in the past with little success. I either don't have the material or don't have the ego to churn out my thoughts on a topic day after day. I'm hoping this will be different. As another feature to keep the site's content frequently changing, I set up a blog and linked the website to it. What I would like to do, similar to the user submissions of shots, is invite user submissions of articles. These can really be anything. A bit of news, a journal of a project you worked on, anything Steadicam related, really. Taking it a step further, I would love to have some regular contributors to the blog. I can open the publishing access up to a number of authors (100 to be exact). These authors will have the freedom to write and publish as much as they wish, and the results will be posted immediately on the site.

If you have something to contribute, but don't care to become a regular author, that's fine too. Email me whatever you'd like to share and I'll post it for you and give you the appropriate credit.

What I don't want this to be is a forum-type discussion area. Questions about gear, jobs, etc are still best had here on the Steadicamforum.

Operator Q&A's
This is the first in what will hopefully become many features that focus more on the operators themselves, instead of just the shots. For each operator on the site, there is the opportunity to answer a few questions, giving users insight into your career. If you are listed on the site, just click on your name from the Operators list and you'll see what you need to do.

Not surprisingly, I've given in and signed up. I'll tweet (hate that term) whenever new shots are posted, or a new article is written up, or whenever something relevant comes up. I WON'T tweet to let you know what I had for dinner or that I hate Mondays or any of that crap. I'm not sure exactly what this will become, so let's just give it a go and see what happens. www.twitter.com/steadishots

Shot Ratings
I was conflicted about this. It's a feature that could easily be seen as "which shots are better than others", when I really don't want that kind of competition. I think all shots on the site are interesting in their own way. What I really was looking for was a way to display which ones people really respond to over and over, letting new users get a good taste of what the site is about. The previous "popular shot" system simply counted how many times each shot was viewed. This can be misleading, however, since as soon as one shot gets to the top of the list, it sort of becomes a self-feeding animal - the rich get richer phenomenon - just due to the fact that it's at the top of the list. Anyway, this will be another thing to just see how it goes for a bit.

Mobile Browsing
Unfortunately, the mobile browsing of the site will be unavailable for right now. I'm in the process of converting all the video to HTML5, making it compatible with everything, including phones, but with several hundred videos, that's proving to be a bit of a bitch. Rest assured, very soon the site will be fully compatible with everything out there, but my apologies for the immediate future.

So that's the deal for right now. I'll continue working on a number of little things in the near future. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any feedback you may have. Also, if you experience any problems or encounter any errors while using the site, please let me know right away. I welcome and appreciate all input.

Very best regards,
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#2 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 11:35 PM

Thanks Afton and thanks for the follow!

The time and work you've put into Steadishots is one of the best things anyone has done for us a collective group.

I personally want to thank you as know its been a substantial undertaking of your personal time.

Congratulations on the new bride and the new addition to your family! No doubt you'll a lot more to "Tweet" about in the future.

Best wishes!

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#3 Mike Marriage

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 06:29 AM

Thanks for your work on the site, it is much appreciated by many ops!
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