As a designer, I always look for photos to boost my design. I keep searching on Google for some time, until I find that perfect photo. That awesome photo that will truly rock my work; in the next 5 seconds I am sitting there, seeing every amazing idea that could go together with that photo go in front of my eyes. All of this drama stops the moment I click on view image; because I realize that photo is for sale on ShutterStock for $29!
What it does
Stock Drops gathers high quality stock photos from all around the web, AUTOMATICALLY! There are many personal blogs/sites where professional photographers share their amazing stock photos for the public to use for free in any type of project. The problem is, not everybody knows every single website, nor one website has gathered all of these photos together.
How I built it
I used PHP for the most part, with the help of IBM's Bluemix (Alchemy API). Also a fair amount of work is done by WordPress, so thanks to their dev team! Also using Paypal's BrainTree, we have active donations to photographers!
First it scans a website's photo index, looking for images. After locating the number of instances of images on the page, a loop runs, downloading each image, grabbing author info, and resizing them to 4 different sizes. After that each image is uploaded to WordPress as an attachment to a post which is created around the image. Then Bluemix steps in, creating tags for that specific image, then the tags immediately get assigned to the post.
Challenges I ran into
Creating Stock Drops, I did have a bit of trouble getting every single part of the machine working together!
Each website has a different kind of HTML structure, hence making it more difficult for the code to always grab the accurate information. There was a lot of testing and debugging in the code, a lot!
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I always had the idea to automate a specific process that would take a long time doing manually, and with Stock Drops, I managed to make automation possible in an area where many are looking for it, posting!
What I learned
I learned a great deal about working with APIs, and ofcourse my WordPress development knowledge has gone much higher; but more important than that, I now know that nothing is impossible once you put your mind into it, even if you only have 36 hours!
What's next for Stock Drops
Stock Drops is and will be available to public for free. If and when I win any prizes at this competition, the funds will be spent on further development of the service, and hopefully using on-page ads in the near future, Stock Drops will start to generate revenue.