Phototrail is a completely open platform that allows photographers to collaborate and display their work in a unique and exciting way. Each photograph in the trail is visually linked to the previous one in some sense. You are invited to add to the trail by submitting a photo from your collection.
Phototrail was developed alongside three of my classmates for a third year CSCW module. Due to it’s success, we were encouraged to exhibit the collection at Limerick’s “Catherine St. Cultural Dig” in May of 2011.
The concept for Phototrail was arrived at thourough a largely iterative process of idea generation and continued redesign. We planned to set up a site on the service at phototrail.tumblr.com, this site would be completely open to the public in both acts of viewing and submission of photographs. The latter here represents a significant departure from earlier incarnations of the idea where the site would support co-operation between a pre-determined group of photographers moving towards a more open-plan approach where the number of contributors is effectively unlimited. This not only gives way to a larger, more far-reaching user-base but means that the ‘trail’ itself is given a much stronger chance of growing and moving through many more collections and in doing that, creating a new body of work.
Phototrail utilised Tumblr’s seamless integration with social networking sites facebook and twitter. We utilised this service at phototrail.tumblr.com linking directly to our facebook page and twitter account from the homepage. Tumblr allows updates to be automatically posted to both sites when a new photo is added to the blog. In the case of phototrail, we enabled this feature on our twitter account so that whenever a new photo was approved by one of the moderators, a tweet was automatically generated by tumblr and published to our twitter account (@phototrail_team). For the facebook account, we decided to keep the posts and updates less frequent and more personal, adding comments and giving updates on progress.
The project was received surprisingly well gaining over 3,000 unique visitors from all over the world and receiving 90 interlinked photographs.