Home / Zooomr FAQ June 15 2007

Zooomr FAQ June 15 2007


If you need to contact us for any reason, please email to zfeedback@bbridgetech.com

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Yediot Aharonot

Note:  To report bugs in Zooomr, please submit them here.

The Basics

1.  Tell me about Zooomr: 

Zooomr is a next generation universal photo sharing site.  Originally, the site started in late 2005 by Kristopher Tate as a place for him to share photos with his friends in Japan.  Since most other photo sites were only in English, Kristopher decided to build a site that could be viewed in both English and Japanese.  The site was relaunched in April of 2006 after a favorable write up from TechCrunch's Mike Arrington.  Since then, Zooomr has continued to evolve and is presently localized in 12 different localizations.

In order to change localization you just click on your language of choice at the bottom of any page.

Zooomr is under continuous development and we hope that you will frequently provide feedback and suggestions so that we can make the site better and better.  To contact us with problems, feedback or suggestions please send email to zfeedback@bbridgetech.com

2.  So who are the people behind Zooomr?

Kristopher Tate is Zooomr's Founder and our Chief Technical Officer.  Thomas Hawk, a San Francisco based blogger and photographer, is CEO and Chief Evangelist.  You can read Thomas' blog here.  The company is private and mostly owned by by Kristopher and Thomas.

3.  How much does Zooomr cost? 

Zooomr is free.  There is no upload limit, bandwidth limit, download limit, file size limit, set limit, or number of photo limits.  We believe in no limit photo sharing.  We think it's about the best free photo sharing account you can get right now. 

We do offer a way for people to upgrade to a Pro account if they want to see an ad free version of Zooomr (and more than this, if you want to support us…which we really need and means so much to us).  Pro accounts are $19.95 per year.  You will see Pro accounts for purchase on the welcome screen on Zooomr or by clicking on the Zooomr logo while on the site.

In addition to getting an advertisement free experience on Zooomr, Pro accounts also enjoy the ability to page Zooomr's popular Zipline feature.  There is also a tab in our "Discover" section dedicated to Pro account users.

5.  Where are you located? 

Thomas is in San Francisco, California USA and Kristopher Tate is in Japan for the time being.

6.  How can I contact you? 

There are several ways to contact us at present.  You can send an email also to zfeedback@bbridgetech.com. You might also try zmailing thomashawk.  Keep in mind though that we are just two guys and get thousands of emails.  We apologize in advance if you can't get back to you right away.  We do try to read every zmail we get, though. Hopefully, we will be able to add more staff in the future to better handle correspondence with our photographers.

7.  Do you have a limit on the file size like other photo sharing sites? 

Did we mention that we love the no limit photo feature?


1.  I want to convert my  OpenID log on to an email/pw log on, can I do this?

Yes, but in order to do this you will need to do it on the account settings page which will be back online shortly.  In the meantime we can try to do this manually for you if you email us.

2.  I registered for the site, but I never got the email asking me to activate my account, what should I do?

Please contact us at zfeedback@bbridgetech.com with your account name.

Uploading photos

1.  How do I upload photos? 

We have a great bulk uploading page built into Zooomr.  Simply use the browse button and point Zooomr to your photos on your computer.  You can add multiple files for upload by selecting more than one file when you are browsing.  You can then monitor your uploads as they happen from this page.

Note:  We are aware of a bug with regards to our bulk uploader and using Firefox/Linux.


1.  Can I blog a photo? 

Yep, it's easy.  Simply click on the magnifying glass above a photo and choose what size you want.  Then you can simply cut and paste the html code that Zooomr generates into your blog.


1.  What are SmartSets?

We think SmartSets are a smarter way to build sets or albums of photographs that you'd like to group together on Zooomr.  Rather than relying on manual set building, SmartSets allows you to use advance filters to create dynamic sets.  You can organize  SmartSets by many different criteria.

To start with you will determine what kind of SmartSet you want to build. Criteria that can be used includes labels (i.e. tags), views, GeoTags, PeopleTags, Date Taken, Date Uploaded.

The most common type of SmartSet is done by tag.

Next you will want to decide if you want to build a SmartSet of only your photos, only of you and your social circle's photos, or everyone's photos.  You choose one of these three criteria when you build a SmartSet.

Next you choose how your SmartSet will be displayed.  Photos can be displayed by most recent taken in the SmartSet or by "Awesomeness" a proprietary photo ranking system developed by Zooomr.

Finally you browse through your photos to choose which photo you will want associated with the thumbnail and representative image with your SmartSet

Note:  At present you are limited to 12 SmartSets that will show on your SmartSets page.  If you make more than 12 and keep the url somewhere it will still work.  But only    12 are showing on the page.  We hope to page SmartSets in the near future.

3.  Why is there a photo of a frog as the cover photo on my SmartSet?

Mostly because in Zooomrland frogs bring good luck.  It's a holding place and you can replace this photo with any photo that you want by editing the set.


1.  What is Zipline?

Zipline is a cool notification system that lets you know when your contacts do interesting things on the site.  This includes when they upload photos or join groups or simply have something to say in their zipline.  Ziplines are public and whoever adds you as a contact will be able to see what you "put on the line," so only put things on the line that you would be ok with the world seeing.

Zipline is paged indefinitely for Pro Zooomr users.


1.  What are portals?

Portals are ways to connect photos that relate to each other.  With portals you can create a note that links to another one of your photos.  You can use portals to show changes in time, changes in space, details in an image, tours, and any other way that you can think of.  When a photo has a portal if you hover over the photo you will see it.


1.  What is Discover?

Discover is a place on Zooomr where we like to highlight some of the most awesome photos being uploaded to Zooomr at any given time.  At Discover you can browse by photos in the last hour, day, week, month, or year to date.  We rank these photos and show you under any time period which 100 are showing up as the most awesome.   You can filter discover by everyone's photos on Zooomr, by just your contacts, just your friends and family or just your own.

2.  How do you guys decide which photos are awesome?

This is done by an algorithm but in general we look for both social activity around a photo (i.e., how many faves, commets, tags, etc it may have, as well as metadata associated with the photo (eg. geotags, tags, peopletags, descriptions, etc).   We also make more editorial and subjective modifications from time to time.


1.  What is Marketplace?

Zooomr believes that the next wave in stock photography belongs to all of us.  In the past you used to have to be a Pro photographer to sell your photos for commercial use.  Big companies dominated this industry and the little guy didn't really have a place to sell photos online for a fair price.  With Zooomr you can list a price to sell your photo for (anywhere from $5 to $1,000).  The first step will be for us to build a library of these images for sale.  That's what we are doing right now.  In the next few months we will be launching our marketplace site for photo buyers. 

When photo buyers buy your photo, they are buying a royalty free license to use your image.  They don't own your image, you are simply giving them a license to use it commercially.  You always own your own image.

2.  How is Zooomr different than microstock sites?

Most microstock sites sell your images for $5 or less.  We believe that your images are actually worth a lot more.  Microstock sites (in our opinion) also don't pay all that well.  Some pay you as little as 20% of the proceeds of sale of your image.  At Zooomr we'd like to redefine the relationship between photo buyer and photo creater (that's you).  We'd like you to get as much of the money as humanly possible.  Because Zooomr needs to pay the expenses to run the site though we have to hold back a little for ourselves.  To start with we are going to pay photographers 80% of the money that their images sell for (after our transaction cost with Paypal).  We'll keep 20% and try to run the site on that.  Hopefully we can increase the payout for photographs to 90% soon if we can run the site on a 10% cut.  Keep in mind that it is not our goal to get rich with our cut.  We simply want enough to run the site.  Zooomr was started by photographers for photographers.  We will always do our very best to do right by those that choose to sell photos through Zooomr and give them as large a cut as we possibly can.

We hope that you will see that by paying out as much as we can we are advocates for all who wish to sell their photos online.  And we hope that when we launch our photo marketplace for buyers that you will help spread the word that Zooomr is a place that people ought to buy their photos.  If you know magazines or art directors or anyone on the creative side of things, pointing them to Zooomr will help us and you out.

3.  What about model releases?

Yes, if you have an identifiable person in a photo you will need a model release for that person.  Even if the person is you, you will need to sign your own model release.  If people in photographs are minors you will need their legal guardian to sign a model release.  Before we can sell photos with identifiable people in them we will need to have these model releases on file.  We will have a submission process for model releases shortly.


1.  How can I get one of those slick avatars? 

On every photo page in the right hand column is an Extra Tools section.  If you click on the "Use This Photo as an Avatar" link you can use that photo for your avatar. 


1.  Can I mark a photo private if I don't want people to see it? 

Yes.  On the main photo page there is an icon of a little lock on the right hand side of the page.  Click on that icon and you can designate who may see one of your photos.  It can be for everyone to see, just for you, only for your friends and family, or only for your contacts.

2.  Can I choose to restrict the size that people can see of my photos?

Yes, once our account page is back up you will be able to choose how your "all sized" photos are available, to everyone, only contacts, only friends and family, or only you.  Until this account feature is available you will be able to see all sizes for your own photos only. 


1.  I want to designate my photo as Creative Commons.  Can I do this? 

Yes, just click on the licensing line and you can change your license as you wish.  We are developing tools to make bulk changes that should be out shortly.


1.  What is Lightbox?

Lightbox is a great way to view a photograph.  Simply click on the little photograph icon when you hover over any thumbnail or smaller photo on the site.  That photo will then enlarge and the background will darken so that you can get a great view of the photo.  Click anywhere off the photo to return to regular viewing.  You can advance through photos looking at them this way.


1.  How can I mark a photo as a favorite? 

Simply click on the empty little heart above any photo on its photo page or hover over a small photo in someone's photostream and click on the heart.  Faving is a good thing.  Share the love.  Spread the joy.

Tagging / Labeling

1.  Can I tag photos or add labels to photos? 

Yes, you can tag yours and others.  There is no limit to the number of tags you can have on a photo but we ask that you not spam tag photos with keywords that clearly don't relate to the photo.


1.  What are groups?

Groups are places for you to hang out with other members of the Zooomr Community.  You can post photos to groups and have conversations in groups.  Groups are started by administrators who have some control over the basic function of a group.

2.  Why aren't the photo pools working with groups.

Expect to see these in the next few weeks.


What is geotagging? 

Geotagging is a way that you can use Google Maps to tag where your photograph was taken.  To geotag a photo you click on the "Geotag it Now" link on any photo's main page.  You will then be taken to a Google map that you can use to pinpoint the location of the photo on a map and mark it.  If you use the "Jump" feautre on the map you can type in a city or a place and it might pop up and let you jump the map directly there.

People Tags

1.  What are people tags? 

People tags are a way for you to identify your friends who are on Zooomr in a photo.  To create a people tag simply click on the "Add People" link on the main photo page and then you will be prompted to draw a note around the person you are identifying.  You will then be prompted to add in their first name, last name and email address.  If we already have a record for this person this photo of them will be added to their record.  If we don't have a record for them we will send them an email letting them know that you've uploaded a photo with them in it.  This way they can see the photo too if they'd like and claim their profile if they have not already.


1.  Hey Zooomr's great.  Do you have an Open API that I can develop to? 

Yes, we will announce the page to get an API key shortly.  Watch our blog for more details.


1.  I'd like to translate Zooomr into a language that it's not in yet?  Can I do this?

Yes, you can learn more about that here.

Community Stuff

1.  What is your position on nudity?

Nudity is a tricky thing.  We definitely don't want Zooomr to turn into a porn site.  But at the same time we think that nude fine art photography, although potentially edgy, has a place.  So we allow nude photography within limitations.  These limitations are that we reserve the right to use an "explicit" screen over certain photos on Zooomr.  If you see a screen like this you can simply click on it and you will see the photo.  But if you don't want to see something potentially offensive you can just skip it.  We think that at present this represents the best way to both allow photographic freedom while protecting others from viewing potentially unwanted material.

If you see a photograph that you think is particularly offensive please email us a link at abuse@bbridgetech.com.

2.  What is your position on copyrighted photographs?

We strongly discourage anyone from uploading photos that they did not take/make themselves.  If you didn't take the photo, then it probably shouldn't be in your stream.  Unless you label it as not your own and have explicit permission from its owner.  Stealing images is not cool.  To report one of your photos that is appearing on someone's account please email us at abuse@bbridgetech.com.  If you steal people's images we will probably terminate your account.

3.  Someone on Zooomr is harassing me, what can I do? 

Please report this person to abuse@bbridgetech.com.  We will deal with it the best that we can. In other words, we will reach out to Knuckles and let him handle it. Rule of thumb...you don’t want to be on Knuckles bad side. FACT.

4.  What is your position on censorship?

" Whereas, Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are fundamental human rights, and free use of the Internet is protected in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees freedom to “receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers”, and
Whereas, the rapid provision of full and uncensored information through the Internet has become a major industry in the United States, and one of its major exports, and
Whereas, political censorship of the Internet degrades the quality of that service and ultimately threatens the integrity and viability of the industry itself, both in the United States and abroad, and
Whereas, some authoritarian foreign governments such as the Governments of Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam block, restrict, and monitor the information their citizens attempt to obtain, and
Whereas, technology companies in the United States that operate in countries controlled by authoritarian governments have an obligation to comply with the principles of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, and
Whereas, technology companies in the United States have failed to develop adequate standards by which they can conduct business with authoritarian governments while protecting human rights to freedom of speech and freedom of expression,
Therefore, be it resolved, that Zooomr today adopts the following policies to help protect freedom of access to the Internet which would include the following minimum standards:
1)      Data that can identify individual users should not be hosted in Internet restricting countries, where political speech can be treated as a crime by the legal system.
2)      The company will not engage in pro-active censorship.
3)      The company will use all legal means to resist demands for censorship. The company will only comply with such demands if required to do so through legally binding procedures.
4)      Users will be clearly informed when the company has acceded to legally binding government requests to filter or otherwise censor content that the user is trying to access.

5)      Users should be informed about the company’s data retention practices, and the ways in which their data is shared with third parties.
6)      The company will document all cases where legally-binding censorship requests have been complied with, and that information will be publicly available."</em>

*Thanks to carwax for help with the editing!

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