Social Question

dalepetrie's avatar

What would it cost in terms of time and money to get a website along the following lines running, and perhaps more importantly, what do you think of my idea?

Asked by dalepetrie (18007points) May 14th, 2010

Have you ever taken a picture and when you looked at it, there were strangers in the background?

Have you ever been in the background of a stranger’s picture?

Wouldn’t it be neat if you could find the pictures you’re in and/or the strangers in your pictures?

What if there were a website where people could post:

1) Pictures of themselves in hopes that some stranger will recognize them from the background of a picture THEY took, and post that picture as a response, and

2) Pictures they have taken of other people, places and things which have strangers in the background who they don’t know.

Imagine the same thing only with videos.

Would you visit a site like this?

Do you think it could ever take off enough that people might actually make these kinds of links, or would the odds be too stacked against anyone ever finding a match?

What would it cost to create, set up, host and maintain a site like this, both in terms of time and money, where people would be allowed to post pictures of themselves or of strangers in hopes that someone recognizes them as a stranger in their pictures, or in hopes that someone recognizes the strangers in their pictures?

Would adding private messaging so someone with a potential connection could first contact the poster of the original picture add value to the site?

Would it add value to the site to have a function where people could browse the pictures and suggest links between two pictures which may both already be on the site, which contain the same person(s), but which had not yet been linked?

Would it be a nice feature to, if and when enough connections were made to put together sort of a degrees of separation collage/slideshow?

Is this a brilliant new social networking idea, or the product of me not getting enough sleep lately?

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11 Answers

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Great Caesar’s ghost! That would be a hoot. Sometimes I catch others in my pics as I am sure I might be in someone else’s, it might be interesting to know who they were. If you knew HTML, XHTML, or XML you could do it for nothing, the Web building part, and depending on how much MB space you needed to run the site hosting could be small into the dozens of dollars. If you hade to have some code to upload and such if you gouldnot find a CGI, perl interface etc that would do it you would have to hire somone and that could run $3,000 or more (at least that is what a friend had to pay for the code to his site)

Trillian's avatar

What a cool idea! I don’t know what kind of response you could expect. I imagine it would appeal a lot to the twitter/facebook crowd!
I can’t answer any of the logistics questions…

MissA's avatar

I struggle between the networking aspect and the creative idea you have introduced…and, the liabilities. It IS a neat idea.

Thus far, cost analysis for a website such as this, is out of my expertise.

andrew's avatar

I wonder if this would be the kind of thing you could build as a facebook app—since you already have tagging of people and the largest store of pictures on the internet.

Beyond the costs of creating it, you also have to get people to upload their pictures, which they’ve probably already done.

I like the idea though.

HungryGuy's avatar

FYI, the military has software that can analyze photos, recognize faces, and indicate when the same person is in more than one photo. With such software, you wouldn’t need to depend on people scrutinizing each others’ photos to match faces.

dalepetrie's avatar

Well, thanks to everyone for the answers, I’m surprised so many like the idea. I wonder how much it would cost to get my hands on that software to analyze faces, that would be perfect, just allow people to post their pics and email them if a match is found.

ETpro's avatar

I’m a web developer. I think the idea is great. Unless you can do it all yourself, it would comst somewhere in the $10 to $50 K range to get it coded well. Hosting would also be a cost element, as you would need lots of storage to host all the images.

Think through how you might monetize it. Advertising would be one obvious possibility. THere might be others. Be creative. Also, it would take a large critical mass of visitors posting pictures to make it seem like fun to each new visitor. The most likely area of cost would be getting to that critical mass. Figure a substantial advertising budget and perhaps some partnerships with related sites that might want to court your visitors.

dalepetrie's avatar

Well, if I want to run with this any time soon I’ll have to find a partner or investor with some venture capital. I hope to have discretionary income again some day, but I’d guesstimate given my present financial circumstances, it will be 3–5 years (if all goes well and as planned) before I could even seriously consider trying to start a business. Anyway, glad to hear it’s so far unanimously liked. At least I know the market exists now. If I ever make it, I’ll remember to come back here and let you all know where to access it!

ETpro's avatar

@dalepetrie If you think it’s worth doing, son’t wait 3 to 5 years. It will be done by someone by then, particularly after being aired in a public forum.

You would need an investor you can really trust, because the moment you disclose the idea and business plan, they no longer really need you.

dalepetrie's avatar

@ETpro – just a feasibility issue. I could try to get some interest out there, but I know full well that someone could take the idea and run with it and leave me in the dust, I’m trying to decide if the idea is good enough, but not just good enough…likely enough to actually work when push comes to shove, for me to really invest any time/money into it. I guess I’m kind of ambivalent about it, I think it’s a fun, neat idea, but I’m not sure it’s the one that could make me wealthy…I worry that you could look at pictures forever and never spot anyone you know, and that it would never reach the point where enough people were looking at enough pictures for even a single match to occur, then what do you have, a bunch of pictures of people. I’m keeping it in the back of my head, we’ll see what happens.

ETpro's avatar

@dalepetrie Technically, it is most doable. I’m not expert enough in human behavior to make an educated guess about achieving critical mass, though.

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