Finding and using free images can be a real hassle. Searching for free content is hard enough, let alone crediting in accordance with the license. End result? Most people just don’t bother doing the crediting bit – which is kind of unfair to the original content creator.
That’s where Sprixi comes in. Sprixi is a recently launched image search site with a difference. It aims to make finding and using free images as easy as possible.
And I’ll be damned if they haven’t done it.
The process is dead simple. You use the google-like search box and you’re presented with a series of images that may meet your needs. You choose the image you like, select a size, then decide on which crediting option you’d like (in image or not). That’s it. Click on download and you’ve got your own, free, ready to use image to put in your blog, assignment or whatever.
The images are sourced using the Flickr API and various other places but all content has a liberal licence such as Creative Commons or is in the public domain. From the looks of things image tags are used as the primary filtering tool. On top of that, as the site FAQ explains, images are sorted automatically just by people using Sprixi. Images you click on, rate, use, download or upload are given a usefulness rating. You can also vote for the usefulness of images by clicking on the yes, maybe and no buttons. Votes from registered users are given a heavier weighting.
I managed to catch up with Andrew Goldstiver from Sprixi to have a quick chat about the site.
KH: First of all, congratulations on the site.
KH: Now tell me a little about your background
AG: My professional career includes engineering, product management and financial planning. Through building Sprixi I have discovered that improving usability of technology is a passion of mine and I am moving into this area. I am the lead designer and coder on Sprixi.
KH: Well you got the usability bit down. It’s pretty easy to use. Tell me though, who do you see as your competitors?
AG: The major image search engines – Google, Yahoo and Bing. They are continuing to innovate, but I don’t think they’ve cracked a basic user requirement of image search – “I want an image to use/show/share/send, now!”
We don’t compete with the core purpose of image hosters (e.g. Flickr) or stock photo shops (e.g. iStockPhoto). But we do compete when people go there to find an image to use.
KH: How long have you been working on the project for?
AG: 2 years now.
KH: and have you received any funding?
AG: No, the whole project is self-funded.
KH: Cool. And what are you plans for the site? How do you see yourself making money? Taking a cut of licensing fees for non-creative commons images at some later stage? Something else?
AG: Revenue will not come from the Sprixi site itself, as we do not compete with images that cost money to use. Our asset is the image ranking database we are building. Our users help us build this and in return they hopefully find Sprixi useful.
We intend to use this asset to our commercial advantage through applications which we are keeping close to our chest for now :)
KH: Anything else you’d like to add?
AG:We’d just ask people to use the site and see how Sprixi can help you choose and use an image fast.
Well you heard the man. Jump on and give it a go, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.