Meet the Microstock Image Contributor Toolbar (picNiche) Developer

Why was Microstock Image Contributor Toolbar (picNiche) created?

I started in microstock photography to supplement my income from contracting when I setup my own business. I've always been very interested in photography, but coming to the microstock game quite late on meant that finding the correct subjects to shoot and sell was tricky.

I built the picNiche.com website to try and get a handle on what image-buyers needed the most that was not already supplied. In the process of building the website, I spotted a number of other areas my own workflow could be improved: from image preparation and keywording to submission and subsequent performance tracking. It also helps me keep motivated to hear the sales dinging along throughout the day :)

At first I considered building a standalone application, though when looking at how I needed to access my data, the best way to integrate into my developing workflow was to incorporate it into the browser. This allows for excellent connectivity with the agency websites, without needing any fancy proxies or other software to take care of the nuts & bolts. It also means that if a human can see the info, the software can get it without compromising the security of my accounts.

I built the first version with some basic functionality, and decided to release it for everyone to use, this way I could give something back to a very helpful community of artists & photographers who have helped me improve my photography and illustration skills through constructive feedback and tips. I'd always be able to find better ways for it to work based on feedback, and even if I havn't submitted images for a while, I'd know if there was a change or problem that needed to be fixed.

I'm delighted that the picNiche contributor toolbar has been so well received by so many people, and will continue to keep it improving in future :)

What's next for Microstock Image Contributor Toolbar (picNiche)

I have a massive list of requests, suggestions, design issues and other information about how the picNiche toolbars should develop in future. Thanks to everyone using the toolbars these keep on coming daily.
There is a recent post on the picNiche blog on how it will develop in future:
http://picniche.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/picniche-contributor-toolbar-survey-results/

I am also working on a huge advancement to the workflow functionality with the picNiche Image Deck:
http://www.picNiche.com/toolbar/imagedeck/

This is currently in public beta and as it's a very complex piece of software so I'm not yet sure whether it will be hosted on the mozilla addons site due to how regularly it will need to be updated.
You can see a little more about it on the Introducing the picNiche Image Deck open beta blog post:
http://picniche.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/introducing-the-picniche-image-deck-open-beta/

About the Developer

Developer Information
Name bobbigmac
Location Manchester, UK
Occupation Software Engineer
Homepage http://www.picworkflow.com/
User since February 20, 2009
Number of add-ons developed 3 add-ons
Average rating of developer's add-ons Rated 5 out of 5 stars

Who is bobbigmac?

I'm a self-employed software engineer building software for almost 20 years, starting in the wonderyears of Commodore, Amiga, Sinclair and Atari.
I've been involved with web development since 95, though most of my software employment history is in C#.Net for corporate employers and freelance/consulting projects.
I'm a big fan of XUL as a platform, and I hope it continues to develop and promote extensible and customisable development for a wide variety of uses.