Archive for September, 2005

Theme Bounties!

September 22, 2005 6 comments

Themes are right around the corner! And we’ve got a bunch of Theme ideas we’d like to have for launch, but haven’t (yet) had time to build them.

After seeing all of the great stuff some of our customers have been doing with the new CSS layout, we think you can probably do a better job with these Themes than we can. So we’ve got a new bounty system: Build a great SuperTheme for us, and if we use it, you’ll get at least $500 from us.

There are two types of Themes – for lack of better terms, I’ll call them Themes and SuperThemes. In my book, a Theme is a pure CSS implementation to change smugmug’s look & feel. A SuperTheme, though, is a combination of both CSS and new graphic art. By graphic art, I mean any or all of the following: new smugmug logo, new background image (tiling!), new shopping cart icons, new rating stars on comments, etc.

We’re looking for a bunch of SuperThemes and we’re willing to pay for them! Here are the ones we’d definitely like to see:

  • Halloween
  • Happy Birthday
  • Christmas
  • Generic Holidays
  • Tropical Vacation
  • Snow/Ski Vacation
  • Generic Travel/Vacation
  • It’s a Boy!
  • It’s a Girl!
  • Wedding
  • Sports (Baseball, Football, Soccer)
  • Generic Party
  • But if you think of more general purpose Themes we haven’t thought of yet, we’re open to the idea. You may want to post on dgrin about it first, to see if there’s interest in the idea.

    Here are the details:

  • If we like the SuperTheme and want to use it, we’ll pay you at least $500 for the privilege. Oh, and a lifetime Pro smugmug account. 🙂
  • A SuperTheme consists of a new smugmug logo. The logo must be the same pixel size as the current logo, must feature smuggy somewhere (carved on a jack-o-lantern? icing on a birthday cake?), and must say smugmug somewhere. You may vary the size and orientation of smuggy or the smugmug text to your heart’s content – but it must still be obvious that you’re on a smugmug page.
  • Ideally, a SuperTheme also consists of a nice tiling background which gets the Theme across, but isn’t obtrusive and doesn’t detract from the photos. Remember, at smugmug, the photos are the focus. By “nice tiling” I mean no seams between tile pieces, no matter what screen resolution they’re using.
  • Other graphic elements as you see fit. Maybe birthday cakes instead of stars for the comments?
  • No HTML or JavaScript. Only CSS and images. GIF, PNG, or JPEG. GIF preferred unless 8-bit alpha is required, in which case use PNG.
  • Themes can be applied to non-gallery pages too (homepages, categories, etc), so don’t forget those.
  • Remember that a smugmug layout should be clean and simple. Anything too cluttered, confusing, or distracting from the photos isn’t gonna make the cut.
  • Once you’ve got a SuperTheme ready, simply email us with “SuperTheme” in the Subject and show us your work. Or, if you’re not shy, post about it on dgrin. Dgrin is a great resource for getting help with the Theme, too.


    Q: What about plain old Themes without any new graphics? Can I do one of those?
    A: Yes! We’d love to see some Themes too. Given that they don’t have new art, I suggest focusing on great color combinations and clean layouts rather than a specific idea such as Halloween. We’re probably not in the position to pay much for non-artwork Themes, but if we use your Theme, we’ll give you a lifetime Pro smugmug subscription.

    Q: What’s with the “at least $500”?
    A: I’m afraid that’s mostly just me hedging my bets. Since I’m not sure how many great Themes will come out of this little experiment, I want to make sure I stay within my budget. If your Theme is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, you may have a shot at more than $500. (In fact, I hope so!). We’ll see.

    Q: How do I build and show off my Theme?
    A: Easy, just use the existing smugmug customization tools on a Power User or Pro account. Remember, don’t use any HTML or JavaScript – just CSS and images.

    Q: But I have a great idea for a Theme and don’t have a Power User account! What do I do?
    A: Email us and we’ll get you taken care of. Be prepared to show off your great idea with a screenshot or mockup or something.

    Q: But I have a great idea for a Theme and don’t want to screw up my current customization! What do I do?
    A: Email us and we’ll get you taken care of. We’ll look at your current customization, or any supplied screenshots & artwork, and probably give you a new account(s) to play with temporarily.

    Q: Is there a cutoff time?
    A: Nope, I imagine we’ll take submissions for years if they meet the criteria. But we’d like to launch Themes soon, so if you want to be part of the initial release, get your submissions in!

    Q: How will my Theme work, exactly?
    A: If you’re selected as an official Theme, every single smugmug customer will have the option of using YOUR Theme for any and all of their galleries. When creating a new gallery or changing the settings on an old one, your Theme will be in a new dropdown box. Something similar on their Control Panel will allow them to select a Theme for their non-gallery pages, too.

    Q: I have a question not answered by the FAQ! What can I do?
    A: Easy! Post on dgrin, our support forum!

    Categories: smugmug

    Phase 3 – ready for primetime

    September 1, 2005 1 comment

    So Phase 3 is ready to go. We’re in final testing now, and it could potentially be released tonight.

    There’s a thread & poll on dgrin about the changes, including a preview image. JT also had another thread about the CSS changes you can use to customize your look & feel.

    Go read the threads if you’ve got a minute, vote on when we should release this stuff, and let us know

    Categories: smugmug, smugmug releases
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