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Old 12-04-2004, 03:37 AM   #1
Jaewyn
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Perhaps I can help!  Mud Mall Fantasy Gallery offers a free banner rotation service that doesn't require you to provide a reciprocal link.  With an average of around 400 banner impressions per month for each account over the last 12 months, its not a huge amount of promotion, but doesn't every little bit help?  All accounts have access to detailed statistics to monitor how well your banner is performing and you can change your banner at any time.

What's in it for me you say?  Well the theory is you will send more people to my site so more people will see your banner, that way we both gain increased visitors to our sites.

To start your own free banner account, click on the link below.  What have you got to lose?
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Old 12-04-2004, 04:24 AM   #2
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*sighs*

I really hate to say this, because it's obvious you put a lot of work and love into the gallery, and you show more courtsesy to the artists than most similar places.

However, it's still not the right way to go about running an online gallery. It is not the artists' responsibility to go looking for places that use their images and then granting or denying permission. That responsibility is on you - you don't have the right to put those pictures up until you actively seek and receive the author's (or rather, copyright holder's) permission to do so.
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Old 12-04-2004, 05:36 AM   #3
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So is that to say I can't post an image if I don't know who the artist is? I have tried to track down the unknown authors many times but with limited success. It seems there are a lot of images out there where the artist is not identified. As you say, I try to give the artists credit where I can.
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Old 12-04-2004, 06:03 AM   #4
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That's right. As a matter of fact, even just crediting the artist isn't enough (although it is better than giving no credit at all). Copyright is the right to make copies - and you don't have that right unless you get permission from the copyright holder.

Some artists will grant permission freely if it's for non-commercial purposes and you give them credit and/or display a link to their page. They often state so on their webpage - in that case, you don't need to contact them.

Other artists will grant permission on individual level. If you email them and explain the purpose of your gallery, you can agree on the terms under which you can use the image. Most often, the conditions will be the same as above, providing credit and linking back to their page. You do need to contact them, though.

Sometimes, artists will not give permission for particular images. This can be for various reasons - maybe they are not the copyright holder (often the case with card game art), maybe it was a commissioned RP portrait and they agreed with their client not to distribute the image freely, maybe they are limited by a publishing contract for a certain period of time (for book covers and similar).

And finally, some artists will not give permission at all. They may be worried about bad quality copies of their artwork floating around, they may have other reasons, but whatever their reason, they do have the right to deny permission, and their decision should be respected.
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Old 12-05-2004, 06:28 AM   #5
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I've been thinking about this some more, how it could be done and what possibilities there are...

The most obvious solution is contacting the artists for permission. This probably requires the least effort - although it still can take ages to hunt down an email address in some cases. But be prepared to get turned down a lot. Many of the big names (Valejo, Maitz) don't grant any permissions at all, and some, like Brom, don't even answer emails. At the moment, you don't offer much that would make a professional artist interested in having their art displayed at your site (i.e. it's not a professional-oriented site, unlike galleries that sell artwork or that are frequented by art directors).

Another option is building a community of artists and providing them with room to promote or show their artwork. Doing this for professional artists is extremely difficult and time consuming. You need to offer a lot of features and customer support and you'd most likely need a few experienced editors to maintain a certain quality level. Not to mention Epilogue has this ground covered quite well.

You could do the same for amateur artists, but such galleries risk being flooded and growing into mammoth proportions fast (Elfwood, and to some extent Deviantart). They become difficult to maintain and manage, almost impossible to browse in any sensible way, and increasingly demanding hardware-wise.

Then, just as I was about to fall asleep last night, this thread somehow merged in my head with the thread about promoting the mud community to the outside world... and an idea was born, which I felt might be interesting to share here, in case you or anybody else feels like adopting it.

Why not create a fantasy art gallery around the mud community? There are many talented people playing or building muds, and muds by their nature don't give them much outlet to show off their creations. I know some muds have art contests or webpage sections with artwork (fanart?) and the quality of some of the pictures is amazing.

How this could work:

-- After signing up for a member account, you get a gallery page where you can upload your visions of the mud(s) you play, along with a brief bio (or character information) and links to the muds.

So, the thumbnail view might have entries like this:



Author: NG* (View gallery)
Title: The Wyrm of Arcanarton
Mud: Midnight Sun
Genre: fantasy
Keywords: wyrm, dragon

*site username, linking to the author profile, where they could specify what characters they play on which muds, if they so wish

-- The database would be searchable by keyword, author, genre or mud name, giving a list of thumbnails with the above info as search result.

-- Some sort of visitor rating system for both galleries and individual images would be nice, to both give feedback to the artist and simplify finding the best images.

Why this could work:

-- It would be primarily an amateur gallery, but with enough focus to prevent it growing out of hand.

-- It would provide an interesting way to search for muds, seeing them through the players' eyes - something I haven't seen done before.

-- It would provide a somewhat unusual promotion venue for muds, who might encourage their players to contribute. The players too might feel good about having a chance to share their work and do something for their game.

-- It might attract some of the fantasy art crowd to muds and mudding in general, as people would likely link to their gallery from webpages or from their other galleries.

The gallery wins, because it gets more traffic, more targetted traffic, and a community. The muds win, because they get targetted promotion. The artists win, because they get to show off their work, they get feedback, and they can help out their favourite games.

This post has gotten quite long, I realize - sorry about that. But I wanted to share this idea.
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Old 12-05-2004, 07:32 AM   #6
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Thumbs up

Thanks Angie,

I REALLY like your idea, I too read the thread about promoting to the outside world, and you're right, this could help raise the profile of text based muds, surely it couldn't hurt. I have seen some of the artwork done by players and staff of muds, there is a lot of good material out there. If the idea is embraced by the mudding community, everyone will win!

Now I need an appropriate name... "The Art of Mud" perhaps?
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Old 12-05-2004, 11:50 AM   #7
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I feel a bit uninspired right now, but I'll link to here from the other thread.
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Old 12-06-2004, 03:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Angie @ Dec. 05 2004,06:28)
I know some muds have art contests or webpage sections with artwork (fanart?) and the quality of some of the pictures is amazing.
If anyone's interested in an example of what she's talking about:

http://www.achaea.com/irex/artbard/

Look at the Artisanal archives for the visual art. Unfortunately our archives only go back to January of last year cause we lost everything previous during our Times of Trouble last spring.

None of the art is Boris Vallejo-quality, of course, but I'm pretty pleased with the skill level of some people. For instance, this won last month's contest (and about $200 worth of stuff): http://www.achaea.com/irex/artbard/view.php?id=00000879

Anyway, a well-run central fanart gallery for muds would, I think, be pretty cool, though as you point out, running a good art gallery online is a lot of work. I think it's also important to ensure that all artwork on the site is non-infringing.

--matt
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Old 12-07-2004, 05:49 AM   #9
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Phew, back after recharging a bit of energy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Now I need an appropriate name... "The Art of Mud" perhaps?
The Art of Mud sounds a bit descriptive... I'd go with something more poetic or with some sort of pun. You could even keep your current name (less hassle with changing domain name etc.).

Quote:
Originally Posted by
Anyway, a well-run central fanart gallery for muds would, I think, be pretty cool, though as you point out, running a good art gallery online is a lot of work.
It is quite a bit of work, but a gallery like this could be easily run with the help of a couple of volunteer editors. I'd be willing to help out with beta testing or even as an editor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by
I think it's also important to ensure that all artwork on the site is non-infringing.
Easiest way to do this is giving visitors the option to report plagiarized work, and making it clear in the rules that members who post work that is not theirs will have their accounts discontinued. In a relatively close community, which this would be, peer pressure goes a long way, and making people understand that by posting stolen work they are tarnishing their mud's reputation might help too.
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Old 12-07-2004, 05:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Angie @ Dec. 07 2004,05:49)
It is quite a bit of work, but a gallery like this could be easily run with the help of a couple of volunteer editors. I'd be willing to help out with beta testing or even as an editor.

Easiest way to do this is giving visitors the option to report plagiarized work, and making it clear in the rules that members who post work that is not theirs will have their accounts discontinued. In a relatively close community, which this would be, peer pressure goes a long way, and making people understand that by posting stolen work they are tarnishing their mud's reputation might help too.
If someone else organizes putting it together to the point where it looks nice and is functional (ie able to submit without human intervention, organized by mud, etc), and is kept free of infringing work, I'll be happy to kick in $25/month for hosting and bandwidth costs.
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Old 12-09-2004, 04:28 PM   #11
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Nobody else would be willing to help with this?
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Old 12-10-2004, 12:23 AM   #12
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Hosting and bandwidth won't be an issue, I have space on a server available and I can cover the cost of the domain name. That's why you see the little "Meteor Hosting" button on my current site, check it out if you're looking for hosting, I can always use the business.

I am currently putting the graphics and scripts together to make this work, hopefully will have something up soon.
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