Recently, I joined a photo sharing site called ViewBug. It’s a new-ish site with a relatively small Facebook following of only 15,000. It’s new enough that Wikipedia doesn’t even have it listed on their List of photo sharing websites.
Joining this site was prompted by an event from last week. A Facebook post popped up in my feed from Sandpoint.com asking for shots of Sandpoint (my home town). I responded eagerly with eight of my favorite photos from around town. That evening, I received a message from the owner of Sandpoint Newsline asking if I’d submit photos: We are always looking for cover shots and shots for our main spreads.
So, I got to thinking. If the response was that positive for some of these photos, maybe I ought to enter some into a contest. A quick search brought me to ViewBug (Whomever is in charge of SEO at ViewBug did a fantastic job; their site came up second in a search for “photography contests”).
The premise of ViewBug is really cool. Lite membership is free. Upgrades are Premium Gold and Pro, which cost $59/year and $139/year, respectively. The really appealing aspect about this site is that it runs contests that any member can enter. If you have a Lite membership, Free Contests are, well, free. Premium Contests are $8.99/entry and they generally allow two entries. Premium Gold and Pro membership include all entry fees. I have entered a couple of the free contests. I haven’t yet committed to paying the $59/year: the site is just too small.
The major difference between free and premium contests that I noticed are quantity and quality. As might be expected, there are far fewer entries in the premium categories and those entries are generally of much higher quality.
I would be interested in hearing from readers as to the efficacy of ViewBug insofar as exposure, marketing, etc. It’s a cool site, but I have no idea if it’s worth paying to join. For that matter, I know very little about photo sharing sites in general. Any thoughts, comments, experiences would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for helping on the road to my dreams.