Image Collector SPLOT

Create a pool of images contributed by anyone

About the Collector

This Wordpress Theme powers a site for creating collections of images (termed "collectables") where images can be shared without any logins. This is done by using a generic author account that is hidden and silently activated. The user never sees any sign of the innards of Wordpress but can create posts for each collectable.

The options can let you to create a simple Upload and go site, but you can also allow (and require or not), captions, a source description (maybe more than hey, I found it on GOOGLE), and a selection of a usage rights.

And to be super slick, you can even enable an email address that allows people to publish directly to your collection by old fashioned email.

Examples in the Real World

The original version was created in response to Thompson Rivers University instructional designers who were planning a workshop on finding open licensed images, and desired a place for participants to share their results along with attribution information.

Some more examples you can explore...

Take a Ride Before You Try to Tame That Web Horse

We have a demo site that was created the same way here on StateU as you can or will do. Explore this Visual Metaphors site, and add a few photos to the mix. You could look at the other SPLOT demo in this workshop, Metaphor Storymaking, and see if you can find additional images that might work with what someone else has written.

How to Build Your Own

Let's make a SPLOT! The instructions below are available (at least for now) only via the StateU site. Anyone can create an account there to try this pre-built SPLOT. If you want to try this on your own domain, you can get the theme and instructions from GitHub. It will take a few more steps there.

Like you did when setting up your first Wordpress blog, start at your StateU dashboard. Under Applications click Wordpress.

Click the Install This Application button. This time we will set up the Location settings to put this Wordpress site in a subdirectory of our own site. Because we already have a Wordpress sitting at the root of our domain, we will put this new site in a subdirectory (You can have a different Wordpress site sitting within the URL of another, it is smart like that). You can name it whatever you like, it will become the URL for your site too. We suggest always using lower case for directory names, because to a web server SPLOT and SPlot and sPloT are different from splot.

So in this case the site creator wants a blog at the url so coolpix is what they enter for Directory:

The next section is called Versions. Under the Content heading you will see a few options for the template to use; choose SPLOT Image Pool to install a version of Wordpress with all of this functionality built in, and most of the site set up for you.

Now scroll past a few sections until you get to Wordpress Settings. You can edit your own admin user name and password, but it's not necessary-- you can log into your directly from this interface later. So you can leave the random generated values for now.

The only fields you might want to change Website Title and Website Tagline to something that better represents your new site (you can also edit this later in the Wordpress settings).

That's it! Now click the Install button in the bottom right, and just watch the progress bar dance along the screen.

When it's done, you can try the first link to see your site. You will find there, as part of the install, a few sample images, and one of them has a post with the instructions you can follow to modify the site.

The most important thing to do is to update the password for the secret account the site uses to post content. Go to the Wordpress dashboard for your site, and click Users. Click on the user named collector.

In the user settings scroll to the bottom, and under User Management click Generate Password. It will generate one of those ugly long passwords, but copy the password. You will never have to use or remember it.

And do not forget to click Update User

Now look for the link for TRU Collector Options in the top black admin bar. This has a long list of things you will soon fiddle with to customize your site. But first in ot scroll now down to Author Account. Paste the copied password into this field.

And at the bottom of the screen, click Save Changes.

For further customization steps and instructions, view your site, and follow the link for Setting Up Your Image Pool-- this explains the other customizations.

Try adding a few images of your own to your pool. See if you can figure out how to delete the ones that came with it (hint, in the Dashboard, look under Collectables-- find your list of created collectables. Hover any name to see extra admin links.).

Now try your SPLOT collector in another browser where you are not logged into it as a Wordpress Administrator (you will not see the black admin menu bar at top). Try clicking the collect link. If you see the form to add an image, you are in good shape. Add one. If you see instead a login screen with a SPOLT logo, this means the password you set for the Collector user did not get entered right-- repeat the steps to create it password and then copy it to your TRU Collector options.

Note that you may be tempted to change your site's theme (via Appearance in the dashboard), maybe you think this is UGLY. Go ahead. But you will lose all of its functionality-- this is built into the TRU Writer theme. But try it. You won't break a thing. When you return to using the TRU Writer everything will be in its place. You cannot break things!

Now go play in your pool.

And when you have got it humming, add some photos, maybe ask someone else in the workshop to do so, and then write a post on your blog about it?