While I touched upon this in a more recent article, a subsequent follow-up with Chameleon's support department gave me a few tips to maximize the productivity, and quality, of the galleries I would receive from users of their software – tips that I'd like to share with you today.
These issues will also apply to all sites accepting either auto-submitted, or manually submitted galleries:
Quantity Over Quality
To maximize the number of submissions your gallery post receives, you should not use any restrictions for:
- The number of accepted submissions per day;
- The min/max number of pics/movies used on a gallery;
- The number of outgoing links (to sponsors, TGPs etc);
- The type of hosting (free / paid / sponsor / non-adult host / IPs instead of URLs);
- The content type (series / assorted);
- The size & format of submitted pics/movies;
- And the categories accepted...
You should also allow pop-ups, consoles, and dialers, etc., and it would also help if you do not require a reciprocal link, and allow galleries to be auto-submitted without using an OCR code on the submit form.
While such an approach would surely open the floodgates and allow for the maximum number of submissions, experienced webmasters will see the obvious problems with having this "anything goes" policy. The list, as such, provides policy areas to consider, and decisions to be made, not only about the type of content you wish to allow, but how you wish to treat your surfers.
Less Is More
While the above steps will maximize submissions, many of these galleries will be, to be blunt, "crap" – and filled with viruses, Trojans, pop-ups, re-directs, and all sorts of other things that you wouldn't want to deal with, just to get more submissions. Thus, an eye towards maximizing the quality, rather than the quantity, of your submitted galleries, would prove most beneficial.
Some basic rules to maximize the quality of submissions would include not allowing pop-ups, consoles, frames, or dialers, etc. Also, some free hosts really like to redirect traffic, and while there are some 'decent' free hosts, you may not want to receive galleries hosted on free hosts, especially non-adult hosts. Likewise, submissions coming from free email accounts (such as Yahoo!) should also be discouraged.
Having said that, it's important to distinguish between sponsor-provided free hosted galleries, or even an AVS or other sponsor-hosted site, and a webmaster submitted gallery on a free 'GeoCities' account.
Regarding the reciprocal link, even though some users are submitting to non-recip sites only, it's recommended that you require one, not only because a few surfers will come to your site through the reciprocal link, but because your site will receive better positioning in several search engines. A good text recip really helps, especially when it appears on 100's of new galleries daily – this will often increase your Page Rank dramatically.
Category naming and syntax is also a consideration, and a little planning ahead of time can prove most beneficial later on. While you don't need to use exactly the same syntax as Chameleon uses, as your categories can be simply assigned to their categories from within your TGP script, to receive a maximum number of gallery submissions, you could use just one common category (e.g. "All"), or any individual category, or use two categories (e.g. "Pics" and "Movies"). Sorting galleries by niche can make their selection easier, but much depends on the layout and focus of your TGP.
At the end of the day, Chameleon Submitter can deliver more galleries than most sites can use on a daily basis, allowing site owners to choose the best of these for inclusion in their listings. Having said that, careful policy decisions can eliminate many of the 'problem' galleries before you need to deal with them, but these decisions might also exclude other galleries that might have been otherwise welcome at your site. While the tips outlined above will help, nothing will replace trial and error experience with your own site, and submissions. Good luck! ~ Stephen