What is the difference between theft and sharing? Permission. But permission can be implied. For instance: the ease with which images can be downloaded from your website appears to constitute permission to download them. This is understandable – if you left your valuables hanging on your front fence passers by might think they were there for the taking.
Add Pinterest into the mix and now people are encouraged to 'collect' images onto their own boards and share them with each other.
So new tech brings lots of scary situations with it, situations you haven't had to deal with in the bricks and mortar world. We are working on some interactive forms at the moment. Interactive forms generate the next questions depending on the answers given to the current question. This results in the form length varying according to the answers given and renders meaningless the idea of a fixed page. The client wants the user to sign each page but we can't tell where pages will end. In this situation we need to explore what the per page signature achieves and whether that is relevant in the context of interactive forms and if so, how to achieve that same goal using a different solution.
Back to images on the web: what do you do if you have images on your website and want them to remain yours? You either find a way of protecting them or you embrace digital sharing by giving permission for your images to be shared by making it easy to do so. BUT you manage the opportunity by making sure that the images are able to drive traffic back to your website.
Making images sharable via Pinterest is simple – we add a Pinterest share button to the image and that allows visitors to add your image to their board. BUT, you want to make sure that the image has a link back to your website attached to it. The trick is to control the information that is attached to your images as much as possible. This includes naming it something more useful than image01.jpg By calling it redtiehothousedesign.jpeg you do a couple of things – you alert users to your company, you improve SEO results and you look a bit smarter than the average bear. So the opportunities that arise out of making your images sharable are: better SEO, better naming of images, scattering links to your website far and wide, enhancing the personality you present to make it more open and sharing and helpful – all good!
Most bad things can be turned into opportunities but taking advantage of the opportunity usually takes more work than building up a paranoid head of steam!