The other day, as I was browsing through my Google Webmaster Tools and searching through all the links pointing back to OmgLia.com, I stumbled across something .... amazing. It's a site called Polyvore and it's basically the coolest thing I've ever seen! From the site:
bEhinD my S M i L E, you'd be suprised how much i H i D E by »emmα;; &&iT'S THE [CLiMB] ♥ featuring Louis Vuitton bags
"Polyvore is a free, easy-to-use web-based application for mixing and matching images from anywhere on the web. It is also a vibrant community of creative and stylish people. Polyvore lets you create sets composed of individual images using an easy to use, drag and drop editor. After you have created a set, you can publish and share it with your friends and the Polyvore community."
Essentially, it's a group of creative people who are interested in fashion, creating style boards using images from all over the web- including OmgLia.com! Unbeknownst to me, users had added all of the pictures on my site with plain white backgrounds and begun using them in their fashion spreads. As an apparel merchandising/fashion design major, this site appeals to me in just about EVERY way possible. I'll be making my first spread soon.
Why I Find Polyvore to be an Excellent Promotional Tool:
1. When an item is added from your site, Polyvore provides a prominent link back to your site along with a price, tags, and a link to other items from your site.
2. Internal links to an item on a website are rated higher in SEO (search engine optimization) than homepage links - aka, as a result of these internal links, my site shows up higher in search engine results!
3. With just a click, your image is added to a database of thousands of members to be featured artistically in ways you never imagined! Not only is the creator of the spread perusing your items, but they are turning it into a beautiful work of art to be appreciated by thousands more!
4. Advertising potential! Using your items in visually appealing situations lends opportunities for ad copy and, with permission, even graphic design potential. For example: "Look how cute these earrings look with a lavender shirt and a pair of Mary Janes! *pic of outfit*" Once a customer can visualize your item fitting into her closet, she is already on her way to purchasing it!
5. The creators of the style board AND the owners of the items featured are both given excellent, easy-to-find, prominent credit.
This site is my FAVORITE new promotional tool!
Arguments Against Polyvore
Many on Etsy have brought up the point that Polyvore is encouraging "stealing" of images and items for an unintended purpose. For example, a photograph that is altered within a spread. My counter to that is this:
1. Your item is given a link back and is clearly named and credited to you both with a hover-over and a sidebar link. Also, I have found that commenting on a work and saying "thanks for using an item from *my site link*" is another great way to further promote credit for one's work. It is quite similiar to being featured in a blog with a link back - but much more artistic and creative!
2. Worried about your images being stolen? Sadly, images are practically free for the taking online. Most of us don't have copyright lawyers to defend our work. The solution: watermarks. Don't post an original photograph without a big stamped URL over top of it! That way no matter where your image ends up, your site is always credited - plus no one but a customer has the original image.
3. Etsy items and, as I understand it, Photobucket and Flickr items, are not allowed to be added to Polyvore. This prevents uncredited items and encourages direct links back to original content on the website of the work's creator.
Take a look at some of the gorgeous creations featuring OmgLia items! Can you find them? It's like a treasure hunt!
Are you a member? Post yours!