ClosR.it is another great web 2.0 application I stumbled upon while browsing the net. It allows photo enthusiasts, designers, professional photographers, and really anyone who takes pictures to upload their photos in high-resolution. The problem with many other image hosting services is that they cap limits on the site of the photos, or just re-size them. ClosR.it allows full HD image views, perfect to share with all of your photo-enthusiastic friends and family!
Not only is it a handy place to store your photos, but you can also add widgets to your website or blog to showcase your images. These widgets allow for many useful features, such as zooming in closer onto a particular area of an image, or even displaying fullscreen. I got an interview with the team behind ClosR.it (you can read more about them here), and I’m very excited to share this wonder web 2.0 application!
For those who don’t know, what is the purpose of ClosR.it? What can users do on the site?
With ClosR.it we would like to deliver a simple, easy and fast solution to help people in solving the common task of displaying and sharing high-resolution images on the internet. These are problems that photographers as radiologist or designers (and many others!) often encountered. So here users can easily upload their big picture and share all over the web through a widget which is embeddable on the major social media.
How was the idea for the site created, and how did the idea progress into the creation of the site?
We, as a company involved in the Information Visualization and User Experience Design fields, are very inclined to work on these themes. We work on them (infographics, diagrams, interface design, maps, GIS field, and so on), so we are our first clients!
How many regular users does the site have, roughly?
Between 15-20 users a day, more or less. ClosR.it has been launched only two months ago. We believe that these numbers can increase, obviously we have to find a good communication strategy on the Web.
There are many widget-creating sites these days, what makes ClosR.it stand out from the rest?
We think that ClosR.it is the simplest way to share and zoom high-resolution images. And this is our strong point. Many of the widgets that you can find around the web are based on RSS news or other contents. Our widget is based on users generated contents. That’s important. ClosR.it’s widgets can also be embedded on WordPress, Facebook, Blogger…and many others (thanks to the Clearspring technology). This is one of the differences between ClosR and Zoomorama (a big one), it only gives to users its embed code, making the widget embeddable only on personal websites.
Where did you look for inspiration when creating the site?
The Internet is a very huge inspiration archive. Here we have found a problem, a user need: the publication of big images on the internet, without losing quality and with certainties about safety (flash technology doesn’t let the download of the source file: jpeg, tiff or gif).
What type of backend system is the site run on, and have you noticed any significant downtime with the site?
ClosR.it runs on a sort-of Cloud Computing solution and it delivers all the static contents through a global CDN (content delivery network) in order to reduce delays and offer the best performances.
In terms of software ClosR.it is based on OpenSource solutions: we used Zend framework, MySQL, Linux and Haxe to create the whole service.
How many people work and help with ClosR.it?
VISup team is composed by less than 10 people.
Here we are: http://www.flickr.com/photos/visupsrl/3545484484/
We have worked together on this project, each one of us following different tasks related to specific skills. (You can read our skills here in the VISup account: http://www.linkedin.com/companies/visup)
Do you have any secrets or future plans for ClosR.it? Where can you see the site progressing in 2 years?
Sure we have secrets! I’m joking. We are planning and designing day by day new features and improvements, following users suggestions. Now we are collecting all users feedback, ideas and wishes. We hope to reach users, groups, companies, and organizations that can collaborate with us. That’s because the goal of this project is to give the better tools for this kind of need, and for reaching this, we have to work with users and not only for the users.
If you had any advice for someone starting their own web 2.0 site, what would it be?
Don’t work alone! The internet is a good platform for collaboration, so don’t lose this opportunity.