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[NEW] OTP_FILL & Thumbshotter

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[NEW] OTP_FILL & Thumbshotter
The open directory thumbnail service "Thumbshots.org" has changed it's tune, and has moved to a fully dynamic service. They only thumbnail images in the DMOZ directory, which leaves holes in most people's directories, even ones fully imported from DMOZ dumps.

I've created two programs, one runs on your server, and grabs the images from Thumbshots.org in real time, the first time someone accesses the link, and caches it for up to 2 months on your server, so there are no "dead" areas. You can turn off caching, but there are *major* advantages for the small extra bandwidth and storage space.

Missing thumbshots are served with a blank transparant image.

The other program, unfortunately, runs under windows perl, and will do screen shots from a list of URL's fed into it. It's a manual process, since windows sometimes chokes, and has to be restarted (the browser, not the OS). We will provide missing thumbshots to you, by subscription, and are working on a way to do it in a semi automated fashion ( your server lets us know what thumbshots are missing, we queue them, run them, and your server checks back every few days to see if they've been done. All automated, from your end.

For more on the OTP_FILL service, check out the message here in the UltraNerds forum

We can also run your entire directory (upt to the size limitations below), and customize the image sizes, add borders, drop shadows, or rotation. Anything ImageMagick or net::pbm can do, we can do to your images.

We can also store the "full sized" or scalled down larger screen shot for you, and let you offer a "detailed view" of the site if you want.

We are *NOT* even attempting to do the whole DMOZ directory -- and wouldn't even want to, and we are limiting the service to niche sites. Sites with under 500 links will be given scheduling preference, sites up to 5000 links will be accepted, cautiously. Anything over that we need to talk, since it is major time involved.

If you are willing to add the shots to your directory over time, we can arrange something.

The OTP_FILL service, in a way, has NOTHING to do with the THUMBSHOTS.ORG service. We visit the target site ourselves, generate OUR OWN images, and do not use theirs at all. If you subscribe to the service, you can either use our fill-in service for a hybrid directory of otp images, and custom images, or use our images exclusively, in which case no attribution to Thumbshots is necessary.

check out UltraNerds.com for more information on it all.

http://dollhouseworkshops.com is a site I set up last week, and which uses a DMOZ import, with no "fill" in images. You can see how many images are missing, even after a week (you'd think they'd add missing images to their queue).

The http://origami.net and http://pugs.net directories are fully populated now with the thumbshots. I should have kept a before/after sites, but I didn't ... so see if you can tell which were which. Origami.net was about 60% populated by Thumbshots.org, but pugs.net was only about 30%. So 70% of the images on Pugs.net were generated by my script. 40% on Origami.net were.

There are many others. All my new new sites use the new OTP_Link template, and they have been "plug and play" for the past few months.

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