Wednesday, April 25, 2007Home

Foundmyself Online Art Community offers free services

A new Honor System policy has been introduced at Foundmyself.com, where artists of all kinds can sign up, post their work, interact with others, even attach Paypal buttons for their work. The website's organizers are now offering all of these services for free.

From the Foundmyself Q + A:

With our new Honor System policy, Foundmyself is stepping into uncharted territories. Never before has an art community given the artist all the tools they need to share their creations, sell their art, and customize their galleries without any mandatory cost. We still show no ads, and continually work to improve the community for you. The entire system is based on trust.

Donations are expected to be made in proportion with the earnings that individuals make through using the site's services. The organizers have thus taken the trust system and embraced it fully. They are counting on their users to be honest and to act in a constructive, cooperative fashion. This is all monitored by a user's "honor level," which is calculated through the duration of a user's membership, the amount of donations made, and images uploaded. A better rating will get an artist in more visible front-page positions on the site. The opposite applies as well, and one runs the risk of getting the equivalent of a "Mr. Yuck" sticker if no donations are made.

One thing that never fails to surprise me is the almost compulsive need to accumulate "points" among regular users online. Members of forums will rack up thousands of posts just to improve their standing. It will be interesting to see if this self-described "social experiment" would work. After all, the distinction of being Most Honorable is one that we don't hear much anymore. Maybe Foundmyself is onto something. Or maybe their domain will be vacant in a year. Such is the business. Isn't it?

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