My Shot is officially up and running. After just two weeks, we've already had some 2,300 people sign up as members. Together they've contributed more than 5,700 images. And we still have exciting improvements and add-ons to come.
My Shot grew out of another popular Web feature, the Daily Dozen, 12 images selected from visitor-submitted photographs by senior photo editor Susan Welchman every weekday. As we watched the number of submissions soar, I began wondering how we could post more of our loyal photographers' best work. That's why My Shot was created—as a way for you to save and share your strongest images.
Getting your own page is simple: Submit a photo to Your Shot, and you're automatically qualified to set up your own My Shot page. You can then post up to 100 photos. Soon we'll also have special programs to reward photographers whose images are chosen for the Daily Dozen and Top Shot, giving them space to display even more of their work.
As a My Shot member, you also have a version of our popular jigsaw puzzle on your home page. Just click on the puzzle icon to transform any My Shot image (yours or other photographers') into a puzzle. Our resident genius developer, Stefan Estrada, has made it possible to adjust the number of puzzle pieces from 20 to 500. Stefan has also added a customized version of his memory game that enables you to use your own and others' My Shot photos.
Your My Shot home page also carries customized widgets from both the Daily Dozen and Our Shot (featuring images chosen daily by National Geographic's photo editors).
We've made it easy to mark where your photos were taken on Google Maps (start by clicking on the map icon). We'll soon be creating a mash-up of all My Shot members' photos, so please take the time to locate your images on your own map.
A few more requests: Please don't put up ads for your business. But please do tag (list a few words describing) your work to help other photographers find images they'd like—all My Shot photos can be searched by subject. And since captions interest all of us, take a moment to describe the place, time, circumstances, etc. of each image.
We expect to be out of the BETA version of My Shot by the end of March, so please hang in there with us as we continue to upgrade this feature. Some improvements on the near horizon:
I'm thrilled with the quality and variety of the photographs that have been submitted. Keep taking photos—and keep them coming in!