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The Market

The Market defined

  • Ther are two kind of ideal users
    • The ideal user who submits content
      • The ideal submitting user is a student at Brown or RISD who creates and or displays their art work digital.
    • The ideal viewing user
      • The ideal viewing user is potentially anyone anywhere who is interested in viewing student art. We realize though, that the greatest concentration of these users will be from Brown and RISD and that these users themselves will be artistically inclined.

Market Size

  • Initial market size for the Alpha
    • We estimate that about 10-30 Brown and / or RISD students will submit to the site in it's alpha form. This is appropriate for the site in its rudimentary stages, for it will not be fully equiped to handlge a large usership
  • Initial market size for the Beta
    • Brown is approximately 6000 students and RISD is approximately 2200. We estimate that about 10% of Brown Student produce relevant art pieces and to begin with about 10% of those students will submit.
    • We estimate that 75% of RISD students produce relevant material and of those people about 10% will submit making 165.
    • So initially we expect about 225 submitting users.

What's out there? (Competition)

  • Media hosting sites
    • We found that while there were several large media hosting sites that efficiently organized and displayed their content, but that none was specifically geared towards students and artists.
      • Although these sites effectively hosted video, audio, and image content, not very many were geared towards tradition media displayed through digital means.
    • These sites are characterized by the availability of advanced features for downloading, display and social networking and are typically open to anyone to submitt content.
      • The shear size of such sites limits the possibility of use exclusive by artists.
  • Social Networking sites
    • Some social networking sites such as and have begun to integrate media hosting into their platforms.
      • to this point has limited itself to image sharing but has developed advanced features that involve tagging.
      • allows users to share video and audio content in addition to images, but these features are not heavily utilized by users.
        • This implies that users who do not produce media or art have little use for these features and those who do use the features might not have an adequate network with which to interact.
  • Video hosting sites
    • We found that there were a lot of free video hosting sites, such as and, but that these sites did were not geared towards artists and did not have adequate social networking capabilities.
    • Most sites are open to any content or have a very broad submission process.
      • Sites that allow users to post content privately do not allow for any social interactions between users and therefore no development of community.
  • Art sharing sites and Art hubs
    • Most of the "art" hubs on the internet are either entirely open, that is they allow anyone to post comments, or all works go through a submission process.
      • Sites that are open tend to host content of varying quality whereas curated sites tend to contain and attract works of higher quality.

Differentiating Ourselves

  • We seek to combine disparate elements from the sites we research to form an online community that can best serve artists, and more specifically student artists.
    • We hope to combine social networking features with media hosting features in an environment that fosters the submission of exclusively artistic rather than commercial content.

Product description

  • free online service [and open-source software project] which enables students to showcase their artistic work

Main goals

  • Provide students with the option to showcase their work to their peers, and to anyone they choose
  • Allowing students to upload files and create online portfolios with media ranging from audio to video and from image to text
  • Additional features that will facilitate interdisciplinary dialog and encourage collaboration

Functional Features (for submitting users)

Uploading media: any art work that can be digitally displayed

  • Audio: music, sound art and any voice recordings, e.g. poetry, book or play readings. Video would include films, documentations of plays, performances etc, animation and video art
  • Still images: llustration, photography, drawing, painting, graphic design, comics, graphic novels, sculpture etc.
  • Interactive media: net art, hypertext, Flash animations, Java applets, software, Web sites (as archive and/or URL)
  • Text: poems, plays, short stories, lyrics, novels etc.

Portfolio concept: web page of art work

  • Idea of presenting users' work on their personal page
    • Links for each piece of work uploaded, e.g thumbnails of images or video
    • Content organization of page at the user's preference: by date, by medium or by theme
    • User can provide text to accompany their work on portfolio page

Profiles / Creating an account

  • Link to artist's profile on portfolio page: space for personal expression
    • Questions e.g. filling out fields pertaining to themself
  • Registration
    • University email address
    • Personalized username


  • Option to publicize or privatize their work uploaded
    • Public: open to public viewing
    • Private: only open to people of the users' choice and by invite only

Functional Features (for all users)

Searching and Viewing

Customized by users:

  • Customization features of privacy set by all users take priority over any search results requested by any other user.
  • Privatized work will not be displayed in searches unless the student displaying the work has either made it public to all users.
  • Users control who can view their work - They control who will be the audience; this applies to searches and viewing.


Searching can be customized, they can be broad or narrow:

  • An user can conduct a search using a keyword and find anywhere it appears
  • An user can conduct a search in a specific subfield, for example, a search within "videos"

Ratings and commenting

  • Submitting users have to option of allowing ratings and comments on an item-by-item basis.
  • If the user chose to allow ratings, their work would be included into categories such as ' most viewed' and 'top rated.'
  • The ratings would appear as a link of the number of ratings under each piece of work.
  • If the user choose to allow comments, a link of the number of comments would appear under each piece of work.
  • This system allows users to exchange feedback and receive credit for the work they produced.

Social networking

This includes:

  • Personal messages, Email, and discussion forum.
  • The idea that this site become an artist community is dependent on the presence of certain social networking functions.
  • Submitting artists have profiles and identities.
  • The idea behind this is to provide a less public source of feedback to the student.
  • All users are required to be registered and to have an identity profile.
  • Users will be able to make "friends" with eachother.
  • This feature will work in concert with the privacy features allowing artists the option of limiting the viewing or of commenting.

Curatorial features/site events


  • The site will also host periodic events such as contests or expos.
  • Curated shows will focus on content that is already on the site, but could included specific submitted work.
  • Festivals will be organized and administered by the controlling body of the site (student group).

Curated shows

  • Guest curators will be in charge of thematic shows.
  • Users will have the opportunity (option) to curate shows on a smaller scale (as a fun feature of the site they can do this with their friends).

Organization Form

S.O.A.P members

  • Advisor: Professor Mark Tribe
  • Proposal and presentation team:
    • Krystal Lie
    • Matt Vascellero
    • Jhon Clavijo
  • Technical and design team:
    • Jason Rodriguez
    • Kris Udekwu
    • Elliot Breece

Organizational structures

  • Becoming a University student group
    • Students with a genuine interest in the project and who are willing to put in the commitment in the development of the project
  • Passing the project to the next MC0075 class
    • Class project guarantees a set group of students who will commit a set amount of time into the development of the project

Implementation Plan

  • Development of S.O.A.P: 3 Phases

Phase 1: completed by the end of Spring semester '06

  • Presentation of S.O.A.P on May 2
  • Functional site - alpha
    • Based on
    • First invitation of users
  • Student Organization at Brown
    • Raising awareness: extend from Brown to RISD community
    • Attempt to increase number of users

Phase 2: moving forward

  • Creation of beta (updated version of alpha)
    • Move the content of alpha from to another platform that we build
    • Work with Computer Science Department at Brown to tackle technical issues
    • Search for potential website developers and designers
  • Promotion plans: aiming for 20-30 contributing users
    • Increase the number of students joining our student organization
    • Publicize S.O.A.P through a marketing campaign (advertising)
  • Expansion plans
    • Find sponsors
    • Apply for Faculty Grant
    • Possibly entering Business Plan Competition hosted by the Brown Entrepeneurship Program

Final Phase

  • Develop S.O.A.P as an Open Source Software
  • Make it available for a wider audience beyond the Brown and RISD community
  • Further publicize S.O.A.P to other universities
  • Broaden audience variety: prospective students, professors and possible employers
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