POPULUM.ORG is the home of CommonsSearch

CommonsSearch Logo
CommonsSearch Logo

CommonsSearch is a unique solution for your image, video and tweet search and insertion needs.

It's free for 5 days and after that: very, very affordable.

CommonsSearch can help you in a number of ways.

If you have a site which offers content, having images and videos makes a huge difference-- they can more than double the page views. The challenge is: how do you find affordable content, when images from commercial sources can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars a month? And using images without permission can lead to expensive lawsuits or bills from owners who find you've used their original creative work?

Here is an example of an image (and attributions) found with CommonsSearch:

Lake in the Woods
  (image by andrew_j_w)     License Info     Image found with CommonsSearch

Finding Images WITHOUT CommonsSearch

CommonsSearch.com evolved from a growing awareness of the ethics and issues of using creative work -- visual images, audio, video. We wanted to do it right, to use images, but only with the highest ethics and respect for creators and their rights.

Practically speaking, doing it right means doing it this way (without CommonsSearch)::

First, you find the image, which requires knowing where to search and knowing how to set the filters so only usable results are produced, with access to the proper attribution and permission information. The process looks like:

That means it requires 21-26 clicks, not including typing in search terms or moving from one search page to another.

Clearly, this process of grabbing the image, the owner name, the owner url, the image url, and the image permission is click intensive. And looking for images on multiple websites? It's so inconvenient and so much of a hassle that you end up not bothering.

To make this process far more convenient and efficient, we built a tool that makes it so much easier to search multiple sources for permissioned content.We started with images, then we added YouTube videos and also tweets. And Facebook videos.

Cutting Down the Number of Clicks

Then we figured out ways to cut the number of clicks necessary from 21-26 down to far fewer.

We do it in seven clicks or less, and all without having to shift from one website to another. That's CommonsSearch.

That huge shift, cutting out 11-17 extra clicks changed our relationship to images. It made it so much easier to find them. We began using a lot more images, putting them on content that came in without images. It's so much easier. It goes from being a chore to being fun.

CommonsSearch simultaneously takes all the attribution and permission information along with the image or video.

Why not do it right, when it's so easy and so inexpensive?

Filter by date: A nice feature of CommonsSearch is the filter control system. You can use a date range, like "the last two days" or, "last month" and you can add the name of the YouTube channel or stream to narrow the search. Let's say you want an image of the results of a hurricane. You can enter the proper keyword search terms and set the search to only cover the last few days or the last day. There's a good chance there will be images, videos or tweets.

Youtube: We added video because there are hundreds of millions of videos that you can embed and each video has an image associated with it. So, if you find a relevant video, the image comes with it. Some channels, like CSPAN allow you to use their images with attribution -- thus, you have a huge additional image source. And CommonsSearch makes it fast and easy to embed the video on your pages.

We added Twitter because there are a LOT of images there and then we realized CommonsSearch makes it easy to insert tweets into your articles so they hold their formatting and look like tweets, even better than when you use the code from twitter.

We'll soon be adding hundreds of thousands, if not millions more images from government resources, like the Library of Congress, NASA and NOAA.

Also, we offer an API you can programatically add images to your website.

And we have a WordPress plugin. Soon, we will have Drupal and Joomla extensions, also.

Go to CommonsSearch Home Page