In thinking about How can we get more questions about photographs?, it occurs to me that presenting some visual indicator that a question comes with an image on the front page list of questions (you know, https://photo.stackexchange.com/) would help draw attention to these. And, really, what better indicator than a small thumbnail of the image in question?

I know this wouldn't be appropriate for all Stack Exchange sites — but not every feature is. For example, we don't have TeX support for math equations here, but the math site does. And since this is a photography site, something that helps make photographs more prominent seems appropriate.

Optional: maybe these thumbnails would only show up when photos have a certain tag or set of tags, so not just any question with a diagram or a photo of some camera gear would count.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe it doesn't even have to be a thumbnail, but a frame around the title on the front page to signify that there are photos attached in the question. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 9, 2014 at 20:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Or even something like what Craigslist does. \$\endgroup\$
    – hairboat
    Sep 9, 2014 at 20:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ That would be awesome I think. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Sep 9, 2014 at 20:30

1 Answer 1


I'm mulling this over as I work on an inquiry to see if dev time can be spent on this.

The question of what the homepage indicator should look like is the easy part. Here's the hard part: should there be an indicator like this for every post that has a photo in it? I think not. I think the goal here is to promote questions that are about photographs, as opposed to about gear or software.

It's been suggested that we have some sort of Markdown syntax that denotes "this is the image to use as a thumbnail" in a question that has multiple images. I'd take it a step further: that syntax should be used to denote "this is a photograph I made and not a screenshot or random image search shot".

It's my hunch that using thumbnails won't fly very far because of the performance implications, but I will look into it. (It's also my opinion that a text or graphical indicator would be preferable over a thumbnail, but that's probably just my bias toward keeping a clean homepage coming through. I'll still look into the thumbnail thing.)

So, in short, we'd have:

  1. A piece of Markdown syntax denoting "this is the photograph my question is about"
  2. An indicator on the homepage displaying either a thumbnail of that photograph or some other "has image" notation

This sounds good, but it's very hard to enforce this programmatically. There's really no way to prevent people from putting the "this is my cool special image" tag on a snapshot of their DSLR settings window. It could very easily turn into an "unofficial bounty" - a free way to get more attention on your run-of-the-mill "how does my lens work" question without having to wait two days and spend fifty rep on a bounty. We'd need buy-in from moderators and editors to watch this feature carefully and make sure that it's truly only being used on questions about photographs.

Does this mean we shouldn't do it? Maybe. Probably not. But it's certainly something this community needs a clear stance on before we can proceed.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Abby. I very much agree with this is a photograph I made. Also, we're pretty good about enforcing things with edits here when we do have buy-in. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Oct 8, 2014 at 21:57

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