I've had this idea for a few years and kept coming back. So a week ago, while sitting in bed, I challenged myself to build a prototype in 15 minutes. It worked!
I got a very basic prototype working where people could sign up for an account (email/password) and post captions. I would manually add the photos in the database and hotlink them. No file uploads, no voting, no anti spam measures, no real design to speak of. Not even a dedicated domain name.
I shared the prototype with some friends and the WIP community. Based on the feedback and user behavior I made some refinements and added some features. First of all people kept sending me their captions in the chat as they couldn't be bothered to create an account. So I added Twitter and Facebook sign in. I also added upvotes to have non-funny and spammy captions automatically move down the list + give more of a game element to it. Initially there were both upvotes and downvotes, but people kept downvoting each other so I removed those. I also added a "hall of fame" leaderboard to see where you rank amongst the community. How funny actually are you?
Finally I improved the design. Added some character by adding a bunch of cat illustrations I licenses from Creative Market.
I don't have concrete future plans for it yet. We'll see if people like it. If there's enough interest I'll build out the site and eventually look into monetizing it. Here's a silly idea I had: https://caption.cat/eyeballs
Curious to hear what you think! Please give it a try.
@marckohlbrugge Nice idea Mark. This could be paid service for people whos caption get chosen. Marketers, entrepreneurs can pay for captions on their Instagram posts, etc.
@stefan_smiljkovic Thanks. Yeah that might be an interesting area to explore if there are enough talented users participating. Let's hope so :)
Just took a look... people are coming up with some pretty random captions 👀 like... I think I'm laughing at them not with them @marckohlbrugge
@marckohlbrugge That said, your gif thumbnail perfectly describes my reaction 😄
@abadesi Haha yeah not everybody shares the same taste in humor. Plus there are a bunch of inside jokes, because many of the beta testers came from the same group chat (WIP).
My hope is that by publicly launching Caption Cat it will attract a more diverse set of users and with the voting system in place the funniest captions will automatically surface towards the top.
@marckohlbrugge Ah I see. Makes sense
On what basis are you selecting the pic as of now?
@graciousgarg It's pretty random right now. The original idea was to pick photos from the news, but I don't want things to get too political/divisive and I want to be careful making fun of humanitarian problems, etc.
Marc, this is a fun idea. My daughter LOVES captioning illustrations, she'd flip at the cats gif.
What tools did you use for the original 15 minute version? What is your stack now?
@benjamin_wheeler I don't know how old your daughter is, but viewer discretion is advised. You never know what kind of captions people will come up with.
I used Ruby on Rails, Heroku (hosting), and the Devise Ruby gem (signup/signin). I later added OmniAuth Ruby gem (sign in with Facebook/Twitter), acts_as_votable Ruby gem (voting), and switched to Hatchbox on Linode for hosting.
Hey, I'm in love with this cat :)
btw who choose the best variant?
@rina_rasaeva The community! Once you're signed in you can upvote your favorite captions.
i love this product! In japan, https://bokete.jp/ this service is very popular. this must be world hit!
@fuji_syan How similar is it? My Japanese is near non-existent haha. Arigato.
@marckohlbrugge same system.
someone post a image and others make captions. Do-itashimashite(your welcome)
@fuji_syan Ah I see. Very similar indeed. I will have a closer look. Perhaps I could learn a thing or two.
Love the product thumbnail, @marckohlbrugge. 😸
@rrhoover Thanks. Didn't make it myself. Got it from an artist at Creative Market. I would credit the person here, but last time I did that I saw the same illustrations pop up everywhere the next day 😂
Nippon Roy Nir
If you need any person upvote mail email@example.com
@marckohlbrugge, the “didn’t receive confirmation” link doesn’t seem to work - and I didn’t receive the confirmation. :) Fun idea, thanks for making!