Joining the photo sharing crowd

Photo sharing is probably one of the most popular Web 2.0 activities. I haven’t joined in on the action all this time because I am looking for the right service/tool. A lot of people use Flickr but its limitations (read this and this) deter me. A few days ago, I stumbled into 23 and their FAQ explains quite well about their free account which seems to me only have a limitation on uploading 30 photos a month and nothing else. No limit on tags, contacts, albums, and storage – all these are issues of a free Flickr account. So, I jumped in today and had a pretty good time with it.

Aside from some general features shared by other photo sharing services, such as tags, contacts, albums, marking photos as public or private, I get to add Creative Commons licenses, edit photos through Picnik, blog photos, and copy URL’s to share photos elsewhere on the web. If these features are not unique enough, they also let you create “Stories” with the photos, and the Calendar is simply a visual display of photos based on dates taken/uploaded organized into a calendar format. It was kind of fun. The only glitches I had was editing in Picnik. Whenever I make 2 kinds of changes to a photo (for example, Exposure and Crop), I would get an error message during the process of saving the changes and getting rerouted back to 23. It works well with one kind of photo editing at a time. But still, I don’t have to sign up to use Picnik, one less username & password headache. I get routed from 23 to Picnik when I want to edit a photo and get rerouted back when I am done. Quite seamless.

The major discovery today was PictureSync. Regardless of which photo sharing service one uses, the biggest hurdle is uploading photos. Uploading a big batch of photos is not easy on every site. 23 seems to work well with its Flash-based interface. But selecting photos from a folder directory on the computer is a blind process because you can’t see the actual photos except for the filenames. And for me, I need something that works with iPhoto on my Mac. PictureSync is the missing link of the photo uploading process. I installed PictureSync, set it up to connect with my 23 account, selected a few photos in iPhoto, switched to PictureSync to add tags, and clicked the Upload button. It then let me select which pre-existing album I want to upload the photos and it’s done. No more switching back and forth between iPhoto and Firefox trying to remember the filenames of the photos I want to upload. My brain hurts just thinking about the pre-PictureSync moments.

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3 thoughts on “Joining the photo sharing crowd

  1. Hi, yes, in the crowd of photo sharing, important features are often difficult to sort out. At KoffeeWare, we think that the easiness of the photo upload process is quite a key element of the user’s experience. More, we think that when sharing photos in a private environment, there is often quite a lot of pictures to share.

    With this in mind, KoffeePhoto features a local photo organizer thus simplifying the photo selection, hiding the photo upload process and therefore making sharing of hundred of photos a straightforward process. All pictures are synced on our servers as a background task and each photo album features an automatically generate web pages. Among other features, each photo album can be viewed as a full screen slide show. Using the KoffeePhoto free plan, web pages are stored for free while photos are synced with people adding photo albums to their photo library. A server based storage model will be introduced soon.

    You may check this out on our website: http://www.koffeephoto.com.

  2. @Carl: KoffeePhoto is quite a unique service. Very different from other services. But it looks to me like a private sharing service. Only people who are told about a user’s web album would know where to look up the photos.

    A big part of photo sharing, especially in the case of Flickr is the social networking aspect with tags, groups, comments, etc. Also, by adding Creative Commons licenses, photos can be used broadly by the general public. These features are all available on 23.

  3. You are right. Current KoffeePhoto address especially private photo sharing but public photo sharing features are on our product development plan. These will remain optional as we believe there is a strong need for private photo sharing.

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