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.