09 May 2007

Exploring New Technology 3: Flickr

Digital cameras have their pros and cons. Pro: deleting terrible shots with no cost attached. Con: remembering to have prints made of the good shots to make into an album. Pro: no need to make traditional albums anymore...just go online. Con: no need to make traditional albums anymore...just go online.

Up until today, I had been a Kodak Gallery kind of girl. My cousin uses Shutterfly. There are a many more sites that offer you space, tools to upload, organize, alter, and share your photos. But the one that has been interesting as of late is Flickr.

What does Flickr offer that the others don't? What makes it so special? That's what I wanted to know too.

So, as usual, I'll go step by step.
First, I downloaded my pictures onto my PC. I downloaded Flickr's Uploadr software so I would be able to drag my photos into a box rather than "browsing" for individual pictures. Kodak and Shutterfly operate similarly up to this point. It's a little cumbersom and can get a little frustrating, especially the first time around when you have to download the software, etc. But once you get the hang of it, no sweat.

So then I set out to alter my pics. The first thing I noticed is that I didn't have to turn my pics around. Apparently, Flickr adjusted the orientation of my photos automatically. Awesome. That's often terribly time consuming (read, annoying).

Then I started tagging my pics. I'm all about tagging. Now, any time I want pictures of Rigi (our pup), they are tagged and easy to pick up rather than having to open different albums to find the picture I'm after. Accessible, easy to use. Good stuff. The organizing feature is intuitive.

Then came to the sharing bit. Each of these photo websites asks you to share your pictures with an address book that is tedious to import. For those of you looking for then next great idea, how about mobile, importable address book so I can just download addresses safely and easily. But I digress...one thing Flickr did offer me was a link to my slideshow to send out to my choice of peeps. Good stuff. I wish they offered links for individual photos too.

Another nice feature is that I can blog pictures from Flickr, which I will try to implement soon. As for other web 2.0 features, there is are many opportunities to show pics to groups, map where pictures were taken (might be enormously useful for the annual Italy trip).

Verdict: pretty cool. Definately easier to upload, share, and organize than other photo sharing sites I've used. I will continue to try it. Assuming it maintains its ease of use, you can catch my pics on the blog.

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