Online photo management is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing trends in America. Photo sharing allows you to publish or transfer your digital photos online and share them with others. You have the option to publicly or privately share your images.
Several options are available for online photo management. There are web sites and applications that allow you to upload and display your images. Photo sharing sites originally began in the mid to late 1990s. It was primarily a way to order your photos online without leaving your home. During the 2000s, online photo management took a leap forward and now provides permanent and centralized access to a users photos and videos.
One of the largest online photo management companies is Flickr. Flickr was launched in February 2004 by Ludicorp and quickly became the world’s most popular repository of images and photographs. Many people prefer Flickr over other online photo management companies for its wide variety of tools and ease of use.
Flickr was one of the earliest Web 2.0 applications available. Flickr is not only popular for sharing personal photographs, but the recent blogging community has started using Flickr as a photo repository. As of November 2007, Flickr hosts more than 2 billion images and is fueled by its organizational tools.
Flickr allows photo submitters to organize images using tags. Members are able to find images concerning a certain topic like place name or subject matter. Users can organize their photos into sets or groups of photos that fall under the same heading. Many of the sets are flexible for members to organize the photos with. The sets may be grouped into collections and grouped even further into high-order collections.
Another popular online photo sharing tool is photoblogs. A photoblog allows you to display a chronological view of user-selected medium-sized photos and to classify them for others to comment on.
Several desktop photo-management applications are available and typically include their own photo-sharing features or will integrate with web sites for uploading images. Some desktops sole purpose is to share photos on a peer-to-peer networking basis. Most desktop photo sharing applications come with easy photo editing tools and allow you to email photos by dragging and dropping them into a pre-designed template.
Photo sharing has recently branched out to portable devices like cameraphones. Using your cell phone, you can take a picture and automatically transfer this image to photoblogs, and photo sharing sites. Some cameras even come equipped with wireless networking so you can upload, edit, and share with a small portable device.
Photsharing can be broken down into 2 groups: free online photosharing and charged-based photosharing. Many of the sites that offer free photo sharing allow limited space and overwhelm the user with advertising information. A paid site typically offers services directly to the consumer and reduces the amount of advertising and sale of goods. Paid site usually hold more photos and allow you more “guest passes” than a free membership will.
A number of photo sharing sites have begun printing photos for the user and mailing the photos to the user. Printing photos at home is considered time consuming, costly and offers lower quality. Usually you will upload your photos to the online photo sharing web site and edit your photos. Once your photos are satisfactory, you can go ahead and order prints and gifts and have them shipped directly to your home.
Keep in mind that the primary goal of many photo sharing web sites is to sell you back your own photographs in the form of prints and gifts. The online album you create probably will not allow your friends and family to download the individual photo you have sent. The images can also be deleted if no purchases are made.