A Review of Photo Sharing Services

by Educ 5413 students, Summer 2006

Share your reactions to using the different types of photo sharing services available. What features do you like? Don't like? How does it compare to the other services? If you have used one that isn't on this list, please add it to the list:

Album Town by Lisa South

*ALBUMTOWN - http://www.albumtown.com/ I give ALBUMTOWN !1 1/2 Stars out of 4

Registration:

Registering for albumtown was very easy. I needed an e-mail account and I had to go into that account and verify – then I was in!
I can even make my site private by protecting it with a password if I want.

Uploading

  • I don’t know if it is just me, but I could only figure out how to add 1 photo at a time. This was fairy easy. I just selected choose file and I uploaded them from y jump drive.
  • I wanted to download right from my camera, but that seemed to not be an option.
  • This site does not allow porn or copyrighted pictures to be posted, so you must state (with a click) that you are not posting either.

Sharing pictures:

  • It took me a long time to figure this out! This feature is not user friendly. I could easily send people a message about albumtown…but now with a link to my photos. Finally, someone wise directed me to the HELP button. There it directed me to use the “tell all albums to friends” button. If you use this site, you will see that when you use the “Tell Friends” feature, there are many choices. I guess one has to train and error, or use the Help. Really now, I think it should be easier than that!
  • Once I found the right button to use, my photos were still not being sent! I thought it was perhaps just the schools e-mail account was not allowing them through, so I sent my link to myself at a different server. It worked! I then sent it to only me at the school server…it worked! I figured I could only enter one e-mail at a time! What a pain, especially if you have lots of friends and family with e-mail accounts!
  • It took a LOONNGG time for thi ALBUM TOWN to send a notification.
  • Once you view the photos, you have to create an accoun to view them again...YUCK
  • I thought sending an e-card would be easy. The preview of the photo was so large that I could only see half of it – no automatic re-sizing here! I didn’t send it.

Other features & options that you like and don't like about this service

  • I created my account in Safari and when I tried to log on again in Explorer, it did not recognize me at all… and the home page looked a lot different. Strange.
  • If my site is not private, other members can comment on my photos. I do not like that. There are too many weird-o’s out there!

Overall reactions to this whole idea of online photo sharing, and how you might use this site personally and as an educator

  • I think photo sharing would be a great way to make students feel proud of work. Students always feel special when they see themselves in a picture and it is a bigger deal if they are on the WEB – it’s like they are famous! Of course, I would have to get parent and student permission.
  • This type of site would be great to post pictures from a trip on. We have some students and a teacher who are just now returning from a trip to Spain. If I get time, I will call her and let her know about this site…or another easier one that I read about!
  • I could also post student project work on this site for parents to see. This avoids the hassle of getting permission to post pictures of students.
  • I could do a virtual tour of my room and even the school for those incoming freshmen who are scared to death. The more familiarity they have, the less stressful those first couple of weeks are!
  • I could take photos of the white board with notes we went over in class and post those for students to reference of for students who are gone for illness or sports.
  • I could take photos of different objects and the students have to find out what that object is called, and any different ways to say that word. This could be a game or even for possible extra credit.

Fotopic

**This photosharing website is very advanced, complex, and can be confusing. There are so many links that it was hard to find exactly what I wanted, but eventually I found how to upload my pictures. Once I uploaded them (all at once, you can do up to 10 photos) you can add comments and do some editing on your pictures. After you've created a name for your "gallery" you can transfer your file to other email addresses. For some reason I can't send anyone my pictures. Once I type in an email address the computer tells me, "Email address not found." I later found that the reason why it wasn't letting me send my pictures to anyone was because in order to share files you can only send to those who have an account with fotopic. This can be good because then your files are in a more secure place. However, it can be frustrating because it prohibits you from connecting with anyone that you want to. I can definetly say that this would not be my first choice to share my photos with others because it's confusing, complex, and it limits who will have access to my pictures.

Flickr

Flickr was an awesome website. I haven't used any of the others yet but this one was so simple that I would continue to use it definitely. I was able to sign in easily because flickr is run through Yahoo so I was able to use the same name and password instead of signing up for an account. I especially liked this site because I could upload several pictures at the same time instead of uploading each individual picture. The pictures came out as a decent size and uploaded quickly even though the pictures from my digital camera are enormous. I liked that it organized itself and I could put the pictures into groups easily by dragging them into the group name. The one thing about this site that could be improved would be the amount of space it gives you per month. 20mb would be fine for me, I could download 30-40 pictures per month or so. However, if I was teaching it's possible I would want much more space to display and share my pictures. The 20mb thing would just be something to consider before determining if this site would suit your needs best. Another option that I did like was that the pictures can be viewed as a slide show instead of clicking and enlarging each photo by itself. People can also leave comments on your pictures and it was simple to invite others to view your photos (3 at a time.) I think the whole idea of photo sharing is pretty neat. I wouldn't save my pictures solely on a site like this in fear of losing them but for sharing them with others without dealing with printing this type of sharing is magnificent. As an educator, I would take advantage of the fact that anyone in the world can view these photos. My students would be collaborating with other students around the world by using their blogs and photo sharing on the web. Example, a class in China goes on a field trip as well as the class from Duluth. Both classes report about it in their blogs and share photos of their journey. Things like this can and should change how we educated our students. ~Monica P.S. So I talk a big game about Flickr because it was very easy to use and then I find out that in order for someone to follow your link, they have to have a Yahoo ID to log in. A lot of people do have Yahoo accounts but I don't like that people have to log in or create an account just to view some pictures. Nobody elses that I have viewed so far has done anything of the sort.

Glowfoto

*The site that I used was glowfoto. Registering for the site was extremely easy. All you needed was a password, email, and username. You could have entered more personal information in if you chose so people could contact you. That was about the only thing that was easy with this program. The site is cluttered with advertisements, so it is difficult to figure out what links are actually part of the site. There is also no help button readily available which made it even more difficult to figure out what I was doing. There are two places that photos can be uploaded, either into a private folder only for personal viewing or a public gallery. If photos are loaded into the private folder then they must transferred into a public viewing folder, or gallery, for others to read. I uploaded everything into the private folder not knowing this so it took a while to figure out how to transfer the pictures over to public. My site is able to hold 500 photos and 10 photos can be uploaded at a time. With your glowphoto account comes an email account and a newsletter. You can choose if you want people to email you which I promptly turned off because someone must have an automatic e-mail set-up to all new accounts because there was a photo of some tattooed guy waiting in my glowphoto mailbox. From this site photos can be uploaded directly to MySpace, if you already have a page. So I get the impression that this site is less for photos for viewing and more for storage to send them to MySpace, a cell phone or whatever. I was less than impressed by this site. I thought it was very difficult to use. I would never use this particular site personally, but overall I think that online photo sharing could be a good thing because people that live far away from you are able to access your pictures. As a teacher you could upload pictures that students could use to create a particular project, perhaps create their virtual trip using photos. I think there is a lot of potential in this concept. BV

Kodak Picture Gallery

by Sam Woolever
I tried out that Kodak photoshare site, and overall I think it works well. It is free to use, but of course there is a catch. To keep your pictures online, you must buy something off of their site at least once a year. The nice thing is that you can order prints of your photos online. It is also really easy to add captions and to rearrange the photos after you have loaded them. People can also leave comments about your photos in your album, and you can decide who can write or view them. Another positive thing is that people don't need to create an account in order to view your albums. Some of the other sites out there won't let you in unless you sign up and I would rather skip the album than give my e-mail out to a site which might give me lots of spam.

MyPhotoAlbum

by Brady Salay
I found that MyPhotoAlbum was a very nice and easy program that deals with photo sharing and creating your own photo page. This site is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Once you have registerd all you have to do is add or upload images from your files and then transfer them to the site. After you have done that you can then add a sub tex to explain your image. Another nice feature of this site is the slide show feature. This allows you to view your or someone elses photo's with out click next to every picture, it will go at whatever pase you want to look threw the pictures. A few other interesting things that you can do here is add a title to your album say for example I titled mine My Colorado Ski Trip. This helps those who are looking at your photo album to know what they are looking at. And probably the nicest feature of this and other photo sharing sites is the ability to share your photos with anyone. All you need to do is click on the share button and add the email adress to whomever you wish to share it with and then send and your friend will recieve a link to your photo album. This is very nice because it allows friends you have that live very far away stay in touch and see what you have been up to and where you have been.


Ringo

By Julianne Vasichek
*Ringo is a basic photo sharing service. It was very easy to sign up for the account. Right away after signing in, there was a space to upload photos. Once you have uploaded the photo, you can add titles and also tags to help describe the photo. In this screen you can also add the date of the picture taken and you can place it in a specific album. You are able to separate pictures into different albums. Ringo also gives you the options of adding friends and always viewing their photos as long as they have them up. There are no graphic features to be added to the photos, they will appear as you put them in. Ringo is user friendly and allows friends to view the photos if they sign up for an account. I have used photosharing just this past winter when my friends from Sweden sent pictures from the Olympics. There were over 120 pictures and I thought it was a great way to economize their trip into a way that everyone could follow along easily. I also have thought of using it to get large amounts of photos from a PC format to a Mac format. This could be used instead of attaching files by email, and also the person could receive the actual photo. There is also a feature when you accept people to see your account,then you can also connect to their friends

Shutterfly

by PJ
*Hold on, I am about to say something that normally does not come from me when it comes to technology. Shutterfly was a piece os cake to use!!!!! I really enjoyed everything about it. Probably because the steps were very easy to follow. If I got lost or off track it didn't take me long to get back to where I needed to be. I could enter up to 10 pictures at a time. I may have been an able to even more at once but I didn't pursue that possibility. I could edit/enhance my pictures with all kinds of options to choose from. I could change the order after I had them in. The picture can be viewed in a slide show and individually. All of the thumbnails were up at the same time so you could choose one picture at a time and out of order if so chosen. I had no problem sharing the pictures at all. I am looking forward to going back into shutterfly to play around more and find out what other capabilities it provides. I was fortunate to try out a site that was very user friendly. I will use shutterfly again without a doubt. In fact, I don't know what other site I would use with the success and options I had with this one. Good times, good times!!!

Sony Image Station

by Sheena
In the Sony Image Station, I found it extremely user friendly. It was easy to sign up and also easy to use. You create a new album, and it takes you step by step through the process of uploading photos. You can upload photos by clicking and draggin if you have the icon, or you can upload them one at a time. I chose to do it one at a time instead of getting the icon. I really like how quick and easy that this site took me through the process. There was an instruction for everything that you were doing, and a link to the next step. One thing that I don't like is that the first photo in your album is on the cover also, and I wish the cover was just words. However, that is a personal preference. In Sony Image Station, you are able to change the order of the pictures and also the color of your album. I like the guestbook feature because your family can reply to the photo album after they look at it. I have never used photosharing, but I think that it is something that I would like to explore more. I am a little hesitant about using it because it is so open. I understand that you are sharing it with who you want, but there seems to always be a way around that. As for classroom use, this may be helpful if you were communitcating with penpals. It might be a great way to send them pictures of your school, class, field trips, community, etc. It would a way of communication that is a lot cheaper. Also, you could use it if a classmate happened to be on a trip, and they were willing to upload photos and share them. Instead of creating a PowerPoint or something of that sort, they would be able to just log on and show their album. I really enjoyed this project because it opened a new door for me.