What can photo hosting sites offer bloggers?
With the Internet being such a visual medium it in no surprise that Photo hosting sites have evolved into full fledged social arenas. Not only can you upload your photos to these sites to share with family and friends but you can also make your photography public to the world. And for Bloggers who are looking to increase the readership of their blogs this may be a great road to go down.
Since I only know my own experience really well I will tell you a little about what has happened for me and for my blog because of photo hosting sites. I started my first blog back in December of 2003 as a way to keep in touch with my family and friends as I traveled all over the country. When I started my job a co-worker told me that I was going to see things all over and to make sure that I always had a camera with me. Since I owned a digital camera I was sure to have it on every trip.
I took the camera with me from 2001-2003 and took pictures all over the place everywhere that I went. But I didn’t post them anywhere, I just hung on to them and put them in my hard drive. But when I began to blog I needed to figure out a way to post the images. I opted to blog with Blogger and buy a BlogSpot Plus account to be able to post my images. That was fine for me to show friends and family, but I wanted something more. I wanted more feedback from my photography. I wanted discussion.
So I found a photo sharing site called Buzznet. On Buzznet you can upload photos and put them in galleries. Pretty standard stuff but you can also make certain galleries private so that only users with the correct password can see them. So if you want to put photos that you don’t want to share with eh world at large online you can do so with a private gallery on Buzznet.
I’ve been with Buzznet for about 4 years now. When I started posting to this site it didn’t have many extras or options, it hosted the photo and that was fine. Now you can use the site to maintain a list of links, upload photos, videos and write journal articles (essentially Buzznet blog posts). The Social aspect of the site comes into play when you start adding friends among the members of Buzznet. You can have a list of friends and follow their most recent photos, you can comment on those photos and you can add buzz to the photos. By adding buzz to a photo you increase the visibility of that photo. After using Buzznet for over 3 years I have noticed an increase of the buzz that has been going on with my photos. And I recently had one of my photos chosen to be a featured photo. This means that the photo gets tons of exposure and also plenty of comments.
Buzznet is also where I host my Photo-A-Day. I upload the image each day, write a little bit about it, put a link in the write up back to my blog and file it into my PAD 2007 gallery. Each Gallery has an RSS feed and you can put that feed in the form of a widget onto your blog to display your images. It was because of this feature that I kept my Buzznet account for so long. I was able to take the code supplied by Buzznet and fashion it into my own personal widget that I put on my blog. However I wanted to get even more exposure for my photos so I made a widget that anyone could use and place on their blogs as well. Each Day over 50 blogs are automatically updated with a fresh new photo. I have further plans for this to make it more of a community of Photo-A-Day enthusiasts. I am going to be placing code on my Photo-A-Day page for anyone else who does a Photo-A-Day on their site and hosts it through Buzznet. The only qualification I have to put forth is that the images must be family friendly. If you are up for the PAD challenge and want to have your work seen along side other PADer’s then let me know and I will work with you to set up an account and a feed.
The next Photo hosting site that I became involved with was Flickr. I used that for a while and met some PAD enthusiasts who had been at it for quite some time. We were able to talk about our photos by commenting on each other’s photos. You can even leave notes on a photo for people. Flickr had many better features than Buzznet (Buzznet is catching up though). With Flickr I can add tags to all of my images so if I take a photo of a sailboat someone can do a search on sailboat and find my image. With Flickr I was introduced to Geotagging. This is an activity I like so much I went out and found a device that automatically helps me geotag my photos. I will be posting a review of that device on my blogs.
Flickr also allows you to create a group and invite other people who share your passion for specific types of photography be they subject, style or type of camera. I joined a bunch of groups this year and created two myself. And one of those groups that was created was one specifically for FuelMyBlog members. Yep, if you are a member of Fuel who enjoys photography stop by http://www.flickr.com/groups/fuelmyblog/ and request an invite. You have to be a fuel member and agree to the rules of the group to participate but other than that it is pretty free. And it is a great place to build more community by commenting on each other’s photos. With Flickr you can have 200 images visible at one time as a regular member and unlimited images as a pro member ($24.95 a year)
Some new information I received from Lisa – “if you have sbc as your dsl provider you get a flicker pro account for free.” and “They will also be transferring all of the yahoo photos that are saved into flicker accounts come September.”
The last Photo Hosting site that I have experience with is Zooomr. Zooomr is very similar to Flickr in that you can have discussions with other members of Zooomr, comment on each other;s photos as well as mark them as favorites. You can also geotagg and label your images, you can add other’s as friends and follow their zipline, a messaging system that tells you when your friends have uploaded images as well as any messages that they may have posted. One thing that I think is very cool about Zooomr (and there are many cool things about it) s that you can sort your photos by awesomeness which is calculated by the number of comments on the photo as well as the number of people who have marked your photo a favorite. With Zooomr you have unlimited upload space.
Each of these photo hosting sites are becoming more and more intertwined with your other online social outlets, if you are not on one of these three you are probably on something else. I would love to hear what you are using to host your photos. I’d also like to do an in depth comparison of each of the services and what you get for the money.
If you want to see more photos you can see them at
BenSpark Writes four blogs, is an avid kayaker and a Transformers fan, he also takes at least one photo every single day and posts it to his BenSpark Blog. You can visit him at The BenSpark, BenSpark 2: Electric Boogaloo, Flatwater Tech or The Wired Kayaker.
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