When asked what should be saved in a fire, along with family and pets, people often choose photos. If photos mean a lot to you, it's time to learn why keeping them on the web makes sense.
As you know, cameras and photography have changed. What used to appear on paper, now appears on computers and phones. No matter the format, we still love our photos and now they they have new powers.
First, let's be practical. These days a fire may not be your biggest worry - a computer failure can destroy 1000s of memories. You can avoid this by keeping your photos backed up on the internet. A number of sites make it inexpensive and easy for you to upload your photos for safe keeping.
Now, because photos can be uploaded to a web site, all sorts of cool things are possible. To make our point, let's look at the old way...
You visit the Grand Canyon and take beautiful photos. You get them developed and a few days later add them to a photo album that sits on a shelf. Few people see them and it's a pain to find a specific photo in all those albums. BOOOO.
Now, let's look at the new way with a popular service I use called Flickr.
You visit the Grand Canyon and take beautiful photos with a digital camera. Once you're home, you move the photos onto your computer and then upload them to the Flickr website. You just click upload, find the photos on your computer and upload them to the web for safe keeping. Ahh, sweet peace of mind. YAAAY
But it doesn't stop there. You need to make sure that it's easy to find photos in the future. Along with adding titles, you can add keywords or tags that describe the photo. You might use tags like grandcanyon, arizona, park, scenery, 2007 to describe this photo. Each of these tags becomes a way for you to find photos in the future. Just click a tag and 1000 photos becomes 5 related ones.
Now, once your photos are online and findable, it's time to look at another fun part of online photo sharing - the actual sharing. You can choose to make your photos public or private - it's up to you. Private is like a photo on your wall - few see it. But public is like taking your photos to a party - they become a representation of you and offer a way to make friends.
So, try sharing your online photos with the public. Here's what to expect: Friends and even strangers may leave comments on your photos. You can see which of your photos are most popular. You may even discover that you're more motivated to take photos because you want to share them with the world.
So, photo sharing sites like Flickr do two things really well:
1) They keep your photos safe, organized and findable
2) They make photo sharing fun by making photos social
At the very least, back up your photos online, but if you're ready for fun, open your photos to the world and start to feel the love.
This video introduces the basics of websites that work to keep photos safe, organized and sharable. It compares the "old and new" methods of sharing photos, including:
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