Photo Sharing

INTRODUCTION

Photo Sharing is useful for a variety of tasks, but is particularly useful to college students that are working on group projects. One particular, significant use is sharing photos or screen shots for a group PowerPoint Presentation. It is immensely rare for a student to go through college without having to partake in at least one group project. After all, it is of paramount importance that students learn how to collaborate with others because it is a necessary skill to have in careers and life in general.

Although there are a plethora of photo sharing tools and resources available, we chose Flickr, Shutterfly, and Photobucket because they are all free programs and they are web-based.

The testing criteria we used include the ease of uploading photos, ease of sharing photos, and speed of the process. Ease of uploading photos refers to the simplicity of the process of actually uploading the pictures onto each program. Ease of sharing photos refers to the simplicity of sharing photos with a group through the program. Ease of exporting photos refers to the simplicity of downloading the pictures onto another program, such as Power Point in this situation. Speed of the process refers to the quickness of the process of creating an account, uploading photos, and sharing those photos with a group through the program. We chose these because these are all of the necessary attributes to a photo sharing program for college students.

Our process of testing each tool using these three criteria was making our own accounts on each site, individually uploading photos onto each site, sharing the photos we uploaded with each other through each site, and adding the photos from each site to a Powerpoint Presentation.

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Ease of Uploading Photos

It is very simple to upload photos onto Flickr. Once you log in and are at the home page, there is a large and bold link at the top of the page reading "Upload Photos and Videos". Once clicked, it leads you to an easy 3 step process including: "Choose photos and videos", "Upload", and "Add titles, descriptions, tags or add to a set". It is very self-explanatory. In addition, Flickr allows users to upload any type of photo.
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Ease of Sharing Photos

Flickr contains an easy way of sharing photos that can be completed only through the site. No other forms of communication are needed, which is helpful. All you have to do is create a group then invite every group member to it. Once that is done, each member can add photos, comments, and discussion to the group portfolio.

Ease of Exporting Photos

Users can download photos that have been added to the group. If students have not joined the group, they can be e-mailed the links and can download the photos from there.

Speed of Process

The process of sharing photos through Flickr is fast once your group of people creates a group on the site. After that is done, all you have to do is go to the group category on the site and view the pictures in the group.


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Ease of Uploading Photos

It is fairly easy to upload photos onto Shutterfly. There is a small link at the top reading "Add pictures". Once you find the link, the rest is self-explanatory. The only plausible problem is finding the link because it is so small and not highlighted in any way.
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Ease of Sharing Photos

The process of sharing photos on Shutterfly is somewhat complicated, and not fit for the needs of a college student. In order to share pictures, you have two options. The first option is to create a site to share them on. When creating this site, you have to decorate it and add information on it. In addition, the only way to share this site with people is to give them the address of your site. The second option is to email your albums to people. Both methods don't allow people to access the pictures through their Shutterfly accounts, which is ideal for sharing pictures with a group.

Ease of Exporting Photos

Once a photo site is shared, users can download photos to their computers. If an album is e-mailed, users can access the pictures from the e-mail and use them for projects.

Speed of Process

This entire process of creating an account, uploading photos, and sharing the photos with a group by making your own site or by emailing them to people takes a great deal of time. Primarily, the process of making, decorating, and elaborating on your own site takes the most time. Plus, sending the link or emailing the albums to numerous people adds even more time.


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Ease of Uploading Photos

Uploading photos onto Photobucket is extremely simple. Once you log on, there is a huge link in the center of the page reading "Upload pictures and videos". In addition, this tool gives you options of where you would like to upload the pictures from, including from a computer, a web URL, a mobile phone, and email. These options are very helpful.
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Ease of Sharing Photos

There are many ways to share photos using Photobucket. You can send an image to numerous websites, including myspace, facebook, blogger, iGoogle, and Xanga. You can also directly send an image to an email or a phone from the site. However, the process of sharing photos through others' Photobucket accounts is fairly difficult. You have to "follow" people, albums, or pictures, and the only way to do this is to use the search bar to search for it, which can be tedious.

Ease of Exporting Photos

After sharing photo links with people, users can download the a copy of the original photo from the website. It is time consuming to navigate to each photo for projects that require a large amount of photos.

Speed of Process

The speed of this process is relatively slow regardless of which way you use. If you share photos by sending them to a site, email, or phone, the process takes a long time because you have to repeat the steps or each person and picture. If you share photos by "following", it can take a long time to search for the photo, album, or person and is too complicated of a process.

CONCLUSION

College students are in need of a quick, simple way to share photos for use on collaborative projects such as a PowerPoint Presentation. They don't need a fancy, elaborative way of sharing photos. In addition, the ideal photo sharing tool for college students is a site where everyone in the group can share numerous photos through the site, not through other forms of communication. The tool most suited and recommended for college students is hands down, Flickr. It is very simple to upload the photos, it doesn't take a long amount of time, it enables users to share the photos through the actual site, and it allows users to have discussions and blogs about the pictures.

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Written by kayzn and hayleyd
February 16, 2010

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