Posts Tagged ‘web20’

Group Story Lets You Build Collaborative Photo Books

Group Story is a new photo service that’s centered around building photo books collaboratively with other people who photographed the same event. For example, the parents of a soccer team could pool photographs together and create a photo book documenting the soccer season.

Everything is done through a simple web interface, and after photographs are uploaded, you can use any of the photographs in the group to create a page. Once pages are created, you can use any of the pages in the group to create a physical photo book.

The resulting 8×8 inch books cost $13 for 20 pages in a softcover format, and $25 for hardcover. Additional pages are 50 cents each. There isn’t currently any feature for sharing the resulting books through the web, but providing an embeddable photo book that users can post online and/or link to might be a good future feature.

Some of the larger players in the photo space are also thinking hard about making photos more collaborative and social. Just early last month Facebook acquired group photo sharing service Divvyshot.

(via Mashable)

Picwing Takes the Pain Out of Mailing Photos to Family

Y Combinator-funded photo startup Picwing started out in 2008 as a typical photo-sharing service that also beamed your photos to a fancy, $249 digital picture frame that you could use to easily share photos (i.e. baby pictures with your parents). Turns out people weren’t willing to drop that much cash on a digital frame when similar products were bigger, cheaper, and similar in functionality.

Picwing then decided to focus on printing photographs, and realized that many people would like to share more physical prints than they actually do. For example, people might want to share photos of their young children with relatives, but don’t have the time to have photos printed and mailed.

Using the Picwing app for iPhone application or Android, you can send full-res photos directly to the service from your phone. Picwing then automatically prints and mails the photos to up to 6 recipients for a subscription fee starting at around $5 a month for each recipient. Photos can also be added to accounts from your computer or through email, and you can choose to have 15 photos mailed up to twice a month (for a slightly higher fee).

We like the business model, and think there’s definitely a need that Picwing meets. Is this a service you would use?

(via TechCrunch)

Easily Exchange Photos with Troovi

Late last week we reported that Facebook had acquired the young photo sharing startup, Divvyshot, and will be shutting the service down.

Troovi is a service that’s similar in functionality — one that focuses more on exchanging photographs than it does on providing a permanent way to share them online.

Rather than provide permanent photo sharing and storage, it’s geared more towards collaborative private albums (called collections) that your family and friends can all contribute to. While services like Flickr or Facebook are great for sharing photographs from a particular trip or event, they don’t provide efficient collaboration features or ways to download entire albums at full resolution.

Troovi allows up to 250 photographs per collection, and one click downloading of the entire collection at full resolution as a ZIP file. This is great for people looking to quickly exchange photographs rather than simply view them.

Free collections are supported by advertising and expire after 30 days of inactivity, while premium collections start at $1.49, expire after 90 inactive days, and allow an unlimited number of photos per collection.

While it looks like Facebook is attempt to make exchanging photos easier with its Photos application, it’s unlikely it will rival Troovi in allowing you to download hundreds of full resolution photographs from events, since Facebook doesn’t store full resolution versions of uploaded images.

Facebook Snaps Up Divvyshot

Divvyshot, a Y Combinator funded service that launched publicly last month, has been acquired by Facebook. Divvyshot’s 3 employees will begin applying their know-how to Facebook Photos and the service will be shut down within 6 weeks, leaving its 40,000 users to find somewhere else to share photographs.

The service was based around the idea that photographs can be better shared between friends and family by allowing people to easily contribute to a pool of photographs based around people, places, and events. For example, a group of friends on vacation could contribute photographs to the same collection, which is called an “event”.

There’s already similar ideas of collaboration built into Facebook (i.e. viewing all photographs tagged with a certain person), but it looks like Facebook wants to take the idea even further.

Dropico Provides Drag and Drop Photo Sharing Application

Israeli startup Dropico thinks there’s time to be saved in online photo management. The company has just launched its flash-based web application that allows you to manage your photographs across various web services (i.e. Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, etc…) all in one place.

Each photo sharing service is displayed in a separate box, allowing you to easily drag and drop photographs from one service to another. Transferring a photograph from Facebook to Flickr took literally a couple seconds, and photos can be moved in batch as well, but currently requires clicking a checkbox on each one.

A problem we found was that giving after giving Dropico permanent access to your social media account, there doesn’t seem to be any way to revoke permission or to change accounts unless you go to that application (i.e. Facebook) and revoke the permissions there.

Despite the current lack of advanced features and minor usability flaws, the idea behind Dropico seems pretty solid. Also, TechCrunch reports that the service is planning to provide an aggregate stream of your friends’ photographs across social networks, allowing you to follow all the latest photos in one place.

SnapKnot Offers Visual Browsing of Local Wedding Photographers

SnapKnot is a new service that aims to make it easy to search for and compare local wedding photographers.

Wedding photographers can list themselves on the website by creating a “SnapKnot”, which is a widget-style box containing such things as sample photographs, company name, years of experience, professional affiliations, price range, and location. These SnapKnots are then displayed on the main page and can be filtered by location and price range.

Photographers that interest you can be bookmarked by adding them to a private “My SnapKnots” page with a single click.

Launched just over a month ago, the service currently has just under 400 photographers listed, and aims to have 1000 listed by this summer.

Check it out and let us know what you think! Does this service hit the nail on the head for wedding photography?

FocalPop is Like a Stock Photo Competition

focalpopJust launched today, FocalPop is a new online marketplace that tries to harness the power of crowd-sourcing. The concept is very similar to thematic photo competitions such as Photo Friday or DPChallenge, where a keyword or theme is provided, and photographers submit suitable photographs to the competition.

The difference is that buyers looking for a particular kind of photograph are the ones submitting the keywords and themes, and are ultimately the ones that choose which photograph “wins”. The photographer behind the winning image releases the high-res version of the image to the buyer, and receives 70% of the price that the buyer placed on the competition.

Here’s a screenshot of a completed competition where the buyer paid $142 for a photograph of a “Happy Dog” (while we’re on the topic of happy dogs, check out this comic strip by Dinosaur Comics):

focalpopscreen

I think the idea is pretty interesting and executed well from what I’ve seen so far. The design of the service reminds me a little of threadless, with brightish colors and a distinctly Web 2.0 feel.

FocalPop (via photography review)

Fotomoto Takes the Pain Out of Selling Prints

fotomotoRecently I’ve been working with Fotomoto co-founder Ahmad Kiarostami towards getting their service integrated into Photoblog. They’re a relatively new company offering a pretty interesting service, so I thought I’d share some thoughts on what I’ve seen so far with you.

Fotomoto is a service that helps you sell prints (and cards) of your photographs through your website or photoblog. I don’t have any personal experience with anything past getting the service set up, but the functionality and print quality probably isn’t very shabby, since some pretty notable photobloggers have begun selling their prints exclusively through Fotomoto (i.e. David Nightingale of Chromasia and Sam Javanrouh of daily dose of imagery).

When Ahmad first told me that the service required adding only two lines of code, I figured he meant two lines for each image you intend to sell. Turns out, you literally add two lines of javascript to the footer of your page, and the service “magically” figures out which images you’re trying to sell based on image dimensions.

Here’s what the code you add looks like:

<script type=’text/javascript’ src=’http://widget.fotomoto.com/stores/script/63ca5507bcee031e7976a1c4ca03be349b491033.js’></script>
<noscript>If Javascript is disabled browser, to place orders please visit the page where I <a href=’http://www.fotomoto.com/store/63ca5507bcee031e7976a1c4ca03be349b491033′ target=’_blank’>sell my photos</a>, powered by <a href=’http://www.fotomoto.com’ target=’_blank’>Fotomoto</a>.</noscript>

Basically it’s just a single line of javascript. The second line shows a message to people who don’t have javascript enabled. The long, random string of letters and numbers is my personal Site Key. It’s of no use to you, since you’re also required to enter the URL of each site the Fotomoto code will appear on to activate those URLs.

Does this installation process remind you of anything?

If you’ve ever installed Google Analytics on a website, then you’ll find the Fotomoto installation process to be nearly identical. Once you have it installed, it automatically adds a text toolbar under your photographs. Here’s what it looks like on Sam’s photoblog:

fotomoto1

What it looks like on David’s (a little more customized):

fotomoto2

Clicking the link to buy a print brings up a Fotomoto widget that steps the buyer through the purchasing process.

fotomoto3

You don’t need high-resolution images available to Fotomoto at the time of the sale. Once you make a print sale, you’ll be asked to upload a high-resolution image with which the print will be made.

There’s a good amount of flexibility in the system, allowing you to set your own prices, manage which photos are for sale, etc… The service is free to sign up for and use, and you pay Fotomoto only when you sell prints (the cost to produce the print + 15% of the sale price). You get paid when your balance grows past $200.

Overall, I’ve been pretty impressed with what I’ve seen. I think it’s a service that many photographers will find useful, since it takes the pain and hassle out of selling prints, allowing you to focus on your photography. They’re in open beta now, so you can sign up without an invite code. Check it out!


I just asked David Nightingale about his experience with Fotomoto, since I don’t have any first-hand experience with their quality:

Before I started using Fotomoto I sent them one of my most difficult images to print: a deeply saturated shot, with a wide tonal range, that I couldn’t print myself – at least not well. Suffice to say that Fotomoto did a great job of it and I’ve been using them ever since.