A Few Words Of Advice On Speedy Photo Sharing

The speed at which we are communicating is moving faster and faster, largely due to the Internet. Email, instant messaging, video conferences on laptops … you can send a message to someone faster now than ever before.

Photo sharing is an excellent example of an activity that’s been greatly impacted by this speed of light communication. In days gone by, sharing a photo could mean anything from giving a friend a copy of a print to spending $ 150 on a high school yearbook. It meant both face-to-face contact – for example, sitting down with a family member and viewing a photo album – and long-distance contact, such as sending a faraway friend a handful of prints in via regular mail.

Fast & easy doesn’t mean it’s less complicated

Now, because of the recent rise in the number of photo sharing sites on the web sharing a photo has taken on new meaning. A lot of people still attempt to simply email photos. That can be a problem, since file sizes can clog up email inboxes and outboxes. Others send links to photo sharing sites and invite friends to view the photos. That works very well, but many sites require registration, which can be a barrier for some.

Still others open their photos up for the whole world to see. These open, public viewing sites can pose real security risks for the person exposing their personal life to the world. One wrong picture or piece of information could open your life to people you don’t want to know.

The paradox is that even though photo sharing has become faster and easier, it has, in some ways become more complex. The difficulty comes in choosing the way you share your photos. In the old days, your choices were limited. Today, there’s a multitude of choices.

Remember, you are always in control

This paradox can be seen in a variety of other ways we communicate. Remember when a house had one phone? If you do, you’ve probably got a little gray in your hair, because that was quite a while ago.

But compare that thought with today, where most homes have at a minimum two phones, possibly two or three separate phone lines, and each member of the household has his or her own cell phone. Which number do you call to get a hold of whom? And if a telemarketer were to get a hold of all your numbers – look out!

If you’re not careful, the improved technology can end up complicating your life. You have to really keep in mind which phone number you’re handing out, and to whom.

The same thing goes for photo sharing. While it’s great that you can send photos anywhere and to anyone, it’s always best to exercise caution when sending out any kind of personal information.

When you register on open social networking sites, which encourage broad sharing, be sure to change your options to private. (Unless, of course, you really want the world to see your photos.) At sites geared more towards just sharing photos with people you really know, the options are a bit simpler. You control who sees your photos from the very start.

Regardless of the photo sharing site you use, just keep in mind that technology is changing so rapidly that there will be new, better and even more exciting ways to share photos in the coming years.

Matt Smolsky develops marketing programs and has written articles for a variety of clients, including Hoorray, a new website for easy photo sharing and easy photo printing.

Reaching Arms
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Image by Thomas Hawk
What if Google bought Flickr? thomashawk.com/2012/04/is-flickr-making-a-comeback-in-pho…

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