How do I Avoid e-mailing photographs?

Question

On either your last (radio) show or the one prior, you had mentioned a website to share photos instead of sending them by email. Would you please (explain)? - Phil

Answer

This question was answered on May 24, 2007. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Unfortunately, e-mail has become increasingly more dangerous as a communication tool Any message that has an attachment is automatically elevating itself into the danger category because of the plethora of attacks that are designed to convince folks to open an attachment

In my opinion, e-mail and digital photography have grown apart over the past couple of years and we all need to think differently about how we electronically share our photos with others

In the past, attaching a photo to an e-mail message was fairly straightforward and effective, but with all of the “image-based” spam (and spam filters targeting those kinds of messages) as well as the enormous image sizes being generated by today’s digital cameras, it’s time to change our habits.

If you’re not careful, you may also attach a single photo to a message that clogs up your Outbox, which will hold up all messages sent after it because the image is too large to send as an e-mail attachment

Even if you can send the large file from your e-mail account, your recipient may not be very happy with you because their Internet connection may be slow enough that your single message clogs up their Inbox while it tries to download the image.

The bottom line is that avoiding any e-mail messages with attachments (sender and receiver) by finding alternatives is a good idea for today’s Internet users

When it comes to digital photography, the abundance of photo sharing sites that allow you to privately share your photos with others by sending a simple e-mail message with a link to your private collection makes good sense

Not only can you avoid all of the hassles of trying to get an e-mail attachment around size restrictions and spam filters, you also benefit by creating an “off-site” backup for your precious photos

Once the images are posted, they can also be downloaded, printed or used to order special items (professional prints, coffee mugs, keychains, t-shirts, etc.)

Some of the more popular sites include Shutterfly.com, Webshots.com, photos.Yahoo.com, Flickr.com, Photobucket.com, Snapfish.com and Kodakgallery.com (formerly Ofoto).

Many of these sites offer unlimited storage as well as free software to help prepare, organize and upload your photos, often as a group (instead of one at a time)

Many of our families most precious vacation memories have been captured in beautifully and professionally bound photo coffee table books that can be created online at many of these sites for as little as $25 per book (Shutterfly.com) once you have uploaded your pictures

Some sites are even blending the social networking phenomenon with the popularity of photo sharing at places like BabysFirstSite.com, VirtualTourist.com, Pickle.com (photos and videos) and PhotoBlog.com

By getting familiar with these sites, you can privately or publicly share large quantities of photos with a large number of people because you bypass all the limitations imposed by e-mail (and your friends and family will thank you for it!)

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Author

Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on May 24, 2007