I made myself a personal photo sharing page. Still a work in progress so it doesn’t look very nice and offers fairly limited functionality, but it does the basics (i.e share photos). Now, why would I do such a thing?
My photo management history is fairly unremarkable. I was never much of a photographer, and at first, after I became old enough to travel and take pictures, I just stored them on my computer for future reference. Then Facebook came, and I started sharing them there. However, not long ago I realized how much I hate Facebook, and thus decided to gradually minimize my interaction with it. I started exploring Flickr and Picasa to decide where I want to store my photos, but then I realized – why would I actually need them?
Photo sharing websites provide some very limited services – they give you server storage space, web pages to display your photos in, and a large community of people you don’t know and most likely don’t interact with in any way. The cost? You have little or no control over how the photos are presented, you have advertisements everywhere to things you don’t want to advertise, and there might be some privacy issues (usually people make privacy-related rants about these sites, I actually don’t particularly care about that so I don’t know if that’s legitimate).
I know most people don’t care, but I think it makes it boring. Everyone’s profile always looks exactly the same, you’re always limited to the kind of activity the company wants to allow you, and they don’t have any incentive to allow you more than the bare minimum they need to make money. In fact, for most people it might actually be an advantage – one of the common complaints against MySpace was that they gave people too much power over their profiles, and they used it to make them ugly. In my opinion – these are boring people’s complaints. When I go into a friend’s house it might be messy and not as clean and stylish as a hotel room, but it’s their house and I wouldn’t want everyone to live at identical hotel rooms. If I had my way, all social networking would be done with hand-crafted webpages offering ever-expanding socializing options.
However, I know I’m weird. This is not going to turn into the next Internet trend, but will just stay as my odd little photo album (and in the future, other DIY social network elements). But just in case, if anyone wants to do the same, my code (for now it’s simply the file album.html) is officially released to the public domain. Enjoy!