Monday, August 20, 2007
Creative Photo Projects
Fun ways to put your photography to good use, from classic to high tech
Start A Photo Blog
By Kim Castleberry
Photo blogging is hot! A blog is cheap or even free, allows you to write unlimited text to create a narrative around your photos, is easy to update and gives you a central place to send friends and family to see what's new with you.
The speed and ease of setup depends on how much control you want. There are two basic options: build your own blog with web software or use an existing service. The latter way gets your blog up and running in a matter of minutes. With blogs becoming such a popular phenomenon, several host services have come online to serve those of us who aren't looking to maintain our own host server, domain and software. Some of these services are designed just for photo blogging, while others have different purposes but can still be used to blog.
Google's Blogger.com, Yahoo!'s Flickr.com, LiveJournal, Fotolog and MSN's Spaces are just a few that offer free accounts with setup as easy as creating an account, choosing a template and posting entries. But with predesigned templates and file size restrictions, your creative options are limited. What you also give up for ease of use is possibly connecting to a community outside of the service's own host community. You may not be able to register your blog with others or have RSS (really simple syndication) feeds, which broadcast updates to anyone who's signed up for notification.
Log on to Blogger, and you'll take a quick tour through the site's main features, including how to post photos, set access controls for deciding who can read and comment on your blog, and layout options. Next, simply fill out the form to create an account, choose a design and start blogging.
At Fotolog.com, a Gold-level membership increases the number of images you can post and the number of guestbook posts per image. A similar upgrade is available at Flickr.com. Mac users with a .Mac account can use iWeb, which is part of the iLife suite, to create and publish a blog directly to your .Mac home page. You can do podcasts of your blog, too.
If you choose to build a blog on your own, you'll need three things to get started: a web domain, a hosting service (Yahoo!, GoDaddy.com and many, many others offer affordable solutions) and a content-management system such as Movable Type, Wordpress or PhotoStand. Once you've picked the software and installed it on your server, you're ready to design. Having your own space means you're free to lay it out any way you like, from how each post will look to comments, navigation and links.
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