My explorations into Google Plus turned to photos yesterday. I’m currently at the CSIT Symposium and have been taking the odd picture as I get a moment to wander around in New York. I was very pleased with how easily photos could be added to and shared from within my account.
There are a number of photo sharing services and so Google Plus wades into this already established realm and does it so nicely.
Adding photos is slick. From your profile, there is a photos tab and you’re prompted to find your photos or you can just drag and drop the image to have it sent to your photo gallery. The resulting presentation is interesting as you’ll see below.
A mouse over to any of the images uses the same sort of zoom effect that a Google image search provides. It gives a nice polished presentation. But, there’s more.
When you select any of the thumbnails, You get the same sort of presentation on a black matte that we’ve become accustomed to with other services. Below, you’ll see this cute little miniature dog I ran across that was the spitting image of my dog. I did a double take when I first saw it and just had to take a picture.
Of course, I had to take a picture and share it. Like other services, you can add tags and descriptions for your images to help share them with others and also make it easier to find it again yourself. The seven images compose the current photo gallery. However, there’s an additional button at the bottom of the image which prompts you for actions. “Edit Photo” caught my attention and I figured that it might have a flip orientation option like other services do.
I was surprised when if turned out to be more than that. Now, I’m not sure that this is the time and place for a great deal of fancy editing but certainly there may be room for a last minute tweak.
If you’re a user of Adobe Photoshop Elements, then you’ll be really familiar with its quick fix capabilities. Same deal here. You’re one click away from applying any of the above final edits to your photos. I really like that.
So, I tinker with the gallery for a bit and decide to share it. To whom?
Ah, circles! I could share the gallery with any of the subsets of contacts previously defined or the superset of extended circles. Sharing of a gallery is no different than sharing of anything else. Just choose your audience and away you go. How about everyone with a link? No problem … just share the gallery to the public! It works nicely and you can see the gallery here. The controls for who gets to see it are impressive and nothing new to learn once you’re used to defining your sharing circles. While sharing, consider commenting on the images. Google Plus has you covered there nicely as well.
As with all things you’re posting and sharing to the web, the terms and use and rights about who owns what needs to be understood. The terms and conditions here are worth reading. I know that some folks are concerned about putting their professional efforts on the web and the abuse that could follow. It would be nice to have access to a creative commons statement for the galleries. Also, I think that you should plan for the worst and that web surfers may use your content in ways that you don’t anticipate. It would seem to me that a professional who is concerned about that should be putting a watermark into their images anyway or just don’t post them to the web in the first place!
My explorations continue and the handling of photos is a very important aspect of any social networking service. My first thoughts are that Google Plus handles it nicely and provides some useful tools in a manner consistent with the rest of the service.
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