There are a variety of ways to share images and photographs online:
- Self-hosted Gallery
- Photo sharing site such as Pixie, Flickr, Photobucket, SmugMug, Picassa etc.
- Social network sites like Facebook/Bebo/Myspace
But which of these are truly optimised as a community for receiving constructive comments and has a decent community behind it. I’ve used Flickr for a few years and had a pro account for a 2 or 3. But now I’m reconsidering renewing it. I probably will in the end as it is pretty much the standard in online photo sharing, though taking some time to decide.
Flickr has many advantages, as well as disadvantages. Recently, however, I have been using the Ireland-based Pixie a lot more. My recent dislike of Flickr came about as I released that the way I use it has changed over the last number of months. I no longer worry about getting a high number of views, or images being espectially highly rated, but more being a part of a community. Pixie can offer a greater sense of community, as well as being local.
With around 15,000 registered users, Pixie serves over 80,000,000 images through blogs, forums, widgets and those on the site. With 1 Million+ images, with about 10 different sizes for each makes for a lot of photographs!
Founder and CEO Marcus Mac Innes says that “Compared to Flickr or Facebook [the numbers] may look fairly insignificant… I believe, however, that we have a stronger community which has grown steadily with like minded people.” I too believe this to be true, many events and photo walks have been organised, with users of Pixie joining together and uploading the resulting photographs to the site, and viewing, commenting and rating each others’ shots.
The unfortunate thing about the Global and vast nature of the likes of Flickr is that it has become too big to any longer be a true community. At least not on a local basis. Yes there are local groups, with discussion forums, something that I feel Pixie should incorporate, though in terms of community feel, Flickr feels too disjointed. It is also abused, and “gamed’ for greater views, comments and favourites, often by adding images to groups which require commenting on a certain number of images per image added.
“While Pixie started off as a photo sharing site which differentiated itself from Flickr by making the process of photo sharing easier for non technical people, we have since moved to focus more on what we call “crowdsourcing”.”
Pixie has been working with a variety of events throughout Ireland and promoting the idea of attendees uploading photographs to the site. This brings the site as much to the offline world as well as online.
“I’m constantly amazed by the variation you get from different people’s perspective on a scene both in terms of the actual capture (framing, lighting, angle) together with the different styles of post production.”
Although there are still plenty of improvements and to be made, Pixie has a good community, with many users and, and good features for rating and discovering images which have been regarded highly by other users. Pixie also chooses one image per day and publishes this on Twitter for all to see.
Try it out. Join the community.
My photos are at pix.ie/philokane.