This week I have been researching a number of photo sharing technologies that will allow other people to contribute photos from my brother’s 21st birthday. I have been using the Technology Toolbox as a starting point for my research. I have researched 3 different technologies. Flickr, Instagram and Dropbox. I was looking for a social technology that would easily allow the guests to send me photos from the party.
Flickr was the first social technology that I viewed. The main focus of this tool is to share photos and videos with friends and family through sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. A person will take a photo and then upload it to one or more of these social networking sites. It is a free download which is a positive. My main concern was that Flickr does not allow other people to post images on your profile. Other people are able to comment on your uploaded photos but that is it. There is no other way of interacting. So after I found this information out, I began looking elsewhere.
Instagram was the second social technology that I looked at. This is a free tool which allows people to take photos, place a filter of their choice onto the image and then share on either Facebook and/or Twitter. It became clear that both Flickr and Instagram are very similar in what they aim to do. Instagram is also a free application that can be downloaded to your mobile phone. Many people can view your photos but again, they are not able to add any of their own photos to your profile. Therefore, Instagram is not a good social technology for this task as it does not allow people to contribute their own photos.
Dropbox was the final tool that I looked at. I had heard of this before but at first did not strike me as a tool that would be appropriate for my purpose of collecting photos from different people. As I researched Dropbox further, I found it to be very easy to use and it achieved the exact outcome that I was looking for. There is a great video on YouTube that describes Dropbox in very simple terms. I found this very useful when first researching this tool. From this video I gained more knowledge about what Dropbox does. Dropbox allows a person to not only share their files, photos and videos with their own different devices (laptop, desktop and phone), but can also create folders that allow other members, (upon invitation) to contribute their files, photos and videos. What also made this suitable was that it is a private tool which only allows invited people to view and contribute to the folder. The only downside of Dropbox is that you must pay for the amount of space that you think you will use. This being in terms of GB. Up to 2GB is free, but if you are sharing much larger files which require more GB, there is a cost per month that must be paid. I have still chosen to use Dropbox as the size of the files are not large.
From the information that I have supplied above, it is clear that Dropbox is the tool that I will be using for my social technology!