A Photoblog is Worth 1,000 Words

The concept of photo sharing used to consist of taking a dusty old photo album off the shelf and passing it around for everyone in the room to see. But that was so 20th Century. Now that it is almost 2010, the whole idea of sharing photos has changed. The ubiquity of digital cameras and cheap memory has allowed for the uploading of high quality photos to massive servers, which can be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection. Even video sharing has gone mainstream with the likes of YouTube and Vimeo. This has allowed groups of people to express themselves on the Internet beyond just the written word. Photo sharing or photo blogging has become an integral part of Web 2.0. Here some of the top photo/video sharing sites: Flickr is an  image and  video hostingwebsiteweb services suite, and  online community. In addition to being a popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs, the service is widely used by  bloggers to host images they embed in blogs and social media. As of October 2009, it claims to host more than 4 billion images. Photobucket is an  image hostingvideo hostingslideshow creation and  photo sharing website. It was founded in 2003 by Alex Welch and Darren Crystal and received funding from Trinity Ventures.It was acquired by  Fox Interactive Media in 2007.

Picasa Web Albums (PWA) is a photo sharing web site from Google, often compared to Flickr and similar sites. It allows users with accounts at Google to store and share 1 GB of photos for free.

YouTube is a  video sharingwebsite on which users can upload and share  videos. The service uses Adobe Flash Video technology to display a wide variety of  user-generated video content, including  movieclipsTVclips, and  music videos, as well as amateur content such as  video blogging and short original videos. YouTube is by far the most popular video sharing site on the Internet. Metacafe is a  community based  video sharing web site, that specializes in short-form original entertainment, where users upload, view and share  video clips. Core differentiators from other services include duplication elimination, a different type of Adult content filtering, a community member reviewer panel, VideoRank, and Wiki-editing of metadata Just like blogging and micro-blogging, users of photo-blogging sites are able to share images (or video in the case of video-blogging) with thousands of people with similar interest. Photographers especially use this service to share samples of their work with other photographers or prospective clients. But the main user group of these services are ordinary users who are only armed with a digital camera or camera equipped mobile phone. Media companies have caught onto this trend and encourage users to submit their own images and videos by becoming “citizen journalists”. CNN launched in late 2006 iReports, which is the networks  public journalism initiative that allows people from around the globe to contribute pictures and video of breaking news stories from their own towns and neighborhoods. Other news networks have since launched similar programs following the success of iReports. How does this tie into PR? Photo sharing will allow the PR professional to disseminate images and video to target groups, which can then in turn be shared by other members of the group. The term “viral” applies here. The more relevant the image or the video is for the target group, the more it will be shared, and the more it is shared, the more exposure that image or video’s message is obtained. A product launch is a prime example of the use of these services. Within minutes of the latest technology product launch, people attending the events send pictures and video of the products across the Internet, which often end up on tech blogs like Engadget or Gizmodo, which have readership in the hundreds of thousands. When these images or videos are newsworthy, they will spread like wildfire across the Internet, maximizing the exposure of your message with the least amount of effort.

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