Friday, 22 October 2010

How to use photos with Blogger: Part 3

Hello PB friends! Here’s another post in my series on using photos (here and here). I’ll look at some more goodies such as Photobucket, Picasa Web Albums, Pinterest, Polyvore, ShopStyle, Stumbleupon, and We ♥ it. These are a mix of image hosting (they store your digital photos on their servers) and photo sharing (they publish and distribute digital photos online) and discovery engines which find the best on the internet, personalised to each user’s taste. So, let’s go! First up are two really useful ones which are similar to Flickr.

Photobucket is an image hosting site with 500 MB free storage but you can upgrade to a paid Pro account which allows unlimited storage. It also has a large collection of photos you can download, a photo editor and scrapbook and slideshow builders which might interest some of you. So far, I have only used it to store my blog banner and my post signature but I’ve found it easy to use.

Picasa Web Albums
Picasa Web Albums is both an image hosting and a photo sharing website, similar to Flickr. It is owned by Google. Google in turn also owns Blogger so that’s why all photos you use in your Blogger posts are also stored in your Picasa Web Albums account. I bet some of you didn’t even realise you had one!

My account contains two albums, one for all the photos I’ve used on my blog and another for the profile photos I’ve used on Blogger. The first one has hundreds of photos, often in multiples. I tried deleting some of the extra versions of photos but then discovered I had deleted the ones actually used in my posts, thus creating broken links to some photos. I had to edit those posts and reinsert the photos. So beware!

You are allowed 1 GB of free storage per Picasa Web Albums account. Then you can purchase additional storage. The lovely Katrina Chambers has done some recent helpful posts on the relationship between your Picasa Web Albums photos and your Blogger account here and here. You need to know this information as at some point, you will approach your free storage limit and the speed at which photos load on your blog will deteriorate.

To find out how much of your limit you have already used, go to your Blogger blog homepage and click on ‘Design’, then ‘My Account’ and then ‘Picasa Web Albums’. At the bottom of the page, you will see your figure. This is what mine looks like after only 13 weeks of blogging. Hmm, I’ll have to keep an eye on that!

And now this is where the real fun starts!

Have any of you been entranced by Pinterest like I have? It’s a new social bookmarking site. It advertises itself as ‘a virtual pinboard - a place where you can post collections of things you love and ‘follow’ collections created by people with great taste’

If you double click on the badge, you’ll then be connected to the blogger’s Pinterest pinboards where you’ll discover a lot more about their tastes and interests.

I could spend hours on Pinterest. Seriously. There are so many gorgeous images there to nab and add to my pinboards. It’s easy to join. You’ll love it! It’s sleek and pretty. They’re still having teething problems with the layout and the categorising of photos but they are working on them. The source URL address attaches to your photo ‘pins’ to help with attribution if you use the photos on your blog.

The easiest way to use Pinterest is to have the bookmarklet saved on your ‘Favourites toolbar’. There are clear instructions showing you what to do. However, they’re a small set-up and are still working on improving the functionality with Internet Explorer. I have IE8 and found I couldn’t add the bookmarklet as suggested. They e-mailed me the following information:

Here’s a snapshot of my ‘Bathing’ pinboard.

You have complete freedom in naming and collating your pinboards. Here’s a snapshot of some of mine. 

Are you getting the idea? 

This site is positively swoon-worthy for style-lovers and fashion followers. It allows users to create digital collages of their favourite clothes, accessories and homewares and set fashion trends. You can join groups, see the ‘sets’ curated by group members and submit your own for others to see and comment upon. You are able to move your cursor over the ‘set’ and the details of each individual item pop up, showing the name of the product, how much it costs and similar items by the same manufacturer. You can save any photo to your account.

So far, I have only added a number of items to my account. I use Polyvore when I spot something I’d like to buy. Here’s a snapshot of some of my wishlist pretties.

The next stage is to create a ‘set’ using my items. Here is a 'set' from the ‘French feeling’ group I’ve subscribed to.
This little beauty is also heaven for the fashion and style-lovers. It describes itself as ‘the online equivalent of browsing the aisles of the world's most fabulous store’. It brings together the most fashionable stores and the best brands allowing users to cross-shop hundreds of thousands of apparel, home decorating and kids products – all in one place. You can search the most stylish stores at once – by designer, brand, store, sale items, price point and colour.

It’s a similar setup to Polyvore – instead of ‘sets’, you create ‘stylebooks’. I haven’t had the time yet but you can also create ‘looks’ using your items. Here’s a ‘look’ of one of the women I have as my ‘friend’.

You can create ‘wishlists’. You can find, and follow, people with similar taste. Who knows, they might even end up following you if they like what they see! I could also spent hours on this site. It’s so intuitive and easy to navigate. It pops you on a magic carpet ride which takes you all over the world, sourcing your favourite goodies from the best shops. Here’s a snapshot of some of the navy bags I have my eye on.

When I move my cursor over the first bag, this screen pops up.

Magic, don’t you think? There are also several ShopStyle widgets you could use for your blog if you’d like.

Are many of you stumblers? I tried for a while but found it was a tremendous time-waster and quite dissatisfying as it was so endless and infinite. I have heard some people just rave about it. According to the website, ‘StumbleUpon uses [thumb up] and [thumb down] ratings to form collaborative opinions on website quality. When you stumble, you will only see pages that friends and like-minded stumblers have recommended’. You install the StumbleUpon toolbar so that whatever website you’re on, you can click on whether you like or dislike it. Your ratings are collated so that the more you rate sites, the better StumbleUpon can tailor the sites it shows to you to suit your taste. 
I am a huge fan of this one. It’s a social bookmarking site like Pinterest and We ♥ it but I find it often works on particular pages when those two don’t, for whatever technical reasons. I use this mostly when I’m combing through my favourite blogs on Google Reader each morning. I scroll through the posts until I find a photo I love. Then I double left click on the blog itself and then once I’m there, click on the bookmarklet saved up on my favourites toolbar. This screen then opens up.

I click on the photo and this screen pops up.

I enter the photo’s details (making sure to correctly indicate the source) and then click on ‘Add picture’ to save it to my account. The tags added help organise my photos. Here are some of my favourites from the past day or so in Blogland.
This site also has a widget you can use on your blog to show your photos.

We ♥ it
I also adore this social bookmarking site. Just like Pinterest and, you add the ‘We ♥ it’ bookmarklet to your favourites toolbar. Then when you find a photo you like, you click on the ♥ bookmarklet. The photo then looks like this.
You click on the white heart and then this box opens up.
It shows the photo has been added to my collection or ‘heart’ and retains the source URL address. They are currently working on creating a widget so you can add your ‘We ♥ it’ badge to your sidebar to enable people to see your ‘hearted’ photos.

So, I hope this might inspire you to find some more loveliness out there in Blogland. Do share if you know of any other brilliant sites we should know about. Oh, and just ask if you want something clarified and I’ll do my best to answer your query. Enjoy!


  1. Jane, thank you so much for posting this excellent information and for the great links. I had no idea about half of these sites so I am looking forward to investigating them this weekend!

    Best wishes and happy weekend to you!

  2. Oh Jane, how I wish I could find the patience to actually sit down and even try some of this. So sweet of you to post about all this.
    Happy hugs for a grand weekend! xxxx

  3. wow...this is amazing! thank you for posting! now i need to find the time and yes...patience to learn how to use some of these great links.

  4. It is just so overwhelming! You could spend the rest of your life just looking and savig favourits on these sites! I had no idea about the picassa site saving my blog piccies.
    ps glad to hear you enjoyd the Bot Gardens. It's such a wonderful place :)

  5. Another great round up, Jane. I hadn't heard of Pin Interest and I can see myself wasting hours pinning things left, right and centre. Where on earth do you find the time for all this loveliness!?!?!? x

  6. Ahhh..I just lost a big long comment I wrote.
    Take two: I think you have put together such an amazing resource for bloggers here Jane. To be honest until recetly I had no idea that many bloggers edit all their photos before uploading them. Mostly I don't but occasionally I touch them up in iphoto.
    I would be really interested in learning about watermarking photos if you come across any info.
    I hope you and your gang have a fabulous weekend. X

  7. Oh my, more things for me to look at. Jane you are amazing. Forget Lawyering, I think you have found your new forte.

  8. Why, lovelies! I'm so pleased you've found it helpful. I really enjoy using these sites and wanted you all to share in my pleasure.

    Sarah, just take your time, you sweet thing. When it's quiet at night and everyone's asleep, it's fun to indulge in such fancies, I find!

    I agree, Sarah B. I have so many gorgeous images saved for later use. I will get around to it but for the moment, I feel it's still early days on PB and there are a few more tales I need to tell first so you can get to know us all a little better. I'll post my garden photos once I work out how to get them off my phone!

    Bron, you crack me up. I usually do it in the morning when I'm scrolling through all the new posts in Google Reader. When I spy something pretty, I click onto the blog itself and use one out of Pinterest, Polyvore, We ♥ it and to save the photo (sometimes We ♥ it won't play ball). Of course, there are many interruptions to get someone a drink, to wipe a bottom or to change a nappy ☺.

    Thanks for stopping by on PB, Kate. I'm a (recent but) big fan of your blog. This is the kind of information I've sought vainly so hopefully it can be useful to others. Anything that saves time is a winner in my books! Yes, I'm onto the watermarking issue and will post on that once I pull it all together. Pinky promise!

    Oh, Deb, you're a sweetheart! Hmm, the lawyering seems a lifetime ago now ☺. Let's just see where this little bloggy caper takes me! I've so pleased we've 'met'. I need to sit down and read about your adventures some time soon. I'll have to get Mr PB to take all three pixies out to give me some peace! J x

  9. Thank you for this lovely post - I am needing to check out Pinterest and Polyv. Your boards look so professional!


  10. What a fab post and a great summary, now all I need is time! Seriously though, loads of great tips that I will be trying out.

  11. Why, thanks, Laura and Lorna. Have fun and let me know how you go! J x-

  12. Jane, I am a bit overdue returning to your blog (sorry) but wow - these three posts are so concise and useful. Of particular interest to me was your section on Polyvore. I was wondering what sites like 'Eat, Drink Chic' were using to collate what essentially looks like a fab mag spread and now I'm guessing it's this app. You've definitely inspired me to have a play around with it and others x

  13. What a plethora of information! Haven't checked out several of these yet -- they sound intriguing but also like a danger to my time management :)

    Hope you've had a great weekend!

  14. Wow Jane, this has opened my eyes to a few things I didn't know about! I'm bookmarking this so I can spend some more time on it...thank you :)

  15. Hi Jane,

    Thanks for stopping by and signing up to follow my blog.
    It has meant that I could follow you back to your wonderful space and WOW am I loving what I've found so far!

    Looking forward to receiving gifts of serendipity via your posts,

    x Felicity

  16. Why, thanks, Felicity, you sweet thing. I'm so pleased I've found your blog as well. J x

  17. What a fantastic post! I've bookmarked it to refer to again when I can sit down properly and really investigate each of the sites you've described. Such great info so thanks for sharing x

  18. My pleasure, Amanda. There's so much to discover, isn't there?! J x


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

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