Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pictues, Albums and Slideshows - Advantanges and Disadvantages

This article summarises the advantages and disadvantages of using individual pictures, album links and slideshows in your blog.

The Picasa overview article describes Picasa web albums as a tool that stores individual pictures, grouped into albums.

Picasa also has tools that let you display the pictures from an album in a slideshow, and ways to link to albums and individual pictures.

Which raises the question of ...

When to use each type of Picasa item

The answer to this depends on your blog, the amount of time you want to spend, and what you want to show your readers.  This table helps to work through the options.

Advantages Disadvantages
Individual picture Quick and easy

The best option if you only want one or two photos.

You have total control of how the text is shown relative to the picture (with some HTML coding)

Readers don't have to click anything - they're shown all the pictures when the page loads.
Very time consuming if you want to do more than a few pictures.

Readers have to see/download all the pictures on the page, even if they're only slightly interested.

Captions that you've entered in Picasa are not shown to readers.
Album link Gives readers a "taste" of your set of photos, with them having to download all of them.

You can apply extra security (requiring sign-in to view particular albums)

Captions you've entered in Picasa are visible
Some readers won't think to click on the album, so will miss out on seeing the photos except for the album cover.

Readers who click the link are taken away from your blog to the Picasa-web-albums application to view the photos.

Some readers will be confused because they don't understand the Picasa-web-albums application.
As a Slideshow Readers don't have to leave your Blog to see all the photos.

You choose if the slideshow plans when the page is loaded, or only when the reader clicks the play icon.    
(NB  only if you use the slideshow-code generator from Picasa-web-albums.   Not currently part of the standard slideshow Gadget)

Captions you've entered in Picasa are visible (optional unless you use the standard Gadget)
"All or nothing" - a slideshow includes all the pictures from the selected album, not just a subset.

Auto-advancing photos in a slideshow may be very distracting for readers.

Readers cannot control how quickly the slides in the slideshow are advanced, and sometimes the caption can appear before the next photo does - this may not be good for readers who have a slow internet connection.
(However they do have buttons for previous, pause and next if you don't use the Slideshow Gadget - and they have buttons to take them to the Picasa-web-albums application to view the slideshow).  

Related articles

Integrating Blogger and Picasa.

A basic introduction to Picasa

Options for linking your blog and Picasa

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  1. Anyway to keep the slideshow running and not get the Picassa bs at the end?

  2. This is an interesting post. Thanks for sharing your informative write up. Looking forward to reading updates of your post.
    Cleveland Web Design