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**High Priority: Member Albums and Gallery**

Discussion in 'Help and Feedback' started by Amin Sabet, Dec 27, 2009.

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  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I'm frequently getting member requests/suggestions regarding the forum album/gallery system. People want the ability to make galleries for multiple users, subscribe to discussions about member photos, show EXIF, etc etc.

    Mu-43 uses the built-in albums functionality of vBulletin (our forum software) version 3.8. I've held off on "upgrading" to version 4.0 because that is a new version which may not be totally dependable. Either way, the member albums functionality in 4.0 is nearly the same as that in version 3.8.

    The albums feature in vBulletin is pretty barebones. I've hacked/modified our site to add the following features, none of which is built in:

    • All albums link in the Navbar shows most recently updated albums
    • Galleries tab shows gallery of random images
    • Home and Active tabs feature strips of randomly selected images
    • Individual forum posts link to member albums
    These mods, IMO, transform the vBulletin albums into a sort of Gallery system, and our Groups provide a way to create shared galleries, but I have absolutely no way to add the other features being requested without replacing the current system altogether. Believe me, I have looked.

    The alternative is to install another gallery system altogether. So what could we use?

    The leading 3rd party gallery software is called Photopost Pro. There is also something called Photopost vBGallery, which is a more lightweight version, but I have tried that and didn't much like it.

    Photopost Pro has been around for a long time. It is used at many other sites, including PhotographyBlog, and I think FredMiranda too. It looks to me as though PentaxForums also uses PhotoPost Pro, although they may be using vBGallery. GetDPI uses vBGallery.

    I have already purchased a license for Photopost Pro, so it is paid for. Cost is not an issue. The issues are usability, features, flexibility, looks, ability to upgrade in the future.

    My impression is that Photopost Pro has more features and flexibility but is less good looking and more difficult to use than our current system. Furthermore, changing over to Photopost Pro would mean leaving behind our current albums/gallery system altogether. They have an importer, but I tried it and our server is not compatible with it. Any albums existing now would have to be reuploaded to the new system.

    What I would like members here to do, prior to commenting in this thread, is go to the Photopost Pro website and check it out. There are lots of links there to sites which use Photopost Pro. Please visit some of them and see how you like it.
     
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  2. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    **High Priority: Member Albums and Gallery**2

    Amin,
    If we were a forum about anything other than photography,
    the current gallery might work.
    As a photography forum and a fast growing one at that, we should try to
    get the best gallery system we can.

    The gallery will be the attractor for members.
    Your call but that's the way I see it.
     
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  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Don, there is no question about that. The question is whether Photopost Pro is better than what we currently have. It has more features, but I'm not convinced it is better. Are you?
     
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  4. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    If someone who knows of an example of Photopost Pro at use on a website and thinks it looks good can show us an example, I'd feel better about it. I would love to have a few more gallery options, but I'm not impressed with the appearance of the examples I have looked at from Photopost's customer's. So I'll hold off on casting my vote for a bit.
     
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  5. Bill Gordon

    Bill Gordon Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I was wondering if zenfolio.com offers the service that you are looking for. That is where my images are docked as a personal library.
     
  6. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Thanks Bill. Unfortunately Zenfolio, Smugmug, Flickr, and PBase do not offfer services which integrate with the type of forum we are running here.


    Those of you voting for Photopost Pro, please leave a comment with regards to whether you have seen it in action and, if so, what you liked about it.
     
  7. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    I know most will not go to research Photopost Pro.

    Here's some stuff to look at....:

    * Users can upload photos to a category or to their own gallery
    * Users can create their own subcategories/subgalleries within their gallery
    * Users can upload multiple photos within a zip file
    * Users can upload more than one file at a time (can be disabled by
    * admin) Post comments about photos


    * Users can create personal albums
    * Search by keyword
    * Rate photos on a scale from 1 to 5
    * Edit or delete user's own comments
    * Edit the description of user's uploaded photos, or delete their photos
    * Move their photos from one category to another


    * Image manipulation: When using ImageMagick, users can rotate CCW, rotate CW, Flip and Flop an image after it has been uploaded (by editing a photo).
    * Users can choose to be notified of new posts to their photos or photos to which they want to subscribe (email notification).
    * Send a photo as an e-Card (greetings card / post card, etc)
    * Choose how many thumbnail images to display per page
    * Sort thumbnail display pages by alphabetical, most popular, most active, by date, and by number of views
    * Uses time offset and 'posts per page' user preferences from vBulletin user DB (when in use)
    * Member Galleries section displays disk space used by each user so they can keep track of their disk usage
    * Private Personal Albums - Private Albums are assigned a unique URL which the person can share with friends and family for restricted access.

    * New Comments/Photos indicator - for users who are logged in, the arrow for comments and posts will glow when new items have been posted since last visit to the category.
    * View Recent Uploads - A link to show the posts in the past 1, 7 and 14 days.
    * View All Uploads - can be viewed and then sorted (for example to see the most popular uploads in all groups)
    * My Favorites - Users will have the ability to "tag" images for their own "My Favorites" feature. Viewing My Favorites shows the tagged images in a gallery format.


    So, it seems that most of the features that youse are requesting, Photopost Pro has built in.....I'm not trying to sway votes...But I'm swaying and I swaying hard baby....
     
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  8. Bill Gordon

    Bill Gordon Mu-43 Top Veteran

    It sounds like that is the way to go!!
     
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  9. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Bill, I hate to do this...but ya gotta vote.....ya gotta Vote Bill.....
     
  10. hodad66

    hodad66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    806
    Jan 27, 2010
    Indialantic, Florida
    I voted but have not seen how this would work. I voted
    more for the idea of a more feature rich gallery. Personally
    I have not experienced the use of these products.
     
  11. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    hodad66,
    That's what makes it sooo exciting.....
    I think one of the biggest things is, having the ability to post messages on an image or gallery and then have an email or pm sent that a message was posted.

    Then have an email or PM sent that the poster read or responded to the message...
    (BB like this)

    I also like the idea of creating a gallery that allows users to post images to the same gallery. There's more but I'm swaying again....
     
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  12. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    I'll vote for Photopost Pro, because you've already bought the license Amin, and because many of those features could be used in the future... but I'm hoping there will be a way for you to simplify the user interface, and that it will integrate seamlessly with the forum as well as the current albums do.

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  13. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    I did what I had to do, I think.

    OK I voted, however I wish there had been another option: "Keep researching for a better option - at least for a few weeks" or "Find a better way even if we have to pay for it by passing the hat".

    Is Shooter's post considered illegal voter influencing? As unattractive as those sites were (that I looked at anyway) maybe plugging it into vBulletin will be OK. Yes, I did notice one example that did this and it was OK plus you know we will have the best photos so that will be a major plus.:wink:

    I wish there were another alternative but I bow to your knowledge of these options Amin...and I know it's not ideal but I do think it may be the best choice now. I'll add that I already feel guilty for voting as I did. Please blame Don aka Shooter for my vote. angel_not.

    I do believe that communication is key on a discussion forum and communication via individuals albums seems pretty important to me.:horse:
     
  14. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    photopost pro is fine , i know little about it, but from what ive read here it seems a good option
     
  15. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    BB,
    Brian brings up an issue. $$$. Amin already has this license.
    I actually consider the choice betwee the 2.
    1. What we have now
    2. Photopost Pro

    Of course there's more but it makes sense to spare any additional cost.
    Don
     
  16. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    True, and in my initial post I'd included that caveat regarding the $$$ that Amin has already dished out...but I didn't include it when I hit the submit key or whatever it is.
     
  17. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    and i voted
     
  18. Bill Gordon

    Bill Gordon Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Well, I guess I am stupid because.....I don't know where to vote and what the options are
     
  19. Bill Gordon

    Bill Gordon Mu-43 Top Veteran

    OK...I found where and I voted!! For of course!!
     
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