Saturday, April 16, 2005

Learning To Blog V: Free Image Hosting

Wow. It's been over a month since I read part four of Harvey's series on "Learning To Blog." At first, I was focusing on trying to implement the suggestions about areas where I needed work. Then, It'sAPundit took off, and now I don't have an excuse. Before we start part five (Free image hosting) here's where I still need work:

  • How to start blogging (covered in Learning To Blog I):
  • Finding your blog voice (Learning To Blog II):
    I found that I need to work on white space, italics, and emoticons. Well, I've done more of the white space and italics. Emoticons are still not something I'm that comfortable with. I do on occasion use them, but mostly in comments on other blogs, not here. My take is that here, you know I'm probably being a smart-aleck, but when I'm a guest on someone else's blog, I do make the effort to show when I'm joking or cracking wise. Still needs work, though.
  • Getting more traffic (Learning To Blog III):
    Wow: Needed to work on
    • Enter more Link Carnivals. Still need to do that. I hosted a Carnival of the Vanities since then, and it seemed to go well. Got some positive comments about it. But, I need to enter more.
    • Write about others' posts and say nice things. I haven't done a lot of that, either. Still need to work on this. I've done some on It'sAPundit, so I'm doing better there, but still need to work on it here.
    • Get involved with more projects. I haven't done a lot of this. Unless you count It'sAPundit. Although the site is mine, the idea was Beth's, so I'm counting it.
    • Link to others on same topic, staying relevant. Since this isn't a topical blog (is it?) this opportunity doesn't come up much. But, I need to keep this in mind.
    • Improve solicitation letters. Boy, does this ever need work. I'm not good at letters, and I don't write a lot of these. I should promote the blog through letters, as others do. I certainly don't mind when folks send letters about something they've posted. Probably because those that send them have an idea what piques my interest. But, I'm not good at letters. Need to work on this.
  • Getting more comments (Learning To Blog IV):
    • Showing appreciation of comments/commenters. I'm doing better, but still need work.
    • Ask more questions. Still need to work on this. Don't I?
    • Ask for comments. I've done a little of this. Must do more.
    • Stay on topic. I'm all over the place, but that's just part of my charm. Or medical condition. Not sure which. Need to work on this.
    • Comment on comments. Getting better, but still must improve.
    • Comment on other blogs. I've actually done less. So, not only did this need work, it needs more work.
    • Make comment-inspired posts apparent. I've actually done this. And will do more.
  • Free image hosting (This post)
  • Google search code (coming soon)
  • 12 steps to better blogging (also coming soon)
So, here are excepts from Harvey's post and my comments.

Even though Blogger has undergone a number of improvements in the last few months, there are still some shortcomings. The most obvious being a lack of image hosting.

If ... you aren't quite ready to plunk down the cash to register a domain and pay for server space ... what can you do?

After a quick Googling, I came across ImageShack. They'll host your images for free.
Well, since I've bought a domain name and am paying for hosting, so far this lesson might not apply. But let's see.
... Limits: Max single image size is 1024kb ... No limit to the number of files you can upload. Images stay on their server unless they are inactive for 365 consecutive days.

There's no software to download, and you don't even have to register to use it if you don't want to.

Personally, I would recommend registering, because it's free, and only registered users can delete their uploaded files. It also makes it easier to manage and keep track of your images if you have an account.
Actually, I'm of the mindset that if you use someone's service or product, register it. That way, they'll know how popular the service is. I put myself in their situation, and act accordingly.
I've only toyed with it a little, myself, but it seems to work OK, and they have some positive reviews.

Although I can't make any ironclad guarantees, this does seem like a useful tool.

... Sissy of And What Next... has the illustrated guide of how to remove the black bar (the one with the size properties of the full size image) from the bottom of your thumbnails.
Okay then. Not much for me this lesson. But, it's good stuff to know if I decide to use another image hosting service. And, if this might be of use to you, check out Harvey's complete post.

Conclusions: This would have come in handy when I was on Blogger, although I found Hello workable. I've seen others use Flickr, so that might also be something to check out. But, since TypePad allows me to use images, I use it.

Next lesson: Google search code. I'll try not to go over a month before I take the next lesson.


  1. I like Photobucket. Imageshack's TOS prohibits you from changing the code of the image tags, so it is actually against their rules to make the thumbnails larger. Photobucket, in contrast, has no such regulation. Photobucket's page is also much more user-friendly and aesthetic than Imageshack's.

    Photobucket gives you an album, ready-made image tags, 1.5 gigs of bandwidth/month and 25 megs space (for $25 a year these limits are removed).

    Blogger's images aren't transferrable to Typepad and other blogs, apparently. Imagine the chagrin of seeing dozens of catblogging threads suddenly devoid of their images after a transition.

  2. for my usage, imageshack has been good to me. quick, easy, gives me the HTML for several different ways to use the image, just copy and paste.

    i have, however, had to resize images from my 4.0 megapixel camera to get them to fit the file size rule, but that's not a major bummer for me, just one extra step. no biggie. and no noticible loss in picture quality.

    heck, i'm still a newbie at this whole "making your computer do what you WANT it to do, not just hoping is does what you EXPECT it to do" thing, so i give imageshack a thumbs up, but i'm willing to try other hosting sites....

  3. Photobuck isn't that great because it has a limit. If you exceed the limit, then you have to buy "hosting", which beats the purpose. I also found that when loading a page with photobucket images, makes it load reaaaal slow. I don't mean to self advertise, but I sell web hosting and I feel that it's worth it paying $6 a year for a domain and then $5/mth at my hosting site.

  4. Just found this post:

    Don't know if any of these "free services" are either free or offer anything resembling service, but feel free to poke around.

  5. Thanks to all for offering these suggestions. It's quite thoughtful and kind of offer your experiences to a new blogger.


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