January 22, 2009

Our Doings: You Upload The Moment, They Organize It By Date

By Mike Fruchter of MichaelFruchter.com (Twitter/FriendFeed)

Our Doings is a simple and unique photo sharing service. While it may not have the lengthy feature set and large community of a Flickr or Picasa, that's okay, as it's primarily a much smaller operation, and the feature set built into the service leaves it standing in a league of its own, in my opinion.

Getting started with Our Doings takes less then five minutes. Once you register for an account, you have the option of creating a custom URL for your photos, such as the one I created for testing purposes, or you can let the system automatically generate one for you. Both URLs can be viewed by the public. The key difference is the indexing option, which you can select on or off. If you select "no indexing", search engines are advised not to index your URL.

Uploading is made easy. Give it everything you can throw at it!

The service gives you a multitude of ways to send photos into the system.
  • e-mail to publish
  • Web Publishing Wizard lets you upload straight from Windows XP or Vista
  • Picasa photo albums button
  • Web form to upload individual photos
  • Ability to upload a zip archive of up to 100MB
Why do I like this service so much? Automatic organization of your photos by date!

While the service has plenty of nook and crannies, this is by far the best feature yet. There is not one service out there that I could find that automatically organizes and sorts your photos by date. This is not a feature currently offered by any of the other major photo sharing services currently on the market.

For someone like me, who is not meticulous with organizing my photos, this feature is a godsend. I have dozens of folders on my desktop with random images taken at any given time. The images from a specific occasion in time, such as a birthday party or wedding are easy to organize. It's simply a matter of creating a photo album titled "someones wedding" and dumping all the correlating images into that album. The other hundreds of photos are taken on random occasions, random days and so forth. Most recently, with the birth of my daughter, my wife or I will grab the camera at any given time to capture that perfect Kodak moment of our daughter doing something that warrants a digital snap. It's these Kodak moments that I specifically would like to know the day that it had happened and reflected on the photo album. Now with this service, I can begin to upload the hundreds of images that I have stored on my desktop, and have them chronologically organized by the date that they were taken. This core feature will keep me using the service hands down.

It gets better. Site integration with your favorite Web 2.0 services:

Ourdoings.com offers integration with a lot of the popular Web 2.0 services, such as Disqus. Oh, and did you see FriendFeed is on that list too? They implemented SUP, which means if you configure it for FriendFeed, your images will appear on the site in real time. I configured mine to import my images into FriendFeed, you can see my feed here. It took no longer than 15 seconds for the images to import onto my feed. Without the implementation of SUP, you would be waiting anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour for photos from other photo sharing services to import into FriendFeed. You could always uses the manual refresh link, but that defeats the whole purpose.

You also get a Media RSS URL for all of your photo albums:

Media RSS is a special type of RSS feed that contains rich media assets like video, audio and imagery. Many media sharing and news sites publish content using Media RSS. This is an added bonus, and one feature I'm sure the bigger competitors in the space do not currently offer. Do you have a wireless photo frame? Without getting too technical, it solves the nagging problem of photo orientation.This explains it in more depth. This is something I will use for my wireless photo frame that I have been eyeing for purchase for some time now.

In closing:
I'm thoroughly impressed with this service. It's the simplicity of it, along with the automatic organization of my photos by date, that has sold me. I don't need all the fancy bells and whistles that some of the other bigger name services offer. I have a Picasa account that suits me just fine as a backup. Will this be a replacement for Picasa? It's strongly looking like it. I have not made the switch yet, as I only have tested the service out for less than an hour or so. I would like to see some photo editing features such as cropping and red eye reduction added, but in the meantime this service is something worth looking into.

Read more by Mike Fruchter at MichaelFruchter.com.