When it comes to photo sharing online, there are too many options and sites to list. I am only going to focus on Picasa, by Google, and Flickr, by Yahoo. I am not suggesting that these sites are better or worse than any other offerings, just that they are the most frequently used services, which means there are more ways to use and share your photos.
Of the two services, Flickr is the most social. By social, I mean that people generally discuss and share their photos more frequently on Flickr versus Picasa. To begin, register for a Yahoo.com account and head over to Flickr.com to begin using your account. Once you’re registered for an account, you might want to download the Flickr uploading tool, which will make easy work of adding your photos to the site. You can also add photos using your secret email address, available here, once you register.
Once you get a few photos online, you will want to learn a bit more about the functions and features of Flickr. I highly recommend this tutorial from CNet for the beginner. For a more advanced view, check out this Lifehacker.com article.
You can find many Flickr plugins for your blog or website. A quick search on WordPress reveals over a hundred plugins for Flickr. These plugins generally allow you to easily insert photos from your account into webpages and blog posts. Although Flickr has many of users and is an excellent service, I have trouble recommending it to nonprofit users. Flickr only allows you to upload 100MB of photos per month and limits the image size to 10MB. For many users, this might be enough, but if you want to exceed these limits, you will have to pay $24.95 per year for a Flickr Pro account.
Because it lacks these restrictions, I recommend Picasa for most nonprofits. Picasa provides 1GB of storage space and allows files up to 20MB each.
To use Picasa, you simply need to head over to the site and use, or create, a Google Account to log in. Once logged in, you can access Picasa Web Albums, or download Picasa 3, a desktop program that will organize, edit, and upload your photos. Picasa 3 is the simplest way to add photos. Once you install the program, you can have Picasa automatically detect and import all the photos on your computer. You can also select the pictures you would like to upload and organize them into albums.
I recommend taking each of the services for a test drive. Since both are free, you don’t have anything to lose but an hour or so registering and uploading a few photos.
At the end of the day, Picasa is not quite as social or quite as flashy as Flickr. But, to me, functionality always wins. Picasa provides more storage space, a more straightforward interface, and a pretty useful photo organizer and editor. I am also pretty partial to the kPicasa Gallery plugin for WordPress. This plugin makes adding your photos to your blog or webpage very simple. Picasa gets my recommendation, but please feel free to send me any comments or suggestions if you disagree.