Views from Phanfare CEO and Co-founder Andrew Erlichson

Link Open public albums are back!

By popular demand, we have put open public albums back into the Phanfare service in a release that went out today. This means that you can publish your albums for all to see at a URL that you can send via email or put on a web page.

We did this as a result of overwhelming feedback from our customers that they want to share without requiring people to register to view.

We are also enabling email invites to view that to go unregistered users. Collectively, these two changes will make the social networking features in Phanfare optional. Use them if you want them.

For those keeping track, we made a set of changes to Phanfare in December, collectively known as Phanfare 2.0, that traded the old website hosting model for one that layered social networking on top of Phanfare. We did this out of a belief that social networks, like facebook, are a fun and collaborative way to share photos and videos.

What our customers told us though was that they valued Phanfare because it was not a walled garden and that the strict social networking permission model was too constrained for them. We took a hard look at what makes the Phanfare service special and decided that being an open platform for storing your photos and videos in the cloud was our core. The social networking within Phanfare remains for those who want to use it. At the same time, we have enabled our customers to display their photos and videos on other social networks if they please.

To that end, we recently released the Phanfare facebook app that will allow you to pick and choose which albums you display to your Facebook friends.

Personally, I actually like the social networking features of Phanfare 2.0 and use them with close friends and family. But I also publish a subset of my albums from Phanfare to my facebook profile. And I enjoy my Phanfare photos on my living room TV via our media server that integrates with the Playstation III and Xbox 360. And I have my screensavers set to show content from friend and family albums.

Aside from open public albums, we also released another user-facing feature today: Editing of photos in Picnik.

We have always had fairly full featured editing in our downloadable applications, and now with the Picnik integration, you can edit photos on the web too. Tell us what you think of it.

  • Stephanie Anderson

    Would love the see the Password Protected option come back. I’m so happy with Andrew and the team and that would definitely be the cherry on top. Getting that option back is a huge plus for me.

  • Mark

    I have to say that I’m less than impressed with the security options, even post the changes.

    I have a group of friends and relatives I originally sent a link and a password to, to give them access to my group of albumns – it was that simple. No registration (which even most technically savy people hate these days anyway!), no fuss, no mess!

    I don’t want to give my albumns acccess to ‘public’ to do this – thats not what I used to do at all either!!!

    Please just fix this, renewal time is coming around,
    and my family has just stopped using this site as ‘too hard’…and given they are varying degrees of technical savy thats not a good sign..!

    Why not just alow people to choose how they give security to their content?? I know that social network registration is a way of marketing as well, but thats what adding comments, etc is there to force people to do.

    That password facility was why I payed the dosh, and its why I (hopefully!) will upon renewal..!

    People just want a way of being able to grant a group of users access to a group of content….

    Why not just change your existing system slightly…
    allow the administrators to create a user called ‘password1′, ‘password2′, etc (which can be granted rights just the same way as real users with the current system!) – and have a slightly different front-end link for those type users??

    many thanks!
    Mark

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    I think the Phanfare service special and decided that being an open platform for storing your photos and videos in the cloud was our core. The social networking within Phanfare remains for those who want to use it. At the same time, we have enabled our customers to display their photos and videos on other social networks if they please.

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    To that end, we recently released the Phanfare facebook app that will allow you to pick and choose which albums you display to your Facebook friends.

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