Photobucket is Still a Mess, But Less of One

In my last Evening Reading, I mentioned that I was going to give Photobucket another look based on the new sharing features.  I would love a place to store and serve photos I want to use here and in the various so-called social networks, and was hoping Photobucket had improved its interface and navigation since I last tried it.

It has, a little.  But there’s still room for improvement.  I can build computers and doghouses from parts.  I can write (buggy) code.  Heck, I can name all four Teletubbies.  What I can’t do is wrap my mind around this:


I keep looking for ads for Ouch my Balls!


I see that I previously uploaded 2 images, because it says so at the top left, and I can see thumbnails in the middle, under the cut off “bulk uploader” box.  Unfortunately, I was only able to delete the thumbnail on the left.  The thumbnail of the other one (some jumbled up screen snip from days gone by) has the staying power of Guy Kawasaki on Twitter.  The file itself appears to be deleted, since when I try to share it (and the sharing stuff is very nice, at least in theory), I get an image telling me so.

Let’s try to upload another image.  Hmm, here’s one of me and the girls at the Father Daughter Valentines Dance I grabbed from the Houston Chronicle (hope that’s OK Clayton).  Let’s try to upload it, resize it and share it here:

Well, it uploaded, but didn’t get resized (I can do that here).  Other than the resizing thing, that was pretty easy.

So what about all this new sharing stuff.  Let’s try to share a photo on Twitter.  Here’s one of me chatting up Liz Taylor back in college.  Take that all you Twitter celebrities.  Oops, Twitter doesn’t seem to be one of the sharing choices.  Thank God Bebo is so I’ll be able to sleep tonight.  Those stuck in a time warp will be happy to know that Friendster is also an option.  I’m going to try to add this to my Hall of Ancients album on Facebook.

It worked.  This little photo is now on my Facebook page.  It would take a horde of PhDs to figure out how to get it from there to my Hall of Ancients album, so I’ll let it stay where it is.  Right there with the Young Frankenstein quotes.

Back to Photobucket.  I see all these references to Albums.  I guess Albums are the equivalent of Flickr sets.  There are clearly some things Photobucket does better than Flickr- like sharing and sending your photos to Bebo (yeah!)- but it seems cluttered, disjointed and hard.  For example, the Album Organizer seems like a completely different application.  I was able to create a new Album, but it was not a clear and obvious process.

I have the feeling that Photobucket has a lot of features.  So does Photoshop, but I’m not going to spend my life trying to figure them out.  This stuff needs to be more intuitive and easier.  And better integrated.

In sum, Photobucket is still a bit of a mess.  But like that dude in The Holy Grail, it’s getting better.