[thelist] to upload or to include image urls

Bob Meetin bobm at dottedi.biz
Tue Oct 7 19:00:54 CDT 2008

Ken Snyder wrote:
> Bob Meetin wrote:
>> Is there a consensus on whether it's better to allow the audience to 
>> upload images and include them in a page they have access to write to 
>> or include URLs only?
>> Some considerations
>> - uploading certainly gives you more control of the image in terms of 
>> content, size and dimensions
>> - linking to another site, such as flickr, whatever is seemingly 
>> simpler, but less control of network and image size
>> If you were selling used car parts which would you rather do?  We're 
>> interested in increasing activity and traffic to the site, not just 
>> selling the parts as on craigslist which is a sweetheart...
> Other pros and cons (some you probably thought of already):
> - Ability to easily display various sizes (e.g. thumbnail, summary, 
> detail)
> - You become responsible in some degree for inappropriate images
> - You have to tighten security to prevent spamming or other abuse
> - You must work to ensure scalability, probably storing data in a 
> database for a load-balanced environment
> - Some users may not be familiar with or willing to post an image 
> elsewhere such as flickr
> - Hard to police bad links
> My choice would be uploading, but that may be because I just barely 
> finished writing an image uploader and thumbnail viewer this week :)
> - Ken Snyder

Ken, Ben, et al,

I'm generally in favor of uploading but in visiting forums, services, 
etc you find everything, anything. No shortage of options or standards.

I have a lot of upload scripts I've already written that call upon 
ImageMagick to do some image processing after the upload;  this is fun.  
With ImageMagick and convert you can do all sort of inspiringly fun 
stuff as well as offer simple needs like control image size, rotate, etc.

Moderation is important - this is one of the sticky bits with putting 
your audience in control.  It is relatively easy to change the state of 
new content, even images, to non-published until after review.  Taking 
the time to review and approve should not be a problem with a new 
service as the real problem is getting the audience to find you and do 
something.  Then of course if it takes off this is a good problem to 
have I think.

So what would happen to all those links if Flickr or perhaps YouTube 
went south?

Just because Flickr, YouTube MySpace or craigslist does it their way 
does that make it the best?  I think the question is answered, at least 
for me.  Thx,

Bob Meetin

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