Sharing Your Albums

This is generally the easiest part. All you need is to know are the email addresses of the folks you want to invite to see your new album. In many cases, the site will store your address book. Then, click on a Share button, and the site will send emails to the people you indicate with a link to your album. When they get the email, they simply click on the link and their Web browser will open your album. At this point, you'll encounter some additional differences among the sites, including:

■ Does sharing one of your albums with someone give them access to all your albums?

The better sites will allow you to choose what albums can be seen by whom. Some sites will permit your invited guests to invite others to see your albums, which you may or may not want.

■ Do your invited guests need to register with the site to be able to access your album?

Some people object to having to give their contact information when they were invited. It's like having a bodyguard stop you at the door, when you had received a personal invitation to dinner. Others prefer the sense of privacy and security.

■ What kind of interaction does the site offer your guests? You might have a guestbook where they can leave you messages and discuss the photos. At the very least, you'll probably want some kind of indication of who visited and viewed the album.

■ If you put your photos up on a public gallery where anyone can see them, what kind of feedback and security does it provide? For example, you might not mind having strangers look at your photos, but may prefer they can't download or print them.

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