"Outsourcing" this website

January 19, 2005

I'm thinking about offloading some features of this site to third-party "web services" (for no other than reason than the fact that I'd like to play around with them).

Photos

The only obvious web application for the sharing of photos is Flickr. They are currently offering a $41.77/year program which allows for unlimited storage, no filesize limit on individual pictures, and shows no advertisements on the display pages. The only problem with this is that if I do decide to use it to store and display my pictures I won't want to use it just for those pictures that I want to display publicly — I'll want to put my entire collection on it. This might seem weird to some, but the idea would be that it would become my primary storage medium for photos while my computer and any backups I do locally would be just that, backups.

Moving them over would be pretty seamless given this plugin available for iPhoto that will do all of the uploading while retaining album names and metatags. What is more is that there are plugins available for Movable Type that allow you to integrate your Flickr albums with your CMS.

Bookmarks

The only real option here is del.icio.us. After coming up with a rather quick and efficient way of doing this on my own through Movable Type, I'm a little hesitant to move this feature to a third party, but there are a few upsides, not the least of which is the community aspect of del.icio.us.

Syndication

It had never crossed my mind to move my syndication feeds off-site until I saw a few other people doing it with FeedBurner. The main reason I'm thinking about FeedBurner is that I think I might want to consolidate the two feeds that I have on this site (the main content feed and the linked-list feed) into one. Though this might be all that I use it for, there are all kinds of other neat things FeedBurner can do (e.g., if I were to move to Flickr, FeedBurner could add the photos I upload to Flickr to the all-in-one feed so that those subscribed would see the pictures in their aggregator as they were uploaded). As much as I like (and am constantly preaching) consolidation, I'm still a little iffy about merging all aspects of this site into one, potentially unwieldily feed (cases in point: Tom Coates and Matt Haughey).

Still Mulling It Over

While I am seriously thinking about all of these things, I'm just not sure I'm ready to make the plunge. Flickr probably has the best chance of receiving my attention (and money), but I'm going to wait a bit more before I make what will surely be a very time-consuming move if followed through.

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