Running... Again?

  If you know me you know there was a time about 10 years ago or so where I was running. A lot. At least 5 days a week and at least 5 miles a run. I wasn’t training, I wasn’t preparing for a race or a marathon. I just found myself enjoying the time spent running. I wasn’t obsessed with numbers, but I kept track of them all and liked seeing improvements in time and distances. It was good physical health and mental health. Then I tweaked my knee. Not bad enough that I couldn’t walk on it, just a tweak that told me I needed to back off of running for a little bit. So I decided on 2 weeks. At the end of 2 weeks I aborted a run very early as the pain was still there. 2 weeks became 3, became a month, became 5 years. 


The Coming Storm
First Fotostat Upload
One part of my twice weekly workflow that I don't enjoy is the time it takes to upload my photos to the various sites that I show my work on. In the beginning I would upload to Google (Google+ and this blog), Facebook, 500px, and Flickr, and even though that is only four sites it was a hassle. Within Aperture I could share directly to Facebook and Flickr, but I would have to do the admittedly easy task of hitting the share button and choosing the album twice. What can I say, I'm lazy. Also, at least as far as Facebook is concerned, it does a not so good job of synching my Aperture content to Facebook and vice versa. Then, based on the interaction I was getting, I ignored Flickr. 500px, a relatively new photo sharing site, required a plugin to set up, and a complete different setup to get a photo on there. Again not entirely difficult, but as I said, I'm lazy.

A while back someone I follow on Google+ mentioned a new beta service called Fotostat as being a great hub for online photography. It claimed to be the one site where you could control your photography that existed on various other sites, a kind of one site to rule them all. He or she (I really can't remember who pointed this out to me) claimed you would just have to upload your photo once then choose which sites you wanted to post to. I've seen other similar services which claim this, but have always been disappointed. Maybe it uploads to one site but gives links for people to view the photo on the other sites. Not exactly what I wanted. Well Fotostat looks to actually upload your photo to a handful of social media sites, keep analytics on the photo, and let you interact with commenters on those sites.

I got beta access to the site last night and have been checking it out and am really liking it. You upload your photo to Fotostat, select the services you use, currently Google, Facebook, Flickr, 500px, Wordpress, Smugmug, and Tumblr, give your photo a title and description and share. You select the album the photo should be stored in for each service then hit share. You can even upload to Fotostat now and have it publish your photo at a later date or time. Here's a look at the upload screen.

Fotostat Upload
Fotostat Upload Dashboard
The dashboard has your most popular, based on views reported by the service's API. A "-" seems to indicate that that particular service doesn't have an API for reporting views, which is something to keep in mind as my most popular photos are on Google+ and get 800-1,000 views. The Recent column shows those photos most recently uploaded either through Fotostat or through other means, and Favorite, I think, is a mix of those photos that I mark as favorite through Fotostat, or if a service has a "favorite" (500px) or "like" (Facebook) function.

The last cool feature that I've found is the ability to interact with people who comment on the photo on the given service. Typically when a comment is given I get an email from the service saying I've got a comment and I have to go there to read it and comment back on it. This is tedious, or I imagine it would be if I ever had a really popular photo. The only service that makes it super easy is Google+, within GMail, where I can comment back right in the notification email. Love that feature. With Fotostat I can comment globally, to all services, or to specific services. Here's the interaction page. This photo was originally only shared on Facebook and Google+ (and this blog).
Fotostat Interaction Screen
Fotostat Interaction

Currently the only limitations I'm seeing with Fotostat are due to the lack of APIs for Google+, my main photo sharing service. I'm going to be using it exclusively over the next week or so to see how well it works. If you're interested in Fotostat sign up here.


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