Originally Posted by rv8ch
+1 on this. Not sure why this is not enabled, disk space is so cheap now, and it would add a lot of value to VAF.
[ed. Let me know when you get your 'cheap' photo hosting site online! I'll use it! <grin>. fmi: Read the first paragraph HERE dr]
Doug and I have discussed this before, but the concerns are disk space and bandwidth.
A dedicated photo site (that isn't controlled by Doug) would not help the problem, because that's the only reason people would come to it, to store photos. To just host photos is a horrible business model, the only way to make money at it would be to prevent embedded linking and force all visits through an ad-supported page. In fact, that's what most of them do. They start off allowing embedded links, and when they grow large enough and realize they need money to store and display everyone's full 16MP images they switch to a pay-to-use model or a massively ad-supported site that nobody wants. That's when everyone moves to the next free site, the old links die, and VAF loses another block of history.
Disk space can be mitigated by limiting uploads to 1024x768 images, and a maximum file size. Doing so would mitigate bandwidth concerns as well. If you're going to force people to do work on their end (finding a photo site and learning how to use it) why not force them to learn how to make smaller photos instead, and then use *one* standard image upload system here on VAF?
But these arguments have been made before, and Doug doesn't agree... So nothing has happened.
At a bare minimum, if Doug could code up a way to search for images within VAF, so they could be moved and re-linked to new sites, it would allow users to find the photos they've posted over the years and re-link them. If I could search for the string "picasaweb" in all of my 2000+ posts, I could go through and re-link any images to google photos... The photos are still there, just at a new site. But even that's not possible.
[ed. Again, I’d ask folks to take a moment and think about just how much disk space and bandwidth we are talking about here if I were to host images, regardless of the size. At the very least it would require a 180* shift in the current business model of VAF – going from a donation model where everyone can see everything (even potential builders) to a pay to view model (which don’t historically grow or last if you’ve ready the case studies I have). My life is complicated enough ;^).
So, I currently pay $3.99/mo for UNLIMITED photo disk space on a smugmug.com account (fmi: https://www.smugmug.com/plans/basic). The URL to my albums is: https://dougreeves.smugmug.com/browse. Many of those albums are private and contain, for example, the 2,000+ pictures off my iPhone (as a backup). And my kids. And my wife’s.
This text from the SmugMug site: “Can I upload unlimited photos? Really? Yes! Truly! We’re not kidding! We want you to be able to share and archive each and every photo. From cute cat photos to epic globetrotting landscapes, we want them all—not just your ten best. So if you have 1,000 or 1,000,000 (or more), we double-dog dare you to upload everything you’ve got.”
I cannot afford to host images from 22,000+ registered forum users on my VAF site. Rob, you’ve kindly sent me a note (or post) regarding why I should host images on a somewhat regular basis. While I thank you for the feedback, I am not going to host images for the foreseeable future.
My current recommendation is for those interested in using a lot of pictures in their posts to pay for their own photo hosting account somewhere (Flickr, SmugMug, etc). It gets around the ads on the free sites and it doesn’t increase my overhead or workload.
BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, TX holds 22,000 people – that’s about the size of the registered VAF forum users. Here is a picture: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBVA_C...yline_View.JPG . Now imaging hosting the images uploaded by everyone in these seats. And betting your financial future on whether or not it works.
$3.99/mo might be worth having an unlimited photo storage option.