January 2021

Why GreatAlbum is different from photo storage services

Submitted by Erik on Fri, 01/22/2021 - 02:33

photo sharing logosI was recently talking with another founder in the Pioneer community. He was questioning the viability of GreatAlbum and pointed me to the 2015 article Why every photo storage startup dies or gets acquired. Even though this article is six years old (a lifetime in high tech startup land), the situation is remarkably unchanged since then:

Apple’s Photo Stream is all but incomprehensible to me. Google’s photo product, while very good, is buried inside Google+. Amazon’s photo storage service, tied to Prime, is just getting started. Facebook’s service is designed more for sharing photos than for organizing them. Dropbox’s Carousel seems to exist for the sole purpose of helping people consume their Dropbox storage.

No wonder people keep building superior services: it’s impossible to store your photos with Apple, or Google, or Amazon, and not imagine you could do it better. And the need grows larger every day. Last year, trend forecaster Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins estimated that we upload 1.8 billion photos to the internet a day, up from 500 million the year before.

With this in mind, GreatAlbum aims not to compete with photo storage services (Apple, Google, Amazon, Flickr) or social media services (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). Instead, our goal is to provide a value-added service on top of them. GreatAlbum assumes that you want to keep your photos in one of the major photo sharing services, where you have more trust in their future preservation. It imports the "metadata" from those photos (date, location, descriptions, etc.) and helps you organize them in ways that make it much easier to browse, share and enjoy your photos and videos. Two of the most common ways we envision this to happen are:

1. In an existing Album, for an event you are documenting, members can link their remote photos from Apple/Amazon/Google/etc. to a common structure of Event, with tagged Individuals and Place, and even write their own stories about how they experienced the event. 

2. You can authorize GreatAlbum to import hundreds or thousands of photos into a private album. GreatAlbum will then go through them all, look for patterns based on date, location and faces. It will then auto-create events, based on those patterns (such as 10 or more photos on a given date and location), and tag date, location and individuals who were present. You can then review/refine those events and share them, with their related media/content, in other albums where they belong, with specific memberships for their common interests.

Presenting Sessions at NERD Summit 2021

Submitted by Erik on Mon, 01/11/2021 - 03:53

As part of cultivating a support network on my journey to build GreatAlbum, I've gotten involved with the New England Regional Developers (NERD) group over the past year. I attended NERD Summit 2020, where I got some great insights on a few topics relevant to GreatAlbum.

This year at NERD Summit 2021, while I expect to continue to learn from others, I also wanted to contribute something back to the community, which of course if it stimulates any interaction will also end up generating further insights for my team as well. I'm actually planning to present one session myself, and then have one of my team members co-present a second session, which will then continue into a Birds of a Feather Session on Day 2. Below are the session proposals, in case you're interested. I'll update this post with presentations once they're available. 

Proposed Session #1 - Non-Technical Founder's Approach to Agile Project Mgmt

Are you a non-technical Founder or Project Manager wondering how best to define the requirements and manage the development of a website or app? Attend this session to learn how one such non-technical Founder went about it - mistakes made, lessons learned, approach now being followed. A few highlights of the session:

  • Started on Backlog.com - tried to manage requirements & tasks in a simple issue tracker, discovered that didn’t work

  • Adopted Atlassian Confluence and Jira for knowledge and project mgmt

  • Adopted agile project mgmt, generally as described by Atlassian

  • Use Google Sheets to analyze distribution of tasks between team members, components, sprints, etc.

  • Key Take-Aways


Proposed Session #2 - Advanced Group & Media Functionality on a Drupal8 site

In this session, we’ll demonstrate how we have utilized advanced capabilities of Groups and Media in Drupal8 to build the GreatAlbum site.

Some key features we’ll review include:

  • Sending invites to non-site users via email and having them accept/register

  • Making media entities part of group content

  • Group view includes a stream of content/media

  • Group tabs, so show streams for each content type

  • Group Activities document creation and updates of content/media in the group

  • Google Photos integration - create media entities in the group based on Google Photo Albums

  • Enabling content/media to belong to more than one Group

  • View all your content/media across Groups

Features yet to implement

  • Open and Public Groups, to go along with the Private Groups initially implemented

  • Non Members can request to join a Group and be approved/denied

  • Share an Event and all its related content (Stories, Individuals, Place, Media) to another Group in one bulk operation

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