Photo Sharing Made Simple

Creating Slide Shows and Web Sites

You've got 30 minutes >>

Get crafty and turn your photos into a personalized slide show, photo book, or greeting that you can e-mail to friends and family.

What you need to know: Most sharing sites will let you view your photos as a basic slide show, but there are some services that give you more creative control. Our favorite: Onetruemedia.com, a Web site that allows you to upload both photos and videos, choose effects and music, and put together a streaming video that you can share online or by ordering a high-resolution DVD -- really useful for grandparents who aren't so good on the computer. Another cool slide-show site is Photoshow.com, which includes tons of easy-to-apply effects so that you can put together a customized show in no time. Shutterfly.com recently launched a service that lets you create and share "memory books" online for free, whether or not you choose to order a bound version. And if you want more inspiration, check out Smilebox.com. This site is full of photo books, short slide shows, cards, and keepsakes you can personalize and e-mail to friends.

Words of warning: If your friends have older computers with browsers that aren't up to date, they'll have trouble seeing your creations, and Smilebox is not yet available for Mac users.

You've got an hour >>

If you're tech-savvy, you can build your own Web site to which you can upload all your photos. And if you're not, you can cheat and get similar results.

What you need to know: Creating your own Web site has its advantages. "You can put up a lot more than just pictures," says Busch. "You can post birth announcements, news updates, and whatever else you can scan." Hosting services like your Internet service provider, iWeb (for Mac users), and Yahoo! Web Hosting usually have templates to make building sites easier. And if you like the idea of having a Web site but you're too intimidated to create one, check out Shutterfly Collections and Snapfish group rooms. The sharing services will let you set up a personal Web page on their sites so that family and friends can check in to see your photos at their leisure and order prints -- and best of all, they can add their own photos. (Kodak Gallery has a similar service but charges a monthly fee of $2.49.)

Words of warning: Strangers can access any Web site you build, so password-protect anything you don't want to make public.

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