JellyBarn is a new service that aims to help strengthen your online presence by creating free and private photo sharing communities for friends and family. The service is currently in an invite only beta, but I have luckily been given the opportunity to test it. JellyBarn is a very feature-rich photo sharing service that lets you create communities through the JellyBarn website or through your own site with the use of their commercial API. I was also surprised to see an extensive use of Flash rather then a technology like Ajax. But after seeing the features that JellyBarn offers, which I was very impressed by, it is clear why Flash was the best platform for their service. Lets take a look.

Above is a screenshot of the JellyBarn interface in which you will be using for your photo communities (note: the screenshot was compressed in filesize resulting in worse quality, but the main format is there). The first page you are directed to when logging in is your profile page that you will find your photos, albums, your profile, and of course, tagging for the photos. One thing that you will notice is that the interface isn’t only Flash, but also HTML, which allows for a more flexible environment. Even though a technology like Ajax isn’t used, the functionality is very much similar when combining Flash with a little Javascript resulting in the same, real-time, type of feeling. To interact with your photo community, you can upload photos, save contacts and create groups, email photos, create projects, manage events, and even maintain an online journal.

The first thing that I wanted to do was to upload some of my photos that I have taken. I went into the photos section and went to upload. I was expecting a basic form that you can upload multiple photos with, but I was definitely wrong, in a good way. I was very impressed with all of the uploading options that you are given. You can upload using a basic form, Java Applet (above screenshot), JellyBarn Uploader application (Windows/Mac), and according to the profile page, you can send photos via email and even through your cell phone if you enter your phone number. As you can tell, there are plenty of options are available. I used the basic upload form first which went through nicely and allowed me to tag and add descriptions to all the photos I uploaded. I also tested the Java uploader which actually makes an open dialog, much like how your computer works, that also has a drag and drop upload functionality.

Now that I have some photos uploaded, it is time to have some fun with some of JellyBarn’s features. My favorite section of JellyBarn is the projects section. The projects section lets you actually create small projects with your photos, such as DVD Movies (actually slideshows), Fun Cards (postcards), and photo books. This is where the Flash approach to the service really comes in handy. In the above screenshot, you will see a Photo Book Project. You can create a cover page, add as many pages as you want, add photos using drag and drop, resize photos, add text, and change colors. It also uses a nice page turning transition when going through the pages. Another project that I liked was the DVD project, which is really a more advanced slideshow. Much like Microsoft PowerPoint, you create slides and organize them. You can create slides with titles, smooth zoom in/out motions, durations (time on an individual slide), and even background music from their music collection (including rock, classical, r&b, jazz, etc.). Once you are done creating your projects, you can then share them with your community and send them via email.

JellyBarn is an excellent service to create a private photo sharing community. To get a community started, you need to go to the people section, add some contacts. You will then be able to see the profiles of your contacts as well as recent photos from each contact. You will also now see recent photos from your community along with community tags in the photos section of JellyBarn, much like other photo sharing services. But my favorite feature is sharing with contacts. When you choose to share with a contact, you will get directed to a page with your library and your contacts library. You can then drag and drop your contacts photos into your library and your photos into your contacts library. So, for example, if your friend had a party and knows you have some photos from it, you can then add your photos of the party into your friends party album in a matter of seconds. Love the sharing feature.

Overall, JellyBarn works excellent for creating your own photo sharing communities for friends and family. You can manage photos, contacts, projects, events, and even journals. JellyBarn still has some ways to go and is currently in invite only beta, but from what I can see, it is a great addition to the growing list of photo sharing services.

View JellyBarn – Building Photo Sharing Communities.

2 Comments on “JellyBarn – Building Photo Sharing Communities”

  1. michael arrington says:

    great review Brian. More!

  2. Kill3r0id’s bl0g » Blog Archive » JELLYBARN says:

    [...] d to cover. Jellybarn is currently an invite only site.A more thorough review can be found here. Technorati Tags: sharing, photosharing, imageesharing, socia [...]