New features – April 27, 2006

Got some new stuff for everyone today:

  • Pros now have UNLIMITED traffic limits. Yes, you read that right.
  • Much better redundant storage of your precious photos. We now store at least 4 copies of every new photo in 3 different datacenters in 3 states, using both internal SmugMug storage and the storage infrastructure of a partner who’s in the business of data availability. We’re currently in the process of copying 100TB (!) of old photos to our new storage partner in addition to our local copies. More details on this will be forthcoming.
  • A new “Large” size for photos. We made a very bad decision in the early days of SmugMug when we chose 800×800 for our “Large” size. Monitors are wider than they are tall, and that’s only increasing with widescreen monitors. This made it very difficult for people to see the “Large” photos which were portrait oriented – they’d be partially off the page and need to be scrolled. Ugh. 800×600 is now the max size for newly uploaded “Large” photos and any photo you edit (crop/rotate/color correct). We’re not doing anything to old photos at this time, but are gathing feedback from our customers about what to do. If you care about this topic, do participate in the ongoing discussion.
  • Fixed the watermarking quality to match our new JPEG quality levels.
  • The search page has been overhauled to the new look & feel, including much better customization for Power and Pro users.
  • New tour of SmugMug.
  • New signup page.
  • New more info page
  • Better signup process – better looking, easier to use, more streamlined, and lands you on a much friendlier “newbie” page that’s less intimidating.
  • Added a JavaScript variable to allow Pros to better track their sales by filename.
  • Fixed a bug with image protection and filmstrip.
  • Microsoft lost a lawsuit that means their latest Internet Explorer patch breaks tons of existing ActiveX controls on the net, including SmugMug uploaders. We just updated ours to work with this new patch.
  • Fixed a bug with “Hide Owner” and image href titles and alt tags


The White Continent

I saw this photo in the most popular photos of the day on the browse page and it really caught my eye.

The gallery it is in has a lot of really gorgeous shots of a trip aboard National Geographics’ MS Endeavor.

External links are off in the gallery, so I can’t embed the images here in the blog, but I will link to you a few of my favorites:

I highly recommend taking the time to browse through the gallery!

Whatever It Takes

Not long ago, we had a customer write into the help desk asking for HELP! with his customization. For lots of reasons, he was unable to do any of it himself, despite our best efforts to guide him along the way. Our pro was about to give up when I asked him if he’d mind if I hooked him up with some basic customizations. Now mind you, we can’t possibly set up all of our customers like this one-at-a-time, but the experience was a good one for me, and for the customer. Still, the photographer has to provide the inputs and ideas on colors, fonts, designs, layout, flow, navigation, and more. So it’s a cooperative venture. Our customer is Velographie Photo and our pro’s name is Dick Louderman. Dick’s a super guy, and was a pleasure to work with. Here’s what he had to say:

“this has been a terrifically positive experience for me in many ways. I have been moved by your generosity in helping. I have been very impressed by the knowledge that you and the other pros have shared with me (and others) and also the enthusiasm. AND the sense of community among the smugmug pros. this makes a BIG difference and it is a super important aspect to participation. it is a big reason why I came to smugmug in the first place and a good reason to stay connected. this is what it is all about.I love it! I am hoping that, even with some of my limitations, I can give back in some way to the others. I mean that.”

I got plenty of help from the good folks on our customization forum over at Digital Grin. You can even see that we’re doing it again, for another customer, ellepixels – stop by, learn a bit, and see that you can do it, too!