Photo Sites Like Shutterfly Preserving History


Photo sharing websites like Shutterfly, Webshots, Snapfish, and Flickr are doing more than just allowing users to share photos with friends. These popular websites are preserving history by archiving images that could be lost or destroyed if disaster strikes and they are only contained in a physical form.   They are also great if you accidentally misplace your photos.  

Take victims of the recent California wildfires as an example. For some, there wasn’t even an opportunity to gather belongings for safekeeping when the calls for evacuation were made.   Evacuees  quickly grabbed whatever valuables they could, and if they were lucky, their houses would be intact upon return. Unfortunately, this was not the outcome for many wildfire victims.

From an article in the Boston Globe, Robert Sanders was one of the unlucky ones who lost everything:

“The lucky ones will find their homes still standing amid a blackened landscape. Others, like Robert Sanders, are not so fortunate.The 56-year-old photographer returned to a smoldering mound that once was his rented house in the San Diego neighborhood of Rancho Bernardo.

Among the possessions he lost were his transparencies, melted inside a fire-resistant box, and a photograph of his father.

“I’ve lost my history,” Sanders said. “All the work I’ve done for the past 30 years, it’s all destroyed.” — Source: Boston Globe

The lesson here is that people should use the online photo sharing sites as much as possible in an effort to preserve their photo histories. This is an easy way to save your memories in photo form.   It doesn’t cost anything to upload or share photos, and it’s very easy to order prints – just like going to the pharmacy.  


  1. Great points!
    Don’t overlook the mother of all server-based photo applications- iPhoto!

    iPhoto is not talked about too much by analysts but is every bit as much of an eyeopener as iTunes and iPhone. I think its development stemmed from the Oakland Fires that I survived, as many of Apple’s own employees were personally affected.

    Now known only to the million dot-Mac subscribers, this application is about to explode over the next few weeks. Along with iChat, its driving grandparents into the Apple stores to connect with their offspring. It’s the only cross-platform solution that is MOBI scaled without MOBI extension.

    Hence is why I’d like to discuss “” with Mr. Jobs.

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