Folders, galleries, etc. decisions

LivingstonLivingston Big grinsRegistered Users Posts: 20 Big grins
edited February 25, 2016 in SmugMug Support
I'll get a link to this thread to Denise (who has interest in helping with this topic).

Although I've had a SM account for some time, only recently have I moved off a Mac iPhoto environment to storing things on SM. The Mac is old and needs to be phased out of my local configuration.

Not surprisingly, iPhoto has lots of duplicates and unnecessary images (e.g. thumbs) that need to be eliminated during the conversion.

I've made a couple milestones in the transition. I couldn't figure out an optimal way to sort the photos so decided to create folders and galleries based on an initial sort of the library. To get started, I decided to create a folder structure dbyyyy/nn-Mon/themed gallery. An example would be db2001/03-Mar/0103a-Pets Animals.

The images were sorted using this structure on a PC and are in the process of being uploaded to SM using the same structure.

There are lots of options for structuring the data on SM, including tagging individual images and/or setting up galleries with a "theme".

My questions are what would be best?

Denise, who I'll pull into this thread, has a similar context to what I'm creating. She's not a professional so all of her images are organized based on family and friend interests.

What I'd like to discuss are options for organizing simple home photos that do nothing sitting on iPhoto, so that they can be shared in a way that allows us and our family and friends to easily navigate and value the richness of the image history.

Any ideas are welcome.

Liv

Comments

  • rainforest1155rainforest1155 SmugMug Support Hero Registered Users Posts: 4,557 Major grins
    edited February 12, 2016
    Hi Liv,
    Since this is not related to customizing the look of your site, I'm going to ask the DGrin mods to move the thread to the general "SmugMug Support" forum as there it will be seen by more people that are not interested in advanced customizations of their site.

    To offer some thoughts on the subject, I think the way of organizing your site depends a lot on your own needs and what your visitors would like to see. Personally, I think I'd like to be able to browse family photos by specific events, vacations, birthdays etc. You could create different subject folders and within have the different galleries, or if there's a lot of galleries, you could also add another folder level by year or person. That makes it easier to find your way around than if you'd just be presented with year folders where you have no clue on what's inside.

    Keep in mind that regardless of the way you organize your photos, visitors can also make use of the /date page to browse all the public photos on your site by date. So they could click on a year to see the photos from that year. They could also narrow the date down further to just see the photos from a specific date range within a year by clicking on the calendar icon while browsing photos by year. You can find additional information on setting up the date page on your site here.
    Sebastian
    SmugMug Support Hero
  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAAdministrators Posts: 13,907 moderator
    edited February 12, 2016
    It would be helpful to see your current structure on your site. Why not share a link to your site for comment / suggestion purposes?

    I would recommend rethinking your date folder structure unless you think your viewers will only be looking for photos from a certain date. Even then, they can search by date by using the /date page of your site. I would think a subject-based structure would make it easier for viewers to find photos that interest them.

    --- Denise
  • LivingstonLivingston Big grins Registered Users Posts: 20 Big grins
    edited February 12, 2016
    Hi Liv,
    Since this is not related to customizing the look of your site, I'm going to ask the DGrin mods to move the thread to the general "SmugMug Support" forum as there it will be seen by more people that are not interested in advanced customizations of their site.

    To offer some thoughts on the subject, I think the way of organizing your site depends a lot on your own needs and what your visitors would like to see. Personally, I think I'd like to be able to browse family photos by specific events, vacations, birthdays etc. You could create different subject folders and within have the different galleries, or if there's a lot of galleries, you could also add another folder level by year or person. That makes it easier to find your way around than if you'd just be presented with year folders where you have no clue on what's inside.

    Keep in mind that regardless of the way you organize your photos, visitors can also make use of the /date page to browse all the public photos on your site by date. So they could click on a year to see the photos from that year. They could also narrow the date down further to just see the photos from a specific date range within a year by clicking on the calendar icon while browsing photos by year. You can find additional information on setting up the date page on your site here.

    Thanks for sending this to the right forum. And thanks for your thoughts on the topic.

    Liv
  • LivingstonLivingston Big grins Registered Users Posts: 20 Big grins
    edited February 12, 2016
    It would be helpful to see your current structure on your site. Why not share a link to your site for comment / suggestion purposes?

    I would recommend rethinking your date folder structure unless you think your viewers will only be looking for photos from a certain date. Even then, they can search by date by using the /date page of your site. I would think a subject-based structure would make it easier for viewers to find photos that interest them.

    --- Denise

    Hi,

    I chose the year/month folder structure just to find a way to sort around 10K images that had accumulated on iPhoto. More than half were thumbs or duplicates. That's done and I'm uploading them using the same folder structure on SM.

    I'm not married to the structure and, by looking at sites like yours that are also storing and displaying images similar to mine, I can already see it may not be best.

    The priority was to get the pets pictures loaded first. The approach I took was to tag each image with the names(s) of the pets in the photo. Very tedious, but may be necessary. Will do something similar with family members. Regardless, the site only has the 4-legged, fuzzy ones right now.

    As I start uploading the other photos, some will be fine just sorted into a folder. For example, trips and events will probably work well that way, but I'm just not sure yet given limited understanding of how to make SM work well for visitors while making maintenance minimal.

    Liv
  • pilotdavepilotdave Major grins Registered Users Posts: 785 Major grins
    edited February 12, 2016
    I think you'll eventually want to make use of smart galleries. My site is mostly organized by date, basically a new gallery each week. But I completely modified my /browse page to show a bunch of smart/collected galleries that organize photos by topic instead of date. You'll have to play around and decide what you want visitors to see when they open your site. But with smart galleries (and lots of keywording), you're not stuck with just one way to browse your site.

    Dave
  • LivingstonLivingston Big grins Registered Users Posts: 20 Big grins
    edited February 12, 2016
    pilotdave wrote: »
    I think you'll eventually want to make use of smart galleries. My site is mostly organized by date, basically a new gallery each week. But I completely modified my /browse page to show a bunch of smart/collected galleries that organize photos by topic instead of date. You'll have to play around and decide what you want visitors to see when they open your site. But with smart galleries (and lots of keywording), you're not stuck with just one way to browse your site.

    Dave
    Thanks

    It appears one of the decisions is whether to choose "lots of keywording". I'm using it for names (e.g. pets, family). Some are not going to need keywords on the individual image because they're more a theme (e.g. a trip, an event). With those a separate folder or gallery makes sense.

    I'm beginning to realize what you mentioned is probably where I will end up going (e.g. smart/collected galleries, along with some detail tagging). Once the 4k-5k images are initially uploaded, adding new stuff will be much easier.

    I'm getting closer to an approach.

    Very much appreciate you comments.

    Liv
  • LivingstonLivingston Big grins Registered Users Posts: 20 Big grins
    edited February 12, 2016
    pilotdave wrote: »
    I think you'll eventually want to make use of smart galleries. My site is mostly organized by date, basically a new gallery each week. But I completely modified my /browse page to show a bunch of smart/collected galleries that organize photos by topic instead of date. You'll have to play around and decide what you want visitors to see when they open your site. But with smart galleries (and lots of keywording), you're not stuck with just one way to browse your site.

    Dave

    What about folder, gallery, and page settings? I'm not doing much with them except to turn off some social and shopping options and, in the case of pages and galleries, to assign an image. Do meta keywords and/or descriptions for these objects become useful for creating the visitor navigation? The only tagging I'm doing is to some of the individual photos.

    Tom
  • pilotdavepilotdave Major grins Registered Users Posts: 785 Major grins
    edited February 12, 2016
    Livingston wrote: »
    What about folder, gallery, and page settings? I'm not doing much with them except to turn off some social and shopping options and, in the case of pages and galleries, to assign an image. Do meta keywords and/or descriptions for these objects become useful for creating the visitor navigation? The only tagging I'm doing is to some of the individual photos.

    Tom

    Those would help search engines find you, but that's it.

    The most important settings are security/photo protection settings. Other than that, make things look the way you want.

    Dave
  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAAdministrators Posts: 13,907 moderator
    edited February 14, 2016
    Livingston wrote: »
    What about folder, gallery, and page settings? I'm not doing much with them except to turn off some social and shopping options and, in the case of pages and galleries, to assign an image. Do meta keywords and/or descriptions for these objects become useful for creating the visitor navigation? The only tagging I'm doing is to some of the individual photos.
    The photo keywords can be used in setting up smart galleries; the meta keywords and descriptions don't feed into navigation at all.

    Are you aware that you can remove the smugmug header and switch to the small footer?
    > Customize
    > Content and Design
    > Settings
    change as desired

    If you'd like to make it easier to navigate your site I'd suggest that you move the breadcrumb to be above the gallery contents. With a collage style gallery it may take a while for your viewer to scroll past all of the photos to even see the breadcrumb.

    --- Denise
  • LivingstonLivingston Big grins Registered Users Posts: 20 Big grins
    edited February 14, 2016
    The photo keywords can be used in setting up smart galleries; the meta keywords and descriptions don't feed into navigation at all.

    Are you aware that you can remove the smugmug header and switch to the small footer?
    > Customize
    > Content and Design
    > Settings
    change as desired

    If you'd like to make it easier to navigate your site I'd suggest that you move the breadcrumb to be above the gallery contents. With a collage style gallery it may take a while for your viewer to scroll past all of the photos to even see the breadcrumb.

    --- Denise

    Thanks (again)! I've completed the task of getting all the images uploaded(!!!!), so now I can start working on things like site look and feel. I like the cleanliness of your site and realize I have quite a bit of "stuff" on mine right now.

    Along with the site design, I'd like to get any pointers to documentation on tools that manage the database of images. You sent one some time ago I've misplaced. It was the one the was used to create the keyword page on your site.

    Are there tools that do things like list all the images, show which are tagged, etc. etc. etc.?

    (I love forums like this one where I can learn.)
  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAAdministrators Posts: 13,907 moderator
    edited February 14, 2016
    Livingston wrote: »
    Along with the site design, I'd like to get any pointers to documentation on tools that manage the database of images. You sent one some time ago I've misplaced. It was the one the was used to create the keyword page on your site.
    The keyword page on my site is automatically generated by SmugMug based on the keywords on my photos. Your keyword page is at https://tscarpenter.smugmug.com/keyword. You can add that to your menu if you'd like.

    Other automatically created pages are documented on this page - http://news.smugmug.com/2013/07/31/smug-tip-customize-your-404-search-page-and-more/.

    --- Denise
  • LivingstonLivingston Big grins Registered Users Posts: 20 Big grins
    edited February 14, 2016
    The photo keywords can be used in setting up smart galleries; the meta keywords and descriptions don't feed into navigation at all.

    Are you aware that you can remove the smugmug header and switch to the small footer?
    > Customize
    > Content and Design
    > Settings
    change as desired

    If you'd like to make it easier to navigate your site I'd suggest that you move the breadcrumb to be above the gallery contents. With a collage style gallery it may take a while for your viewer to scroll past all of the photos to even see the breadcrumb.

    --- Denise

    When you say "breadcrumb" are you referring to the timeline image below all the pet collage? Or are you actually seeing a breadcrumb? I logged off to see better what you see and the breadcrumb is near the top of the page. Am I missing something?
  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAAdministrators Posts: 13,907 moderator
    edited February 14, 2016
    Livingston wrote: »
    When you say "breadcrumb" are you referring to the timeline image below all the pet collage? Or are you actually seeing a breadcrumb? I logged off to see better what you see and the breadcrumb is near the top of the page. Am I missing something?
    Look at this gallery - https://tscarpenter.smugmug.com/Published/Earl. The breadcrumb is at the bottom of the page. There are other galleries with the same issue, and there are others that don't include the breadcrumb at all.

    I'd recommend consistency. The breadcrumb can provide an easy way for viewers to know where they are on your site and to be able to navigate to other galleries as well. If you're going to use it, place it above the gallery content, not at the bottom. With collage-style galleries if the breadcrumb is at the bottom of the gallery your viewers may not even realize that it exists.

    --- Denise
  • LivingstonLivingston Big grins Registered Users Posts: 20 Big grins
    edited February 15, 2016
    Look at this gallery - https://tscarpenter.smugmug.com/Published/Earl. The breadcrumb is at the bottom of the page. There are other galleries with the same issue, and there are others that don't include the breadcrumb at all.

    I'd recommend consistency. The breadcrumb can provide an easy way for viewers to know where they are on your site and to be able to navigate to other galleries as well. If you're going to use it, place it above the gallery content, not at the bottom. With collage-style galleries if the breadcrumb is at the bottom of the gallery your viewers may not even realize that it exists.

    --- Denise
    Thanks Denise

    I see it now.

    Liv
  • LivingstonLivingston Big grins Registered Users Posts: 20 Big grins
    edited February 15, 2016
    Look at this gallery - https://tscarpenter.smugmug.com/Published/Earl. The breadcrumb is at the bottom of the page. There are other galleries with the same issue, and there are others that don't include the breadcrumb at all.

    I'd recommend consistency. The breadcrumb can provide an easy way for viewers to know where they are on your site and to be able to navigate to other galleries as well. If you're going to use it, place it above the gallery content, not at the bottom. With collage-style galleries if the breadcrumb is at the bottom of the gallery your viewers may not even realize that it exists.

    --- Denise
    I fixed the breadcrumb issue. I'll be restructuring folders and galleries now that I have everything uploaded.

    I was browsing your site. I looks like you have just a few folders and lots of galleries. Correct?
  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAAdministrators Posts: 13,907 moderator
    edited February 15, 2016
    Livingston wrote: »
    I fixed the breadcrumb issue. I'll be restructuring folders and galleries now that I have everything uploaded.

    I was browsing your site. I looks like you have just a few folders and lots of galleries. Correct?
    The structure on my site is pretty flat. There are 9 top-level (public) folders. Only one of those top-level folders has subfolders in it.

    The galleries in each folder are arranged in date sequence with the newest galleries at the beginning.

    I highlight new galleries by an entry on my Kaleidoscope page. New galleries are also announced on my blog, and in the galleries by date linked from my blog.

    --- Denise
  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAAdministrators Posts: 13,907 moderator
    edited February 15, 2016
    Livingston wrote: »
    I'll be restructuring folders and galleries now that I have everything uploaded.
    As you restructure your folders and galleries you might want to consider placing the newest folders / galleries at the top. Right now if a viewer goes to your site the first thing they see (starting at https://tscarpenter.smugmug.com/Portfolio) are your oldest photos and galleries. If a viewer is looking for something new, why should they need to scroll past all of your old folders / galleries to find the new entries?

    --- Denise
  • LivingstonLivingston Big grins Registered Users Posts: 20 Big grins
    edited February 16, 2016
    As you restructure your folders and galleries you might want to consider placing the newest folders / galleries at the top. Right now if a viewer goes to your site the first thing they see (starting at https://tscarpenter.smugmug.com/Portfolio) are your oldest photos and galleries. If a viewer is looking for something new, why should they need to scroll past all of your old folders / galleries to find the new entries?

    --- Denise
    There are a couple collection that can be rearranged right away. One is a bunch of product photos created when we had a small home business. They're in multiple galleries right now along with some photos of shows we did. That can be placed in one folder with one or two galleries.

    As far as newest folders first, I like the way you've set up a separate page to highlight them. I'll probably do the same. Maybe different than your design, my emphasis is less on the photography than on the collection. On the one hand, a visitor may want to look at a particular trip or event. Another might want to get presented the key photos of each of the pets we've cared for.

    As was suggested earlier in the thread, smart galleries might be part of the design.

    I've tagged all the pet and family photos with the name in the shot.

    This is also the time to start removing photos (or moving them to an archive folder).

    I asked about how to "see" the inventory list. Is the only way to get those lists to work with the HTML (i.e. see the folders where the images are actually stored and use tools to extract the directory). I've kept a list of all the images and folders on the PC for now, just in case I have to keep a separate file help manage the data.
  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAAdministrators Posts: 13,907 moderator
    edited February 16, 2016
    Livingston wrote: »
    I asked about how to "see" the inventory list. Is the only way to get those lists to work with the HTML (i.e. see the folders where the images are actually stored and use tools to extract the directory). I've kept a list of all the images and folders on the PC for now, just in case I have to keep a separate file help manage the data.
    If you're asking about seeing the structure on SmugMug through some type of programmatic interface my guess is that you would need to use the SmugMug API - http://help.smugmug.com/customer/en/portal/articles/156382-where-can-i-find-smugmug-api-documentation-.

    --- Denise
  • LivingstonLivingston Big grins Registered Users Posts: 20 Big grins
    edited February 17, 2016
    If you're asking about seeing the structure on SmugMug through some type of programmatic interface my guess is that you would need to use the SmugMug API - http://help.smugmug.com/customer/en/portal/articles/156382-where-can-i-find-smugmug-api-documentation-.

    --- Denise
    I'll look at the APIs, but I'm not sure that's what I need. The Chrome extension has the ability to produce a folder/gallery/page list with a number of fields for each. That list can be exported so tools like Excel can be used to search and organize.

    That still leaves the need for something that will do the same, but for the images.

    If I recall, you use Lightroom for organizing your images. With it you can set things like the keywords in a way that they will be preserved when loaded to SM. I assume LR provides reports or extracts you can use to view the data about your collection.

    My sense is SM is good for web display of images, but doesn't provide robust organizing tools like Lightroom.

    I just don't do enough with photos to justify the cost of LR. I have Photoshop CS5, but its primary function is NOT as an image organizer.

    There has to be a simple way to extract the metadata from images. It's just data.

    Will keep looking.

    Liv
  • LivingstonLivingston Big grins Registered Users Posts: 20 Big grins
    edited February 25, 2016
    Gotten far enough with the structure to see what others think.

    I decided there were two views of the images. One was by theme (e.g. trip, outing, event) where all the photos were taken at the same time. For that approach, the photos from each trip, outing, event, etc. are in their own gallery. There are about 150 theme galleries.

    The other view is by keyword (e.g. pet name, person name) that requires the photos be tagged. That will take awhile. Tedious, but not difficult.

    The folder structure is also flat. The original sort was into Year>Month folders, and any images that were not moved a theme are still in that structure. The theme folder structure is also only 2 folders deep. I will probably change the structure for terminology (e.g. in the breadcrumbs).

    For navigation and display, there's a page for each theme and each keyword (name). The theme page gets galleries from the theme folder. The keyword page gets images via a tag.

    The rest of the pages are those linked to in the menu.

    Haven't found a use (yet) for smart galleries.

    Along with tagging, getting an image for each page is a bit tedious. I can't imagine another structure that reduces the number of pages needed (and therefore the number of images that have to be added to the page).

    Welcome any ideas for improvement.

    https://tscarpenter.smugmug.com/


    Liv
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