I’ve been taking a lot of photos since getting my new camera and looked into a bunch of different web-based photo albums. Here are my comments about some of the leading ones:

*Flickr the best overall because of the huge network already using it. I have the basic account which limits how many photos I can upload per month and how many ‘sets’ I can create. The reason you take photos is to share them, and Flickr makes it easy to link together w/ friends and to share your photos with large groups of people with similar interests.

* Picasa Web Albums: Really easy to upload directly from iPhoto (with the plug-in), but lacks the community sharing aspect and lacks many of the photo-specific features, like adding notes on the images.

* Zoomr Much like Flickr, but lacks the strong community. Similar features, no unique benefits from what I could tell.

* Gallery This is a self-hosted product that’s actually quite great for archiving your photos on your own website. It allows comments, ratings, and many of the features of Flickr (except community). I installed this on my serverand I like how easy it is to customize. While I’ll continue to use Flickr for sharing w/ friends, I may use Gallery to archive the raw image files (to get them off my hard drive).

There are two photo sites that I didn’t bother trying:

* Snapfish Instead of encouraging me to try new features or giving me a discount on my next order, HP decided to threaten to close my Snapfish account if I don’t buy anything from them in the next 10 days. What an awful idea. If that’s how they treat their users, I’ll try another photo printing service next time.

* Kodak EasyShareThe reason I didn’t try it is because I’ve had too many bad experiences where a friend sends me their photo album in Ofoto or EasyShare, and it won’t let me browse it without registering on the site. This was a huge mistake on their part and is the main reason I won’t bother trying it.