Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Going Out For Business: All Images Must Go!

Turnabout is fair play, of course, and when PhotoShelter closed their PhotoShelter Collection last month, Digital Railroad promoted their services as a solution. Now, the worm has turned, and it is PhotoShelter's robust Personal Archive, which has a monthly service fee, that is offering shelter to current Digital Railroad members. So, while we contemplate the likelihood that Digital Railroad is (or is not) going out OF business, PhotoShelter is going out FOR YOUR business.

You can read more about what PhotoShelter is offering here - (Digital Railroad Special Offer & Website Customization Examples!, 10/21/08) , which offers, in part:

Here's the gist of the offer:
- Sign up for an annual PhotoShelter Personal Archive 2.0 account
- Provide us with proof that you're a DRR member
- We will then credit your PhotoShelter account with an additional 3-months free
- We will provide you with FTP instructions on how to move your archive to PhotoShelter

You can sign up here, and get
(Continued after the Jump)

the following:
A Personal Archive gets you:
  • Bulletproof storage — add more storage as needed
  • Create a website in 30 seconds with simple templates!
  • Or, integrate our gallery, search, e-commerce and security features with your own website.
  • Increase your exposure: Embed your images, galleries & slideshows anywhere online
  • Export images via FTP
  • Sell automated or self-fulfilled prints
  • Automated rights-managed sales powered by fotoQuote®
  • License royalty free, or personal use downloads
  • Create a free Virtual Agency to market your work with other photographers
  • No sales activation fees
  • No account set-up fee

So, how hard is it to migrate your images? Here's screen grabs of the step-by-step on the Digital Railroad side:

First things first- you need to create the destination where you want your images to go. On the right is your "My Site Production", which you are familiar with as a DRR member. As someone who does syndicate my images, I have used the "Syndication Management" tool before. Incase you have not, here's a screen grab. Select "Create New FTP Destination".

Below is the next screen. I have chosen to call this syndication name "Transfer to PhotoShelter", but you can, of course, call it anything you'd like. Next, is the FTP Host. When you set yourself up to transfer to PhotoShelter, seperate and distinct from your PhotoShelter login and password, they will give you a different login and password specifically for this non-secure FTP. The problem is that these FTP transfers (between DRR and PS) are done without encryption, so it's easy for a hacker to "sniff" your password and gain access to your account. All normal transfers to PhotoShelter are done in what's called FTPS, which is a secure FTP transfer mode. So, don't use your PhotoShelter login and password, be sure to use the one specifically for this purpose. Also be certain that there is a check-box where is says "Create New Folder". This way, each folder you have on your DRR account, as you've already divided them, will maintain their structure over at PhotoShelter. The one downside, is that if you have, as I will show you below, 53 images in total, 2 listed as "published", and 51 listed as "unpublished", you will loose that designation during the transfer. The fast workaround to this if this is something you used extensively on DRR is to apply a temporary metadata entry, like "DRRpublished" in one of the fields, so you can easily sort them out later. Active transfer mode should work for most people, but if you get an error, try changing it to Passive, which is meant to work with firewalls and tricky networks. Also, if your internet service provider has blocked port 21, you may need to select a different port, and talk to the PhotoShelter people about accepting an inbound FTP on a port other than 21. Now, you're all set with your FTP destination. See below:

Once in the group you want to transfer, choose from "Production Tools", the option "Syndicate Group". Below you will see I have 2 Private images, and 51 unpublished, in this group.

Here, you can choose to send all 53, just the published ones, or the unpublished ones. Another workaround to seperating these out if you don't want to do the metadata addition, is to transfer this once into a folder with the added folder "-Published", and then a second transmission of the same group with the added name to the folder "-UnPublished". Also choose "Original", and then in the lower left corner, place a check box next to "Transfer to PhotoShelter" , under "Choose Destination(s)". Following that, click the "Syndicate" button.

You will get a "CONFIRMATION: GROUP SYNDICATION" screen, and you can then click the "View Syndication Details" link, to watch the images as they transfer.

Below is the first screen you will see (note, you should click the image to view it in a new window larger). It will tell you how many are pending, the percentage complete, and the status. It's a pretty handy view on what's happening.

When the transfer is complete, you will see the screen below ( (note, you should click the image to view it in a new window larger). This is your confirmation that all the images have been safely delivered to PhotoShelter.

Next, I would head over to the PhotoShelter Archive Management screens, and confirm that the files are, in fact, in place, and verify the counts. The best thing about the Digital Railroad FTP setup is that you can begin the FTP for one folder, and then head over and start more transfers, since you are not using your own bandwidth to accomplish this transfer, and you don't have to wait for one to finish before starting the next. It would be no problem to take an hour to start 20 or 30 transfers, and then head to bed. You can wake up the next morning, and view the syndication details, and confirm that everything was sent.

So, there you have it, a step by step on how to transfer your Digital Railroad files to PhotoShelter, or anywhere else, for that matter. Even on the off chance that Digital Railroad remains in business, transferring your files to PhotoShelter for redundancy purposes is your safest move. I encourage you to get started on this right away. It will take a few days to get your account set up, and customization templates for your site (if you're a new subscriber), and also getting a general feel for PS. THis way, on Monday, when they give you the FTP information, you will be all set and ready to go. Lastly, you can't know if they will just plain shut down one night, or not. So, to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.


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