I've been tinkering for the last year or so with a “photostream” addition to my blog, in which I can highlight the occasional not-too-bad photo I post on my blog. I'm not sure it's really ready, but I'm releasing it now and we'll see how it goes.
I've partitioned up the best images from my blog into several photostreams, including one for Japan, and one for each season: Spring · Summer · Autumn · Winter. There's also a catch-all Miscellaneous stream for odd, kooky, or otherwise interesting (but not necessarily “pretty”) photos, and a stream full of pictures of my kid that I suspect only I and my mom will use. Finally, there's an overall “Main” stream that includes all the non-kid photos.
I try to include only good photos in each stream, but I give you a way to let me know that one isn't really good enough for inclusion. (More on that in a bit.)
Visiting a stream's page, you see a gird three pictures wide. It may take a while to load, but I make sure to load images from the top down, the screen should fill up fairly quickly. You can scroll down, or hit the [reshuffle] button to see different pictures.
Clicking on a photo leads to a page like this...
Floating at the top is a control panel...
The control panel is normally intended to be hidden. Mouse down to the lower half of the screen, and it'll disappear.
To visit the next picture in the stream, use the N key.
To go back to the previous picture, use the P key.
To visit the blog post associated with the picture, hit ENTER.
To return to the grid of photos, use the ESC key.
Bringing the mouse to the upper half of the screen recalls the control panel, which you can use to start a slideshow, vote on a photo that you think is better/worse than average for the stream, etc.
Returning to the grid (via the ESC key, or the grid icon in the control panel), and in the upper-right you'll find links to the other photostreams, and to the Media RSS feed for the stream.
I spent considerable effort in building it to make it efficient (it pre-downloads the next few images while you're looking at one, for example), but there's a lot of image data involved, so the first time you try it, it'll likely be fairly sluggish for the first few pictures.
— Start here —
As I said, I've been tinkering with this on and off for the better part of a year. I got the idea when I saw the FoxSaver add-on for Firefox (the name coming from Firefox + Screen Saver) that could turn any Media-RSS feed into a pretty screensaver-like slideshow. You can view my streams with it, but better yet, you can view its streams of really amazing photos.
I finally got serious with it in May when I built the “control panel” thing. It would be an understatement to say that graphical design is not my strong point, but I was really happy with how it came out.
I had a friend whose opinion I respect take a look at my photostream stuff at that point, and his response was essentially “it's great, except for the really ugly control panel.”. Doh!
Since then, I've spent the last couple of months deep in though on how to fix things, but I've come up with nothing, so yesterday I slapped the “... to dismiss this overlay” note onto the panel in the hope that greater education is the key, and we'll see how it goes.
Give it a try, and let me know what you think...