Old 12-09-2007, 11:44 PM   #1
Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
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I am having trouble making a decision so I figured I'd bring it here, cause I trust ya guys. I am trying to figure out the 'best' way to organize my Class I photos on the new site. As you know there are a few ways this can be done such by state, by line, by trip, but which way would visitors (HA!) or should I say potential visitors find it easier or more...enjoyable? I have the main Class I page setup with 7 photos of the railroads. When you click on the photo, you are directed to that RR's page and thats where I am stuck. My many options include:

1) Year page > state > line > photos
2) Year page > state > photos
3) State > line > photos in chronological order
4) Year page> Line > photos in chronological order
5) Line > photos in chronological order
6) Line > page of years > photos

or do I just put all photos on one page in order of trip?
or what about just doing individual states?

I think I am favoring #3 but then again I feel like its a lot of clicking which means more pages to make.

What do you think? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:10 AM   #2
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Like the song says "3, It's a Magic Number" - School House Rock.

Since you probably don't remember that song... I will assume "by year" isn't going to be much of a factor ; )

As for "by line", I'm not very well versed in railroad line ownership and I expect most who may visit your site will not be either.

One option would be by railroad but seeing how one can find CSX in Abo Canyon that might not be so valuable.

I'd go by state and if possible crosslink by railroad.


/Mitch
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:12 AM   #3
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Andrew I have to tell you, apply the KISS principle. (Keep It Simple Stupid)

If you fragment your online gallery too much, you'll find that visitors will be less likely to visit repeatedly if they have to click their way through multiple layers of albums.

Personally, I only break mine up by Railroad and that's it, inside of each folder they are sorted chronologically, regardless of year. Dividing up by lines, or trips is really just adding needless layers of organization.

I hate visiting websites where there are folders, subfolders and more subfolders inside of subfolders, I find myself getting lost and not remembering if I looked all the folders, or where I left off if I get interrupted.

You'll also find that if you selectively withold information about the photos that people are more likely to contact you for that information. And that can lead to some great interactions and discussions.

Just some food for thought.
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:38 AM   #4
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Like rr-fallenflags.org, broken down by railroad first. From there you can do whatever you want. For my own year end organization of my best shots I break it down by subdivisions and then chronological. Just do what makes you happy.
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:41 AM   #5
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Thanks for the quick responses guys! The only issue I have with leaving out a subcategory will be the amount of photos under each section. Unlike most people who create websites to put their best work on, I made mine to display everything. Mind you from a particular trip I would take roughly 200-400 a day, narrow that down to 50 or so decent shots, and narrow that further to 10-20 if not more I want to make available for purchase, discussion, etc.

Then again, I'd rather have people click to page 2, 3, 4, etc. than to see 4 or 5 shots in one hidden page and have to click out again.

Thanks! Looks like the shots will see the light of day sooner than I thought!
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:34 AM   #6
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On a website which is not overly complicated with lots of information you don't want to make users click more than 3 times to find what they are looking for. Otherwise, you run a large risk of loosing users.
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:06 AM   #7
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Why not use a site like rrpicturearchives.net, which allows you to sort by (nearly) all of those options? Web application development is about the only useful thing that I'm good at, and I could easily put together a site powered by a database where I could sort by all of those different attributes... but what's the point when someone else has already gone through the trouble of setting that up for me?

EDIT: Oops! I see what you're using the site for now... rrpicturearchives won't work for what you're trying to do. I'd look into some of the photo management packages that are out there that allow you to add keywords and so on. That way all you'd have to do is type "CSX" and you'd pull up all of your CSX, etc.
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottergoose
Why not use a site like rrpicturearchives.net, which allows you to sort by (nearly) all of those options? Web application development is about the only useful thing that I'm good at, and I could easily put together a site powered by a database where I could sort by all of those different attributes... but what's the point when someone else has already gone through the trouble of setting that up for me?

EDIT: Oops! I see what you're using the site for now... rrpicturearchives won't work for what you're trying to do. I'd look into some of the photo management packages that are out there that allow you to add keywords and so on. That way all you'd have to do is type "CSX" and you'd pull up all of your CSX, etc.
I actually can add a search feature onto the site at some point if I get the time to do so. I actually want it to appear more like a gallery rather than a database so I'm trying to stay away from tables and lists.

Thanks for the help guys!
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Last edited by Andrew Blaszczyk (2); 12-10-2007 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 12-10-2007, 04:00 PM   #9
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Have you considered programs such as this?

http://coppermine-gallery.net/index.php

This seems to be what you might be looking for. It certainly would make it much easier than coding by hand.
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:02 PM   #10
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Coppermine is good stuff, been using it for over 2 years now. Probably will continue to do so.
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Old 12-11-2007, 02:10 AM   #11
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Andrew I agree with hoydie the simpler the better. Granted I don't have alot of shots I currently have all my shots in one gallery titled Trains. Once I accumulate a decent amount of shots I plan to organize them by the road name but no further.

Given that you want to display all your photos 1000+ puts you in a tough situation. Site is looking good, look forward to seeing the finished product.
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Old 12-11-2007, 02:03 PM   #12
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Andrew,

another vote for using a software package instead of trying to code HTML for a site. In the long run it will save you tons of time, and you won't face the "I'd love to add some photos but can't face the prospect of writing more HTML" block.

In addition to Coppermine, take a look at http://gallery.menalto.com/ - this is the package that John West's http://narrowgaugememories.com uses. There is an add-on available that allows you to use tags (like RP's Categories, but less formal). For example, a photo from Pete's Strasburg charter might have tags "2007", "steam", "Pennylvania", "human interest," etc.

This eliminates the need for you to determine the "least bad" structure. Any hierarchical arrangement will face limitations (as you've noticed), and as your priorities and tastes evolve, you can always go back and add/remove tags from photos without having to revamp the structure.
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Old 12-11-2007, 06:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLEzero
On a website which is not overly complicated with lots of information you don't want to make users click more than 3 times to find what they are looking for. Otherwise, you run a large risk of loosing users.
I agree. Our company does a lot of web stat research...3 clicks should be the absolute max to find what they're looking for.
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