Introducing tabblo


Well it wouldn’t be a Monday if there weren’t yet another Flickr clone coming out for public purview and, well it’s Monday.

The latest venture is a site called tabblo and it seems to hold a bit of promise. tabblo works like flickr or most of the other photo sharing site but has a few wrinkles that make it interesting.

Like flickr you can upload all of your photos to the site. It does not appear that there is any storage or bandwidth limits and this point and it appears to be free. You can upload directly or you can also use their bulk uploading tool. But here’s the real kicker and something that sets this site out above some of the other flickr clones — you can also just import all of your shots directly from Flickr including all of your meta data, tags, etc.

If you want to see my shots on tabblo you can click here.

First off I have to say that this is pretty cool on Flickr’s part that they allow this. It would be easy for them to be proprietary about their users’ content, but the fact that they are allowing this says to me that they understand that as much as flickr belongs to them, that the photos still belong to all of us. And that having the right to bulk transfer your photos to another site and save one a ton of time is something cool. It’s also smart for tabblo to launch with a flickr importer option. It saves a lot of time and makes it an easy alternative site for the flickr fan.

The other thing that I like about tabblo is the whole concept of tabblos. A tabblo is kind of like a flickr set on steroids. Rather than flickr’s simple display of a photo set, one can customize a tabblo to include text, personalized and customized layouts, etc. Each individual tabblo or super set can be built as it’s own story. I need to play with these more but conceptually I like the idea.

tabblo, #2

The site is ad free which is kind of cool. I’m not quite sure how they are paying for all of this but imagine that the venture falls under the let’s build it and see how many people we can get to come and then figure out the money part. The site has services to print your stuff, make posters, etc. and they site this in their FAQ as the way that they plan to make money initially.

Like flickr you control the privacy of your photos. They can be public for all to see (as mine are) or private just for your contacts that you invite.

Another kind of cool thing is that tabblo allows people to collaborate on sets. So if you wanted to create a certain set and invite your friends you can. This would be helpful along the idea of flickr groups, but again, allows more customization of the page layout.

The site was created by Antonio Rodriguez and certainly holds promise. The advice that I would give tabblo is to embrace community in the way that Flickr has, develop their own concept of ratings and interestingness type rank, work with the major search engines to promote their member’s images through them, build a system where users can track where their traffic is coming from and perhaps in the longer term figure out a way to build stock into their service (something that I’m also working on myself at the moment).

I need to play around with the site more to find out other than super sets what kind of functionality it offers vs. Flickr but it’s nice to see another site out there and I look forward to another player out on the field. That being said though, I think it will be very tough indeed without some major major features for any site at this point to displace Flickr as the cool toy for photonerds, or as is sometimes said, almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world.

Flickr of course also has a major overhaul due out this week
and it will be interesting to see what they give us. One thing that I think they won’t be giving us (unfortunately) is the oft asked for tool to track where your photo traffic is coming from. But it will be interesting to see how the new and improved flickr looks later this week.

More on tabblo from Myron Kassaraba here.

Update: Here’s a tabblo I made of some of the shots I took of the destruction of Hurricane Katrina from a few weeks back in New Orleans.

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18 Replies to “Introducing tabblo”

  1. Tom,

    Thanks for giving it a spin. One thing I wanted to mention is that here at Tabblo we don’t see ourselves as a Flickr clone– in fact a bunch of us love and use Flickr on a regular basis (and as a historical note, when we started building Tabblo last fall we actually used Flickr as our image backend and found it to be such a delight to work with that we knew we would be supporting a full integration for launch).

    For us the inspiration for Tabblo came from wanting to use photos in the context of telling a story which implies having more layout control than we could get from combining Flickr sets and blogging tools. In that sense, we want Tabblo to be more like the layout tool people think to use when they have a “super set” and want more expressive control than what a grid or slideshow display will give you.

    Finally, we live in awe of the power and general energy of the Flickr community. As the weeks go by, we’re hoping to be able to implement a number of community features that are familiar and useful to devoted Flickr folks but in the context of tabblos.

    Flickr rules, plain and simple. To paraphrase, if we succeed, we will only do so by standing on the shoulders of giants.


  2. Looks very interesting, I have signed up and will give it a spin with the photos I took in Belize (just got back on Saturday). One issue I noticed on the Flickr integration (I may have used it wrongly of course) is that it only copied over 10 pictures and they were the square thumbnails. Not the originals.

  3. Antonio. Nice way to put it. And nice Ronald Reagan quote. I’ve used that one a bit in the past myself.

    Of course what you guys do complements flickr as does Riya and all of the other photosharing sites out there.

    Of course theoretically, a causal flickr user who was not interested in the community features of flickr but used it more as online storage, might find the fact that your site is free and offers unlimited storage to be a compelling alternative to paying flickr $25 a year. It would be pretty easy for them to transfer all their photos over and then cancel their flickr account.

    Personally I like the idea of competition and don’t mind that you guys while complementing flickr could also be a competitor. It is of course in your interest to be complementary as having the ability to import your photos directly from flickr is a nice thing and not something to lose, allowed by their generousity I’d imagine.

    And there certainly is a set of flickr users who want more customization of their layout like myspace as theere is another set of flickr users who feel the opposite, that they value instead the uniformity of the place and it’s simple and elegant design.

    Flickr does indeed rule and you’ll get no argument from me there. I look forward to what you guys choose to implement though in the future and hope that you do (even if secretly in the back of your mind) still view yourselves as something of a competitor as competition is always good for innovation.

    Nice work Antonio!


    I noticed that at first too. Give it some time and they should all come over. About 200 or so of mine are over now. I suspect it could take 24 hours or more to get all 5,000 plus of mine. High res images take time to transfer.

  4. Thomas, the Flickr Integration tool specifically mentions that they will pull over UP TO 500 of your Flickr photos… so I don’t think you’ll ever get your thousands.

    Interesting tool. I’m still waiting for more than my 10 as well.

  5. well, it uploaded over 2000 photos (albeit multiples) of my stuff from flickr.

    help, make it stop!!! 🙂

  6. I like some of what I see but do not like this interaction:

    Go to page 3 of your photo set for example then click a photo. Now, I want to go back since I can’t do a “Next Photo. boo” when it goes back, it returns to page 1 of your set and I have to remember which page I was on.


  7. That. Site. Is. Slow. I signed up but it’s like pulling teeth waiting for the page to load. Maybe they got Thomas Hawk’d.

    Have you seen No free accounts [just the 14 day free trial] but their slideshow is pretty slick and it reminded me of what you were saying about wanting larger photos recently…ex:

    They also have some kind of stats function…

  8. I used to be crazy about Zooomr and the work they’ve been doing but things are really falling apart for Kris Tate and his team. Seriously, there’s not been much responding to members and tons of issues……

    Tabblo sounds good though I’m not a fan of the name.

  9. Uploaded my photos from Belize. Went to create a tabblo, firefox went insane, tabblo automatically populated a large scrolling area with all the photos for dragging to a white-box, problem is I wanted most of them.

    The ability to multi-select needs a select all added; then deselect the ones you don’t want.

    Once the photos are assigned to the white-box the thumbnails are also populated, for 350+ photos this took so long I gave up and killed the browser.

    Think any of these are specifically tabblos fault, I’d say that its a browser / java / ajax / working online problem

  10. hey Thomas, stumbled here via Mashable! i’m gonna hold off importing my 20,000 photos till the Hawk Digg effect cools down!! ;))

    it’s always nice to see what new software & tools are out there. i was blown away hearing that Flickr allows photos to be Exported Out to that extent but i’m wondering if Tabblo might be Imported In much like folks use Flagrant Disregards way cool tools??

    yeah once U have a set of Friends, acquaintences, & a mind-boggling array of great photographs & groups on Flickr it’s unlikely yer going to go elsewhere.


  11. It’s sad that you see this startup as another Flickr clone. You are misssing the whole point here … Flickr is about sharing pictures, Tabblo is about sharing experiences. May sound like BS to you, but unless everything that has pictures seems the same to you, you should think twice and compare the user experience (both the “audience” and the individual) of both sites.

  12. “If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants.”

    -From a letter written by Isaac Newton to Robert Hooke, 5 Feb. 1676

    If Ronald Regan said something like this, he (his speechwriters, actually) stole it.

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