Hey! This is the old a broken mold. Newer stuff is at abrokenmold.net.
That being said, feel free to rummage through the archives over here. Also feel free to leave comments; we're still keeping an eye on this.

I really think Facebook should give this hint up front on the photo upload page, and maybe even point you to some helpful tools. You see, as far as I know, the pictures you and others post to Facebook are only stored on Facebook servers in the size you see them. Often enough, though, the original pictures uploaded are bigger than this. Thus, uploading time is wasted when you could just upload the right sized pictures in the first place. The Picasa Facebook plugin does this, for instance, allowing pictures to actually be uploaded using dial-up. Woot!

To the point, the maximum width your photos are displayed at on Facebook is 604 pixels, the maximum height being 604 also. If you're uploading anything smaller than that, don't bother resizing. But if they're bigger than that, you can save some time. So, use your favorite program to size your photos down to this width or height. Or if you have no idea what to use, try Fotosizer for Windows and RapidoResizer for Mac. Linux users, figure it out (you're supposed to be smart).

And as a side note, I think Facebook should seriously add a real yearbook view, where you could view a spread of thumbnails of your friends, since that's what it's named after (yearbook/facebook - see the connection? Check this ZDNet definition for full info - it's actually a bit different take than I have, and in fact I guess I'm wrong about what it's named after, but I still think a yearbook view would be cool).

P.S. If you have a free Flickr account, the max size your photos will ever be viewable at is 1024x768 pixels, I think (and as I remember, I think you might even have to turn that size on). So, you might be able to save some time the same way there.
P.P.S. I'm wondering if your photos are somewhere on the Flickr servers at a larger size than 1024x768 even if you have a free account - maybe if you upgrade to pro, you could get access to these bigger versions. Just speculating. Take the Flickr tip at your own risk.

Edit: July 25, 2009: I re-registered for Flickr today and contacted them about the original file free account to Pro thing. Speaking about Flickr free, I was told this by Natalie at Flickr Customer Care:

Only smaller (resized) images accessible (though the originals are saved in case you upgrade later).

Bingo. Just what I wanted to know. So upload at 1024x768 with that knowledge - if you go Pro, your photos will only be viewable at that resolution max. So, if you think you might go Pro in the future and think this could be an issue, upload accordingly. I personally plan to upload at 1600x1200 or widescreen equivalents, because that's what I've been doing with my photo blog to save upload time (and download time for viewers, now that I think about it).

Edit: July 27, 2009: I just found a way to get at the originals with a free Flickr account. Who knows how long it might last, but here goes (might make a post out of it later). It's the photostream RSS feed (I haven't tested Atom yet). Just stick it into a feed reader that supports attached media (including Firefox's Live Bookmarks) and grab that attached media. It appears to be the original. Test it out right here on my RSS feed. I'm suspecting that maybe Flickr doesn't mind as much about this, but they just make it easy on Pro and call it a Pro feature. In fact, they start you on your way to finding the originals over here by documenting the photo source URLs.


Matthew said...

Hmmm, you got me thinking now.

*starts messing with Flickr*