Picasa Web Albums for Business Website

Every business needs a website.  But many small, local businesses only need a one page business card type of website.  I was talking to a small business owner the other day and mentioned just that – they needed a website, but it didn’t have to be more than one page – “Just so people can get your phone number and address when they need it”, I said.  The owner replied, “But, I have so many different kinds of projects, he said, people need to see several examples so they know what I can do.”  “I can’t afford to pay someone to build that website, and I don’t know how to do it myself.”

If your projects, products, or services can be shown in a picture – I think Picasa web album is your answer.  Just get a web person to build you a simple, one page website (or you can do this yourself) and embed a slideshow from a web album where you’ll put the pictures.  Every time you add a new picture, it will show up on the slide show on your web page.  Don’t offer an item any more?  Just delete the picture from the web album and it will be gone from your web page.

Whatever you want to say about a product or service can be included in the caption of the picture.  You’d be surprised how much you’re allowed to type.  And, if someone looking at your web page clicks on the slideshow, they’ll be taken to your Web Album and see the pictures and captions full size.

Here is an embedded slideshow from a web album with pictures of the products and services that Geeks on Tour offers.

https://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

So, how do you get the slideshow into the web page?  By copying the embed code on the Picasa Web Album:

  1. Log in to your Picasa Web Album and open the album you want to embed.
  2. Click on ‘Link to this Album’ in the right sidebar
  3. From the options that open up, click Embed Slideshow
  4. You should now see a dialog box similar to the following
    image
    Make sure to check the box to Show captions, autoplay, and at least 400px in size.  The slideshow above is 600px.
  5. Copy the code from the yellow box
  6. Go to the HTML code for your web page and paste the code in where you want the slideshow to appear.

Now, any time you add, delete, or change a picture in that album – it will be reflected in the slide show on your web page.  No need to call your webmaster and pay for revisions, just use the free tools that Picasa and Picasa Web Albums provides!

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

 

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

Upload Photos to the Web (introduction to Picasa web albums

Keeping your Slideshow in a Specified Sort Order

Embedding Web Album Photos Elsewhere on the Web

Using Albums for Organizing 

Add Captions to your Photos

Adding Text to Pictures

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Cover Slides and Collages

So you have some beautiful photos of your summer travels (after improving them with Picasa’s edit tools!) and you know how to play a slide show – even to accompany it with some music – but you need some section headings for each portion of your travels.  Like ‘Drive through Vermont’ and ‘Boston Harbor cruise’ and ‘Cathy’s Wedding.’  How do you do that with Picasa?

If you want to get fancy with artwork, gradient backgrounds, and curved text – you need something other than Picasa.  I recommend something like Powerpoint.  You create the slide in Powerpoint, then export it as a .jpg picture file and Picasa can use it like any other picture.

But, if you just want a Cover slides and some occasional titles, Picasa’s Collage and text features can fit the bill quite nicely.

I have a lot of pictures from our stays at the Thousand Trails parks around the US.  To make a cover slide for them, I’ll select several of the photos and then click on ‘Collage.’  Using the picture pile style, I’ll arrange the photos leaving plenty of space for the Title.

image

After creating the collage, I add text using the Text tool.  That’s a pretty nice cover slide for my slide show.

image

Now I want some simpler title slides for the rest of the show.  I just want a blank background, no pictures.  If you understand Picasa, you know that it *only* works with pictures.  So, we have to trick it into making a ‘picture’ with no pictures!  Once again, we start with a collage.

Select one picture in your library – any old picture – because we’re just going to get rid of it.  Then click Collage.  If you use the Picture Pile type of collage you know that you can move a picture anywhere on the slide … you can even drag it off the slide altogether!  That leaves you with a blank background.  And, you can make the background be any color you like with the Background options on the left.

image

When you ‘Create’ this collage – you get a blank picture that you can now add text to.  Pretty slick.  Now you can arrange your pictures and your titles all in an album for a great slide show!

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This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

If you want to add narration to your slide show we highly recommend the free program from Microsoft called Photo Story 3.  Geeks on Tour has several ‘Show-Me-How’ videos on Photo Story.

If you need to learn Picasa, the best way is with the bookBeginner’s Guide to Picasa 3.5  it includes Show-Me-How videos.

Picasa tip: Your photos as Screensaver

My computer is very entertaining. Especially when I’m not using it! It’s the photo screensaver. There’s not much that entertains me more than watching photos of our RV travels these last 5 years. Just sit back and watch. And I use two monitors, so I have double the fun. Here’s what it looks like:


How do you turn it on?
In Picasa, use the Tools menu and click on Configure Screensaver … From there, you should see the following screen, and you can select ‘Google Photos Screensaver’ from the drop-down list. If you ever want to turn it off, just go here and select ‘None.’

What options are there?
The first option is right on the first screen. How long do you want it to wait to start playing the slideshow? Mine is set to 10 minutes. This means that, if I don’t touch the computer for 10 minutes, the slideshow will start playing.

The rest of the options are on the Settings … button. The most important is that you can choose the pictures to show. I choose to show my Picasa Starred photos, but you can also use the special Screensaver album, or any combination of folders. Since it is Picasa doing the work, you get the edited version of the photo, not the original. You can also select the transition, and the timing.

Maybe it’s best to select a smaller number of photos so you won’t be tempted to just stare for hours!

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