Comparing Portfolio Managers: Flickr, Viewbook, Carbonmade and Professional on the Web

August 1st, 2008

For artists, designers, and web professionals showcasing your work has become easier than ever, thanks to a number of tools available in web 2.0. As we went over some of these new tools one thing became immediately obvious. Not all online portfolio managers are designed for the same reason.

As we put the portfolio managers through their paces we kept a number of things in mind; how customizable they were, what tools they offered, and how easy it was for the portfolio to be found. The below chart gives you a rundown of what we found, and we’ll discuss the some of the finer points after.

Flickr Viewbook Carbonmade Professional on the Web
Templates for layout no yes no no
Batch upload yes yes yes no
Batch tagging yes no no no
Image sets for organization yes yes yes no
Visitors can leave feedback yes no no yes
Visitors can leave notes within photos yes no no no
Searchable directory yes no yes yes
Invite visitors via email yes yes no no
Social network yes no no no
Business networking no no yes yes
Private viewing yes yes yes no
Video hosting yes no yes no
Image editing yes, with Piknik yes no no
Widgets no yes, Flash no no
Templates for layout yes subscription only no yes
Web analytics no yes yes no
Size limit 100mb 1500 images 500 images, 10 videos n/a
Starting price free $12/month $12/month free

First on the chart, and certainly the most impressive of the group was Flickr, whose celebrity was a feature unto itself. Yet as well known as Flickr is, and there’s no argument that people (read employers and business contacts) are more likely to visit a reputable site than an unknown, the size of Flickr works both ways. On one hand getting people to acknowledge you in a crowd that size is daunting, and on the other Flickr offers strong tools for finding you – anything from tagging, search, search engine optimization, and a large social network. In fact, the tools available are staggering. Easy to use batch uploads, geomapping and Yahoo maps mashups, privacy settings for protected images, groups and networking tools, and even partnerships for quick edits of the images themselves. The list could go on to include print partnerships for easy exporting to Moo Cards or various other products that could be used for promotional materials. Much of this is icing on the cake of a portfolio manager, and it should be mentioned that the cake itself, a strong engine that can host 100mb has the strongest support for feedback of the portfolio managers reviewed. Not only can users comment on individual images, but a unique feature in Flickr allows for notes to be placed within the image itself, viewable once the mouse is rolled over it.

If there is a detraction to Flickr, it would be that there are limited options for customizing the look of one’s portfolio, something that Viewbook does not suffer from. Viewbook was designed with a presentation in mind, and where there are few customizing options at the free level, subscription allows you to make a professional presentation of your portfolio in the style of your choosing. Design tools at Viewbook also allow for website navigation within your portfolio, so that you can customize separate pages for features you would like to accent. Search optimization tools, unique url, and the ability to place your own logo on the presentation all make Viewbook the alternative for business. Unique to Viewbook is Flash support to encode your portfolio in Viewbook so that you can embed it into a website or separate presentation.

Viewbook Screenshot

Viewbook’s downside is that there is no directory access to artists or network. This is not the case with Carbonmade, which features a directory divided by skills and areas of expertise. A feature already popular with professionals in the field, Carbonmade has made their directory more appealing with a category (and matching flag for your portfolio) for artists that are available for freelance. The portfolios themselves are simple affairs with few customizations, but Carbonmade does support Flash and video.

Carbonmade Screenshot

Last on the list was Professional on the Web, which offers a tagged and searchable directory of web professionals. The strength of this service is that offers quick linking to websites, which enables designers and web professionals with multi-tiered projects an opportunity to showcase them. Imagine that you created the website for a studio film – integrated Flash, coding, images, and more are all put together – far too much to showcase in a simple portfolio manager. Professional on the Web would give you a thumbnail image in your portfolio which could quickly take a prospective employer to the site. The downside to Professional on the Web is that it is little more than a taggable index of work with few customization tools and an unresponsive rating system.

Professional on the Web Screenshot

Each of the portfolio managers reviewed this week have a niche. Only Flickr offered different kinds of feedback – which may not be an important aspect for portfolio management (you only want people to see why they should hire you), but is an integral piece of the artistic process. This is significant because of Flickr’s purpose; Flickr is geared to the photo amateur, and where many professionals use it to great effect, the Flickr mandate is friendliness rather than being a professional tool. Viewbook is designed to be a professional tool without the directory, making it well suited for presentations where the portfolio owner already has the personal contact to close the deal. Carbonmade has that directory, as well as an established connection with the artistic community, but is visually simple. Professional on the Web has quick linking and tags, making it ideal for a portfolio gateway – a place to center links to projects too complex for the other portfolio managers. Portfolio owners may well be advised to mix and match to get the most of these portfolio managers, and should consider reading our full reviews of Flickr, Viewbook, Carbonmade, and Professional on the Web. To find these and other portfolio managers, there is the Listio search manage+portfolios.

Previously in this series: Professional On The Web: Your Link To Portfolio Management

Application: Flickr
Listio Profile:
Photo sharing website and web services suite, and an online community platform, which is generally considered an early example of a Web 2.0 application.... Learn more
Listio Profile:
Website: is an online service that helps you to create and share professional clean looking presentations, portfolios and photo-albums on your viewbook domain ( Viewbook is simple, clean and refined in its user interfaces and presentations. Viewbook aims at profession... Learn more
Application: Carbonmade
Listio Profile:
Display and manage your portfolio online with Carbonmade. Show off your work to the online community with Carbonmade. Use Carbonmade without having to know any HTML coding. Add and manage your projects online with Carbonmade as well. Fill out everything or don't fill out anything at all and choose ... Learn more
Application: Professional on the Web
Listio Profile:
Professional on the web is a directory where web agencies and freelancers can list their profiles and easily manage showcase of their projects. Users can search web professionals by tag and also rate projects instantly. No need to register or sign in. You can subscribe to the ever increasing lis... Learn more

New to Listio? Our tag cloud search offers an easy way to narrow your hunt for the perfect web application or service. No more second guessing of search terms. Just click on one tag, then as many more as you'd like to narrow your search results. It's easy and ensures you get to the listing you want. Finding web 2.0 was never so easy.

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One Response to “Comparing Portfolio Managers: Flickr, Viewbook, Carbonmade and Professional on the Web”

  1. Online portfolio website reviews « Stacey Andres Says:

    [...] four websites are investigated, but this was a helpful review of four portfolio websites. The matrix was especially [...]

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