Comparing Portfolio Managers: Flickr, Viewbook, Carbonmade and Professional on the Web
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|
|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|
|Invite visitors via email||yes||yes||no||no|
|Image editing||yes, with Piknik||yes||no||no|
|Templates for layout||yes||subscription only||no||yes|
|Size limit||100mb||1500 images||500 images, 10 videos||n/a|
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’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.
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.
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
Listio Profile: http://www.listio.com/web20/app/Flickr/
Listio Profile: http://www.listio.com/web20/app/Viewbookcom/
Listio Profile: http://www.listio.com/web20/app/Carbonmade/
Listio Profile: http://www.listio.com/web20/app/Professional-on-Web/
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.