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Image Shack Hosting - Image Shack and Me: My First Impressions of Image Shack Hosting

by joe johnston

Although not your regular, run of the mill dotcom, Image Shack hosting at ImageShack.us has attracted millions of users since its online debut in November, 2003, and currently ranks in the top 80 most popular sites on the web.
Having heard nothing outstanding about it myself until today, I logged on to this highly popular, cyber-cultural hub of visually based social networking known as Image Shack hosting to see for myself what all the fuss was about, and to give you my first impressions of this standard, one stop, image catch-all, Grand Central Station for all things image related. My aim was to give the Image Shack hosting experience a quick, amateur image-hoster tour and be able to review it on crucial things such as its ease of use and speed, as well as more subjective categories like the aesthetics of the site, the cleverness of its general concept, and even the direction its business strategy is taking it—as perceived by me, an everyday consumer like you.

I loved the frog.
Image Shack hosting has as its logo a giant, glowing, golden frog, poised and ready to leap into cyber-air and ricochet a riveting racket of a ribbit off the inside of your flat screen and back into the depths of cyberspace. Having nothing to do with images or shacks, the frog seemed more to resemble sheer glowing, pulsating fun—something which uploading images online has every right to be, as well as easy and fast. He seemed to say to me, “Go on, try me—shove one more image down my throat and I will only glow brighter and sing sweeter (and louder).” I loved the frog.
The Image Shack hosting site has a white and relatively uncluttered background for an advertising based service. Everything I might want to do is huge, prominent, and eye catching, and at a single glance I can easily see where to click if I want to upload an image, find out more about the site, or create an account. I can’t see anything on the home page that looks unnecessary to me, or that I would remove in the name of simplicity.
I’m an average user. I don’t want to pay for anything or register anywhere right now. I made a funny picture of my baby niece with huge cheeks and bug eyes and I just want to share it with a few friends. And that’s exactly what this site is geared to. Thank you Image Shack hosting service, you’re looking good so far.
I click on browse and find the image I want to upload. It’s a solid two and half megabytes big. Yes, maybe a bit large, but I want to make sure my friends can see all the details and effort I put into this masterpiece. I click on it and find that it is now the first image in a potential list of images, all of which Image Shack’s hosting can upload at the same time, with a single click. I decide to add another image, a smaller version of my masterpiece, for my bandwidth-stingy friends.
I click upload and a colorful progress bar shows up and begins racing across the screen. I have never seen three entire megabytes of anything upload anywhere so fast. In the time it takes for me to compose and type this paragraph, literally 90 seconds, my uploading is done.
Image Shack hosting takes me to a page displaying any way I could possibly want to share my images—direct links; short links for Twitter, etc.; web players; embedded players; etc. I can directly post to Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, or Digg, or send as an email. There are counters showing my views, image numbers, and ratings. And all of this is available with only one friendly, unobtrusive advertisement taking up about 1/8th of the screen in the top right hand corner, saying something positive to me about the environment.
My list of planned topics to cover crumbles. I no longer care about the directional business strategy of Image Shack hosting, its history, or its development ingenuity. Image Shack hosting is beautiful, it works, and it works fast—and that’s what counts.
Image Shack hosting, I’m hooked on you.

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