I am pleased to announce that we have made an arrangement with Smugmug to offer our members a discount on this service. If you are familiar with photo sharing and want to get started simply follow this link to get started. For further explination of this service please see below.
As you have noticed here in the BMW MOA Forum users have the ability to include pictures in their posts. There are two ways to do this, either by attaching the picture or linking to the picture on the Internet.
Attaching a picture means that when you compose your post you include a reference to the picture which is on your local computer. When you click submit post the picture is transferred from your PC to the 'MOA server running this forum. Because we pay for the size of our site and the transfer of information (bandwidth usage) we limit the size of attachments and the number (one) you can include in each message. When you attach a picture if you want to have any of your non forum friends to see it you must either send them the picture as an attachment to an e-mail message or send them a link to your forum post.
Linking a picture means that your photo is already posted to the Internet, meaning folks can view it as they view these pages. The advantage here is that you can include multiple pictures in your post, you a not restricted to the size of the picture and if you want to refer friends outside of the forum to the photo you can do so.
There are many free services for hosting (sharing) your photos. The drawback to the free services is they either require registration, include advertisements or limit the amount of transfer per day. Each time someone views your image the data file is transferred to their computer. This uses bandwidth, so when you reach your bandwidth limit your photo is no longer available until the next day. This can be an issue with a picture you link to a forum post as each person who views the thread will be downloading the pictures which would count against the bandwidth limit. If you have ever noticed that once in a while you will see a white square with a red x, this would indicate a broken photo link, i.e. the picture is no longer available.
There are some pay as you go services for hosting your pictures. Our favorite is Smugmug. Smugmug is simple to use and in addition to being very user friendly Smugmug offers photo tools and a simple way to post your pictures to forums.
We have set up a community in Smugmug and have selected Smugmug for hosting many of the photos you will see on the BMW MOA website including our new feature, the picture of the week (coming soon). For a small annual fee Smugmug gives you 2 gigabytes/month of traffic. That's about 30,000 medium-sized (600-pixel) image views/month. Smugmug also offers photo tools, prints and tools to make it simple to include your pictures in forum posts or share with friends.
To sign up for Smugmug and receive the $5 discount available to 'MOA members to get started please follow this link. Our cupon is entered automatically however for your reference our cupon code is: v6FeTKhJQ1cFE.
As always if you have any comments or questions we are ready to assist.