There was a lot of talk about photo books this holiday season and I had been asked on numerous occasions if I had used Blurb to create one. I had not used Blurb before. But I had heard of them because of their association with Flickr. After the craziness from the holidays died down, I decided to investigate a little further. I was immediately impressed with their pricing and the number of pages their books were able to hold. The books I've made in the past were limited to under 100 pages. Blurb books are expandable to 440 pages.
Next question was what kind of book should I make. Blurb has templates for all sorts of books -- cook books, photo books, portfolio books, blog books, and more. Yup, you can actually import your blog into their software and make a book out of it. Since I have pretty much stopped scrap-booking when I started taking digital photos (way back in 2001), I decided to make a book about our 2007. I added blog posts from 2007 and photos taken from 2007.
The Blurb software was quickly downloaded and installed (even on my mac -- MyPublisher finally has mac software, but it took them a long time to get it). It easily integrated with my Flickr account and I was able to select and add pictures easily. Since I didn't choose a blog book as my book type, I couldn't figure out how to import my blog posts, so they were copy and pasted into the pages. I didn't spend too much time trying to figure that out. As far as the functionality of the software, it seemed to be on par with the others I've used. The software did allow me to use any fonts installed on my computer and they printed without any issues.
What about quality? The quality was decent. The pages aren't as high of a gloss as the other books I've made. The photos appear a bit too dark (which I have read in other reviews). But overall I am very pleased with the results and will probably continue the tradition of throwing together blog posts, photos and other mementos from the year and publishing a yearly book. (If I was smart, I'd work on it though out the year.)
Below are a few pictures of the finished book.
Above is the cover with a selection of photos summarizing the year
One of the first events of the year was Cisco's trip to the vet for stitches in his ear (which was blogged about here).
On the left is my blog entry about my Aunt Marianne. On the right are photos taken with my iPhone while we were in Cleveland with captions under them (one of the template pages available in the Blurb software).
On the left is a page from our Alaska book (which was about 4 times more expensive than the Blurb Book). The right is the same photo in the Blurb book.
This is great news. I was having a conversation related to this the other week with my dad. He's refusing to sign up for yet another account with another service just to comment on blogs. He's not the only one getting sick of signing up for accounts for everything.
OpenID is a portable username and password you can use across multiple sites. If you have an account on AOL/AIM account, livejournal account, or a variety of other services, you have an OpenID. What that means is you can use this to log onto other sites. More and more sites are implementing OpenID which is great for those of us sick of registering for so many usernames and passwords for so many different sites.
On the Blogger Blog they have a post describing how to enable OpenID Commenting and how to post comments so I'm not going to repeat that here. But this is my personal plea to everyone I know using blogger for their blog (that's a lot of you), please, please, please go and update your setting and change who can comment on your blog to "Registered Users - includes OpenID."
Happy New Year! As we begin 2008 and everyone is making resolutions, I've decided to take a look back at 2007.
January 2007 we were in Columbus for my cousin Mark's wedding. Mark and Kim had a beautiful wedding and it was great getting to hang out with family members.
In February Chris had to go down to Orlando to support the Women in Aviation Conference. I joined him after the conference for a long weekend. We visited Epcot and the Animal Kingdom and had an excellent meal at Jiko.
My first trip to San Francisco was for the Web 2.0 Expo. I went out with some of my colleagues and had the opportunity to see some sights and learn a few things about Web 2.0 (although I think I learned more about my colleagues).
Well, this is the first year in a long time I haven't looked for a job or not been happy with my job. I did change positions, but not companies. I had the opportunity to work on a bunch of cool projects with a bunch of cool people, including my first ruby on rails project, CircaVie.
Cisco and Berkley continued to take agility classes and even managed to get a ribbon or two. I joined the TAG club and had two long weekends (one in May and one in August) helping with their trials - both which were very successful.
One of the many tech events I attended this year was BarCamp DC. I also have gotten involved with the DC tech community in attending Refresh DC meetings, semi-regularly. I'm hoping to be more involved in the coming year and am starting off the year attending WidgetDevCamp this month.
As if I haven't talked about it enough. We had a once in a lifetime vacation to Alaska with both my parents and Chris' parents. If you haven't heard about our Alaska trip, search this blog, look at the photos on flickr, or ask us.
The end of the year we had the opportunity to hang out again with extended family, but unfortunately it was for less happy reasons. We lost two family members between Thanksgiving and Christmas. They will be missed greatly.
The last big event of the year was the birth of our friends Kelly and Matt's baby girl. Many of my friends had children this year and I'm looking forward to watching them grow.