If you’ve got it, flauntR it!

Over the months I’ve written about a number of online image storage and manipulation sites.

Just the other day, I came across an interesting new site which offers you the opportunity to perform a huge variety of manipulations to your images and then to do something with them.

The free flauntR site can be found, surprise, surprise, at flauntr.com, and it is easy and quick to register. The site allows you to store pictures, and display them to visitors, but its primary goal is to manipulate images for display elsewhere.

The first step is to import your pictures into the site from your local computer or an online picture gallery site, such as Picasa or flickR. I easily managed to get pictures from my PC and from my Picasa gallery, and these were placed in an album where I could view them and select the ones I wanted to manipulate.

You can then choose the appropriate flauntR tool to do whatever it is that you want to do. The stylR tool is used to create cards and invitations, using the picture you’ve chosen, or you can place any one of a huge selection of frames around it.

The editR tool is used for rotating, cropping, fixing redeye or adjusting the colour, hue or exposure of the picture. It also give you access to lots of special effects including black and white, sepia, and many others, including an interesting one which makes it look as if you took the picture on a Lomo camera.

The textR tool allows you to place text or a variety of shapes on your pictures and there are a number of other tools which will allow you to recolour your picture using tones from famous paintings, create a profile picture for your blog, or a wallpaper for your mobile phone.

Once you have changed a picture to your satisfaction, you can save it on the site and then e-mail it to someone, download it to your computer, post it in your online picture gallery, put it on your blog or add it to a social networking site such as Facebook or My Space.

All those options fall under the heading of sharing and I found it very easy to do. I saved a picture to my computer, uploaded it to my Picasa gallery and created an entry on Blogger.

The quality of the image is good when displayed on-screen, but the version I downloaded to my computer was a bit small to print really well. A picture of over 1Mb in size, became a 300Kb file after making the round trip to flauntR, and becoming the cover for Top Gear magazine.

There is no doubt that flauntR offers some very cool features and would be valuable for people wanting to manipulate their pictures and e-mail or post them online. One snag I struck was that the site gave an occasional error message but, after I learnt to hit the Dismiss All button, it carried on working.

Another problem, which isn’t due to flauntR, is that the site can be quite slow when loading pictures or a new set of tools. The fault lies, of course, with that mean-swine organisation, starting with a ‘T’, with the skinny and very expensive undersea pipe, through which all our Internet traffic must travel.

I see that Neotel is about to start rolling out its Internet service and there has been speculation that the price will be pretty reasonable. I suppose competition may begin to improve things for us Internet-wise but, as I’ve noted before, competition in South Africa is often anything but competitive.

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