Photo-sharing sites offer more than convenience and commerce. Many of them are also online communities of photographers, both amateur and professional. Some sites are more conducive to the community aspect than others are, allowing users to form groups, keep contact lists and comment on each other's photos. This allows people to share photography tips, find others with similar interests and get in touch with photographers from around the world. It also levels the playing field - if you take a beautiful photo with a $60 digital camera, it will be praised just as highly as one taken with a $1,500 pro camera and processed with expensive software.
Instead of photo-sharing sites with community features, many community Web sites also allow users to share photos. MySpace and Friendster are two examples. Since the emphasis at these sites is not on photography, their photo organizing and sharing features are not as robust.
For many people, Web sites like Flickr make sharing photos much easier. Instead of having to catalog prints in an album and carry it around to share with friends and family, you can point them to your account on a photo sharing Web site. And if you still like having tangible copies of those images, you can always order prints later.
For lots more information on sharing photos and taking pictures, check out the links on the next page.