the beta launch of shufl - unlock your photos
For a few months now, some good friends of mine have been working hard at launching Shufl. In the simplest of terms, Shufl is a peer-to-web application that helps you share your photos on the web. The best part about Shufl, is that there is no uploading involved. You download a Shufl desktop client, select folders containing pictures that you'd want to share, and voilà, your pictures are now accessible through a web URL. Check out one of the co-founders, Cyrus Karbassiyoon's site : http://shufl.com/ckarbass. Cyrus and team have also put together a screencast on how to use Shufl.
What I really like about Shufl is that it was designed with simplicity in mind. I had no idea what the product was when Cyrus first told me about it, but he started off by saying that the product would be really simple and easy to use. I was instantly on board - I didn't even care what it did. Today, I use Flickr pretty heavily for sharing pictures. But, uploading the zillions of pictures that I usually take with my camera is somewhat of a chore. Flickr gives me a nice client to upload my pictures, but it's still painful to do.With Shufl, you don't upload anything. The Shufl client on your desktop kind of acts as a "server", to serve out the pictures that people want to view on the web. One of the co-founders said something that struck a chord with me - he told me about the hundreds and hundreds of pictures his dad has on his desktop at home - his dad is not going to spend hours getting those pictures to a photo sharing site. One of the other things that you may end up losing with certain photo sharing sites is your picture's original resolution and clarity. Sometimes pictures get stripped down in size - Shufl lets you look at your pictures in its original fidelity :
I was pretty excited when I was talking to the co-founders. They are recent college grads who are living their dream - they moved here to the city from Virgina (on a U-haul), setup shop, and have been spending days and nights coding away. For a 3 person shop, I'm very surprised how stellar their software engineering shop is. They have a source code control system in place, they perform regular backups, they have a sound testing strategy. Now, this doesn't sound like much, but I really didn't expect this level of sound process from a startup. Whose co-founders are recent college grads. I've spent several hours talking to the co-founders, and man, do these guys have their story together. I am super impressed. I mean, I don't remember the last time having a 2 hour conversation with a 25 year old about RUP or MSF Agile.
One of the other nice things about Shufl is that it directly uses your picture's filename as the display name on the website. It can even retain your directory's structure and the hierarchy, just like you'd have it on your personal computer. Shufl's going to take that to the next level, and even include tags and attributes you could've added to the picture on Vista and make those tags available through your site. So you would have to name and tag your pictures just once, in one location. That is pretty sweet! They also tell me that OSX support has been planned and will be coming soon.
PS: Do I see a Shufl Facebook Application coming soon? ;)
PPS: Here's my shufl site.
Update : fixed a broken link