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Photo sharing is easier than ever

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Take advantage of the Web to share photos with relatives across the country and the world, or just across the street.

You have several options for this, ranging from free to pricey. Free services accomplish the basics of enabling people to share stories and photos, but they don't offer the versatility or perks of the paid sites.

Both Yahoo and MSN allow anyone to create a free e-mail discussion group. You can name the group whatever you want, and you can restrict membership in the group to just the people you invite. Any member can upload photos or e-mail to other members. For a simple way to share thoughts and photos this can't be beat. The drawback is that you must keep the group active. You can't just park an album that, occasionally, someone looks at. Also, you can't let your imagination run wild in page design.

If you just want to share a few photos, get a free Yahoo e-mail address, and you can have your own personal photo album. You can send e-mails inviting people to view the album. Plus, Yahoo conveniently lets you order prints of any photo you view. AOL has a similar capability.

Another way is to use one of the new blog sites like Google's Blogger.com. This is free and will allow one person to quickly post family news and photos. But this doesn't allow for interaction.

If you want something fancier with more graphics and maybe even your own personal domain name (SmithFamily.com), try myfamily.com. Here you can easily create a family Website and everyone gets a password to access the site.

With this plan, you have plenty of room for photos, you can create your own fancy pages, and everyone will get their own e-mail address. Cost: $30 to $135 a year.

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