#1 -- I was hoping SmugMug would help organize my huge collection of photos.
#2 -- I'm very worried about the health of Flickr and extremely unhappy with Yahoo! for letting Flickr decay.
#3 -- I liked SmugMug's design and design options much better than Flickr's options.
So the verdict?
As to #1, SmugMug has ended up being a failure unfortunately. :( They offer a neat tool called Smugglr which got all of my Flickr photos over to SmugMug, but there are two big problems:
1) Duplicates. If a photo exists in two or more Flickr sets, now you have two or more copies of the same photo on SmugMug ... And as far as I can tell so far, there's really no easy way to ferret out said duplicates.
2) But that's a minor problem compared to #2. And that's SmugMug doesn't offer "descriptions" like Flickr. Hence, they only migrated the title of each photo. The problem for me is ... For my Gettysburg photos, I painstakingly labeled all of them in Flickr describing in detail what they show ... I did this so I could run a simple search and find all my pictures of say the 5th New Hampshire monument when it comes time to work on my monument project. But SmugMug apparently does not use descriptions ... So all my Gettysburg photos are sitting on SmugMug and I have no way to search them. *sigh* So I'm guessing I'll need to stick with Flickr for the time being and cross my fingers that Yahoo! doesn't kill it anytime soon. I just can't imagine going through approximately 10,000 photos again and labeling them all on SmugMug.
As to #2, I like that SmugMug is a small company that's photography focused and that seems interested in improving their products. Yahoo! seems content to let Flickr just slowly decay. I did love the photo communities / groups at Flickr, but I've been a "pro" member at Flickr since March 2008, and in that time Flickr has made no significant improvements or changes. There was a design revamp about a year or two ago, but all it really did was break almost all of my useful Greasemonkey scripts. It did nothing to improve the core functionalities of the site like, for example, the Organizr.
As to #3 , I really don't care what Flickr was designed originally for, I -- and many others -- want the ability to batch move photos within the photostream page. I can get my "front page" or "homepage" on SmugMug looking how I want. I have the option for darker backgrounds. SmugMug is much more customizable than Flickr.
So I am signed up with SmugMug for a year ... I'll see how it goes. I'll probably re-up my Flickr account given the problems I had with #2. We'll see how it goes.
What I'd really like to do and maybe someone knows how to do it... I'd like to be able to batch download my labeled Gettysburg Flickr photos with the descriptions attached and be able to search them using the Organizer that comes with Adobe Photoshop Elements 10.
I found a solution. In case anyone has a similar problem (does anyone else on the planet even have 10,000 photos of the Gettysburg battlefield labeled on Flickr? haha. I downloaded Bulkr and told it to embed my Flickr descriptions as Exif data. So now I'm downloading all my original Gettysburg photos, hopefully with the description field saved as exif data that will let me search my collection through either Adobe Elements or through Windows Live Gallery.