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RockYou—Create Dynamic Slideshows with Music for Your Site

Apr 13, 2007 • blogging, general

RockYou, a photo sharing service that compiles your photos into a dynamic slide show set to music, has taken off with my wife, Shannon, and her friends. Instead of posting several pictures on your blog or website, you can create an endless slide show of pictures in one small space. The pictures rotate in a pleasing, dynamic way and can be set to music.

Admittedly, the RockYou site is a bit gaudy, and looks like something that fits into MySpace and other teen-oriented sites, but the effects are truly cool.

Rock You

Why use RockYou?

The slide show of pictures is more interesting to watch than one or two pictures or even a collage. It gives the effect of a personal movie (esp. with 50+ pictures). When set to music, it almost makes you tear up, reviewing life's events like that. You can add hundreds of pictures, include captions with each picture, and the show loads instantly.

Shannon was going to use RockYou to create a slideshow of her brother for his sixteenth birthday, but because she wanted a special song (Celine Dion's "Beautiful Boy"), she created it with Movie Maker and YouTube instead. It's a neat idea for a birthday gift. (See her tribute to Ryan.) The effects are nearly the same as with RockYou. (RockYou limits the songs you can use.)

Uses of RockYou

I used RockYou to create a short slideshow of the interviewees on the latest podcast on Tech Writer Voices. With better photos, more action shots, and music, it could really be interesting. Think of the possibilities here. You could use RockYou to ...

  • Present highlights of a conference in way that would make the events seem really cool.
  • Show a process from start to end in an engaging way (rather than a static slideshow).
  • Warm up an audience while they are waiting for a presentation to begin.
  • Share a recent trip with a friend without forcing him or her to sit through an hour of you flipping through a photo album.
  • Memorialize someone who died.
  • Create an original story told through photos and fun music.
  • Let others get to know you visually without pasting a million pictures on your site.
  • Present a portfolio of your achievements in an eye-catching way.
  • Present the documentation process to a group of non-interested engineers.

Let me know if you have any interesting RockYou slide shows.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here.