17th Thing – Flickr
Photo sharing websites have been around since the 1990s, but it took a small startup site called Flickr to catapult the idea of “sharing” into a full blown online community. Flickr has become the fastest growing photo sharing site on the web and it was one of the first websites to use keyword “tags” to create associations and connections between photos and users of the site. To date, over 5 billion images have been uploaded to the Flickr site!
[ “Old and New Huddersfield” by nualabugeye ]
For this Thing, you’ll take a good look at Flickr and discover what this site has to offer. Find out how tags work, what groups are, and all the cool things that people are using Flickr for.
Take a few minutes to explore these links…
Take a good look around Flickr and look for an interesting image that you want to blog about.
It might be a picture of somewhere you’ve gone on holiday or maybe a photograph taken near where you live. Be sure to include either a link to the image or, if you create a Flickr account, you can use Flickr’s blogging tool to add the image in your post.
When looking at images on Flickr, check to see if the image has a list of tags — these are keywords or labels which help you find images. For example, here are all the images that have been tagged with the word huddersfield.
Another option you have for including images in your post is to use the WordPress photo upload tool.
So go ahead, explore the site and have some Flickr photo fun and if you’re interested in looking at some photo hosting sites, then why not check out this story on the Wired website.
Another optional extra
If you’re feeling really keen, take a look at this website, which allows you to spell out words using photos of letters that are on Flickr. Fun!
18th Thing – Upload a Photograph to Flickr
Flickr currently has over 3 billion images, so we’re sure they won’t mind if you add a few more!
Create a Free account in Flickr (you will be able to use your Yahoo account, created in Week 1) and use a digital camera or mobile phone to capture a few pictures of something interesting. Upload these to your Flickr account and tag at least one of the images “25researchthings” and mark it public.
Next, create a post in your blog about your photo and experience. Be sure to include the image in your post. Once you have a Flickr account, you have two options for doing this: through Flickr’s blogging tool or using the WordPress photo upload feature.
If you don’t have access to a digital camera, then browse through some of the pictures from The Commons, download one of them, and then upload the picture to Flickr. The Commons is a collection of copyright free images from museum and library image archives.
A quick word about photo posting etiquette! When posting identifiable photos of other people (especially children) is it advisable to get the person’s permission before posting their photo in a publicly accessible place like Flickr. Never upload pictures that weren’t taken by you (unless you have the photographer’s consent or the image is in the Public Domain) and always give credit when you include photos taken by someone else in your blog. For further information about UK photography rights, see this blog post which includes a guide written by Linda Macpherson (lecturer in law at Heriot Watt University).
Traditional copyright is very restrictive and limits what you can do with someone else’s creation. A number of alternative licensing models have appeared in recent years which allow you to share your photographs more freely.
Last week we looked at the Creative Commons (CC) license . Use the Advanced Search tool on Flickr to locate a photograph that has been released under a CC license. Think about what benefits a photographer might get from using the CC license.
19th Thing – Mashups
[ “Mash and Gravy” by chotda ]
One of the benefits you might have thought of is that using a CC license allows other people to play around with the image and perhaps combine it with other stuff — this is sometimes referred to as a “mashup”.
Like many Web 2.0 sites, Flickr has encouraged other people to build their own online applications using images found on the site. Through the use of APIs (application programming interfaces), many people have created third party tools and mashups that use Flickr images. Here are just a sampling of a few…
- Mappr – allows you to take Flickr images and paste them on a map
- Flickr Color Pickr – lets you find public photos in Flickr that match a specific colour
- Montagr – create a photo mosaic from photos found on Flickr
- Multicolr Search Lab – find images which match multiple colours
- retrievr – find an image by drawing it!
Discover more mashups, web applications, and Flickr tools.
Explore some of the fun Flickr mashups and 3rd party tools that are out there. Then create a blog post about one that intrigues you.
20th Thing – Online Image Generators
[ image created using Spell with Flickr ]
And now for a bit of fun
These are websites that allow you to manipulate images easily. To get you started, here are a few sample sites:
Often adding the image you created to your blog is as simple as copying and pasting code that the page provides. If not, you may just need to right click on the image and then save it to your hard drive before using the blog image button to add it to your post. If you’re having difficulty getting your image added to a post in your blog, ask a colleague for help or email the team.
Have a play around with some of the image generators we’ve linked to and maybe see if you can find some more via Google.