Thing 5: Flickr

Photo-sharing Web sites have been around for quite awhile, in Internet terms. Flickr took the idea of photo sharing and turned it into an online community. Flickr allows users to upload their photos and then share them with family, friends, or the world. Users can “tag” photos with descriptive words and phrases--what librarians would call keywords—to help users identify and search for photos.

In this Thing, you are asked to 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 neat things that people and other libraries (a list here, too) are creating thanks to Flickr. Here is a link to the NEFLIN account. The Library of Congress has a Flickr account--with more than 3,000 photos that you are invited to tag.

Take a look at how the Clemens and Alcuin libraries of the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University are using a Flickr feature called "add a note" to highlight books in their collections. Mouse over any of the books in the bookcase to get the details and a link to the catalog record. Very cool use of Flickr in a library. (Here is more fun at the Clemens and Alcuin libraries!)

You have two options in this Thing…

First, watch the Common Craft video "Online Photosharing in Plain English."

Then choose either -

  1. Take a good look around Flickr and find an interesting image that you want to blog about. You can explore Flickr photos, search the tags, view various groups, and more without a Flickr account.
  2. Use any keyword(s) (baseball, cats, library cats, library signs, Florida, library, whatever…) to find photos with those tags. When you find an interesting image or group, comment on your experience using Flickr to find images and anything else related to the exercise. Upload the image to your blog (be sure to credit the photographer). Don't forget to include a link to the image in the post.


OPTION B (the more fun option)
  1. Create a Free Account in Flickr (note that Flickr is part of Yahoo! If you have a Yahoo! account for email or MyYahoo!, log in with that.)
  2. Use a digital camera to capture a few pictures of something in your library.
  3. Upload these to your new Flickr account and tag at least one of the images with 23Things@NEFLIN. Be sure to mark the photo public.
  4. Add one or more of your images to your blog. You can add the image in one of two ways: Flickr's blogging tool (need a Flickr account to see the button) lets you click the Blog This button (right above the picture) and add any public photo on Flickr to your blog. Be sure to give credit to the photographer, if it is not your photo. Blogger's photo upload feature lets you add photos from your computer or from the Web and choose the placement in the blog post. Click the little photo icon in the toolbar on the New Post page—it is in the row of tools above the post box. Follow the instructions in the pop up box.
  5. Once you have the photo uploaded and tagged, create a post in your blog about your photo and Flickr experience. Will you use Flickr for the library or media center, for your personal photos, or in another way?
Spend some time exploring the site and have some Flickr photo fun. If you're interested in looking at some other photo hosting and sharing sites, check out Picasa Web Albums from Google or another service called Smugmug.

Keep in mind that when posting identifiable photos of other people (especially minors) get the person's permission before posting their photo in a publicly accessible place like Flickr. Never upload pictures to your Flickr account that weren't taken by you (unless you have the photographer's consent) and always give credit when you include photos taken by someone else in your blog.

More ways to explore: Blog Prompts - Share your Flickr-ing thoughts:
  • How might you use Flickr in your library or media center?
  • Do you use Flickr or another photo hosting service? Which one? How does it compare to Flickr?
  • How do you feel about having your photos public (note that you can mark your Flickr photos private, too)--any concerns?
Challenge (optional)
  • Explore the Picnik/Flickr partnership. Edit and post some of your edited photos on your blog. Note that you can use Picnik independently of Flickr--it also has a premium service that offers a lot of other editing options.
  • Be sure to blog about the pros and cons of this third party application.
  • Compare and contrast other photo sites like Picasa or Smugmug or one you use. Which has great features to recommend to the rest of us?
  • Try more of Flickr's or another site's tools to manipulate or organize photos and then tell us about it.
  • Post anything you've done/learned about photo-editing or photo sites on your blog.

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