Flickr Tactical Guide


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A tactical "how to" guide for aspiring PAOs looking to tap flickr for public online outreach

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Flickr Tactical Guide

  1. 1. Georgia Department of Defense<br />Flickr Tactical Guidebook <br />Produced by the Public Affairs Office<br />June 2011<br />Table of Contents<br />How to Create a Flickr Account and Upload Videos4<br />Getting Started With Flickr5<br />How to Use Flickr: Basics and Beyond13<br />Understanding and Using Tags17<br />What are Tags?18<br />How to Tag Photos on Flickr20<br />Tips for Effective Flickr Tagging21<br />Caption and Title SEO22<br />10 Tips to Boost your Flickr Profile23<br />How to Create a Flickr Account and Upload Photos:<br />Getting Started With Flickr <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />How to Use Flickr: Basics and Beyond<br />Flickr is one of the most popular photo-sharing sites on the Internet. Owned by Yahoo!, Flickr offers its users a website where they can create free accounts that let them store, share, and explore digital photos. Flickr is also an online social community, whose members share photos and mutual interests. <br />Flickr was founded by Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield. The photo sharing website launched in 2004. Since then millions of people have used Flickr photos. Flickr has two main goals: helping people make their content available to the people that matter the most to them, and enabling photo and video organization in new ways.1 Not only does Flickr give online users a way to store and share photos, but many cellphones now have Flickr applications that can be downloaded in order to access and use Flickr straight from your phone.2<br />5162550614680This page tells you how to set up an account with Flickr, and how to get the most out of your account once it's up and running. The guide is broken up into several steps covering registration, uploading photos to Flickr in various different ways, organizing your photos on Flickr, sharing your photos on Flickr, sharing your photos on your blog with Flickr, participating with the community, and upgrading your Flickr account. Soon you'll know How to Use Flickr: Basics and Beyond. HYPERLINK "" <br />This featured video walks you through some of the different ways that you can upload and share photos with Flickr. Owned by Yahoo, Flickr has become one of the most popular photo sharing options on the internet today. There are several different ways offered by Flickr to upload, store, and share your photos with friends and family. <br />Step 1: Register for a Flickr Account <br />To get started on Flickr, you'll need to register for an account. Don't worry - it's free and it only takes a few moments. <br />Go to <br />Click on the "Create Your Account" button located in the top right corner. <br />If you currently have a Yahoo! ID for email, you can use this to log in. <br />If not, click on "Sign Up" to register for a free account. <br />Fill in the information requested in the three sign-up steps. <br />If you're creating a new Yahoo! account, you'll receive two emails: <br />a confirmation email with a link you need to click to activate your account. <br />an email with a clickable link that will verify your email address. <br />Open both emails and click on the provided links. <br />Now your account is active! Return to Flickr's home page and sign in! <br />"Batch Organize" will let you work with multiple photos at one time. If you have a group of photos you know are going into the same photoset with the same tag(s), working here will help you. <br />"Sets" lets you create new sets, and move photos into these sets. <br />Users with free Flickr accounts can create up to 3 sets. If you need more, upgrading to a Pro user status gives you unlimited photo sets. <br />If you belong to a Flickr group, the "Groups" tab lets you post photos to your group(s). <br />"Map" lets you show where the photo was taken. You can make the information as public, or as private, as you wish. <br />To change the license on a photo, go to the Additional Information section and click the "edit" text next to the rights statement. You can update the licensing rights for this photo, or set a default for all photos you add to Flickr. <br />Search for people you know by typing in their Flickr usernames. <br />If you see a friend, click on his or her profile image. <br />Then click to view your friend's profile. <br />Click on the link on the righthand side of the page to add this person as a contact. <br />If you don't know anyone on Flickr, don't worry! You can invite friends to join or meet people through groups. <br />Search within everyone's photos to see what else is out there on Flickr. <br />If you see a photo you like, or one you just need to say something about, write a comment in the comment box at the bottom of the page and hit "Post Comment" when you're done. <br />Or, if you'd rather communicate more privately, you can send a Flickrmail. <br />Click on the username of the person you want to Flickrmail. <br />Then click on the Profile link. <br />Select "Send Flickrmail" and then write your message! <br />You can search for groups to see if there's a public one you'd like to join. <br />If you find a group, visit its home page to see the posted photos and discussion boards. <br />If you want to join a public group, just click on "Join this group?" Confirm your request on the next page and you're in! <br />If you want to join an invite-only group, click "Join this group?" and fill out the form making your request. The site administrator will either issue you an invitation to join, or reject your application. <br />Once you're in a group, you can post photos (free account holders can post one photo in up to 10 groups, Flickr Pro users have privileges for up to 60 groups). <br />Or you can always create your own group, either public or private! <br />Step 2: Upload Photos to Flickr <br />Now that you have a Flickr account, you can begin uploading and sharing your photos. <br />Upload Via Flickr's Website <br />On Flickr's home page choose "Upload Photos." <br />Click on the "Choose Photos" button. <br />Select the photo(s) you wish to add to Flickr. <br />To select more than 1 photo, hold down the "Ctrl" key on a PC, or "Apple" key on a Mac as you select photos. <br />When you are ready to upload, click "Open." <br />Select the privacy level for your photos. <br />You can make the photos private (visible only to yourself). <br />You can make it visible to you and friends and family who are also on the site. They must be registered with Flickr for you to make images visible to them with this option. <br />You can make the photos visible to the public - anyone who searches in Flickr will be able to see them. <br />Click "Upload Photos." <br />Once your photos are uploaded to Flickr, you need to describe them. <br />Give each photo a title, a short description, and tags. <br />Tags are keywords you use to describe each photo. You can search your photos by tag, so choose words and phrases that make sense to you! <br />When you're done, click on "Save This Batch" and your photos, with descriptions, are saved in the system. <br />Upload Via Desktop Application <br />Flickr offers multiple desktop application uploading tools. These tools are faster. They're also more convenient. Many are drag-and-drop, and they often have robust functionality that allows you to group images into sets, tag, rotate, and set privacy levels on the fly. Just download one that's right for your system. <br />Upload From Cellphone or Computer Via Email <br />Flickr lets you upload by email by providing a unique email address to access your account. This allows you to both email photos to Flickr from any computer and from your cell phone. <br />Make sure you're logged in to Flickr. <br />Get your unique email uploading address at this page. <br />Email any photo you wish to upload to that address. (You can only email one photo at a time.) <br />The subject line of your email will be the title of the photo. <br />Anything you write in the body of the email will be the description of the photo. <br />If you wish to add tags via email, hit return after your description and type "tags: " followed by your space-separated tags. <br />For example: "tags: bulldog puppy cute" <br />A few minutes after you email your photo, it should appear in your Flickr stream. <br />Step 3: Organize Your Photos on Flickr <br />Flickr lets you organize photos by "Sets." Sets are like folders or photo albums, where you can group photos together. You can organize your photos in any way that makes sense to you. For example, you may start with three folders called People, Places and Things. Or you might have a set called Paris Vacation which contains all your photos from that wonderful trip. Click on the "Organize" tab. <br />Licensing Photos on Flickr <br />You may choose to license your photos on Flickr with Creative Commons. You select the level of licensing: commercial or non-commercial, with or without attribution, etc. This means that people may use your photos for other projects, as long as they follow the license restrictions. <br />Step 4: Share Your Photos on Flickr <br />Now that your photos are on Flickr, you want others to see them - here's how! <br />Click "Send to a friend" (in the bottom right corner of any Flickr photo or Photoset page). Add the email address of your friend, write a short message, and click "Send." <br />You can also click on the "Share this set" tab at the top of any Photoset page. Enter email address(es), write a short email for whomever you wish to send it to and click the "Send" button. <br />To send a single image, click on that image. Select the URL from your browser's window and copy it. Paste this into your email. <br />Add Contacts on Flickr <br />You'll want to build a network of friends and family on Flickr - the more people you know on Flickr, the more fun you'll have on the site! Click on the "Contacts" tab at the top of any Flickr page. <br />Step 5: Share Your Photos on Your Blog with Flickr <br />Want to post your photos to your blog or LiveJournal? Flickr makes it easy. You can even configure it so that it will automatically post photos you take with your cell phone to your blog! <br />Set Up Your Blog on Flickr <br />Go to Add a Blog and select the blogging service you use. <br />Click "Next".3 <br />Enter your account details. You'll need to provide your password for Flickr to validate your account. You will be able to choose not to let Flickr store your password information. <br />Click "Next". <br />Check the account details Flickr shows you. Are they correct? <br />If you don't want Flickr to store your blog's password, uncheck the "Store your password?" box. <br />Flickr must store your password if you want to post photos to your blog directly from your cellphone. <br />If everything looks good, click "All Done". <br />You'll see a link that will allow you to choose a posting template layout. <br />If your blog is focused on your photos, you may want to choose the template that will post your photos at 500 pixels wide. <br />If people on dial-up read your blog, you may want to choose one of the 100 pixel options. <br />Now, so long as your photos are public, you can put them in your blog! <br />Posting Photos to Your Blog From Flickr <br />Go to any photo you've stored on Flickr. <br />Above the photo, in the middle of the row of buttons, you should see a button that says "Blog This". Click it. <br />If you've got multiple blogs registered with Flickr, you can choose which blog to post to. #Give your post a title and some text. <br />Click "Post Entry". <br />Your photo should appear in your blog! <br />Posting Photos to Your Blog From Your Cell Phone Via Flickr <br />At this time, you can only phone post to one blog from your Flickr account. <br />Go to Account, Upload by email and the to your blog to set up photo phone posting to your blog via Flickr. <br />From the pulldown menu, select the blog you wish to post to. <br />Choose which photo size you'd like to display. Consider your audience. If your audience is reading specifically to see your photos, pick the largest size. If most of your audience is on dial-up, pick the smallest size. <br />If you'd like the text of your phone message to be the text of your blog post, select "Yes, please". If not, select "No, thanks." <br />Click "Save". <br />On the next page, in the lower right-hand corner, under the headline "Upload to Blog?", you'll see an email address. Enter this address into your cellphone. By emailing photos from your phone to this address, they will be posted directly to your blog! <br />Step 6: Participate in the Flickr Community <br />Flickr isn't just a way to share photos with people you know, it's an online community. Participate as much, or as little, as you like. For example, you can comment on any photo on Flickr. <br />Groups on Flickr <br />Flickr lets you collaborate on themed photo collections with other users.4 Some groups are public, some are invite-only, and others are private, but you're sure to find one that shares your interests. <br />Click on the Groups tab on any Flickr page. <br />Step 7: Upgrade and Improve Your Flickr Account <br />If you want to increase the number of photos you can upload onto Flickr, visit the upgrade page on Flickr to upgrade your account. For $24.95, you get a 1 year Pro account with unlimited storage and uploads. <br />Use Cool Tools on Flickr <br />Don't forget about Yahoo! Go Flickr.5 You can not only upload photos, you can manage them from your cell phone. <br />The free browser, Flock, offers advanced features for Flickr users.6 <br />Mashable has a great list of over 100 tools for Flickr.7 If you can't find something cool here, you're not trying! <br />Understanding and Using Tags:<br />What are Tags?<br />What are tags?<br />Tags are like keywords or labels that you add to a photo to make it easier to find later. You can tag a photo with phrases like "catherine yosemite hiking mountain trail." Later if you look for pictures of Catherine, you can just click that tag and get all photos that have been tagged that way. <br />You may also have the right to add tags to your friends' photos, if your friends set that option in the privacy settings for their photos.<br />Here's a list of the 150 most popular tags.<br />One of our members, Striatic, has posted some great tips on the FlickrCentral discussion board.<br />Tagging it up ~ some suggestions for tagging your images, and<br />Tagography ~ case studies<br />Is there a limit on the number of tags I can add to a photo?<br />Yes. It's 75 tags per photo.<br />If you want to add new tags to a photo that has more than 75 tags, you'll need to get the number of tags under that limit first.<br />Why aren't my photos appearing in searches or groups?<br />If your account is new, first you need to upload at least 5 public photos. After that minimum has been reached, then it shouldn't take more than a few days until your photos appear in searches, groups, etc. To make sure your photos show in searches, remember to add accurate tags and descriptions.<br />If your account is not new and some of your images are not showing, here are a few things you can check,<br />What is the safety setting? Items marked as moderate or restricted will not show in badges, RSS feeds, for people that have safe search on, or are not logged in.<br />Is your account hidden from search?<br />If only some photos aren't showing, make sure they are not flagged to be hidden from searches.<br />I've tagged my photos and videos, why can't I see them on a tags page?<br />Flickr is built upon trust and it's important to our community that everyone understand and abides by our Community Guidelines and the Yahoo! Terms of Service. <br />There are a variety of reasons why your items might not be showing up, but in most instances the issue should resolve itself within 24 - 48 hours.<br />Can I tell who's tagged another member's content?<br />Prior to 12/02/08, this information wasn't surfaced on Flickr, but was available through our API. After this date, mouse over the tag and tool tip will display the name of the member who added this information.<br />What are machine tags?<br />First and most importantly, machine tags are for humans too! A machine tag is just like a normal tag that you a human (hopefully), write in a special format. When a machine (like another server or website) reads it, it can automatically perform a special action. <br />An example is If you are attending this event listed on Upcoming, all you have to do is add the tag "upcoming:event=428084" to the picture and it will automatically show on the Upcoming event page. Upcoming's servers look for tags with "upcoming:". If it says "event" they know to use it on an event page. Then you tell them which event by adding the number at the end. <br />Machine tags always have 3 parts just like the Upcoming example. <br />namespace:predicate=value<br />a namespace, i.e. upcoming [who is going to care about this tag]<br />a predicate, i.e. event [what does this apply to]<br />a value, i.e. 123456 [which one is this]<br />To see this in another example, you can record location information by entering latitude and longitude as geo:lat=12.345678 & geo:lon=12.345678<br />Some other places are using them already like But even if you find something they are not being used for, you can just start writing them in! That's the beauty of a machine tag. Maybe you and your horticulture friends start tagging plants (i.e flora:tree=coniferous) or you want a way to categorize art in the pictures you see (i.e. medium:paint=oil). You can just write it like a normal tag and after the data is there, it's available to mix up when someone tells a machine to go fetch it. <br />Note: Namespaces and predicates must begin with a character between a - z; remaining characters may be a - z, 0 - 9, and underscores. Namespaces and predicates are case-insensitive. <br />How to Tag Photos on Flickr<br />Flickr allows you to share with family and friends. After adding them to this site, you can organize them by date. Later, when you need to view certain photos, you can simply bring up photos taken by a certain date or a word designated by a tag. What are tags? Tags are keywords that help you find photos. On Flickr, you can assign up to seventy-five tags to each photo or video. Adding a tag to photos is quite simple.<br />Instructions<br />Bring up a photo that you have uploaded to Flickr. Make sure that you click on the photo to enlarge it.<br /> Click on “add a tag”, which is located to the right of the picture. You can choose from tags that already exist by clicking on the words “choose from your tags”.<br />Type a tag that you would like to associate with the photo in the box and click on "Add." Make the tag word appropriate for the picture. For example, a picture of your dog Josh should have a tag of “Josh”. If Josh is at the beach, then add a tag called “beach”.<br />Type more than one tag to each photo. This will give you more options when searching for a photo. For example, if Josh the dog and Mindy are in a photo, type the words Josh, dog and Mindy as separate tags. This way, if you need to search any one of these, all you need to do is type in that word and the photos will come up.<br />Try searching through your photos. Scroll down on the search bar and click on “Your Photostream”. In the search bar that pops up, type in a tag word for a photo that you would like to look up. Notice that photos with that tag pop up.<br />480060076200Tips for Effective Flickr Tagging<br />As I explore Flickr and look at others’ photos, here are some tips I’ve learned about effective photo tagging (as well as one pet peeve to avoid):<br />This one is almost too obvious, but always tag. Add some keywords so that folks will find your photos.<br />Add some “concept” tags. Think of the emotions, feelings, activities, or general concepts that might apply to a photo. Does the photo depict happiness, reading, or the idea of busy? Add those as tags.<br />Be consistent with plurality: Choose car or cars. Choose airplane or airplanes. Choose flower or flowers. Pick one method and stick with it, rather than some of each. Or better yet: use both.<br />Understand spaces: You have two choices to deal with spaces in tags. Either surround the tag with quotes like this: “new york” or simply remove the space and use newyork. If you simply type new york into a Flickr tag box, you’ll end up with two separate tags: new, and york.<br />Avoid this pet peeve: If you’re uploading a group of photos, take the extra couple of minutes to correctly tag the individual photos. If your batch of 10 photos contains 2 that have rainbows in them, don’t tag all 10 photos with rainbows — folks will get frustrated as they wonder why photos without rainbows are showing up under your rainbows tag.<br />By following some consistent guidelines, you’ll result in more exposure for your photos on Flickr. Feel free to comment with any other tagging tips.<br />Caption and Title SEO:<br />10 Tips to Boost your Flickr Profile<br />The popularity of photo sharing is huge, with 3 billion Flickr photos online (last November) and over 2,800 uploads during the last minute (this stat is continually updated on So the potential traffic is very high if you have a popular profile - here are my top Flickr tips:<br />Optimise your images – This doesn’t have to require a large amount of effort, but if you can dedicate some time towards optimising your images by uniquely naming your photos, adding tags and descriptions this can go a long way towards increasing the traffic driven to your images. I’d also recommend uploading the highest quality images possible, unlike Facebook where a small image is normally fine, Flickr will provide multiple sizes of your photo – so a high quality image would look better in this case, providing your broadband speed isn’t too slow!<br />Promote your Flickr profile – There are various blog plugins, widgets and Facebook apps which allow you to show a showreel of your photos. I’d also recommend making the most of social media sites by submitting your best photos to social bookmarking sites. For example, StumbleUpon is frequently submitted with good images from Flickr. Plus you can use Twitter to show your latest photos by dropping a link into one of your tweets.<br />Use images within blog posts – Use your own images, when relevant, within blog posts – linking back to the image on Flickr to generate traffic to your profile. This will encourage clickthroughs and possibly generate friend requests, favourite votes and comments for your images and profile. This is something I’ve done in the past to use travel photos from my personal account, or company photos from the SEOptimise profile.<br />Join & upload to relevant groups – Start joining and uploading your best images to relevant groups. Helping to generate traffic from users who are likely to have an interest in your photos.<br />Make your photos creative commons licensed – I’ve written before about how you can find great images on Flickr to -use for blogging. Apply the same principles to your own photos, allowing bloggers to find your images and use them (if they wish to) on their own blog posts.<br />Encourage image credit links – Include copyright terms or a polite comment within the description of your images, this is to ask users to provide a link back to the original source to credit your image. Normally this would be a direct link to the image on Flickr, but better still why not try asking for a link to your own website? You could also watermark your images, this obviously has no direct SEO value – but it does ensure your image is credited and may result in traffic.<br />Create a company profile – Help to build your own reputation and company image by displaying team photos and images from events which employees may have attended. Here’s an example from the SEOptimise Flickr account, this helps to show a personal side to a company and may help to attract potential clients/customers or new employees. Plus this may rank for a query on your company name, so can be a good listing to help control your online reputation.<br />Sign-up for a pro account – If you have a large collections of photos, I would definitely recommend signing up for a pro account. This is very cheap and allows you to organise your into more sets and collections, in addition to extra storage space, stats and removal of ads.<br />Analyse your stats – This is for pro accounts, but the stats in Flickr can be very interesting. Find out where your Flickr traffic is coming from – whether this is via internal searches, search engines, Google Images or referring sites – you should be able to quickly spot some trends and find new ways to optimise your images and maximise your current traffic.<br />Add contacts – Don’t overdo this, but by adding contacts who share a similar interest and by adding some of their best images as faves you are increasing the chances that your own images will receive fave votes and comments. This will help your images to rank highly for competitive queries within Flickr as they will be viewed as being more interesting.<br />