This is a introduction to the benefits of Flickr.com, a low-cost and easy to use online photo management system. Flickr provides a great way to store and find photos, as well as tap into the powers of social media.
PROGRAM ABSTRACT:These days, everyone is trying to do more with less—less time, less money, less everything. For small companies and freelancers, this is especially important.In this session, we’ll explain how you can tap into the power of Flickr.com, self-described as “the best online photo management and sharing application in the world.” We’ll cover step-by-step tricks for using Flickr as an affordable image management system, and we’ll also discuss its use as a social networking tool.INTRO:Today I’m going to give a crash course on Flickr that should appeal to several different audiences. If you’re a writer or blogger who dabbles in photography, Flickr can be a great backup and content management tool for you. If you’re a blogger who could use additional photos for your blog, Flickr can help you find other people’s images to use on your blog. And anyone, including pro photographers, can benefit from Flickr’s social networking and marketing capabilities. I’m going to start by giving a little background about Flickr and go over the basic steps in setting up an account. Then I’ll talk in detail about its capacity as a photo management system and how to use it as a social media tool. And if we have time, we’ll talk about a few advanced content management tools. I have a lot of ground to cover, so I kindly ask that you hold your questions until the end.I have no affiliation with Flickr. I’ve just used their product for several years and have enjoyed what it has allowed me to do, so I like to share it with others.I want to mention that you can also upload videos to Flickr, but that I’m only going to talk about photos today.[Note: In our office, we don’t have a full-time photographer on staff but we do take hundreds of photos each year that we use on our websites and in print materials. As a result, we needed an accessible and affordable way to manage the image files. We have found that Flickr suits our needs perfectly, and we’ve been using it for three years now. It allows us to upload full-size photos and store them for future use, freeing up precious space on our local servers. It also lets us tag photos, making them easily searchable. And thanks to Flickr’s social networking features, we also gain exposure for our websites. Finally, it’s affordable—we opted for the pro-level account that offers unlimited uploading for less than the cost of a nice entrée and a glass of wine at your favorite restaurant.]
Let’s start by talking about what the life of a garden writer/communications professional is like so that we’ll have a better understanding of how a tool like Flickr could help you do your job.How many of you feel like this? e.g., that you need to be able to clone yourself in order to get everything doneAnd I don’t mean just in the garden.It’s probably the same situation with your business.For most garden writers, it’s a one (wo)man show. You’re always trying to do more with less.And that’s where Flickr can come in.
So what is Flickr?It’s an online system that provides an affordable way to store and manage your photos, as well as share them with the world. If you’re a blogger, it can be particularly helpful.It’s certainly not the ONLY photo management platform out there, but it’s the one that we use in our office and have been very happy with.
Can upload full-size JPG photos from your computer and store them on Flickr’sservers. This can also be a great back-up system that will help prevent you from losing all your photos if your hard drive crashes..
And just as importantly,Flickr has tools that can help you find the photos that you upload when you’re searching for them down the road.
Can share photos in several ways, both with people who are on Flickr and those who aren’t. And you can choose to send them the photo link directly, or post the photo on your blog or on Twitter.
You can also tap into Flickr’s social media capabilities and connect with people.
Click on the “Create Your Account” button, and then log in with your Yahoo! ID when prompted.When it asks you to, enter a screen name for your Flickr account. Often, this can be identical to your Yahoo! ID, but it doesn’t have to be.Creating an account is free, though you do have the option of upgrading to what’s known as a Pro account.Free accounts:100 MB monthly photo upload limit (10MB per photo)2 video uploads each month (90 seconds max, 150MB per video)Photostream views limited to the 200 most recent imagesPost any of your photos in up to 10 group poolsOnly smaller (resized) images accessible (though the originals are saved in case you upgrade later)Pro accounts:Unlimited photo uploads (20MB per photo)Unlimited video uploads (90 seconds max, 500MB per video)The ability to show HD VideoUnlimited storageUnlimited bandwidthArchiving of high-resolution original imagesThe ability to replace a photoPost any of your photos or videos in up to 60 group poolsAd-free browsing and sharingView count and referrer statistics
Finish your set-up by clicking on “Personalize your profile.” It prompts you to upload a photo to use as a buddy icon, and then pick a URL that will be associated with your account.It will also ask you for your name and some other demographic information, but you don’t have to complete these fields.At this point, you can also set general permissions for your account.
Privacy is increasingly important to consider.Among other things, Flickr lets you set defaults for:Who can see your contentWho can download your content --Creative Commons Who can search for your contentIf you choose to make your photos public by default, they will show in your own photostream and the main Flickrphotostream for anyone to see. They will also be searchable by engines like Google, unless you choose the option in the settings that allows you to hide them from public searches.These can all be good things if you’re hoping to tap into Flickr’s social media capabilities, but it’s just good to be informed so that you can elect the settings that work best for you.If you choose to make any of your photos or sets private, you can still share them with other people by issuing a guest pass. They do not need to be Flickr users in order to use the guest pass. The guest pass will allow them access ONLY to the photos you want them to see. Guest pass FAQ: http://www.flickr.com/help/guestpass/
Once you’ve gone through the set-up process, this is the screen that will welcome you each time you log in. When you want to upload photos, all you’ll need to do is click on the link “Upload Photos & Video.”
You can select photos on your hard drive that you want to upload. Once they appear on screen, you can add tags to all of the photos in the batch, or add tags individually. You can also add descriptions to each photo, and you can choose to add them to Sets that you’ve created. More on tags and sets in a minute.Once you upload the photos, they’ll appear in what’s known as your Photostream.You can use the Basic Uploadr online or download another tool to make things easier (my preferred method).
Let’s go over a few basic ways to keep your photos organized.
Tags are the feature we rely on the most for finding photos to use on our website. If our website manager is getting ready to post a page about vegetable gardening, she might search using the word “vegetable.”For example, this is one of our most popular photos of all time, and it’s tagged with the word “vegetable.” Some of you who attended the GWA conference in Oklahoma City may recognize this photo of the Bolen kitchen garden designed by John Fluitt.
Of course, there are a number of other tags that we could use to help us and other people find this photo. We can add additional tags to photos that have already been uploaded by clicking on the “Actions” button above the photo and then adding the tags. You can either type the tags in manually, or choose from a menu of existing tags you’ve used.If you’d like to use a tag that’s more than one word, be sure to use quotation marks.I have found that adding the Latin name as a tag on photos of specific plants helps bring people to my photos, especially if it’s a new cultivar of a particular plant and people want to see more images of what it looks like.
Setsgroupings of your photos, much like a traditional photo albumExample: Edible Gardening
The “Edible Gardening” set from the previous slide is included under our “Plants” collection
Okay, so once you have your photos uploaded to Flickr, how can you find and use them later?How many of you remember this beautiful home we visited during the Oklahoma City annual symposium? Wasn’t that deck to die for? I just adored it and ended up featuring it on my blog. So how did I find the photo and end up getting it onto my blog?
Finding photos is a snap because Flickr has excellent tools that can help you find the photos you’re searching for them down the road. Here, I searched using the term “vegetable.”In this case, I searched just the GardeningInAMinutephotostream, but I can also search the content uploaded by all other users. You can even use advanced searches to find photos that are licensed for reuse using Creative Commons. This is especially helpful if you’re a blogger who isn’t such a great photographer, but you still want to feature good photos on your blog.So, let’s say I want to use that photo of the kitchen garden from the Bolen residence in Oklahoma City. How do I get back to the image so that I can use it?
Just click on the “Actions” tab and then on “View All Sizes.”
From here, you can download the photo to your computer in any of the sizes listed.
If you want to put photos from Flickr onto your blog or other website, click on the “share this” tab. From here, you have a few options. You can grab just the URL link for the photo. Or you can grab theHTML code to automatically embed the right size photo on your blog or other webpage. Or if you link your blog to your Flickr account, you can blog straight from Flickr.
Once you’ve added your blog to your Flickr account, you can choose these accounts from the “Blog it” drop-down menu.The default title for the blog post will be the title for the photo, but you can change it. Then just type in the box and click on “post entry” to publish the post. You can also include basic HTML code in the body of the post, if you want to.
This is where the social media angle comes in. There are a number of ways that you can explore Flickr’s social media possibilities. You can add your photos to groups, mark people as contacts, and swap comments on photosYou can also publish Flickr photos on your Facebook wall.
First, you can choose to add your photos to public Groups that have been set up by Flickr users. This is probably the first technique I’d recommend using if you’re interested in using Flickr as a social media tool. You can search for groups using the Search box and choosing “Groups” from the drop-down box. For example, I found this group that contains photos that were all taken by Flickr users at the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden. Looks like it could use some more photos, so all of you GWA folks should join this group after our group visit to the gardens!Once you find a group that matches with your interests, you’ll need to click the “Join Group” link. After that, you can add photos to the group via a few different options. You can add photos via the group page. You can also go to an individual photo page and click the “Send to Group” button. Or you can add photos in batches using the Organizr tool. Some groups place limits on how many photos you can add at a time, and others require that the group administrator approve the photos before they appear in the Group.In addition to bringing the photos together, each Group also features a discussion board where people can exchange ideas that related to the group topic.
And if you don’t find the perfect group out there, you can always make your own. This is the one I created because I couldn’t find a group that specifically related to gardens that have a bold, tropical touch but that aren’t necessarily found in tropical locations.You can see one of the photos that I added to the group from my personal Flickr account.
An important way to connect with people and to build social media presence is to comment on other people’s photos. For example, if you see a photo in the Bold Garden Group that really grabs you, then just leave a comment to let the person know. People love hearing nice things about their photos! Just make sure that your comments are authentic and meaningful. People can tell if you’re being anything other than sincere.
Another way to connect with people on Flickr is through the Contact feature. These are kind of like the Friends function in Facebook -- though you can control how close of a contact you are by choosing additional options like “Also mark as Friend” or “Also mark as Family.” The second options can help you control who can see what photos.If you’re not sure if you know other people on Flickr, you might be wondering if the Contacts feature will be of much use. But find that if you spend much time putting your photos in Groups, you’ll keep stumbling across the same people posting photos in those Groups. Those people are great to start with. People on Flickr are more open to contact requests than on Facebook. They’ll generally accept your invitations if they feel like you’re interested in the same sorts of things that you are.FAQ on Contacts:http://www.flickr.com/help/contacts/But if you want to use Flickr JUST as a photo management site, you can choose to hide your profile. There’s a setting in Your Account that allows you to hide your profile from search results for people. Hiding your profile like this will hide it from Flickr people searches, from the “find your friends” address book search and from people searches on 3rd party sites.
The “Recent Activity” section of your Home screen is an easy way to keep track of what other people are saying in response to your photos and to your comments on other people’s photos. You can also see other activity on your photos like the number of times it has been marked as a favorite. Any Contact requests will also show up here.
And finally, if you want to share your photos directly with someone, it’s easy to send them a message from the photo page. If they’re on Flickr, just type in their username. If they aren’t on Flickr, just type in their email address.And even if you make a photos completely private – e.g., only visible to you -- you still have the ability to share it with other people by using what’s called a guest pass. You can issue a guest pass to anyone, even if s/he isn’t a Flickr user. The guest pass will allow them access ONLY to the photos you want them to see. Guest pass FAQ: http://www.flickr.com/help/guestpass/.
Let’s talk briefly about some advanced tools that Flickr provides for managing your photos.
You can download the FlickrUploadr software program to your computer from the Flickr site. It allows you to easily drag and drop files from your computer into the Uploadr window. It also allows you to tag or add descriptions to multiple photos at a time. You can also adjust the privacy settings, and add the photos to new or existing sets.You can also use plug-ins to upload photos via Windows XP, iPhoto, or Aperture. And, you can upload photos via email.
The Flickr “Organizr” is part of the website itself and allows you to work with photos that you’ve already uploaded. You can get it by clicking on the “Organize & Create” link at the top of any page.And yes, it’s really spelled “Organizr” with no “e,” just like “Flickr.”
The Organizr is built into Flickr and allows you to edit and organize photos on a larger scale. For example, if you just took uploaded a bunch of photos and realized later that you wanted to put them into a set, you can drag them into the set using the Organizr.
You can pull up the Organizr tool by clicking on the “Organize & Create” button at the top of any screen in Flickr.Your whole photostream automatically loads in the timeline at the bottom of the screen. You can either scroll through it, or you can filter the photos using the drop-down menu. You can also search using the search box to find photos with specific tags, titles, or descriptions.
For gardeners, it can be fun to add the locations of photos that you shoot in public gardens. That way other people who have an interest in that garden can find your photos via the map. However, keep in mind that you may not want to have the photos of your own home garden show up on a public map.
Here are some examples of the pictures I took two years ago at the Portland Chinese Garden.
Also, a big thing in social media is looking at the data of who’s connecting with you. You can get detailed data on who has been viewing your photos and how they are finding your photos. Just click on the “More Activity and Options” link on your home screen. You’ll be taken to a screen that gives you data on how many people have been viewing your account.
If you scroll down, you can also get specific data on which photos have been getting recent activity. Just click on the “More Recent Activity” link on the Home screen.
And if you scroll down further, you’ll get information on what sources are bringing people to your photos.
Through this screen, you can also get data on your most viewed photos of all time. The kitchen garden that I photographed a few years back has 3 of the top 5, and 6 of the top 10 slots.
Flickr.com: More than Pretty Pictures (updated for GWA2010)
Flickr.com<br />More than Pretty Pictures<br />Kim Taylor, Senior Information Specialist<br />University of Florida<br />email@example.com<br />http://slideshare.com/krtaylor<br />
Doing more with less<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobasonic/170043435/<br />
Organize your photos<br />Tags<br />words you can add to a photo to help identify it<br />Examples: edible, plant, green, banana<br />Sets<br />groupings of your photos, much like a traditional photo album<br />Example: My Missouri Botanical Garden trip<br />Collections<br />umbrella group of related sets<br />Example: My Visits to Public Gardens<br />