Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thing 9: My Friend Flickr

Hello, all! As I'd hoped, you took advantage of the long weekend to catch up, go further and write prolifically. I'm still reading your posts, comments and email, but in the meanwhile...on to Thing 9!

Sharing your favorite photos has come a long way from vacation slide shows and sticky-paged photo albums. Web-based photo sites like Flickr will store your digital photos and other images online and let you arrange them for easy viewing, but there's so much more you can do.

When you look at a photo in Flickr, you don't just get the image but comments, subject tags, various sets that the image belongs to, additional data about the image and much more. If you click on any of these bits of information, you'll start a search that will find all of the images that meet that criteria. Better still, other people can add tags and comments, or ask to include your work in their photoset to bring similar things together.

Professional photographers and everyday snapshooters are obvious users of these tools, but so are libraries. The Boston Public Library is in the process of putting its collections of public domain postcards and other rare images online. Think about the fragile resources made more widely available through this process!

One of your fellow runners proudly shared a current project: the Emmanuel College Library's Flickr site. They've linked the image of a group of book covers directly to catalog records, so by posting this Flickr image on their website, patrons can see the cover of the book and immediately find out if it's available. Nicely done!

Discovery Activity:
Choose one of the photo sites below and run a few searches for things you enjoy. Try searching for your institution's name and see what shows up, or for a travel destination you're eager to visit. Find a photo that appeals to you and post a link to it in your blog. Write a bit about how you might use photo sharing in your life or library work.

Some places to start:
Take a tour of Flickr's features to see exactly how flexible this tool can be.

Google's photo tool comes in two parts: Picasa is photo editing and organizing software you can download onto your computer, while Picasa Web Albums lets you store and share images online.

SmugMug is a paid photo-hosting service that provides more security and stability for a low annual fee.

Photobucket is a free site that targets bloggers and social networkers, with one-click posting and tons of special effects for your pics.

If you want to Go the Extra Mile, create an account on the site of your choice, upload a few photos and share them in a blog post. You can either post a link to your photos or embed one in the post -- it's up to you. If you have an account already, then just go ahead and show us what you've done!

Now that you've explored the possibilities in getting your photos online, we'll take a look in what you can do with them in Thing 10: What Do I See There?

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