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February 9, 2010 / theatregrad

Photo Sharing Websites – 23things week 4

Cross posting this from my 23things blog because I think it’s quite a good blog post.

This week 23 Things Oxford asks us to explore the world of photo sharing websites. Excellent news for me as I’m a very keen photographer and consider myself quite the expert in this area of the internet!  The focus is one Flickr which is great because that’s what I use for my photography.  So rather than setting up a new account for the purpose of this, I’m going to use my exisiting account to shamelessly promote myself and gain some more traffic. My Flickr photostream is here.

In my opinion Flickr  is one the best online photo hosting websites and sharing communities out there. I’ve always considered Flickr to be a good platform for the serious amaetur photographer, whereas I consider Photobucket and Picasa more suited to those who want to host snapshots and images for sharing with friends online.

There are serveral things that I like about Flickr; Uploading images is very easy and straightforward, you can upload multiple images at once which is advantagous over some other sites which only let you upload one at a time. As a photographer this is one of the reasons why I chose Flickr over Deviantart. Deviantart is not as user friendly from a photographers point of view and more suited to ‘artists’. Also Flickr has a brilliant photo organiser which allows you to very easily manage all your online photographs.  This sets it apart from other websites such as Photobucket which are fine for simply hosting an image but I find organising the collection of photographs more difficult. You can collectively edit the tags and titles as well as arrange your images into various sets and collections (essentially albums) very easily with the Flickr organiser.

The Flickr organiser.: From this screen you just need to drag a photo to the centre to edit it, you can drag more than one to edit photos as a batch which is a great timesaver.
From this section of the organiser you can create, add to or edit your photo sets.

Another excellent and fun feature of Flickr is geotagging (click here for a short viedo explaining geotagging much better than I can) Images speak a thousand words so here’s a screenshot…

Essentially geotagging is adding your photos to a map to record or tag where it was taken.  You can then either view your own personal world map or view the general world map to find photos other people have taken at specific locations.  This is my Flickr map!

I have been a Flickr user for a number of years now and have upgraded to a Pro account because I take my photography seriously enough to justify the money.  It lets me have greater control over my collection and generates stats on my account too such as daily veiws which I like for vanity reasons.

The point of 23things is not just to get us, the participants more familiar with the tools to enrich our personal lives, but also to become aware of these tools and how they could prove useful in the workplace.  So how would a photo sharing website be of benefit to a library service?  The answer isn’t immediately clear, for the benefits of tools like Flickr are less obvious than say blogs or wikis.  Maybe it is good for a library to have a Flickr account to share images of its facilities with the wider world, both general public and others in the profession.   I’d be interested to hear any views on how photosharing sites could be useful for organisations as I’m a little stumped!

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