This blog tends to focus on a lot of apps and web services that benefit mostly teachers, this week I decided to focus on a tool that can be useful to all majors in the College of Education and Human Services. This week I am highlighting Flickr, a photo sharing service. Flickr is just like many other social media services, but the main purpose of this free website is to share pictures with others, whether it is your family, people you have traveled with, or someone you just met. This photo sharing service is perfect to meet anyone’s needs. Most recently I used this service to create a group to share pictures amongst a group of 18 people that took a cruise class together. This was very reasonable due to the fact that there is both an Android app and an iPhone app, and not everyone was keen on using Facebook for sharing pictures. One thing to note is that there is not an official iPad app from Flickr, but there are third party apps that have been created. You can also access the Flickr website via Safari or another browser that you have installed on your iPad.
Like many other web services there is a free account, and then there is a pro account. The two account types allow you to do different things. The free account allows you to be a member of up to 10 different groups, upload 300MB per month (that’s roughly 30MB per photo), view only your 200 most recent photos, download smaller resized versions of your uploaded photos, and you can upload 2 videos per month. With a pro account You can be a member in up to 60 groups, all uploads and viewings are unlimited, you get to download your original photos, and you can also view statistics on your account if you are interested in how many people are looking at your photos, additionally Flickr is completely ad-free. The pricing for a pro account is $6.95 for 3 months, $24.95 for one year, and $44.95 for 2 years. Unless you are not backing up your original pictures somewhere else, I think the free account is just fine for me. If you are a professional photographer looking for a way to make your business take off, this is definitely one way to start.
If you don’t need to do any editing to the pictures other than rotating, this service is the one for you to use. There are not a lot of “fluffy” add-ons with Flickr. You simply upload the photos, and they are up for viewing. Another nice thing with Flickr is that you can use your Yahoo! email account to login since this is actually a service from Yahoo! You can also use your Google sign in information, or you can even connect to your Facebook account. If you are looking to do more editing, but you do not want to use something extensive like Photoshop, please know there are websites out there like Picasa and Picasaweb from Google. This service allows you to do more editing and add effects to photos before you upload them to a service like Flickr.
If you are worried about someone using your photos, don’t be! There are plenty of privacy options on Flickr to help avoid these issues. There are copyrights instantly added so that all rights are reserved. This means that no one is supposed to use your work without permission, but this does not stop people from right clicking and saving. What is a person to do to stop this? You can change your privacy settings so that only people in your contacts can see your pictures. Your contacts are the equivalent of your friends on any other social networking site. If you choose to have your photos in the creative commons, you can certainly do that. There are different creative commons licenses. While I can not discuss the differences in these licenses, it is good to research the differences yourself before deciding to put a picture in the creative commons.
For more information, visit their website at http://www.flickr.com/
Creating a Group
Creating a group in Flickr is very simple. First thing you will want to do is make sure you have created at least a free account on Flickr. Once you are logged in with your free account, under the groups tab, click on “Create a Group.”
Once you have clicked on that you are given three different options in terms of the typed of group that you want to make.
Public–anyone can join that is a member of Flickr and are good for general discussion topics; Public, invitation only–the administrators of the group get to control who is in the group by invitations, but the group can be seen by all Flickr members, this can be good for more centralized discussions; Private–these cannot be made public later, good for families or groups of friends, invite only, completely hidden from searches and don’t display on people’s pages under groups they belong to.
For the purpose of this tech tip, I am going to create a Public, invitation only group called, “Technology in School.” Once you have decided on the group type that you want, click the blue “create” button. That will bring you to the screen below.
Fill in all the information that is asked of you, and click the blue “next” button. It may take you a few tries to find a group name that is not already taken.
Once you have found a group name that is not already taken, your group is created. You then get to choose if there is group discussions and a pool of group photos to go with the group. One other setting you can decide is what the moderators, administrators, and members are called in the group. I did not change my settings, but people can get creative with these names.
If you want to go on the add pictures, just make sure that you have added some pictures to your own personal Flickr, then click on the group’s add photos link, as seen below, and you are good to go! One limitation of adding photos to a group is that you can only add six at a time, but the upload process does not take very long since Flickr downsizes their photos for groups.