tips and tools for sharing photos online
Photo blogging is one of the most expansive parts of the Internet and online media just at the moment. You take a picture with your digital camera or your mobile phone, and blog it straight onto a public site. Flickr is owned by Yahoo! They allow you to upload your photos into a web space, and you are given 20MB per month, which is quite generous. Instead of keeping your snaps just for yourself and family members on your hard disk, you can store them, share them with the world, tag them, and make them available for worldwide consumption. You can even make money out of them if you play your cards right.
Although your photos are in the public domain, you can control who is allowed to see them. There are full instructions here for setting your privacy options. Tagging and meta-data are fully explained (that’s giving titles, categories, and links to your photos) and there are also tips on resizing photos to save on your allotted storage space.
When extra information in the form of meta-tags is added to the images, all sorts of new possibilities are created. Paul Bausch shows games involving comparisons with similarly tagged photos, and he demonstrates how geo-tagged images can be mapped.
With so many of these images being viewed and viewed across the web, it’s good that he also explains issues of copyright and licensing, including the relatively new Creative Commons licences.
He also show how you can subscribe to a news feed which will notify you when other people upload new images. Then the later part of the book offers some fairly simple scripts for constructing screensavers, tracking your friends’ favourites, and even plotting your personal contacts using Google Maps.
Assuming you eventually end up with a large collection of photos, the next more advanced level shows you how to back up the collection, then how to store and sort them.
Finally, for those who might wish to interact with Flickr and operate at an administrator level, there are some advanced scripts which allow you to act as a moderator, create custom mosaics and collages, and mash up your photos to produce all sorts of special effects.
© Roy Johnson 2006
Paul Bausch, Flickr Hacks, Sebastopol: CA, O’Reilly, 2006, pp.335, ISBN: 0596102453