Thing 17 - Multimedia sharing – Flickr

For Week 7 we will be looking at multimedia sharing, using online services to enable you to manage and share images and videos. Things 17 will show you how to set up a Flickr account and how to upload images, and Thing 18 will explain Creative Commons licensing, and images licensed under this can be used by you. Thing 19 will look at YouTube, giving you and opportunity to see how libraries are using YouTube to share tutorials and information (you will not be expected to create an account in YouTube or upload any videos for this thing!)

So what is Flickr?

Flickr is one of the earliest and most popular photo sharing websites. It was started in 2004, and was later purchased by Yahoo! When you create a Flickr account you can log in using Yahoo! credentials, if you have a Yahoo! email account, or alternatively you can set up an account using your Google ID. For the purposes of 23 Things, you will be guided to set up with your Google ID.

Online photo sharing sites have numerous advantages over keeping pictures on your hard drive at home:

• They don’t take up space on your computer’s hard drive
• They make it easy to share pictures with others
• They provide a repository of images you can use in your blog or Twitter
• You can add tags to your photos to organize them and enable easier searching
• If you choose, they can offer worldwide exposure to your work
• You can also find other peoples images, which are allowed to be used by you on your own blog etc. More about this will be looked at in Thing 18.

Among potential concerns of using a site such as Flickr are privacy and copyright concerns, although the concept of Creative Commons is one way to enable “fair” use (see Thing 18). You can also control the access to your photos so you can decide who is allowed to view each individual photo. There is also a Flickr help page for privacy questions. Links to other services make it easy to edit your images, embed them in your blog, or order products from them like reprints or calendars. There is now some overlap with other services as photo sites, including Flickr, also let you share videos.

Libraries using Flickr
Many libraries, museums and archives have Flickr accounts through which they publicise aspects of their collections, including the British LibraryPlymouth Libraries have used Flickr to promote library events, while the National Library of Scotland has uploaded images from its collections, many of which can be saved under Creative Commons (more about this in Thing 18). The Library of Congress even uploaded a set of 'mystery pictures' and successfully asked Flickr users to help identify them.

Warwick using Flickr
Warwick Arts Centre have their own Flickr photostream which they use to record and promote events, and the redevelopment of the Butterworth Hall. WMG have a photostream for their MSC programme.

Thing 17 - Create a Flickr account and upload some images.
Please download the step by step instructions to get started! Once your account is activated try uploading some photos and adding tags. If you don't have any pictures to upload and would like some sample ones to work with, please go to the folders I Drive/Library Pictures/Building, I Drive/Library Pictures/2010 Marketing Images or I Drive/Library Pictures/Remodelling, all available on the ‘I: drive’ (the shared library user drive) in the Library Pictures folder. These folder contains a number of images of Warwick campus which you are welcome to use to upload and share. Ideally though, it would be great for you to add your own images.

Finally, don't forget to write a blog post about your experiences with Flickr, including the tags 'Thing 17' and 'Flickr'.

Further reading:
Why should librarians care about Flickr? (Librarian in Black)
How to make Flickr work for your library (
Libraries using Flickr (Information wants to be free)

Optional extras:
1. Personalize your profile by adding a picture.
2. Share your photos with the UoW 23 Things group on Flickr. The instructions are at the end of the step-by-step-guide. Please share images of the university and/or the Library in this group, so we can create a group of images around this theme.
3. "Geotag" some of your pictures to indicate where they were taken. To do this, go to the individual photo's page, then click on "Add this photo to your map" under Additional Information on the right side of the page. To look at photos from various locations around the world, choose "Places" from the Explore menu at the top of your Flickr home page.

It’s also worth having a look at the Flickr blog, which showcases current photos and themes posted by users. As you can probably tell by now, Flickr is a huge service with a lot more features than are included here. The Flickr tour will give you an overview of what else it can do.