Flickr - an LA Tri Club Member User's Guide
Knowing that many LA Tri Club members take photos at our events, and that only a small number of them make it on the Club's website, we have introduced an efficient solution for sharing photos with other members. The answer is a website called Flickr (www.Flickr.com). Some of you may know about Flickr, but I'm sure many of you are not as familiar. When you get to the home page, type "LATriClub" into the search box, click show thumbnails to make the images easier to view, and check out some recent photos of LA Tri Clubbers doing what we do " Swimming, Biking, Running, or Playing! View by most recent,most relevant, or most interesting.
What is Flickr?
Flickr is an online photo sharing website. Unlike so called "first generation photo websites like Kodak Gallery, Shutterfly, Snapfish, and others, Flickr allows for the uploading of photos that can be "tagged" and easily shared with the world. There are privacy options to restrict the sharing of your photos to just you and / or your friends and family, but the big kicker is being able to share photos to many people, even those who you don't know, without having to notify them that you have submitted photos. In their own words: "Flickr gives you a window into things that you might otherwise never see, from the perspective of people that you might otherwise never encounter." Here's an example from the recent riots in Paris: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hughes_leglise/116848269/
What is "tagging?"
Tagging is a way of associating a word or phrase with your photos on Flickr. So, if you have photos from a recent triathlon, say the Strawberry Fields Triathlon, you may want to give those photos the tag "strawberry fields tri". That way, when someone types "Strawberry Fields Tri" in the search box on Flickr, they will see all photos from that event. You can look to the right of a photo on Flickr to see what tags were applied to that photo.
However, if a non-LA Tri Club member submitted photos with the Strawberry Fields Tri tag, theirs would show up too. So you might want to do an advanced search and search for photos that contain both of the following tags: "latriclub" and "strawberryfieldstri". That will filter out the LA Tri Club tagged Strawberry Fields Tri photos from the non-LA Tri Club tagged photos. Make sense? Applying relevant tags is key...if you upload photos that aren't tagged, then people will only be able to find your photos if they just so happen to stumble upon them. More on creating relevant tags below
Why is this better than Ofoto / Kodak Gallery, Snapfish, Shutterfly, Yahoo Photos, etc.?
Those sites are great. I've got a couple hundred albums in Ofoto / Kodak Gallery. However, the difference is, if I want to share photos from those sites, I would need to designate specifically to who I want to share those photos. If I want to share my photos to the entire LA Tri Club, then I'd have to choose to share my designated album with firstname.lastname@example.org and give access to members that way. The problem is, every other person who has photos on one of those sites will have to do the same, meaning we'll get N emails for every N members who want to share their pictures. That is not cool. If we all upload our photos to Flickr, we'll be able to go to one spot and search for LA Tri Club related photos. That is cool!
You can't think of Flickr the same as you think of, say, Kodak Gallery. You may not want to share all of your photos with the world, you may be more inclined to share some of them only with people who you designate -- the old fashioned way! That's cool -- keep doing that! But, if you want to make sure certain of your photos are visible to many, even those who you don't know, Flickr is the way to go! If you use Yahoo Photos, you probably already know that they are soon releasing an update that integrates the features of Flickr with the features of the current Yahoo Photos, so you'll get the best of both worlds by uploading to one photo site.
Why is sharing my photos with the world cool?
Because it's fun! It also makes the internet more useful, and fun, when photos taken by people like you and I are made publicly available. Check out how user photos from Flickr are integrated into the bottom of this feature on Tiger Woods: http://news.yahoo.com/60minutes or into this travel guide for San Francisco: http://travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-191501889-action-pictures-phototype-user-san_francisco_vacations-i;_ylt=AlW8HoVasikerQRgmaKCz3RBFmoL Imagine the photo coverage if every member submitted their photos from Wildflower, Ironman Hawaii, or First Thursdays -- in this case, more is better!
I'm not convinced, what else?
What is really cool about having member's photos in one centralized online repository is that will allow us to eventually programmatically pull photos to the LA Tri Club website. Flickr makes it relatively easy to pull photos to other websites -- for example, we'll one day pull photos from people's Flickr accounts to their LA Tri Club member page. Or we can pull pictures from many member's flickr accounts and create composite albums on our website from many members. Trust me, this will be cool! The coolness factor increases exponentially as the number of members contributing photos increases. Our website will continue to evolve in this direction through time...and funds!
Sold! How do I get started?
It's easy, and free! Simply open up an account. If you are already a Yahoo! user, you can create an account with your existing Yahoo! account info (Yahoo! bought Flickr last year). If not, you can create an account directly with Flickr. You can click on the link that says "upload", but that limits you to uploading 5 pictures at a time. If you want to easily upload many pictures, you can do so by downloading a cool little Flickr Uploader: http://www.flickr.com/tools/ I HIGHLY RECOMMEND DOWNLOADING THE FLICKR UPLOADER!
From there, you simply click on the "add photos" link and pull from your hard drive, or just drag from another window. After that you can create a "set" which is essentially an album. So you may want a set for Strawberry Fields, another set for Wildflower, etc. The important thing is to add appropriate tags to ensure that your sets are searchable. So, if they are LA Tri Club related photos, then be sure to add "LA Tri Club" as a tag. If the photos are from Wildflower, make sure that "Wildflower" is a tag...maybe get more specific with "Wildflower 2006" to distinguish from any Wildflower photos from 2005. You can test your tags by trying to search on them -- type in Wildflower and see if yours show up. Don't worry, you can add tags to entire sets at once...you don't need to add tags to individual photos one at a time (but you can, if you want to get specific about the content of a given picture).
Organizing Your Photos
Clicking on the Organize button will allow you to do all sorts of fun things to your photos. You can organize all of your photos into sets. To do that, simply drag your photos to the middle of the screen and click the add to set link.
If your photos are already organized as a set, you can change the lead photo for that set by clicking on Your Sets, opening up a photo set, and dragging the desired photo to the top of the album that appears on the left.
Most importantly, to add new tags to a set of photos, select your desired photo set, and click Batch Edit, and then click Add Tags. That will allow you to add a new tag LATriClub, for example, to a bunch of photos at once.
Common LATriClub Flickr Tags
Do you want your Flickr photos to be included so that they appear in a link from the LA Tri Clubs Photos (http://www.latriclub.com/photos/) page? To do that, everyone needs to use a common tag for the photos for a given event. Heres the tagging scheme that weve adopted for events:
Here are some examples:
LATriClub_Wildflower_2006 (another tag that might be included with this is Olympic or Half to distinguish the individual races)
Note that, if the given event happens more than once in a year (Meetings, First Thursdays, etc.) the distinguishing date must contain more information than just the year. Wildflower, since it only happens once / year only needs 2006 to distinguish it from all the other occurrences of Wildflower.
Note also that you can add multiple tags can be added to your photos. Here are some tags, in addition to the main event tag, above, that we suggest adding to your photos sets on Flickr:
- Triathlon so that people searching for Triathlon will find your photos
- LATriClub so that people searching for LATriClub will find your photos
- LA Tri Club ditto above..
Again, you can add as many tags as youd like to your photosto add new tags to your photos, see Organizing Your Photos above.
If you notice a Flickr photo pool is already being linked to from the LA Tri Clubs photo page, simply scroll your mouse pointer over the link and look at the link that appears at the bottom of your browser. That should show which link is being pulled from Flickr, in case you have some photos that youd like to add to that pool.
Keep in mind that the LA Tri Clubs adoption of Flickr is to enable members to share their LA Tri Club related photos with other LA Tri Club members through the use of common tags. To the extent that pictures are tagged with LATriClub, or any derivation thereof, the presumption is that members will view those LATriClub-tagged photos with the expectation of seeing LA Tri Club members engaged in LA Tri Club activities -- Swimming, Biking, Running, or Playing! Though we cant strictly enforce how members apply tags to their photos on Flickr, know that the following are some activities that are severely frowned upon with respect to any LATriClub-tagged photos:
- The posting of non-triathlon related photos - i.e. photos of your sisters wedding. Your Flickr account may have photos of all of your personal activities, but please dont tag them with LA Tri Club tags!! Members may find those pictures, to the extent that they are publicly available from your home page on Flickr, which is great since it helps members get to know one another more, but please just dont tag those photos with the LATriClub tag!
- The posting of commercial imagery, including commercial watermarks or other blatant commercial promotion. Please dont use the LA Tri Clubs popularity for the purpose of promoting your product, or service (i.e., training service, sport / social club, nutrition product, etc.). That is not cool.
Flickr Fun Stuff
Theres lots of interesting photos to be found on Flickr. Thats a large part of its appeal. Check out the following page to see some of the more interesting (non-triathlon related) photos on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/explore. Or do a search for triathlon and then click the link that says view by most interesting.
A Couple Other Things
To the extent that you want your photos to be publicly viewable, make sure to indicate as such on your privacy settings. Also, to the extent that you allow other members the option to purchase prints, be sure to indicate as such on your "your account" page.
Also, to get the most out of Flickr, you may want to check out this page: http://www.flickr.com/get_the_most.gne#secure which contains all sorts of info on how to incorporate Flickr into your personal blog, how to use RSS feeds with Flickr, etc.
That's more than enough...if you've made it this far, thanks for reading! We think that Flickr is a fun way to share our respective LA Tri Club selves...and heck, to the extent that you have non-LA Tri Club photos publicly available on your Flickr site, your non-LA Tri Club self will be open for exploration too! It's all about building the LA Tri Club community!
Thanks for tuning in, and thanks for sharing your LA Tri Club pictures!
The LA Tri Club Board >> Paul, Brian, Liz, Larry, Gary, and Mike
Swim. Bike. Run. Play!