Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Making it easier to share content

My birthday was 10 days ago and I got a new camera. One of the first photos I took was of a bus at the end of my street.
More birthday snaps.
A week later I joined the Guardian Cardiff Flickr pool. This pool supports the Guardian Cardiff local blog which has been doing great work in recent months. So today when Hannah, who runs the site, was looking for an image to put along side a story on the re-organisation of public transport in the city she used mine. Here is a link to the story.
So what if I took some photos that were relevant to education- lecture theatres, computers, an ipad(!), small groups etc. Which group would I put those in to make it easy for other educators to find and use in their materials? A quick search of Flickr shows that that a general education group- or a specific one for higher education- doesn't seem to exist yet.
So I propose that we start one. We would need to figure out some guidelines. It would seem sensible that images added to the pool should be under a Creative Commons license allowing re-use. What else do you think might be important to specify?
I am sure that there is lots of really useful content out there already. This pool would just make it a little easier to find out about. Martin Weller blogged about the Guardian local project recently and proposed developing something similar for education. I think this could be a first step. I think at this stage in social media we know that there is little point in trying to set up new sites and services. Get people to keep doing what they are doing already- just a little smarter!


  1. I'd say just go for it and see what happens.

    The challenges will be first defining what counts as education-related in your guidelines/removal policy and secondly letting the right people know that the group exists. Most of the successful groups do have moderators who go out looking for suitable content to invite for example or who work hard to build the group into a mini-community. But neither of these challenges are insurmountable!

  2. Hi Juliette,
    Many thanks for the encouragement. I went for it!

  3. A group for educators sounds like a great idea. I'd make a point of suggesting everyone tag, title and describe their pictures as accurately as possible. Tagging can be a collaborative feature on Flickr, if users have that setting enabled.

    This will help others find the pictures, and by extension the group. I had a picture published in National Geographic Traveler recently, presumably because it was suitably tagged and keyworded, so it's worth doing!

  4. Many thanks Geoff. Flickr don't encourage the collaborative tagging feature. I guess there is worry about abuse. It would be great if it was an option for items added to a pool, rather than just a feature at account level.
    And well done on the National Geographic! That's fantastic. Which one?

  5. As much as I love Flickr groups, they could do with a lot more features. Hopefully this is something they are working on.

    National Geographic used this picture of Cardiff library. It's only a small inset image, but I was happy.

  6. That picture is great! So is the piano available for anyone just to sit down at? I can't play but it really gives the message that libraries are not meant to be staid silent places. Lovely.

    Next, it is possible to change your own setting for images that you add to a group through batch organiser. But it isn't possible to change settings for anyone elses images, even if you are the admin of a group in which they are collated. I guess that is sensible enough. I suppose people could suggest tags in comments to be acted on by the owner.
    I made a quick screencast about this:

  7. Tech-nerd comment:

    Oooh - what kind of camera is it????


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