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February 10, 2012 / caitlynzim

Persuading the MMC Team: Why Flickr?

Flickr is primarily a photo posting website which, for Marine Cadastre, could be useful to share screen grabs, product pages, rack cards and conference photos. But it also is becoming a video sharing website. This means that Marine Cadastre could create one account to serve both purposes.


Potential Benefits to Flickr

Flickr at the basic level is a photo sharing site that allows unlimited uploads of photos and limited uploads of videos – Pro allows unlimited video uploads. Users of Flickr can seek out ‘friends’ and share specifically with these users or share publicly and even control the copyright. A Flickr account would allow storing photos for use on Twitter; Twitter stores photos that have been tweeted but you cannot add extra photos. This way, Marine Cadastre could link to screen grabs that could aid in user support.

A Flickr account would be very easy to manage and require little manpower. Photos and videos would be uploaded and then comments would be moderated on a semi-regular basis to check for inappropriate comments, questions or other comments that require response.

Out of a short list of stakeholders, NOAA, NOAA Research, NOAA NSSL, NOAA Ocean Explorer, NOAA NOS, American Wind Energy (AWE), EPA (US and regional), EcoTrust, TNC (US and regional), and the Ocean Conservancy all have Flickr accounts.


Potential Drawbacks to Flickr

One shortcoming of Flickr is that the video sharing is limited to 2 video uploads per month. In order to get unlimited uploads the account must be upgraded to Pro which is $24.95 per year or $47.99 for two years. It seems that 2 uploads per month might be realistic apart from the initial set-up of getting existing videos on to the account and the price is not outrageous, we would just need to allot for it in the budget.

As with all government NOS accounts, content (including photos) posted on this site needs to be posted to a government site first and linked back to it. Screen grabs are allowed as long as the link leads back to the original source of the screen grab (website or map) and Twitter or Facebook can be used to broadcast these photos and other photos/videos on Flickr as long as the photo/video includes a link back to the MMC website.

Overall, Flickr could have benefits of easy storage of photos and potentially videos with little manpower. It will also increase the power of the MMC Twitter and Facebook accounts and allow it to link to photos and videos.


SIDENOTE: At the time of writing this original proposal, the team had not yet decided to go with Facebook. Since then, we have obviously launched a Facebook site and then decided to use Facebook’s photo and video capabilities in the mean time before pursuing another social media site. However, this does not mean that you should not use Flickr…


How does this apply to you?

Flickr has the potential to be a powerful sharing tool. Want to show off pictures from that conference you presented at last week? Want to tweet pictures of your lab picnic from earlier today? Flickr allows you to upload those photos and easily share them.

However, Flickr is not the only site that offers these benefits. Facebook possesses picture uploading capabilities – with no limit, you can tag people, etc, etc – as well as video uploads meaning less sites to manage. Tumblr is another site that fills the same photo void. And there is always more where that came from. Tweeting from Facebook links back to a Facebook page, which some users might not like, but Tumblr links to a picture and a description on the Tumblr website, just like Flickr.

So, if you have pictures to share, check out Flickr. Play around on the site and see if you like the feel of it. There’s never any harm in signing up seeing as the basic is free and it will not stop you from signing up for a site like Tumblr later.


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