Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Things 9 and 10: "See'st thou this sweet sight?"

This post is late and disjointed because I've been swallowed whole by the Flickr ministracts pool and am still struggling to surface back in the real world. (As evidenced by my accidental publishing of my notes for this post. D'oh!) It was all the fault of Sir Cam's interpretation of Nick Turvey's sculpture 'Chief' at the Fitzwilliam Museum's Sculpture Promenade, so I'm fully blaming the Cam23: they recommended him.

I've used Flickr for my personal photos for a while, and don't have any complaints about it as a tool for organising (both heirarchically and with tags) and sharing images.  Elsewhere across the Cam23-o-sphere (do you think that name will catch on?) a few posts about Flickr have caught my eye: I disagree with Andy Priestner regarding the necessity (or otherwise) to credit photographs used online - I think it's bad manners not to, so I always try to include credit, at the very least in the alt and title tags on images; Isla analyses well the difference in utility between Flickr and Google; and Helen concludes that Flickr might be good, but it's not for her.

I feel, though, that the focus of Things 9 and 10 on the use of images for library posters and presentations is misplaced.  Its a useful tool because of the availability of rights information, but it's not a good place to find stock photos.  I'm much more interested in it as a tool for institutions wanting to publicise their own images and collections.  I'd already heard about the British Postal Museum and Archive's use of Flickr to engage with philatelists, to amass postal-service-related images, and find out more about some of their photographs, and quick searches for 'library' and 'museum' in the people field turned up hundreds, including:
Some of these photostreams seem to be for internal use - photographs of events and photos for use on blogs.  But many of them are clearly outward-facing, and some have also set up groups for other Flickr users to add their own photos of relevant material - an interesting means of visitor engagement:
Vanessa Lacey wonders if Flickr could be used to promote retrospective cataloguing projects, and these institutions provide interesting models for collection and project promotion via Flickr.

Oh, I Wordled, too, with text from A Midsummer Night's Dream.  Wordsearch fans, have a look for 'dead athenian snout' (click on the pictures to make them larger).  A top Wordle tip is to right-click on words that you want to remove.

P.S. To show I can do the searching-for-creative-commons-licensed-photos-Thing, here are a couple of licensed pictures that caught my eye.  Other eye-catchers (licensed and otherwise) can be seen in my galleries and my favourites (ongoing projects, both).
'Stitch closeup' by unertlkm on Flickr'Abstract' by tanakawho on Flickr


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