HowTo: Sharing and Tagging in Flickr

Article 2 in my Flickr help will describe very simple ways to share your photos using the power of tags.
Flickr is a folksomonic application. Now this is all web 2.0-speak and is essentially meaningless techno verbage.
But it does mean you can share your pictures in interesting, nay, EXCITING ways!


Using tags effectively

Tags allow a user of flickr to be able to quickly find related pictures by a keyword. [Yes, a tag is just a keyword that you associate with the picture]
When you upload a picture along with a Title and Description you can also add tags.
What is more, when you view a picture you also have an option to “add a tag”! So you can always add new tags, or remove existing, to a picture as you like.
Using tags will eventually become second nature.
But here are some handy tips for you to cut out and keep!

Keep tags simple

Tags should be easy to read. They should also be descriptive of what they represent.
Call a spade a spade. calling it a “personal excavation device” will just make it harder to find later. [Even if it is amusing at the time]

Be generous

Put as many relevant tags as possible on your photo.
I generally have at least 5 relevant tags. It makes it easier when you are searching later.
You may have forgotten it was in Kyoto that you saw the geisha, but by adding the following tag list you can always find it; geisha geiko Kyoto Japan japanese japanesevacation2005

Make sure to use Speech marks if the tag is longer than one word

I do not bother too much with this. I just remove all the spaces from my tags so instead of japanese vacation 2005 it becomes japanesevacation2005. Still readable.
If you want a tag with spaces then you MUST wrap your tag in the “” speech marks.

Sharing your tagged photos … Better than SETS!

To use sets you have to navigate the powerful Organizr application.
Some people find this daunting and a little intimidating.
You can, however, have something that acts just like a set, but it is powered by tags!
Say you have a new born baby called Laura, born in 2006.
If you tag all your photos of Laura with babyLaura2006, or some such unique and descriptive tag, then you can share all these, and ONLY these, photos with your friends and family.

The link http://www.flickr.com/photos/YourFlickrID/tags/babyLaura2006/ will link directly to ALL pictures that have the babyLaura2006 tag.

This allows you to flexibly add new pictures to this virtual set by just adding the babyLaura2006 tag to them.

Of course you MUST make sure the permissions on the pictures are set correctly.
But unlike the powerfull organizr application it is not as easy to change the permissions on the pictures shared using this method. You usually end up changing the permissions a picture at a time.
So it is important to get the permissions right when you upload the picture.

But I still prefer this more dynamic and natural way of sharing pictures to the traditional sets.
As I naturally tag all my pictures it is easy to link to public pictures of tagged with the tag me should I so wish.

As I add more photos with this tag the content of the page changes to reflect the new pictures.

You also have most of the functionality of sets, such as slideshows.

Explore tags and you will find them a rewarding and innovative way to organise your photos.

Good luck.

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