Chances are you post pictures to flickr because you want other people to see them. In some cases you only want friends or family to see them, in other cases you want to reach a larger audience. Here are five things you should be doing to maximize or minimize the number of people that see your pictures:
- Set the permissions on every picture. There are four levels of permission available on your pictures – everyone, friends, family and just you. If you set the picture to everyone then anyone that finds your profile will be able to see those pictures. Friends and family are allow people that you have assigned to one of those groups to see your photos. This is something you have to to do in advance and it requires that those people have a flickr account. An lastly you can keep your pictures private. There is one CAVEAT to these permissions. Adding pictures to a group or sharing the private URL bypasses the permission settings you have created.
- Set the licensing for your photos. Photos that have a creative commons license will be viewed more often and may even be used on other websites.
- Add meaningful titles, descriptions and tags to your photos. At this time the only way to find a photos is to use a text based search. In order for a text based search to work there must be some text to search. You can make it easier for people to find photos from a particular cache if you include the GC number as a tag or in the title. Keep in mind that people can search for a GC number to find the cache so if you photo includes spoilers you might want to leave the GC number off. Alternatively you can tag the photo as a spoiler that way people can avoid those photos. I sometimes add “spoiler” to the title of the image. In this way people know to avoid the picture if they don’t want to spoil the surprise. There is even a little script that will add links from the cache page directly to any flickr images that include the GC number. Here is a link for more information – geocache2flickr
- Add your pictures to relevant geocaching groups. You have to join the group before you add your pictures to that group. Keep in mind that you group permissions will override the permissions you have set for an image. Even if you have an image set to friends or family other members of the group will see it if you chose to share that image. This is almost like a fifth permission level.
- Add links to your flickr photostream from your other website profiles such as Facebook or your blog. There are even widgets that will show some of your pictures on other websites if you chose to set one of those up. I actually have my Facebook account hooked up to one of my Flickr accounts so that pictures I post on flickr are automatically posted on my Facebook wall.
The steps I mention above will help you introduce your photos to more people. Keep that in mind. In some cases you won’t want to distribute your photos to a large audience . Remember to “reverse” the steps outlined above if you want to keep an image private.
For the curious here is a link to my flickr photostream – cachemania.
This post covers posting pictures to flickr but the concepts apply equally to other photo hosting services such as picasa.