May the Flickr Force Be With You

Michele Walfred is the author of this blog post. She is the Communications Specialist at the University of Delaware in the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources and has a passion for Extension work that runs deep. Michele describes herself as a “perpetual student” and enjoys plunging in and just getting on with learning. She doesn’t fear making mistakes, but rather sees these moments as they truly are: learning experiences. Follow her on twitter @MWalfred as she often shares valuable insight into social media, gardening, photography, and 4-H.


On Feb. 9, Paul Hill shed some light on Understanding Creative Commons and Copyright Laws.

That got me thinking about Flickr and how Delaware Extension is using the world’s largest photo sharing site to offer images we create, own and host on Flickr as a sharing and marketing tool. Many web-based services feed images into Creative Commons. Google, no surprise, is one large source. Another is Flickr. With more than 92 million registered users, 2 million groups (see eXtension’s Flickr group) and an estimated 1 million images uploaded daily, Flickr, with its free one terabyte of storage is not only a significant photographic repository, Flickr is an SEO (search engine optimization) force with labeled images placing high in search engine results. Image owners easily determine if they wish to restrict or share their images. Flickr is extremely flexible.

When we uploaded this picture of a bagworm on our Flickr account, we did several things:

bagworm flickr

  1. Retitled it “bagworms” from the original DSC_1011. Shows up on Google Search
  2. Changed the license to “attribution” (meaning anyone can use it as long as they give us credit)
  3. Placed a hyperlink to our factsheet in the description box
  4. Tagged the photo to help people find it better within the large Flickr community
  5. Added it to the eXtension group
  6. Added it to an album clearly marked as Creative Commons

Monarch butterflies, sunflowers, leaf spots. Think of the possibilities! Point them to your website. At Delaware Cooperative Extension, many of our pictures are available to the public via Creative Commons. Why? It is our mission to share information. When the photo is attributed to us it becomes a branding opportunity for Extension! Pictures of people and events are generally excluded, but flowers, plants, vegetables, crops, farm equipment and insects are perfect Creative Commons ambassadors! We are happy to share these images and we are more than delighted when we see a photo courtesy of Flickr user: Delaware Cooperative Extension attributed in white papers, book reports, blogs, websites, and social and traditional media.

Featured Image courtesy of Rudolf Vlček

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