Flickr: Practicum #7

While I will probably use my Flickr account for many more years to come, I figured I would do a final blog post on it now, since I have exceeded the amount of hours required for this practicum project. Recently, I made an album of pictures that are my favorites, and I have included one in this post that has gotten the most comments from viewers. Surprisingly, the majority of pictures in this album are the pictures that were from my old camera during 2010 and 2011 summer, and not taken from my camera I have now, which is known to be better quality.  I have gained many viewers and followers on Flickr, and have made an effort to encourage more of my friends to sign up (I have successfully gotten two people to sign up for the website, and they love it!). Part of the assignment was interacting with members of Flickr and commenting in a media-based social networking way. This has been quite the experience because it is different from anything I have ever been used to. Living in this generation, we are used to Facebook and Twitter and other forms of social networking, but never through the use of pictures and other media devices as the sole purpose of the communication or interaction.  We may use them within the major social networking websites, to send a friend a picture, post a picture of nature, show the world your best pictures from vacation, etc. But never directly in the form of only pictures, such as Flickr.  I have found this entire project to be quite fascinating, and an experience I am glad I was able to have.  It became more than just a class project, because I actually will use this website now and in the future.  I would recommend Flickr to any aspiring or professional photographer, or even someone just wanting to keep their photos organized and in a place where they can express who they truly are.  It is a cool concept to have people come together from all over the world and share a common passion or hobby.

Flickr: Practicum #6

I have been taking pictures with the intent to post them to Flickr.  This past weekend, I had a friend visit and we walked to Picnic Point, taking lots of pictures along the way that I uploaded onto my Flickr page.  Another new update is that I didn’t log on for about a week, and then when I logged on I had all of these requests to follow my account from people I knew.  It was really cool, because it proved that people were looking at my pictures and wanting to follow my photography.  I haven’t received any comments yet, but I’m hoping to soon.  I went through the accounts that I am following, and made some comments on pictures I really liked.  Part of this assignment is to communicate with people in a media-based social networking way, so I figured I would start my adding my own personal comments.  Hopefully people will respond and let me know what they think of my pictures, too.  Some of the questions I asked were in regard to style, place, and focus, and other comments were just if I thought a picture was pretty, cool, or professional.  I asked where pictures had been taken, what lens was used, and if there was any Macro settings or lighting changes.  This was really interesting to me, and I will keep an eye out over the next few weeks to see if people respond to my comments and feedback.

Flickr: Practicum #5 (Wikipedia Entry)

I read through the Wikipedia entry for Flickr, and noticed that they were missing a crucial feature of the website in their description.  I saw that they failed to mention the fact that Flickr greets you in different languages!  Every time you refresh the homepage, it will tell you “hello” in a random culture or language.  It made me laugh because Flickr, as much as it is a media-based social networking website, also provides users with a way to learn languages as they go.  This learning tool is unique to Flickr, and is something that other websites that feature similar aspects like Flickr does fail to include.  I made a Wikipedia account, and clicked “edit” on the Flickr page.  I scrolled down, and using the commands provided in the editing tool, I created a new section called “Features” and added a sentence about the language learning tool.  I wrote, “Flickr allows users to learn languages as they go. On the home page of every user account, there is a greeting in a random language. Users can learn everything from Croatian to Japanese to Sign Language.”  I also checked in the citations/source area at the bottom of the page, and found out that websites like provided information about the homepage, yet people did not mention the aspect about the languages. Necessary or not, I thought my post was original, based off of facts from the website, and contributed in a positive way to the wikipedia page as a whole.

Flickr: Practicum #4 (Presentation Tomorrow)


Tomorrow I will be presenting my practicum project to all of you.  My topic is media-based social networking, where I have been maintaining a Flickr account, and uploading pictures.  I will be uploading more pictures next week once UW Homecoming Week is over, because I’ve been taking a lot for all of the events going on around campus.  This new “photo stream” will be of college and my life, not necessarily trails and nature shots.  In my presentation tomorrow, I will be showing a few pictures I have placed on my Flickr, as well as explaining my journey of how I’ve learned the ins and outs of everything on the site.  I knew nothing about the website when I started off, but now I can explain how things work.  I am also going to be talking about Web 2.0 vs. Web 1.0, and how these media-based social networking websites use professional standards to establish identity and hierarchy. I will also discuss how I have gained followers and requested to be “contacts” with others, mostly people that I know in real life.  The rest you’ll just have to find out tomorrow. 🙂

My question to think about is:

Do you think that the use of multimedia (in this case, pictures) is as effective as using words to communicate with others in a social networking environment?

Thanks everyone! See you tomorrow.

Flickr: Practicum #3

I have been keeping my Flickr updated, and I’m going out tomorrow to take more pictures.  I have posted to my friends on Facebook and Twitter, giving them my user name and saying to follow me.  I have gained several followers/contacts from that, and I will wait and see how I can communicate with them once more add me. I have a whole bunch of followers now, all of which I know from either home, school, or work.   I’m not sure what followers do on Flickr, but I will figure it out.

I have gone out of my way to comment on some people’s pictures, letting them know if I thought they did a good job, or had a cool angle or photo stream.  Right now I have 13 contacts, and I hope to get more as time goes on.  My contacts are people I have met in real life, and mostly my friends, but maybe at some point I will go through the website and request to follow strangers who take good photographs.

There is also something called “testimonials” where people can comment about your skills as a photographer, and whether or not they like your pictures.  For people who get really high testimonials, their Flickr profiles are featured on the website, and therefore more members of the website can find them and comment.  I need to add more albums of pictures, because some Flickr users have tons of photo stream albums, as some people have been members for years.  My goal for this assignment is to get more followers, so I will do everything possible to make that happen.

Flickr: Practicum #2

I have been using Flickr a lot this week, trying to figure it all out and get people to follow me.  I added more pictures to the trail album I put up last time, but noticed there was an extremely slow upload this time around.  Im not sure if it was from the amount of people trying to upload pictures at the same time, or if the server was just slow, but I uploaded about 14 pictures, and it took about half an hour.  I wish it had gone faster, because I wanted to explore the rest of the website.

I have spent a lot of time going through other’s profiles on Flickr and looking at their pictures.  I discovered that the term, “photostream” means the groupings of pictures people put on their page.  I could go through thousands and thousands of people’s profiles, monitoring how often they use Flickr and how they communicate with others through their uses of pictures.  It’s a really cool concept, to communicate with others through images… people really get into it.  It makes me really want to be a great photographer, so that way people can follow my Flickr and know I take awesome photos.  The thing with Flickr which is slightly bothersome is that they have a certain amount of data usage you are allowed to have per month, so as a user, you can only upload a certain amount of photos.  Since it’s now October, my month starts over.  I’ll add pictures from the weekend in a couple of days.

I started to do the final step of creating my Flickr account, and that was searching for my friends.  It is a lot less user-friendly than I thought, because it took me awhile to figure out how to search for people you may know, or easily add them to my list.  I had to “allow” Yahoo to search my Facebook stream of Friends to see who else used Flickr that I knew , and then go from there (which also took an EXTREMELY long loading time).  Once I did this, I was able to go through a long list of my friends and add them as “contacts.”  I was surprised, because I had a lot more friends using Flickr than I had ever thought. I was able to send invitations to people who I wanted to see my pictures, and hope that they would let me follow them in return.  Flickr is a lot like Facebook in the sense that you can upload and comment on pictures, and I hope to gain followers in the same way Facebook lets me, too.

It’s really funny, because now every time I go out I bring my camera, so that I can take pictures to put up on my Flickr.  I’m really getting into it!  Here’s a picture I took while I was in the forests of Canada…and yep, it’s already up on my Flickr!

Figuring out Flickr: Practicum #1

For the practicum project, I am doing Media-based social networking.  I have chosen to focus on the website called Flickr, because I have always been very interested in photography (even though I’m still learning…I got a new camera this summer I’m pretty much obsessed with) and I have seen many of my friends pages over the years.  Starting off, I have been surfing the website and trying to get to know how it works. Going into this project, I had literally NO knowledge on what Flickr even is, besides the ability to share pictures. This weekend I went out of town, and was delayed for hours in the airport on my way back to Madison, so I had lots and lots of time to explore.  I have so say though, even after going through the website, there still are things I do not understand yet.

I started off looking at random accounts, realizing that you can make a Flickr account private (to friends and family) or to the general public.  I found that some of them were jokes, where people did not really care to keep them up.  But some of the profiles were extremely good, and looked like professional photography.  It really made me think about photography and how different lenses and settings can make all the difference in the world.  I made my own account (link is below if you want to follow– my user name is stephwez), following all of the steps needed as a beginner to Flickr.  I now get to know how to say “Hello” in a different language whenever I refresh my homepage, which I thought was a pretty cool feature. 

This weekend on my trip, I went out on a trail and took pictures of random things that maybe the average eye wouldn’t have noticed.  I documented random leaves, rivers, bridges, grass, bees on flowers, tree stumps, and more… eventually uploading them all to my Flickr.  I had no idea that Flickr had a “photostream” or “sets” or “tags”…. I still need to learn all of this Flickr lingo.

Still trying to figure everything out on this website.  I’m still confused on a few of the things, such as how you get followers or see who is following you.  I have spent some time on Google looking up tips and tricks for Flickr. Hopefully in no time, I will be pro.