Getting started in FlickR


Media sharing

Media sharing services allow rich media content such as digital images, audio and video to be uploaded, tagged and shared with other users of the service and the world wide web. They use tagging to organise user based content and rss to distribute and syndicate the content.

Online photo sharing in plain English


Flickr is an online image storage and sharing website. In addition to being a popular Web site for users to share personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers as a photo repository. Its popularity has been fueled by its innovative online community tools that allow photos to be tagged and browsed by folksonomic means (Wikipedia). For teachers it is also a valuable source of images for illustrating teaching materials and publications.

FlickR allows you to upload, store and share images or short (90 secs) video clips free of charge. To speed up your upload it's important to resize your photos first using any graphics editing program to maximise your allowable uploads– 800 x 600 pixels for eg is ideal for digital stories. If you do not have an editing program installed on your computer there are a range of good applications online - see our online image editor page for examples.

The following introduction is from the COFA 'Learning to teach online' series



Step by step

Register with Yahoo

To use FlickR you must have a Yahoo account.
Head into FlickR and register with Yahoo by clicking the CREATE YOUR ACCOUNT button on the homepage and then the SIGN UP button on the following page.

Developing your profile

Log in to your account and from your homepage, click on the YOU pull-down menu and select YOUR PROFILE.
Click on the EDIT YOUR PROFILE button in the top right corner of the page to adjust your site name, personal details, online spaces etc.

Adjusting your account

Also under the YOU pull-down menu you can click on and edit your ACCOUNT details.
In this section you can set your privacy and permissions (see tab at top), your default copyright licence and upgrade, if you wish, to a PRO account - this costs around $30/yr but provides unlimited uploads, sets etc.
The default copyright licence is "All Rights Reserved". If you are happy for others to make use of your images it's important to change this. Many people select the Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons Attribution but you need to read each option and select carefully.

Uploading images

You can upload images to FlickR from a computer -using the upload tool embedded in the site - click on UPLOAD PHOTOS on your homepage
or from a mobile device - see instructions on the Mobile Tools page
To minimise the upload time, particularly if you are operating on low bandwidth, resize your images first.

Tagging your images

In order to easily access and share your images it's important to tag them with relevant terms or key words.
If your images are part of a group project, you are likely to find group-agreed tags useful in addition to your own personal choices.
For an overview of the concept of tagging click here.

Organising your images

Once you have a large amount of images in your account you'll want to organise them. With a free account you can create 3 sets (groups) for your images. PRO accounts can have unlimited SETS and also COLLECTIONS which are groups of sets with a common feature.
Click on ORGANIZE - Your sets and collections pull down menu to do this. You can also add extra tags to SETS in this area.

Editing your image details

It's easy to edit the title (click on text), description (from the thumbnail page of your photostream) add tags (click on 'add tag' from the image page) of images once they are uploaded.
To edit groups of images click on the ORGANIZE drop-down menu and select ALL YOUR CONTENT or SETS as applicable.

Using and attributing images

Whether you use your own images or the work of others, and regardless of (usable) licence, it's vital to attribute the work.
You should provide the account name of the image 'owner' and a link to the image page.

Locating usable images in FlickR

Given that the default licence in FlickR is 'All Rights Reserved' and that most users do not alter that, you CANNOT automatically use images you find.
Check the CC Licence setting on the image page (see image below). If usable you can click on the licence title to ascertain uses and restrictions.
You can find FlickR pics that are licenced for use via the advanced search settings. Enter a tag into the search box and when you have the results click on ADVANCED and select the bottom Creative Commons option on the page.

Links and Resources

FlickR website
Wikipedia definition and information
Geek to Live: Flickr Advanced User Guide
Top 10 FlickR toys
YouTube - Video Sharing service
Blip.TV - Video Sharing service
podomatic - Podcasting Service
Podding Downunder - Michael Coghlan's podcast
Sydney People podcast - Audio snaphots of our multicultural city. Rosa Ochoa
NSW LearnScope podcast
Talking VTE podcast
The flickr stream from the ACAL conference

FlickR Activities

1. Go to the FlickR site at Note the links for SIGNING UP (via Yahoo) and SIGNING IN as a registered member.

2. Try searching for an area of interest by typing a word into the SEARCH BOX and clicking GO

3. Click on an image you like the look of.

4. Have a look at the owners profile by clicking on the name it was uploaded by. When you're ready, use the BACK button in the browser to return to image page.

5. Check out the licence on the image set by the owner. You find this on the right hand side of the screen under the listed TAGS and a heading ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. Can you use the image? ‘All rights reserved’ is the default for FlickR uploads. Often people are still willing to allow use of their images (particularly for educational purposes) if you contact them first by email indicating the URL of the image you would like to use. Further information on licence options is available at**

6. If you want to use an image from FlickR in your teaching materials it is often easier to start your search in the Creative Commons site (their licencing standards are used by FlickR). Go to and click on the IMAGE option.
Enter your search word again.
There are 4 sources of images offered - FlickR is the default.
All these images offer some level of public use - usually for non-commercial purposes and with acknowledgment.

7. Click on an image you like. Note the licence on this image. To save the image to your computer, right click on the image and select the SAVE IMAGE AS option.

8. Most licences require acknowledgment of owner. Make a note of the owners name (from profile) and the image’s URL (right click and select COPY IMAGE LOCATION). These should be provided with the image when used.


Work through the ‘how to’ guides on the wiki to set up your own FlickR account and upload an image from MY PICTURES on the computer you are using.

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