I can’t wait to try this out!
Yesterday Flickr introduced their site redesign along with an important announcement. All users get 1TB of photo storage and the ability to share those photos at full resolution. You can upload videos in full HD quality. The length of these videos has been upped to 3 minutes each. In addition, a new Android phone app has been released. The iPhone app was updated several weeks ago and it is impressive (review coming soon).
The Pro subscription is no longer available. Existing Pro accounts can continue to renew their subscriptions if they so desire. If a Pro account is not renewed, it will revert to a standard account. In place of the Pro account, Flickr is offering two fee-based options: Doublr which adds an additional terabyte of storage to your account and Ad-Free which removes all ads from your Flickr pages. Each of these services will cost you $49.99 a year.
For most of us, a terabyte of storage should be plenty. After all, that means more than 500,000 photos. (I’ve got just under 6,000 on Flickr at the moment.) I’ve had a pro account for so long I can’t remember what Flickr looks like with advertising, but I’m sure I could live with it to protect my images. I will continue to renew my Pro account as long as Yahoo! will let me and I will continue to recommend its use as an off-site archive for both current photos and scanned images. The social side of Flickr has always been a delight and I’m hoping to see Flickr and Tumblr working together in fun and fascinating ways very soon.
I am a long-time fan of Flickr as an affordable off-site archive and I’m very happy to see Yahoo! giving it the attention it deserves. If you haven’t visited Flickr recently, now would be a good time to get re-acquainted.
We’ve all heard the quote, “Write your past for your future.” I’ve been using my Day One journal apps to capture memories along with the current events and notes related to my world. Day One has both Mac and iOS versions of the app – all sharing the same cloud-based storage. This makes it easy for me to use my iPhone to photograph a ticket stub or brochure to go along with the related story.
All of the senses are involved in family history. The way things sound, feel, even a change in the weather helps lead you back.
~ D. G. Fulford, One Memory at a Time
My favorite inspiration is an old photo, but there are always those flash-back moments when an old song or a familiar scent brings an associated memory to mind. Having those journaling apps nearby – my iPad or iPhone is almost always within reach – makes it easy to at least jot down a couple of words before that memory fades. The rest of the story can be expanded later.
Do you have a system for capturing the stories from your past? What inspires your memories?
Lots of publishing news this week – from Google+ updates to Flipboard magazines to the rumors that Yahoo! wants to buy Tumblr. You’ll also find plenty of creative ideas. If you aren’t a subscriber, you can see this week’s edition online.
I am fascinated with the possibilities that Google + and Hangouts offer the genealogy community. And, with the new mobile apps things are getting even better. Hangouts gives us all the flexibility of Apple’s FaceTime but without the only-Apple-devices limitations. I am especially fascinated with the Communities feature and the potential they offer. Pat and Russ are the pioneers in this area with the DearMYRTLE community. There’s a lot to be learned from their examples – and their always informative Hangouts on Air.
I’ve noticed a RootsMagic Users community along with communities for African-American Genealogy, Cemetery Photography, Evidentia users and Civil War Research. I find these focused communities much more interesting than the generic genealogy or family history ones. Right now I belong to the Evernote community which is very informative, but I have to wade through a lot of things that don’t apply to my use of Evernote to find each nugget I can use. Having an Evernote in Genealogy community would put the focus closer to my needs while still being broad enough to cover any number of genealogical uses. So I built it.
If you’re using Evernote as a research tool, I hope you will join us at Evernote in Genealogy and share your experiences, tips and best practices.
I’m also looking forward to discovering even more topic-focused communities in genealogy and family history. This could get very interesting (and useful) very quickly.
I’m a big fan of Flickr. Not only is it a great place to share photos, it’s a very affordable option for a photo archive. For $25/year, you can upload all the photos you want – at their original resolution. You determine who can view any or all of them and Flickr provides some very nice tools to organize and document them. And, those images are safely tucked away in an online archive should a disaster destroy the originals stored in your home/computer.
Flickr has several methods for uploading photos to your online collection – all of them quite easy. In this article, I’m going to demonstrate the how to best use the free Flickr Uploadr desktop app [Win & Mac]. The app looks and functions the same whether you working on a Mac or a PC.
Here you see the empty screen waiting for me to add photos. You’ll notice I’ve already connected the app to my Flickr account. I did this once and the app remembers me from then on. To add photos, I can drag and drop the files onto the uploader or click the Add button and use my system’s file manager to find the photos I want. Each one added appears as a thumbnail in the app.
Need to rotate a photo or two? No problem. I just select its thumbnail and then click the arrow key to rotate it until it’s upright. Also visible at the top of the screen is the size of this photo batch. In this case, these 11 photos come to a total 42.3MBs. This is important for users with free Flickr accounts. Free accounts have a 300MB/month upload limit. Pro accounts don’t have a limit.
Next I’m going to select all of the images and choose the metadata settings that will apply to all. You see the metadata fields on the right. The settings I choose will be assigned to each selected image. I’ve set the permissions level for who can see these photos, added tags (keywords) common to them all, chosen the safety level, content type and added the sets where these photos will be placed. Sets are organizational elements within Flickr. You might want to think of them as albums. I can choose the set (or sets) by clicking the plus sign in front of the title. My selections appear on the right. If there isn’t an appropriate existing set, I can create a new one by clicking the button and entering the name for the new set.
When I enter tags for my photos, I think of the keywords I would use to search for a photo such as this one. In Flickr, multi-word tags must be enclosed in quotation marks.
Now I can select each photo individually and add the metadata unique to it – usually titles and descriptions but maybe some additional tags too. Once all this is done, I click the Upload button and the app will do the rest. If I’m uploading a large batch, it can take some time to complete. The app displays the progress as it works and lets me know when it’s finished.
I can do all these tasks from within the Flickr platform, but it’s slower when working online because I have to wait for screens to refresh. And, since my first priority is to upload the images so there’s a off-site backup of these photos, I’m often uploading “raw” (unedited) images. In those cases, I upload them as private (for my eyes only) and then change that setting once I’ve had a chance to review, edit, cleanup, delete, whatever.
Flickr is a very affordable off-site archive solution for the family historian, but that’s just the beginning. There are many useful, fascinating and fun things you can do with your photos using Flickr. Stay tuned . . .
With the demise of the Posterous blog platform thanks to a sellout to Twitter and Google Reader’s upcoming shutdown, I’m beginning to realize how dangerous free services can be. When you are a paying customer, you have clout. If you’re not happy it’s going to impact the business’s profits and they are going to work hard to keep you – and your money – happy. In the tech world, startup services and platforms often begin with free features. They could have a plan for generating revenue – maybe with a premium service in addition to the free one – or they may just want to get popular enough to attract a buyer. Generally, we (the users) don’t have a clue what their plan is and should remain wary. Even the big guys like Google will pull the plug on a popular service like Reader when they want to point you to a different service. So what if they lose a few (thousand) free customers?
That being said, I’m a firm believer that competition and profit are great motivators. I’ve spent the $5 to reserve an account at Posthaven and I’m amazed at the effort they have made to give us Posterous users a safe alternative. The data migration effort alone was huge! As soon as the email posting and distribution features are functional, $60/year will be a small price to pay to get our family’s private “news service” up and running again. The fact that I can have 9 additional blogs as part of that price is very nice – and will likely be put to good use – but it’s knowing that the developers will do everything they can to keep the platform up, running and well-maintained that is the top of my priority list.
There’s a lot of effort underway to develop alternatives to Google Reader. I have been using the Reeder apps [Mac & iOS] and they are working hard to provide multiple alternatives for managing feed subscriptions and keeping everything in synch across the apps. They have a couple of solutions in place on the iPhone app – both of them requiring a paid subscription. Until the Mac and iPad apps are updated with alternative solutions, those apps are free in the App Store. I’ve paid the $2 to try the iPhone app with Feedbin and so far it works great. The iPhone app even lets me choose which feed service (Google’s still there for now) I want to use. Feedbin also has a web-based reader so it should soon be covering all my reading options. Feedbin’s subscription management is still a bit clunky, but I’m sure that will improve as their customer base grows. I wouldn’t be surprised to see other feed management options appearing either.
With Google out of the market, there’s money to be made in the news-reading business and I think we’re about to have a number of impressive options. Moving away from free could turn out to be a very good thing.
Here’s a situation where I had no supporting images for the story. So, I used a current photo of a shrimp boat coming through the bridge. I then used an app [SketchMee for Mac - $7.99] to convert the photo to a monochrome (sepia) sketch. I did this for two reasons. First, the story is set back in the 1950s so the sepia image gives it a bit of a vintage feel, and second, using a monochrome color scheme reduced the contrast between the sky and the clouds – making it easier for the text to stand out. The font used in this example is Jayne Print.
We all know how well Twitter lets us keep up with friends and family, but did you know how useful Twitter is for news? Twitter lets users organize the people and organizations they follow into lists. These lists can then be used to create topic-specific news feeds. The @genBUZZ user offers several genealogy-related lists providing a sort of genealogy version of the Associated Press. The @genBUZZ lists let you follow (keep up with) specific topics that match your interests. For example, there’s a list for archives, another for old photographs and another for society news.
This is all well and good, but just how do you keep up with the topic of your choice? To do that you need to know how to follow a list.
If you know the username for a person or organization, you can easily visit their list page using this URL: https://twitter.com/[username]/lists. So, https://twitter.com/genbuzz/lists will display the page you see above. Scroll through the lists and when you see one you find interesting, click on the list title to display its page.
From here you can see samples of the tweets being feed by this list as well as the Twitter users who make up the list. If this is a list you want to follow, just click on the Subscribe button and it’s added to your Twitter feed. You don’t have to follow a Twitter account to follow one or more of its lists.
While you can “read” the list in your favorite web-based twitter app, there’s a growing number of mobile device apps which will turn that 140 character tweet into a delightful reading experience. Probably the best of these is Flipboard [iOS & Android - free]. It supports Twitter lists as well as searches. Once you have followed a list in your Twitter account, it appears in Flipboard under Accounts > Twitter > Lists You Follow. All you have to do is tap the list name to add it as a Flipboard content section.