Not only is Flickr an affordable platform for off-site storage of your photo collection, it also provides some impressive social features. One of those is Flickr Groups. A Flickr Group consists of a Photo Pool and a Discussion board. Groups are created for topics and/or events. For example, you might create a group to collect photos from a family reunion. Anyone attending the reunion can take pictures and upload them to their Flickr account, then choose to share them to the reunion group.
As the group administrator, you control who can participate in the group. A group can be open to any Flickr user, open by invitation only or kept private. You also set the guidelines for your group and can choose to review submissions before they appear in the group. Only group members can add photos to a group, but you can open viewing to non-members if you wish. Flickr members who submit photos to a group still maintain control of them and can remove them from the group at any time. Photos set at a viewing level of Private by their owner will only be visible to group members when shared to a group.
Groups can also be useful to help you learn more about your family history. This is a group I just created for my Barker family in Georgia. My goal is to attract research cousins and to learn more about this family. Why do this on Flickr rather than Facebook? Here’s just a few good reasons:
- My photos are uploaded at their original resolution – not downgraded to save space.
- Embedded metadata is automatically added to the photo’s information page.
- There are a number of organizational tools available including albums, collections and groups.
- I determine how my photos will be licensed (copyrighted, Creative Commons licenses or public domain) and who can view them (only me, family, friends, everyone).
- Flickr is very search friendly.
- Flickr is also quite social, with comments, groups and Flickr Mail.
- It’s easy to download photos and share them with other social networks and blogs.
Take advantage of Flickr’s features to encourage your family to protect and share their photos here too. I’m hoping my Barker family group will both inspire my family and attract research cousins. With luck we’ll soon have a growing and accessible family archive of both current and historic photos.
If you’d like to learn more about Flickr, check out these related articles.