I have to talk a bit more about Flickr, the photo storing and sharing website, and then it’s back to the back yard. Yesterday I talked about searching Flickr and copyright issues. Another cool thing about being a Flickr member is joining a “Group.” All that means is that someone has organized a page dedicated to a certain type of photo. Almost all groups are open to everyone and have some guidelines. Usually there is an active moderator who looks over the photos and edits if necessary. For example, my nature study club, the Webster Groves Nature Study Society, has a group called Nature Study with WGNSS. Anyone who has an interesting photo of nature is invited to join the group and share it. Visit the group, click “Join.” Then use the “Actions” menu above your photos to “Add to a group.”
Of course, you don’t have to share a photo or be a member of WGNSS to join our Flickr group. The main advantage to joining a group is that Flickr makes it easy to find your groups out of the infinite number of groups offered. There is also a discussion board for each group, most of which specify that only members can participate in discussion posts.
The next cool thing is to view the “slideshow.” The group’s home page will display 12 photos. At the bottom right is a link to “>>More.” You can choose to look at one photo by clicking the thumbnail or—better yet—at top right, click “Slideshow.” Flickr now shows each of the photos at full screen for a few seconds.
Some groups I like are: The Ozarks, Missouri Birds, Signs Signs, Missouri Native Plants, and Droplets on Leaves, just to name a few. With a free membership, you can join 10 groups. On your Flickr home page, you can search for a group that’s centered around your favorite topic.
Maybe the most fascinating group is ID Please! People submit a photo of a bug, bird, fern, or fungus that they can’t identify. Members from around the globe respond by commenting on the photo. Now, when I can’t be out in the field arguing over an Empidonax flycatcher or a skipper butterfly, I can trade ideas and hear from experts online.
Thanks to my Flickr friend Hector for his amazing photo of Northern Flickers© in Coquitlam, British Columbia!