February 18, 2005

I'm Going Flickr

Biblioblogs, in a fantastic way, allow senior, junior, and wannabe scholars to engage others in current issues in the field. The newest-at-the-top format indigenous to the blog places a great emphasis on new material. The downside is that the delightful gems tucked away in the archives are sometimes "out of sight, out of mind". A real indicator of this is the plethora of broken image links, particularly those blogs hosted at the blogging service web site.

Roy Brown emailed me a couple '04 photos this week, which prompted me to go looking for others. Jim Davila's SBL pics on his biblioblog had broken links--no unusual occurence in web space. And this prompted me to take a look at what flickr.com has to offer. It is the most popular image hosting service, and I think it offers some splendid features. I have a few ideas for how biblioblog authors and readers might benefit:

  • For any images you add to your photostream that you deem of interest to bible scholars in general
    1. add them to the biblioblog group at Flicker, so that anyone interested can go and view the set of images made available to the group
    2. and even more exciting, give them descriptive "tags" so that they'll be found when searched for
  • Here's where the real benefit comes in, I think. If we agree on some standard tags (within this amoeba of ), you can subscribe to feeds to let you know when a new image has been posted with a specific tag. For instance, let's say we use the tag "Biblioblog" to give to images we think bible scholar/biblioblogging/e-list types might be interested in. Then, simply subscribe to the RSS 2.0 or Atom feed for "biblioblog" and you get an update whenever an image has been placed on Flickr with that tag. (Update: You can also subscribe to a feed for the Biblioblog flicker group, and in that way recieve notice when a photo has been added to the group itself.)
  • The benefits get even more absurd when we combine this with the brilliance of Technorati.com. Remember this all started with my search for SBL photos? Well, just have a look at the tag "SBL" at Technorati.com. It collects weblog articles, Flickr images, and del.icio.us/Furl bookmarks that possess the same tag, offering a compiled sampling on a given topic. (Have a look at their "What's a tag?" link for more info.)
  • But back to the more basic, Flickr gives me a static place to host images I use in my web pages
  • And on a personal note, I can create any number of custom sets of images offering, for instance, a static link to pics of my kids that my parents just love.
Those of you who read AKMA, probably most, are familiar with the whole saga of his love/hate relationship with . If you're not familiar with Flickr in particular, here is a recent post touting its benefits.
The restrictions for a free account seem reasonable.
  1. No limit on how much "space" you have
  2. You can upload a max of 10 megs per calendar month
  3. Don't go 90 days without any activity, or your free count will go defunct.

Well, all this was just to encourage, if you're not 100% set on how you host your web images, it seems to me you would do well to check into Flickr.

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