Session 4: Using Visuals

Why Important
  • A picture is worth a 1,000 word-post. Blogs with pictures tell a far more interesting story than those without.
  • There are millions of posts being written, those with photos grab attention
  • Photos make your posts more engaging and appeal your reader's emotional senses
  • Help improve reader comprehension
  • Photos add a personal touch to your blogging which invites more conversation
  • For those reading via a RSS readers, this encourages them to "pop" out of their reader because RSS readers are text-based designs. Scanning the images slows people down.
  • Helps with search engine optimization
  • Images are good at the start of your post to draw people into reading it
  • It is also great to use images throughout your post for visual examples of what you're writing about
  • Images may help you make your points in a stronger way

Examples of Using Images in Blog Posts

Where to Get Photos
  • You can purchase stock photos
  • You can take your own with a digital camera, don't need anything fancy
  • Screen capture software like "Snag It"
  • Social photo sharing sites like Flickr

Understanding Copyright and Creative Commons Licensing
  • What is the difference between copy right and CC licensing?
  • What are the difference flavors of CC licenses?
  • How it works in Flickr

Some pointers
  • Is the subject of the photo copyrighted? If the photo is of, say, a TV screen showing a newscast or a newspaper page showing a staff photo, then you still might be liable for copyright violation despite the terms of the CC license listed on Flickr or elsewhere.
  • Does the Flickr user really have rights to the image? Unfortunately, many Flickr users post to their accounts images that they did not take and don't have permission to use. In that case, their CC license is invalid. If you're not sure, ask before using.
  • Is the image genuine? Remember, any photo (even from allegedly reputable pro photojournalists) can be faked or altered. If you have doubts about authenticity, investigate before running the image.
  • Protect yourself. Save or print the screen where you found the photo that shows the CC license notation.

Whenever you use a CC-licensed photo that you find on Flickr or elsewhere, it's a good idea to leave a comment or send a note to the photographer thanking them and giving the link to where you ran it. That's more than just being polite -- it also can prevent criticism that you're exploiting unsuspecting amateurs. In photography, as elsewhere, appearances count.

Quick Primer and Introduction to Flickr

Let's go look at Flickr


Pro Blogger Posts and Tips about Images

Creative Commons

Flickr 101: Techniques
Flickr for Beginners: Tips from LifeHacker
How to get the most out of flickr

Using Flickr Photos As Source Material
Screencast: Using Flickr As A Resource for Presentations
Ten Tips for Finding Great Photos on Flickr
Amy Gahran's Advice on Using Flickr Photos As Source Material
Do you think the photos in flickr are crap? Ha

More Advanced Techniques
Top Ten Flickr Hacks
Flickr Tools
Fd Toys - fun stuff with the flickr API

Screencapture Software

BB Flashback via this comment on my blog
CamStudio (PC) (OS) (Screencast tutorial here)
Wink (PC) (OS)
Question: Which free screen capture should I use?

Photo Attribution