There’s an interesting blog post from Timo at the Red Cross about the use of Flickr to showcase the international development and humanitarian work done by that agency (thanks Nadejda on KM4dev for the tip). The Red Cross Flickr stream is really a terrific site and well worth a visit. Where I work, AusAID has a Flickr site too.
Timo’s blog post cites eight lessons learned from the experience of using Flickr:
1. know your audience
2. newsworthiness beats quality
3. less is more
4. understand what you want to achieve
5. use Flickr groups
6. appreciate the work of others
7. need to give solid attention to Flickr to maintain traffic
8. be careful with creative commons licensing
What is missing, and Timo alludes to this in his blog post, is that Flickr needs better integration with other applications. Timo suggests that Flickr needs to better integrate with Facebook, for example. In addition, I think we also need to work out how better to use Flickr to tell the stories behind the photos. I still feel that the images, words and tags are not enough to really give me a strong sense of place and story. There is greater potential for education and learning beyond just the images themselves, albeit I know how powerful images can be in their own right.
It would be great to be able to link the photos to a short podcast, perhaps a narrative fragment from one of the image subjects, to really give stronger context to the individual images. Not sure if this is possible, but I am certain narrative would add to the user-experience.