A photograph can send a powerful message. Photo sharing has become an important new media tool that allows you not only to upload, store, and organize your photos, but also allows you to tag, share, and discuss them with your online community. Once again, we turn to Common Craft to explain “Online Photo Sharing in Plain English ”:
One of the most common photo-sharing sites is Flickr . Other popular photo-sharing sites include SmugMug, BubbleShare , Picasa , and Photobucket . These sites share much in common with online social networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace – users can connect with each other, send messages, leave comments, and share photos. In fact, more than 700 million photos are uploaded to Facebook each month!
Photosharing for the HIV/AIDS Community
Many of our colleagues in the HIV community are already using photo-sharing sites to engage, connect, listen, and learn from their volunteers, patients, and colleagues. Here are just a few examples:
- The AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Fight HIV in DC use Flickr to share photos from their events and fundraisers.
- Youthforce , a coalition that facilitates youth-adult partnerships to raise the visibility of youth HIV/AIDS issues, held a photo contest on Flickr, “AIDS in Focus.” Winners were displayed at the Youth Pavilion during the XVII International AIDS Conference last August in Mexico City.
- AIDS Action Committee used Flickr to promote and sell items from their biannual art auction, ARTcetera.
- At AIDS.gov, we geotagged the photos in our Facing AIDS for World AIDS Day 2008 Flickr group so we could map participants’ locations around the world.
- Organizations can also enhance their presentations by using Flickr photos that are protected under various Creative Common licenses . Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that provides tools for creators to grant some of their rights to the public while retaining others.
We spoke to Maude Carroll, Communications Associate at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, about why the AIDS Foundation uses online photo sharing . Maude told us that “the AIDS Foundation of Chicago began using Flickr within the past year, as a way to promote our events and to engage people in a fun and interactive way. We put a link to our Flickr account on our home page, so that our constituents could easily locate photos from our various events. We also use Flickr as a convenient way to archive photos.”
Maude had the following advice for AIDS service organizations: “If you are an AIDS service organization that puts on events of any kind, you should definitely have a photosharing account. On Flickr, users can create their own profiles, comment on, and share each other’s pictures, which helps generate a buzz and creates an additional online presence for your organization. It will give your constituents, as well as the general public, a visual understanding of what your organization is doing in response to HIV/AIDS. By putting a face to the issue, photo-sharing sites, like Flickr, help tell your organization’s story.”
For more inspiration, we encourage you to read Beth Kanter’s article about How Nonprofits Can Get the Most Out of Flickr and Wild Apricot’s Five Ways Nonprofits Can Use Flickr to Reach New Audiences . Also, take a look at the Library of Congress’ blog post and report (PDF 127 KB) on their recent Flickr pilot project.
Do you use photo-sharing sites? Are you considering it? We love to learn from your experiences!