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Considering a Flickr Site

Photo sharing is one of the greatest uses of the Web. Flickr is the most popular photo-sharing Web site around, largely because it's so easy to use.

Photos have a mixed track record on the Web. Scanning in a printed photo was a hassle. But an even bigger problem was that photos tended to be big (many megabytes in size), and therefore slow to upload to a site and slow to download when someone wanted to see a Web page with a photo.

But now, more and more people have mobile phones that take pictures and digital cameras. These pictures don't need to be scanned in — and they're automatically compressed, using the JPEG standard, to about 100KB or so. A 100KB photo is just a tenth of a megabyte in size, and is therefore much quicker to upload and download, especially for the increasing number of people who have broadband Web access.

Uploading a photo to Flickr

Here's a quick guide to getting a photo onto Flickr:

1. Get a JPEG photo onto your system.

The easiest way is to upload or e-mail a photo to yourself from your mobile phone. Or, copy pictures from a digital camera. Or copy a photo from the Web — use a search engine to find images that are free for use.

2. Open your Web browser and go to www.flickr.com.

3. Sign in to Flickr.

If you're already a Yahoo! or Flickr member, click the Sign In link on the home page and use your ID to sign in. If not, click Sign up! and create an ID.

4. Click the Upload your first photo link.

5. Click the Browse button.

The Choose File dialog box appears over the Upload Photos page. Note that you can easily specify up to six photos at a time.

6. Use the Choose File dialog box to locate an image — or several images.

Find an image on your PC to upload to Flickr. Repeat to upload multiple images.

Make sure not to upload an image if you think anyone in the picture may not want their face plastered on the Web.

7. Add one or more tags to describe the image(s).

For now, just pick a descriptive word or two. You can always edit tags later.

8. Choose your desired privacy settings.

You specify friends and family by adding them to lists. When the person signs in, they get the access you've specified.

9. Upload your photos.

Click the Upload button; your photos are uploaded, and Flickr creates various preview and thumbnail versions for use in various places.

10. Add titles, descriptions, and tags to your photos.

Now's the time! It's easy to skip this step, but if you don't do this now, you may never get around to it.

11. Save your photos. Finally, you're on Flickr!

Modifying photos on Flickr

One of the great things about Flickr is that the people who created it have thought through the whole process. They don't make you fix a photo before you upload it, or figure out every detail of a description the first time — you can change most things after you upload a picture. For example, you can annotate a picture; order prints; rotate a picture; change privacy settings; and change the title, description, and tags.

Follow the instructions below to modify your photos:

1. Click on a photo you've uploaded to Flickr.

2. Click on the button you want to apply to the photo, and finish the action you've chosen.

Depending on what you've chosen to do — add a note, order prints, and so on — you'll be prompted to take one or more steps to finish the action.

3. Click OK to complete the action.

The screen reappears with the update you've chosen.

4. Add comments.

Comments make photos more interesting — and you can use basic HTML codes to format them.

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