cc licensed flickr photo shared by elvis_payne

Let’s say you were marooned on the apocryphal desert island that was equipped with a broadband internet connection limited to accessing one web site, what would it be?

Well maybe that is not the question I was framing- most people might claim email or twitter, maybe even (eww) facebook (“status- just cracked a coconut!”) or something with two way video (you survivalists, you, want to stay in touch).

No, I am thinking, if you were limited to one Web 2.0 tool, what would it be?

That’s easy for me- hands down, its the site that spawned a million ideas, experiments, hobby time hours for me– nothing more typifies the experience to me than good old flickr. I’ve sometimes thought of building an entire web 2.0 presentation (not that I do web 2.0 presentations) around flickr.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by The Eggplant

What warmed the fires again this morning was getting a notice that a photo of mine was added to someone’s flickr gallery. a flickr user, kellypuffs, has a excellent set of images (not just because mine is in there, I like the others better) called presentation zen:

This was a feature pretty quietly added a few months ago- I was floored and wrote it as Be a Curator with Flickr Galleries. It is about turning the photo sharing experience from organizing your own photos, to a way of making collections of other people’s photos.

That seems powerful.

What is a flickr gallery?

For whatever you find interesting, fascinating, or mind-blowing on Flickr, galleries are a way to curate up to 18 public photos or videos of your fellow members into one place. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the creativity of your fellow members in a truly unique way around a theme, an idea or just because.

You create a gallery on what ever interests you, scour flickr for other photos people allow to be shared, add them to your gallery, even add your own “wall” label of annotation. You can nly add a maximum of 18 photos, so there is that interesting bit of not just tossing lots of photos into a bin, but picking the best or most interesting (to the gallery owner)

What is also nice for making you look beyond your own spiffy photos is– you cannot add your own photos to your gallery; it is all about showcasing other people’s work.

If I was teaching, I would be all over this as an assignment perhaps in photography or design to have students find photos with certain elements, or for other classes to have students build a gallery of themes (photos of Spain, illustrations of natural patterns, photos of emotions?) – so there is the search and find aspect, but also the piece where the gallery own describes their gallery and why they added the photos.

Are there any teachers out there using flickr galleries? I found it limited to be able to search for examples since I get things related to flickr gallery software, or “galleries’ (just a set of flickr photos) people put on their site.

I don’t think you get email notices of when someone uses your photos, but you can track it in your activity stream (which does have an RSS feed,a nd oh yes, an email notifier link at the bottom).

There is also a private link only a flickr account holder can view to see where your own photos have been used in other people’s galleries- Galleries with your photos is found in URLs like:

where “xxxxx” is your flickr id e.g. mine is

Maybe it is just me, and I always thought flickr image annotating was amazing, but I think flickr galleries are the dog’s pajamas.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by c.

I might just have to make a few more with something other than dogs.

Anyone else out there as jazzed by this?

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. I haven’t gotten into doing galleries, but they would be great for creating presentations of photos published across the flickrverse, as you suggest. gotta play with that.

    for my island resource? that would be a very tough call. my blog? too much of me. I’m stuck on an island. I don’t need _more_ of me 🙂 I’d guess Flickr (assuming I had a digital camera and Aperture on the island). Failing that, I’d settle for twitter for as long as I could stomach it, or fall back on my feed reader…

  2. I agree 100%. Galleries rock! I have a whiteboard in the high school library and am beginning to place images in the gallery that would work well on the whiteboard for vocab development or other thinking activities.

    Your thoughts on using Flickr galleries in the classroom are fabulous.

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