Flickr adds embeddable slideshows! Yaaay!

I use Flickr lots. For sharing little videos in my river blog posts, for finding creative-commons-licensed images to accompany my news stories, and for sharing my pictures with the world so that they might find their way into neat places like the Wikipedia.

And now I can embed slideshows! Woo!

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=58979

Click the little arrows-in-a-box icon for fullscreen.

UPDATE: They also added videos to slide shows. They play automagically. (There are a few videos at the end of this set, if you’d like a demo.)

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=58979

I love Flickr.

(Thanks to ReadWriteWeb and Mashable for the heads up.)

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Video how to: find Creative Commons-licensed images on Flickr

Last week, I posted about finding and using Creative Commons-licensed content. It seemed a bit long, so I thought I’d pack the good bits about Flickr into a video. Check out the earlier post for more about how to attribute an image to an author, and other neat things you can do when you’re down with Creative Commons.

http://blip.tv/scripts/flash/showplayer.swf?enablejs=true&feedurl=http%3A%2F%2Fsixthw%2Eblip%2Etv%2Frss&file=http%3A%2F%2Fblip%2Etv%2Frss%2Fflash%2F944116%3Freferrer%3Dblip%2Etv%26source%3D1&showplayerpath=http%3A%2F%2Fblip%2Etv%2Fscripts%2Fflash%2Fshowplayer%2Eswf

(Blip.tv is totally neat, by the way. It’s got CC licenses built right in!)

UPDATE: Fixed the link to my previous post.

YouTube gets citizen journalism, will they give it back?

Woot! YouTube’s got a new channel for citizen journalism.

From ReadWriteWeb:

This channel will highlight the best of the citizen journalism that’s taking place on YouTube, but its ultimate goal is to become a go-to news destination on the web.

Though as Dan Gillmor points out YouTube isn’t giving much back to the community:

I hope they’re going to find a way to reward the people who are doing the work. As I’ve said again and again, I’m not a fan of business models that say “You do all the work and we’ll take all the money, thank you very much.”

I also hope YouTube will give people a way to post using Creative Commons licenses, which are all about sharing information, as opposed to the currently restrictive terms of service. This is the main reason I don’t automatically recommend the service — though I do believe it offers great value in a general sense– and why I do recommend Blip.TV, which makes Creative Commons one of the defaults.

Free, as in free speech, part 2: Free content

Chinese Flowering Crabapple / 海棠(カイドウ), by TANAKA Juuyoh
Chinese Flowering Crabapple / 海棠(カイドウ), by TANAKA Juuyoh

In part 1, I wrote about free speech and free software for journalists. This time we’ll try something a bit easier for the less tech-savvy journo to try out: Creative Commons-licensed content.

Last month I had two stories that were dying for art — one on wetlands, one on flowers. They weren’t half-bad, but without pictures, they weren’t going to get the attention they deserved. What’s a poor journalist to do with no sunflowers to photograph?

Creative Commons to the rescue!

In a few minutes I found two killer images, both free to use, under the simple condition that I attribute the work to the photographers. Neat, eh? The stories were saved, and are on their way to winning Pulitzers.

How to find photos that are free to use

Go to Flickr Advanced Search.

Enter your search terms. (Try to think about how someone would tag their images. They’re usually tagged pretty simply. Don’t search for “big sunflower photo” — search for “sunflower”. Also, folks don’t always use the correct terms. “crabapple” and “crab apple” bring up different result sets, both lovely.)

Flickr search box

Wait!

Before you press enter, scroll down a bit. At the bottom you’ll see an option to search only within Creative Commons-licensed content. Click the first box. If you will use the image commercially (like in a newspaper, or a web site with ads) then you must click the second box. If you are planning to do something tricky with the image like altering it by adding text or fiddling with contrast or putting it into a video, them you must click the third box.

Creative Commons search boxes at Flickr

Now you can hit search.

And there you have it. Free images. Lovely. But you’re not done just yet.

Once you’ve found an image you like, you need to do your part. The author deserves credit, and if you don’t give it, you’re breaking the license just as badly as if you ripped off a snapshot from National Geographic.

Scroll down on the image page. On the right, under the additional information heading, you’ll see in tiny blue letters the phrase “Some rights reserved.” Click that.

Some rights reserved notice at Flickr

The page the link directs you to is the license for the image. Read this carefully. You’re probably going to have no problems with the terms of the agreement because of those boxes you checked on the search page, but check, just in case. (For instance, if you were to put the image into a video, thus creating a remix, you may be restricted to distribute the derivative work, your video, under a similar license.)

Once you’ve read the terms (which are standard, so once you’ve read a few, you’ll know the agreement at a glance), you’ll need to, at the very least, sort out to whom you’ll attribute the image. At the upper-right corner of the image page is a link to the photographer, click it.

Uploaded by text at Flickr

Then click the link to the photographer’s profile.

Profile navigation at Flickr

here you’ll find the name of the photographer or the handle the photographer uses on Flickr. Either will do for the attribution. I like to use their real name if they choose to list it on their profile.

Now you’ve got all the information you need to attribute the work. So, when you use it, here’s what the Creative Commons FAQ says you’ve got to do:

(1) to keep intact any copyright notices for the Work; (2) credit the author, licensor and/or other parties (such as a wiki or journal) in the manner they specify; (3) the title of the Work; and (4) the Uniform Resource Identifier for the work if specified by the author and/or licensor.

See the pretty picture at the top of this post for an example.

Beyond images

Other types of content can be free to use as well. There are many places you can find Creative Commons-licensed audio, video, text, presentations, and all sorts of other good stuff. Creative Commons Search is a great place to start. I haven’t used it much, but The Freesound Project also looks promising.

I publish this blog under a Creative Commons license. So, for instance, if a teacher found this guide useful and wanted to translate it into her students’ native tongue, she would be able to do so, worry free, as long as the derivative work is not commercially used, and is free to share and remix as well.

Distributed Boing Boing is doing something quite powerful. They make Boing Boing, a hugely popular, and Creative Commons-licensed blog, available to users who cannot access it, because they are blocked from doing so by their government, workplace, etc., by distributing it to lots of other web sites.

Even more

The Library of Congress has a pilot project on Flickr. They’ve posted some great *color* images from the 1930s and 40s, among other stuff. They’re even freer. The Library of Congress images are posted without any restrictions at all, they’re in the public domain.

There is an amazing amount of content out there that’s free to use. And if you use it, I hope you’ll be inspired to give back. I post to Flickr under a Creative Commons license, and as a result, my work has been used by many folks, in ways I never expected.

Social production: why it’s important, and how it’s at risk

The Wikipedia, Creative Commons, and free and open source and software are brilliant, wonderful things. They’re examples of forms of collaboration never before possible, and are just a glimmer of what’s to come. But they’re not guaranteed.

Yochai Benkler says it far better than I could:

Social production is a real fact, not a fad. It is the critical long term shift caused by the Internet. Social relations and exchange become significantly more important than they ever were as an economic phenemon.

Yochai Benkler
Click to watch video.

So, next time you open the paper, and you see an intellectual property decision, a telecoms decision – it’s not about something small and technical. It is about the future of the freedom to be as social beings with each other and the way information, knoweldge and culture will be produced.

If you haven’t read Benkler’s book, The Wealth of Networks, I highly recommend you do so. It’s amazing, and freely available online under a creative commons license. (It’s also in print, for paper lovers like me.)

Found on DigiDave.

UPDATE: Swapped image in for nasty flash embedding.

PBS gives away raw video footage for anyone to remix

You can download the raw footage for NOVA’s new documentary, released under a Creative Commons license that allows anyone to share or remix the footage, as long as it’s attributed and not for commercial purposes.

This experiment marks the first time we have ever made raw video available to the public, and we’re eager to see what you make from it. It’s because of viewers like you, as the saying goes, that we’re able to produce NOVA.
NOVA Tesla Roadster video screenshot

What if all public broadcasting material was released this way? Think of the great stuff people could create with Charlie Rose or Tavis Smiley footage, or the rest of the NOVA catalog. Or all those great NPR interviews?

It would cost money to maintain an archive, but not too much since online storage is getting very cheap, very quickly. This is doable, even on PBS’s budget.

If you’re not familiar with Creative Commons or question why you’d want to share your work, check out this fun primer featuring the White Stripes.