Photo Storage

January 31, 2008 on 8:25 am | In education, technology, web 2.0 | 7 Comments

We’re currently using personalized wikispaces and edublogs at my school. While we’re getting more and more folks interested and on board, the handling of media on the sites is raising some challenges. For example, some uses are uploading photos (often huge, unoptimized photos) directly to their wikis and blogs while others prefer to link to images in their personal flickr accounts, but the free accounts sometimes limit what they can do.

So, it occurred to me that it might be useful to pay for a single pro flickr account (or one per division, or…?) with a single login to be shared by all faculty. I ran this by the tech department to look for holes in the logic, but I figured I’d tap the Edusphere to see if anyone had any thoughts, ideas, suggestions, cautions, or alternatives to offer.

Here’s what we’ve come up with so far:

- It’s inexpensive.
- Flickr is already a familiar tool.
- Unlimited storage, bandwidth, etc.
- It’s easy to use.
- This would be a good way to consolidate and archive school-related images.
- It offers simple image editing capabilities.

- Teachers would share a single login.
- Could students have access as well?
- Does it raise privacy/copyright issues?
- Do the flickr terms of service allow this type of shared use?
- With many users, would it become a chaotic mess?

What are we missing? Any and all suggestions are welcome.

And all of this of course leads to the question of the best way to handle audio and video, so please feel free to offer ideas for that as well.



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  1. Bill, unfortunately Flickr terms of service say that it can only be used for personal use. I love my Flickr Pro account, so am disappointed that we can’t take advantage of its features at school.

    We currently use Shutterfly Pro Galleries for some image hosting, but it is lousy for all the embedding, web 2.0 features we really want.

    I have done some research and found some ok hosting options. We haven’t really tried implementing any, but Phanfare and Zenfolio might be worth a look.

    I’m not going to even get into the one login/password thing since I wouldn’t go with Flickr due to its terms of service.

    Godspeed, and please let us all know what you find. Also try Twittering this question if you haven’t yet.

    Comment by arvind s grover — January 31, 2008 #

  2. I have a flickr pro account and it is easy to us, especially with the new uploader app.

    Comment by John Porter — January 31, 2008 #

  3. i’m using flickr for my work and it is easy and intuitive but i can see how it would be general chaos if a large group of kids were left to post without any structure. of course you could have some control of you set up specific “sets” and “groups” for organizing images.
    since most personals and other sites receiving info from the general public have a screening or two stage process why not do something like that?
    posting to a staging site first-and that could be as simple as an attachment to email or a moodle page – then having a selected person/s to review and post to flickr later.
    do let us know how this works for you.

    Comment by m — January 31, 2008 #

  4. Hey Bill — Drupal allows for LDAP auth and there is a plug in for Gallery2. Gallery2 has a Java based app (much like Flickr uploader) that works really well and resizes images. Then you can upload them to your gallery2 and link your blog to there. I’m testing this on my personal web site at

    I’m thinking about using this for an online repository for art faculty and the many digital images that we use here. Now, for the server and storage:-)

    Hope this helps.

    Comment by Alex Ragone — January 31, 2008 #

  5. Arvind,

    I looked for the personal use language to see how it was worded but could only find this under the guidelines:

    Don’t use Flickr for commercial purposes.
    Flickr is for personal use only. If we find you selling products, services, or yourself through your photostream, we will terminate your account. Any other commercial use of Flickr, Flickr technologies (including APIs, FlickrMail, etc), or Flickr accounts must be approved by Flickr. For more information on leveraging Flickr APIs, please see our Services page. If you have other open questions about commercial usage of Flickr, please feel free to contact us.

    This seems to a personal/commercial distinction rather than a personal/communal one. Did you find more specific language somewhere that lays out more clearly the terms of use?

    In any case, I think I’ll contact them to see how they respond.


    Comment by Bill Knauer — January 31, 2008 #

  6. Here’s the note I sent to the Flickr folks:

    Good morning. I’m the tech director at an independent school in Brooklyn, NY. It occurred to me that Flickr would be a great way for teachers to consolidate and share photos at the school. Would it be acceptable under your terms of use to pay for a Flickr Pro account that could then be shared by faculty? I’ve read your guidelines that forbid commercial use, but this would only be used for educational purposes. Thanks in advance for your assistance. Best regards, Bill Knauer

    Can’t hurt to ask, right?

    Comment by Bill Knauer — January 31, 2008 #

  7. Here’s what I got back from the folks at Flickr:

    >Thank you for contacting Flickr Customer Care.
    >Ill be glad to answer your question. You probably came to
    >the same
    >conclusion. I see no inconvenience as it will be used for
    >purposes, no commercial use is involved. In other words…
    >Enjoy Flickr.

    Go figure.

    So, I guess the question returns to the logistics. Now that we know we can, does it make sense to?

    Comment by Bill Knauer — January 31, 2008 #

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