Flickr tagging – it’s not bad, it’s cool

I’m gradually working my way through the ~5000 photos from HackDay in London on Flickr, to see if there’s anything interesting that I’d missed. So far I’ve found a number of pictures of our team’s hack on stage, the planning process, the blueprint, the team hacking… all stuff that I failed to get a decent photo of.

The slightly irritating part is that people don’t always have their photos opened up for general tagging and notes. Where I can, I add tags to list the people I know in the photo, and even add a note to mark them out. Unfortunately, this setting is not the default on Flickr – the standard is to allow only your contacts to add tags. I also just found that many of my own photos were not marked as open for tags and notes.

Stephanie Booth recently wrote about this on her blog, and included a tutorial on how to change the setting.

I decided to try, and it works. And you do retain control in case somebody does something stupid (happened to me… maybe once?)

So, I’ve opened up my HackDay photos for general tagging and I’m going to go back and change the setting on other sets too.

Update 23rd March 2011: here I am four years later and I still get frustrated when people don’t let me add tags, notes, and in particular, people to images! Since I wrote this post, Flickr has introduced a lovely feature (like Facebook, Picasa and other services) that lets me tag myself or others in photos, and then builds a dynamic collection of all the photos I appear in. It’s not a default setting, and I think you also have to go back and re-enable it on photos that you uploaded before changing your settings, so it’s a bit of a pain to set up, but it’s so useful. Please let the crowds build a better folksonomy for web content.

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7 thoughts on “Flickr tagging – it’s not bad, it’s cool”

  1. I think mine have always been open for my contacts to add notes and tags (just I dont think anyone ever has!!) I’m not sure I’m keen on the world being able to tag my photos, but happy for my contacts to..

  2. Right. But if you don’t like it, you delete it. I think it is worthwhile – particularly in the context of conferences etc.

  3. In some cases, I’ve added a comment to the photo I couldn’t tag with tag:whateverIwantedToAdd and a suggestion to open up tagging. This has worked on a few occasions.

  4. Thanks Steph. I’ve started commenting “Please tag: xxx” and then added a link to your or my post in a couple of places. We’ll see what happens.

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