Flickr has been getting a lot of flak for a while and some of the criticism is probably justified. People are pissed off when their 'pro' accounts expire and some or all of their pictures become unavailable overnight, Yahoo! the owner of Flickr hasn't done anything with the interface for ages (my personal pet hate: adding a photo to multiple groups - what a usability nightmare!), etc. etc. The complaints are probably too numerous to list here. But it still remains a fairly good and extremely popular image storage/ image sharing site. And I have to say I've only just discovered one new feature - Flickr galleries. (OK, it's new to me, but it looks like it's been around for ages; still, not many people know what it's all about).
First, let's explain the naming convention. What is a gallery? Unlike sets and collections, Flickr galleries don't contain your own pictures.
You curate a gallery, i.e. you compile a list of up to 18 images or videos per gallery and display it ideally with some sort of a description explaining why this particular gallery works together.
It's an opportunity to share some pictures or vids you really admire, find outstanding and think others might like them too. When you favourite a picture on Flickr, you simply bookmark it for yourself. But when you add it to a public gallery, you can share it with others. And this is the clever bit, which I like.
It's also easy to add an image to your gallery - when you see someone's image you like, click on the small gallery icon above the image, choose a gallery if you have more than one and that's it. If you want to add a comment to the picture, go to the gallery and edit away; changing the order of the images is also easy, just drag and drop. Simples.
Tom Coates created a gallery inspired by the recent dust storms in Sydney. His Red Dust gallery generated an astonishing 243,000 views, partly because it was created on the hoof, basically while the storm was happening - hence it attracted a lot of people simply searching for images of the storm. This way people whose images were included in the gallery also enjoyed an unexpected increase in popularity.
The above picture taken by Mezza and posted on Flickr was viewed over 13,000 times in just one day. Not a bad result.
I have created my first gallery too. It's called "Faces in black and white" and it does what it says on the tin. Why? Do I really need to explain why b&w is timeless? See it for yourself here.
Dustday in laundry © Mezza, used under Creative Commons licence