Well if you read this blog regularly then you know I love Flickr (almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world). But while frequent Flickr users may love the capabilities of the site, it can still be a formidable thing to navigate for the more casual photographer or beginner new to the whole online photo sharing thing.
It’s great then to see Richard Giles out with his fine new book, How to Use Flickr, The Digital Photography Revolution. I would heartily recommend this 276 page primer for anyone who is interested in learning the ropes of how Flickr works a bit more. The book also would also make a great gift for a friend of family member if you are already a Flickr old hand but would like to help someone new get into the service. At a little over $15 for the book from Amazon it’s a bargain.
Even though the book is a great book for Flickr newcomers, I also still found myself, even as a more advanced Flickr user, learning quite a bit (especially about the history of Flickr and the staff).
The book is organized and laid out nicely and is structured in an easy way to figure Flickr out on a step by step basis. It starts out with basic chapters about things like “Introducing Flickr” and “Getting Started” and progresses through all of the various aspects of the service ending with more advance uses and the last chapter, “Third-Party Flickr Tools.”
Throughout the book there are great little anecdote sections that bring up all kinds of interesting Flickr trivia and information. Things like Flickr Coincidences, how the “May Offend” button works, special html tags for posting to Flickr or blogs, etc. Hey, even Thomas Hawk gets a mention in one, but I won’t say where. There are also many interviews with tech heavyweights about Flickr like Boing Boing’s Cory Doctorow, CNET’s Esther Dyson (an early investor), and various high profile Flickr members themselves.
Included in the book also are great rundowns on some of the more popular groups and Flickr forums, a pretty handy writeup on how the various licensing for your photos work on Flickr (creative commons and all it’s variations vs. all rights reserved, etc.), uploading via email or with your mobile phone, etc.
Overall I was impressed with the completeness of the book while at the same time I was impressed with how easy it was to read and follow. Author Richard Giles, who also produces The Gadget Show podcast, did a thorough job, and as Technical Editor Flickr member Striatic keeps lots of the more advanced Flickr info in line. It’s great to see a book like this out there and I wish them lots of success!