Hurrah! An easy way to attribute Flickr images


 Image source: creative commons licensed (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo by Jonas Tana:

Flickr is an image and video hosting site. Registering an account also allows users to create a profile page containing photos and videos that the user has uploaded. Users uploading an image can set privacy controls that determine who can view the image. This can be set to public or private, or to a specific group. Flickr offers users the ability to either release their images under Creative Commons licenses or to label them as ‘all rights reserved’. Images can be filtered by licence and may also be given tags which can help users of Flickr locate themes images.

Bloggers and users of social media who wish to use images created by others can benefit by searching for Creative Commons licensed images. Flickr allows you to select photos from a variety of licences. Choose the one that meets your needs here.

flickr creative commons

Attribution helper

It is important to attribute the creator of any images used. To make this task easier CogDog has created a bookmarklet that you can add easily to your browser.

flickr bookmarklet

When finding a Flickr image you can simply click on this bookmarklet and it will bring up the recommended attribution for the image along with the owner/creator of the image and a direct URL link to the image within Flickr.  

Below is an example of what this looks like when I had the image at the top of this post open in Flickr.

flickr bookmarklet

How to create the bookmarklet

CogDog has created simple instructions to do this (see image below). Don’t worry, no code is required! Visit his site here to grab the link of the blue flickr cc attribution helper and simply drag up to your bookmarks bar in your browser.

flickr attribution helper bookmarklet

Before starting you should check you have made your bookmark bar visible. In Chrome you do this by:

  • clicking on bookmark in the top right corner of your screen
  • select bookmarks and in the left menu that pops up check ‘show bookmarks bar’


flickr cc attribution helper

Credit and thanks to Alan Levine @cogdog for creating and sharing this useful tool.



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Twitter photo tagging – how to opt out

photo tagging in Twitter


You may have picked up that Twitter has just made some mobile updates enabling photo tagging. It is now possible to tag up to 10 people in a photo and it does not affect the character count in the tweet. Unless your Tweets are protected this means anyone can tag you.

tag a Tweet

If you are the one being tagged you will get a notification. Now whilst it is possible to remove yourself from a tagged photo, if you are not comfortable with this, it is also possible to adjust your security settings to prevent tagging. Go to Settings then Security and Privacy.

turn off tagging


Here you can choose to only allow people you follow to tag you or stop anyone tagging you.

If you decide to allow others to tag you in photos you also have a further option – You can also stop an account from tagging you by blocking the user. Once you have blocked the user, your tagged name or username will no longer be shown on the photo.

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The Wonderful Web at 25

Happy Birthday

Image source: Wikipedia

March 12th 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web. It is hard to believe that pre-1989 there was no Web (or at least public access to). In recent years as the price of computers have decreased and affordable smart technologies increased, access and use of the Web for many has become a daily part of our lives. The growth in smart mobile technology has meant that users can access the Web and social networking sites on the go when and wherever they want to. The first handheld cellphone was sold on March 13, 1984 for $3995— 30 years ago!  What a long way we have come. Today not only can we use these devices to hold telephone conversations, we can also text, take photos and video and share these through social networking sites, and access information from websites. WiFi hot spots are increasingly found in public spaces – buses, cafes and shops, making it easier for users to connect.

Social Media and Virtual Communities

Without the Web there would be no social media. Enhancements made to the Web have seen a shift from static web pages (Web 1.0) and passive reading to interactive pages (Web 2.0) where user generated content can be easily added to a page and users can communicate and collaborate within the sites. Self publishing platforms such as WordPress (used for this blog) have enabled many to create their own content without the need of programming or web design skills.

The growth of social media has been exponential and many of these communities are less than 10 years old. In the chart below (Source: Wikipedia) is a list of virtual communities with more than 100 million active users. Note the dates on the right hand side as this list is updated periodically so only gives an indication of the figures, however I felt it did provide a useful feel for the growth of these sites. A list of the major active social networking websites can be found here.

virtual communities

Alexa (a web information company) keeps a list of the top 500 global sites.  The sites in the top sites lists are ordered by their 1 month alexa traffic rank. The 1 month rank is calculated using a combination of average daily visitors and page views over the past month. The site with the highest combination of visitors and page views is ranked #1. The list can also be filtered by country. In the top 10 global sites (as of today’s date) you will find four social media sites (Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter) and in the top 2o a further two (Blogger and WordPress).

Top 10 Global Sites

  1. Google
  2. Facebook
  3. YouTube
  4. Yahoo
  5. Baidu
  6. Wikipedia
  7. QQ
  8. LinkedIn
  9. Taobao
  10. Twitter

History of the Web

In March 1989 Tim Berners-Lee, a scientist working at CERN, submitted a proposal to develop a radical new way of linking and sharing information over the internet. The document was entitled Information Management: A Proposal. And so the web was born.

The name CERN is derived from the acronym for the French “Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire”, or European Council for Nuclear Research, a provisional body founded in 1952 with the mandate of establishing a world-class fundamental physics research organization in Europe. 

The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks. With a web browser, we can view web pages that may contain text, images, videos, and other multimedia and navigate between them via hyperlinks.

Google Blog

Below is a guest post from Sir Tim Berners-Lee on the official Google Blog

On the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web, we’re pleased to share this guest post from Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web. In this post he reflects on the past, present and future of the web—and encourages the rest of us to fight to keep it free and open. -Ed.

Today is the web’s 25th birthday. On March 12, 1989, I distributed a proposal to improve information flows: “a ‘web’ of notes with links between them.”

Though CERN, as a physics lab, couldn’t justify such a general software project, my boss Mike Sendall allowed me to work on it on the side. In 1990, I wrote the first browser and editor. In 1993, after much urging, CERN declared that WWW technology would be available to all, without paying royalties, forever.

The first web server, used by Tim Berners-Lee. Photo via Wikipedia

This decision enabled tens of thousands to start working together to build the web. Now, about 40 percent of us are connected and creating online. The web has generated trillions of dollars of economic value, transformed education and healthcare and activated many new movements for democracy around the world. And we’re just getting started.

How has this happened? By design, the underlying Internet and the WWW are non-hierarchical, decentralized and radically open. The web can be made to work with any type of information, on any device, with any software, in any language. You can link to any piece of information. You don’t need to ask for permission. What you create is limited only by your imagination.

So today is a day to celebrate. But it’s also an occasion to think, discuss—and do. Key decisions on the governance and future of the Internet are looming, and it’s vital for all of us to speak up for the web’s future. How can we ensure that the other 60 percent around the world who are not connected get online fast? How can we make sure that the web supports all languages and cultures, not just the dominant ones? How do we build consensus around open standards to link the coming Internet of Things? Will we allow others to package and restrict our online experience, or will we protect the magic of the open web and the power it gives us to say, discover, and create anything? How can we build systems of checks and balances to hold the groups that can spy on the net accountable to the public? These are some of my questions—what are yours?

On the 25th birthday of the web, I ask you to join in—to help us imagine and build the future standards for the web, and to press for every country to develop a digital bill of rights to advance a free and open web for everyone. Learn more at and speak up for the sort of web we really want with #web25.

Posted by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the World Wide Web

Web at 25 website

If you want to learn more about the Web at 25 I’d recommend you visit this website and watch the video below.

Greeting from Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee on the Web’s 25th anniversary from Web25 on Vimeo.

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Visualising your LinkedIn connections

LinkedIn connections

LinkedIn Maps is a really nice way to visualise your connections on LinkedIn. Above is an image taken as a screen shot, however when created online it is actually interactive. Each dot is a node which links to one of your connections. As you click on the node it brings up that person’s photo and headline.

You will notice that there are areas that are coloured differently. By hovering over the different coloured groups you will find this means something to you. You can then complete the legend to give each ‘group’ a meaningful name.

Understanding how your digital network is connected can be incredibly useful. You may be connected to someone who is connected to someone else you share a professional interest with. This is called a second degree connection. Your connection could therefore introduce you to that person.

It is also fascinating to see how your connections are connected to each other. This ‘spiders web like’ map shows the interconnections. Take a look at the video below to see how you can interact with your LinkedIn map and the connections you have. It is your professional world visualised!

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Google Search has finally added a simple way to search for images that have reuse rights!

Google search

Google Search has finally added a simple way to search for images that have reuse rights!

First of all enter your search keyword, then click on Images. You will then see Search tools. Select this and it reveals Usage Rights with a drop down menu. The default is ‘not filtered by licence’. You can then choose one of four further options:

  • labelled for reuse
  • labelled for commercial reuse
  • labelled for reuse with modification
  • labelled for commercial reuse with modification

Check the best match and you will then only see the images that have those rights.

  • Google Search usage rights

Thanks to Laurence Lessig who brought this to my attention.

For more information about image licensing visit the Creative Commons website.

Other useful posts

A useful visual guide to choosing the right Creative Commons licence

How to choose and apply a Creative Commons licence to your work to encourage open social sharing


Posted in Google Search | 8 Comments

Changes to Gmail: How to adjust your settings

Gmail logo

The BBC Technology article was the first alert I received to changes being made by Google and Gmail.

Users of Google’s Gmail service will soon be able to send messages directly to other Gmail accounts, regardless of whether the recipient has shared their email address. Continue reading

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My Blogging Journey


I began this blog a few years ago when teaching Journalism students how to use WordPress to create their own blogs. As I introduced how to embed images, video and audio; I realised that it would be more authentic if I started to write posts of my own. Colleagues new to social media often asked questions about what certain tools were and how to use them. These became the focus of my posts.

Reading articles about blogging, I was encouraged to blog on a regular basis. However writing does not always flow easily. Juggling other commitments the ‘I don’t have time’ is a big issue. However I learnt that taking a gem of an idea I could write a few bullet points and save the idea as a draft post. Very often with a clearer mind I would go back to the draft and complete it. Other times I have discarded the draft, but gone on to write something else in its place.

You go diving for pearls every night but sometimes you end up with clams.” ~ Jerry Garcia

Blogging has given me a voice and granted whilst it may not be heard by many, the craft of blogging has helped me develop a new confidence in writing. The act of blogging and tagging allows me to catalogue and curate short posts about social media which have been fascinating to research and learn from along the way. The feedback I have had via comments or tweets has been encouraging.

I came across the following Ten Top Tips for Blogging in the The Guardian Higher Education Network (Credit to @DrTomCrick and @alan_winfield) which I have shared below. I hope you will find them as useful as I did.

1) Write about yourself and your life. People are just as interested in researchers (and their activities) as their research; also write about what goes wrong as well as right – the human story of failed experiments is interesting but rarely gets told.

2) Find your blogging voice. Don’t worry if it takes a year or more. Your blog will evolve as you discover your style, which might be short topical pieces or long-form reflective essays (or a combination of the two). Read other academic blogs and you’ll quickly see the range of voices people use.

3) Be clear what your blog is for. Are you writing to share your musings on life, the universe and everything, or a specific theme or topic? Again let the scope evolve; it can be difficult to start blogging with a mission statement, but it is useful to start out by thinking what you would like to achieve with your blog.

4) Blog as yourself. While there are circumstances in which blogging anonymously is necessary, in general it is better to be clear and open about yourself and your academic position. It’s also important to make clear whether you are writing on behalf of your university.

5) Think about how controversial you want to be. Calibrate the degree of controversy according to risk (especially for an early career researcher compared to a tenured professor); in general, only be prepared to put something on a blog that you’d be prepared to say to someone’s face (or shout out in a crowded room). Courting controversy can be fine if you are a senior academic, but be mindful that your position lends a level of authority to what you write – so make sure you’re happy for your words to be quoted.

6) Remember: a blogpost is a publication. If you are writing about ongoing research which is not yet published or patented, then be mindful of the dangers of prematurely revealing details of potential inventions or intellectual property.

7) Let your university know about your blog. Have a chat with your line manager about your intention to start an academic blog. You might not need their permission, but it’s best if your blog doesn’t come as a surprise to your manager or institution at an inopportune time.

8) Think about how often you want to blog. If your blog acquires a following then your readers will look forward to your next post, so don’t put yourself under pressure by creating expectations of, say, a blogpost every few days when you know you can’t keep it up in the longer term.

9) Use social media to promote your posts. Twitter is an easy way to tell the world that you’ve just posted a new piece on your blog, opening up wider interaction and engagement.

10) Blog because you want to. Don’t blog because you have to – it should be fun, not a chore! There are already plenty of onerous tasks for an academic; this should not become one of them.

Whether you are blogging as an academic, about your own business or a hobby you may have, it is important to engage with your readers. Blogs provide the opportunity for them to leave comments and ask questions, so be sure to respond as appropriate. I personally choose to screen comments and then publish with my response. This helps you to eliminate the ‘rogue spammers’ which sadly come along now and again.

One other point is that you can choose to blog privately, by adjusting the security settings. I personally also have a reflective blog that I choose not to share. This is a useful space to gather and develop ideas. By tagging your posts, you can then go back to search for related topics. You’d be surprised at how many ideas you can capture! I also keep another blog which is about my own personal learning journey:

You can read more about blogging and how to get started here.

WordPress image source

Posted in Blogs | 4 Comments

The affordances of ‘new’ technology and social media

infographicThis latest cartoon from the talented Wrong Hands made me both smile and reflect on the many changes of how new technology has replaced older technology, devices and other things.

Just this week I was asked if I had photos of my recent 103 km trek across the Sahara Desert. My reply was “Yes, they are on Flickr“.  I received an email from O2 for our latest bill for the landline telephone we rarely use. I read news via websites. LinkedIn is my ‘rolodex’ and list of connections complete with photos. If I want a business telephone number I google the company but then get agitated at the length of time the automated messages take so turn to Twitter or email if I have a query. Searching for my CV I realise my most current version is saved on a floppy disc and my PC no longer has the holder to read one. I keep VHS tapes mostly for nostalgia but have replaced many favourites with DVDs. Sat nav and google maps have replaced the big bulky maps we used to have in the car. Spell check can trip us up but is so handy when writing online. Shopping in general, but especially books is done via Amazon, Ebay and other online stores. My encyclopaedias are treasured but in some sections outdated, so Google and Google Scholar have taken their place. Continue reading

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New: Creating your own personal library of articles from Google Scholar

Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides a simple way to search scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources, including theses, books, abstracts and articles. However since the update of the Google homepage with its new minimalist look, it is not so high profile. It’s probably quicker just searching for Google Scholar to get to it! Once there you can search for literature and now can save useful and relevant articles to your own library. Continue reading

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Is it @Impossible? – A new social network where wishes can come true for free


Lily Cole, perhaps better known for her roles in film and fashion; is a recent graduate of Cambridge University and Founder of Impossible. Impossible is a social network based on the principle of gift exchange. Users can post wishes and they are answered with gifts. When a wish is granted recipients can respond with a ‘thank you’ post. These thank-yous are recorded on the user’s profile for all to see, a sort of virtual tally of their generosity.

make a wish.
take a wish.
say thanks. Continue reading

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