02 July 2008

Feeding Flickr

If you have never perused the photo-sharing site Flickr for genealogy-related photos, you are missing out! On Flickr you can find everything from photos documenting particular family histories, to photos of historic architecture, clothing, jewelery, monuments, gravesites, and more. You can even search by location, thanks to recent "geotagging" efforts. You'll be amazed at what you can find.

As if that weren't enough, did you know that you can subscribe to RSS feeds of Flickr photo groups and individual users? This allows you to receive a continually updated stream of the photos through your favorite feed reader (Google Reader, My Yahoo Page, browser, Bloglines, etc.). As they do for following blogs, Flickr feeds make it amazingly easy to keep tabs on new photos that are being uploaded to groups that interest you. You can also follow the photostreams of individuals, which can be very helpful for collaborative efforts.

Getting Your Feed On

Subscribing to Flickr feeds is incredibly easy. Here's how to do it:

In this instance, I am interested in the Long Island, NY History photo group. While browsing the page of photos for this group, you can see that the standard feed icon appears in the address bar of my Firefox browser:

If you are using Internet Explorer, you'll find the feed icon appearing in the toolbar below the address bar:

You can also find the feed icon at the bottom of any Flickr photo page:

When you click on the icon, you will be given the option to subscribe to the RSS or Atom Feed for that particular page:

Important: Make sure that you are on the "Pool" page for a particular group, or you may end up subscribing to the group's comments instead of the photostream! To be sure, the click option should read as it does in the image above (note that it says "pool feed"). For individuals, this will read "photostream".

You'll have to follow instructions for your particular reader in order to get your feed setup completely. I use Google Reader, so the setup is pretty easy. Here's the final product, the feed as it appears in my reader:

Voila! I can now follow my favorite Flickr groups without having to leave the comfort of my reader!


Taneya said...

this is a great post! I just subscribed to my first Flickr RSS feed

Jennifer said...

Awesome! I'm so glad you are giving it a try. It's fun to sit back and browse photos every once in a while, and the feeds give you an excuse!