Flickr (and other photo sites)

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. And there’s no denying the power of a really compelling image.

Whether it’s a really funny moment, the climax of a dramatic story or just another human being’s face, photographs can reach us in places that nothing else can touch. And that can make them very powerful ways to tell your story and connect with your supporters.

Online photo-sharing has become amazingly popular in the past several years, and sites like Flickr are a hit with professional photographers and complete beginners alike. And online photography’s popularity extends into social networks such as Facebook, which has become the Internet’s number one place for uploading and sharing pictures.

Whenever you’re sharing photos publicly, remember that you need the permission of the people in the pictures. That’s especially important when you’re dealing with children – make sure you have a clear OK from their parents or guardians.

Here are a few of the ways you can make the most of sites like Flickr, and photo-sharing features on social networks like Facebook:

Write an essay: Are you nominating a Super Kid? Hoping to tell the story of a family’s fight to beat a childhood illness? Or documenting a day at BC Children’s Hospital? A photo essay can tell that story with remarkable impact:

  • Take the eight to 12 most compelling pictures you have for this story.
  • For each photo, write a title – something that helps to draw the reader into the story. Not just “Amanda and the nurse,” but “Amanda asks the nurse if everything will be okay.”
  • Now write a description for each photo – about a paragraph long. Together, the descriptions and photos should tell your entire story.
  • Now upload your photos to Flickr. Fill in the title and description for each one.
  • Once you’re done, click the “Organize” link on Flickr’s menu. Drag your essay photos into the work area, and arrange them in order. Once you’re satisfied, click “Add to set”, and choose “New Set”.
  • Give your set a title, and a brief description of your story. Be sure to include a link to your Super Community page in the description.

Let everyone know about your photo essay, and encourage them to pass it on to their friends.

Hold a bake sale: Yep… an actual bake sale. But instead of a table laden with cupcakes, bread and cookies, do it online!

  • Talk with all of your Super Community members about what they can bake, and agree on some prices and an end date for the sale.
  • Now create a new Group on Flickr (under the “Groups” menu, choose “Create a New Group”). Make it “Public, invitation only”.
  • Give your group a name – like “Super Couriers’ Bake Sale for BC Children’s Hospital” – and a description – which should include instructions for ordering and whatever delivery arrangements you’re making. You’ll need to decide whether you’re prepared to ship purchases (which can be very time-consuming, so we don’t recommend it), drop them off yourself, or ask people to pick them up at a central location – which can make a lot of sense, and save you a lot of time, for a workplace or school. Don’t forget to mention the sale’s end date, link to your Super Community page, and remind people why you’re raising money!
  • Tell people in the description how you’d like them to purchase their baked goods – whether you’ll be collecting cash, or whether you’d like them to donate on your Super Community page.
  • Ensure your Super Community members have Flickr accounts. Invite each of them to the bake sale group.
  • Now have your Super Community members bake a batch of their yummies… and take a sample picture. Have them upload it, and add it to the group. Their description of their contribution should include a price, the quantity available, and whether they’re prepared to bake more if necessary. The description should also invite people to place their order in the comments under the photo, and remind them of the bake sale’s end date.
  • Tell the world about your bake sale with flyers, posters, email, Facebook messages… and, if you have a network of friends on Flickr, FlickrMail.
  • Keep up the communicating throughout the bake sale, thank people for their purchases by replying to the comments, and close comments if a particular baked good runs out of stock.
  • Once it’s over, thank everyone, and change the group’s description (and all of the individual photo descriptions) to announce how much was raised… and to encourage people to keep giving!

Go viral: Creating a meme that really takes off across the Internet is a long shot. But just the fun of doing it with your friends can make it worthwhile, even if it doesn’t go any further.

You’ll find the details on creating memes on our Youtube toolkit page. Here are some of the things you could encourage people to do:

  • Pose with a friend and a sign pointing to them, saying “My superhero”
  • Take a photo of themselves pointing to part of their body that BC Children’s Hospital helped to heal
  • Dress in a cape… or a full superhero costume!

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