I am completely addicted to Flickr. Flickr is a great photo hosting site, that is mainly aimed at sharing your pictures with the world. Most other places allow only people you choose to see your photos, some require people to have an invitation to get access, others need the photographer to give permission. Occasionally, they have a way for the photographer to make an exception if they choose, but it's still often difficult for your friends to get to see your pictures. I really liked Snapfish for a while, but having to have everyones email addresses and then sending them invitations to each photo album, which kept getting caught in the spam filter, made it difficult to share the photos. Photobucket was one exception to this invite situation, but their site has always felt awkward and cumbersome to me and while I have an account there, I rarely use it. I do like how easy Photobucket makes it to post photos on Craigslist and other sites and I will be using it a lot more for my Squidoo lenses since I just found out how to add clickable buttons to my lenses using Photobucket.
Flickr allows you to keep pictures private if you choose, but what I like is that they make it easy to share the pictures with anyone that is interested, even if you don't know the person. In fact, as photos are uploaded a few of them will cross a page on the site so people that want to can watch to see if there's something they want to look at. It's actually very addicting seeing what new photos have been uploaded. There are some amazing artists out there, and I've seen some great shots. Flickr images also come up easily in searches, Google, or on site. This makes them great for learning more about a subject or just seeing what's happening in some corner of the world.
The other reason I've come to love Flickr is their copyright policies. Anything put on the Internet has the potential for getting plagiarized, and images are no different, but Flickr makes it easy to adjust what specific copyright you want shown with each image. If you don't want anyone to use one of your pictures, set it to that copyright, if you don't mind if it gets used in non-commercial stuff, set it to that copyright, if you don't care what people want to do to the picture, you can even set it to that copyright. Since you can adjust the settings on each picture, you can easily share the ones you want to share and not share the ones you don't. I frequently use Creative Commons Commercial copyrighted photos for my eHow articles, and Squidoo has a great module to easily feature Flickr pictures so Creative Commons pictures are great for the small writer. To give a bit back I try and make the majority of my uploaded photos Creative Commons as well. I figure if everyone was stingy with all of their pictures it would ruin the great thing that Flickr has going, but of course a few of my favorites I don't allow to be used.
Overall, Flickr seems to be one of the few decent photo sites and I really like it. I even upgraded to a pro account so I could add more than the 200 pictures they allow for the free accounts, and if you know me you know I never pay for stuff if there's a free version. It's great fun to just scroll through pictures and see everyone's takes on the world. Today, in fact, I was searching for a mosquito and got completely diverted by all the images that showed up. There was an amazing shot with an extreme closeup of a mosquito visibly sucking blood from someone's hand. It sounds disgusting but it was so fascinating. I searched for Gem-O-Rama and found a picture taken on the same day I was there and ended up talking with the person about the event. It is so much fun to see the photos other people have taken and sometimes learn the stories behind them. Actually it is so interesting that I have to prevent myself from following picture after picture and not getting any work done.
If you're interested in seeing the pictures I have posted on Flickr either follow this link:
or just do a search on there for AlishaV.