Fun with Flickr

Announcing two new features to your AreaVoices blog:

The Flickr widget andĀ The Flickr Gallery

Since we only have a limited amount of space on our servers we’ve recommended people look into an image hosting service, such as Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa, etc. Flickr is a very popular option, and has some great ties to go with the AreaVoices blogging platform. We have recently updated our blogging software to include these handy tools.

The Flickr Widget

Widgets are little boxes or modules you can place in the sidebar of your blog. Some templates also allow for multiple sidebars as well as footers. The Flickr widget displays up to ten recent photos from your Flickr photostream. You will need to be logged in to your AreaVoices blog dashboard and your Flickr account to set up the widget.

1. In your AreaVoices dashboard click the Widgets link under Appearance.

2. Grab the Flickr module and drag it to your sidebar.

3. In your Flickr account locate the RSS URL for your photostream. Scroll down to the bottom of the page until you see the orange RSS icon with theĀ link and copy it.

4. Back in your AreaVoices dashboard enter this URL in the module.

5. Enter a title for your module and select the number of photos you want to display from the drop down. Click Save.

When you view your blog you should see something like this in your sidebar:

You can create widgets for more than just your photostream. Flickr also provides RSS feeds for sets, collection, tags or geo data. Add as many as you want to customize your sidebar!

The Flickr Gallery

Sometimes you need more than just a small handful of photos. Sometimes you have large sets to display and you want to make an attractive gallery to show on a post or page. That’s exactly what the Flickr Gallery plugin can do.

This one is a little trickier to set up. It involves setting up an API for your Flickr account and doing a little bit of coding in the HTML tab of your post or page editor. I’ll try to be as concise as possible in this tutorial, but, as always, feel free to leave a comment on this post if any part of this is unclear or confusing.

Creating your API and gallery settings

You will need to be logged in to your AreaVoices dashboard and your Flickr account.

1. In your AreaVoices dashboard click the Flickr Gallery link under Settings.

2. Click the link for API Key. This will take you to your Flickr account.

3. Click Get Another Key.

4. Click Appy For A Non-Commercial Key.

5. Fill out the forms as illustrated below (click to enlarge):

Click Submit.

6. The page will now display your API key and Secret code. You may want to keep this open in a tab or separate window while you finish setting things up.

7. In a separate tab or window open up your AreaVoices dashboard and return to the Flickr Gallery menu (link under Settings).

8. Fill in the settings information:

  • API key this is on the tab or window we just left open
  • Caching checkbox selecting this option will allow your gallery to load faster, but take longer to update
  • Flickr User ID you can enter your User ID, or any other bit of identifying information that can be selected from the drop-down menu
  • Number of photos to display

The remaining checkboxes are preference settings. You can test them out to see how they look with your photos and change them to suit your preference.

9. If you would like to include private photos in your gallery follow the instructions listed in the gallery settings.

10. Click Save Changes to save your settings.

Whew! Ok! The Flickr Gallery is set up! Now it’s time to add a gallery to a post or page.

Adding a Flickr Gallery

To add a Flickr Gallery to a post or page you will need to be logged in to your AreaVoices dashboard and your Flickr account. There are some bits of code you will need to know before we can proceed. They are:

Creates a gallery of your full photostream.

Loads a single photo.

Creates a gallery from one of your sets.

Creates a gallery based on a tag.

Creates a gallery of recently uploaded images.

There are a few other shortcodes you can use. Those, as well as full documentation of the shortcodes can be found here.

1. In your AreaVoices dashboard create a new post or page or open an existing one to edit.

2. Select the HTML tab at the top of your editor.

3. Enter the shortcode you want to use.

And that’s it! I’ve set up an example page that shows what the various types of shortcodes can do.

Have fun playing with these new tools! We think they can add a lot to your blogs!

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