By Steve Outing
It’s becoming common nowadays for news organizations to put their videos on Youtube (e.g., NYTimes.com). That’s a smart thing, since it’s increasingly important to reach people with your content wherever they may be. They’re not always going to visit you at your website, but they’re increasingly spending time on social networks and social-media sites like Youtube. So meet them there.
Something that news organizations often miss, however, is sharing their photos on photo-sharing services. Just as you might have a strategy of sharing your videos on Youtube to reach that audience, you also should be feeding your news photos out to sites like Flickr. Especially when a big news story breaks, many online users now know to go to the photo sites to see images — mostly from amateurs. But pro journalism outfits also should be in on this.
At my previous company (driven by user content), we wrote a script that automatically put photos submitted to our sites on Flickr, tagged with our website name and with links back to our site. A nice number of people discovered us on Flickr, then became users. Here’s an example of photos on Flickr fed from YourClimbing.com. (My business partner and I shut down the company last year, so the feed has been shut off.)
This strikes me as one of those “no-brainer” ideas. Yet few news companies do it yet.