nicpel: (Default)
Okay, so the debate, whining and arguments about proper image usage on Squidoo rages on (and probably will forever until HQ cleans up and clarifies its policies). Today's latest entry into the kerfluffle: If an image is free and clear for use (public domain, your own work, or from a free image source like morguefile), why "waste valuable space" on a lens including image credits if you don't have to?

Let me tell you why.

1. HQ is at least starting to ask for image credits to be included on Quests for front page placement. Certainly this is the result of several recent Lenses of the Day coming in to question because of their dubious image sourcing (one was flat out taken down last week before the day was out). I'm not thrilled that they're only requiring credits, not checking that the images are free and legal to use, but it's a start. So if you want to see your lens get extra traffic from being on the Squidoo entry page? Credit your photos.

2. Credits are a way to easily get click-outs. Click-outs are good. Click-outs boost your lens rank. If you're using a photo from morguefile, wikimedia commons, or any other site, why not include a small image credit with a link out to the source file? Some people might want to see the image in original/full resolution, or check out more of the photographer's other work.

3. Credits prove you are working with the system. Many Squid Angels (like myself) are diligent about only blessing lenses if we can see clear, hard evidence that any/all images on the lens are legally allowed. And sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between a great personal photo, a great photo from morguefile, or a completely copyrighted photo that isn't supposed to be used on a commercial site like Squidoo. So why not make it easier for us, if you want the lens rank boost of a blessing? Even non-Angels may only "Like" lenses or share them around if they are sure the lens is following legal image usage.

4. If a photo is your own work, why not brag about it! If you're using your own photography on a lens, tell the world! Who knows, someone might like your work well enough to commission you or pay you to use your photography on another website or for other purposes.

5. Ease of future editing. Say you've uploaded an image to a module after grabbing it (legally I hope) somewhere on line. A few months later you want to reformat the image/crop it/enhance it/answer a question about its origin and original photographer. Or maybe there's a system bug/crash that loses your original image upload. By including a credit/link when originally adding it to a lens, you save yourself the trouble of having to hunt down the source of that image again in the future.

6. It's just good etiquette and polite. Whenever I see or hear someone whining about having to provide image credits on a lens, I wonder if they aren't protesting too much. Yes, it takes a few seconds extra work. But even if you don't HAVE to credit someone for using their photography, isn't it a nice thing to do? Good karma, people.

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Nicole ("sockii") Pellegrini

January 2013

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