Another positive of being an airhead was that one or two folk noticed my site was down.


@johnjohnston Flickr CC is down
Thu Dec 02 17:26:13 +0000 2010 from TweetDeck captured: Sun, 05 Dec 10 18:14:33 +0000

And when it came back, in particular A flickr CC search toy, tombarrett tweeted it again with the usual effect, including this one:


@johnjohnston @tombarrett looks good! Have you seen It’s what we use in FE and HE.
Sat Dec 04 08:35:34 +0000 2010 from Echofon captured: Sun, 05 Dec 10 18:16:31 +0000


I think I had seen Xpert Attribution tool before but it was not at the front of my mind. Looking at it reminded me of the nice way they add attribution by padding the image at the bottom rather than the way I was doing it (stamping over the image). I had tried to work out how to pad an image before but failed. This morning I spent a wee bit of time digging around the PHP: Function Reference and managed to figure out a couple of things, padding the image, and wrapping the text when it is too wide for the image.

Like the rest of A flickr CC search toy the code is surely pretty horrible, but it seems to work.

I also looked over the How do I properly attribute a Creative Commons licensed work? on the FFAQ – CC Wiki again just to make sure I am keeping within the guidelines.

Stamp icons

THe other thing that I’ve changes is to add a 3rd size to the stamped images. I’d avoided the small size as the attribution rarely fitted on the images, now I am padding them they do not present the problem.

Using the stamped image has the advantage of the attribution sticking to the image where ever it goes and as far as online use goes keeping the image under your control an avoilding problems if a user deletes their image when you hot link to flickr.

As always I am interested in any suggested improvements I can make to A flickr CC search toy the idea is still to provide pupils a practical way to use and attribute Creative Commons images from flickr.

Recently I’ve been thinking about ipod touches quite a bit. As well as giving some support to the Glencairn ipod project and being the middle man for a wee Consolarium trial of TapTale which will start soon, I am just back from Oldham and Blackpool CLC’s iPodTouch Conference.

The conference was a great success and there is a lot of interesting chatter on the ning site and on Twitter #ipod2010

Last weekend I started playing with an idea for a wee web app. The idea is to provide an interface for searching flickr and creating images combining flickr photos and text. Using only photos that can be adapted and incorporating attribution.


As a sort of proof of concept I made a web app that makes lunes. A Lune is a fixed-form variant haiku created for the English language. It has three words on the first line, five on the second and three on the third. I’ve used lune writing as a classroom activity on several occasions, they are simple and fun to write. (Lune (poetry) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The web app works like this:

Touch Poem Screens

  1. Pupils load the webpage int oSafari on their ipods and type in a search.
  2. The app retrieves and displays a list of creative commons photos that you are allowed to make derivations of.
  3. Pupils select a photo by clicking on it. This opens the photo with a 3 line form over it.
  4. Pupils type in poem and click Go.
  5. The image and text is sent to the server where it is stamped with the text and attribution and sent back to browser.
  6. Pupil presses on image, save dialog opens and image can be saved to photos.

I am using the phpFlickr to search and GD to stamp the photos

I tried the app out with the Glencairn primary six class on tuesday, we then bumped the photos to my phone, transferred them to a mac and added voice in iMovie: Animal Lunes, all in 90 minutes.

I though the app ran fairly smoothly except for quotes which came back escaped with a slash , some text ran off the pictures and the problem with not being able to fix spelling mistakes. I should be able to fix the escapes and hopefully alter the font size to suit the picture width.

Of course the whole thing was put together in an afternoon, the code is rough and the interface rougher. The plan might be to make it a bit more ajaxy and add a few different poem types, proper haiku, kennngs, Cinquains etc. I am wondering if it would be worthwhile developing? Is it too much of a one off to be really useful? I’d love to know what you think?

You can see the webpage in a quick and dirty Lunes Simulator or directly Flickr Lunes.

A while back I made a simple flickr search tool this is not as slick as some of the beautiful search tools out there but it was designed for pupils to use to get images to embed into their blogs and to create the attribution, clicking on a thumbnail gives this:

Flickr Ccstamp

Which has a text box with the html code to embed the image and attribution, you can choose to align left of right and to use small or medium images.

The tool if far from perfect an needs quite a lot of work but it has proved useful to quite a few folk and I believe used in glow training by LTS. Recently at the suggestion of a fellow ADE I added a more somber style to the rather bright colours I had used (a link at the top right of the page toggles the styles and sets a cookie to remeber your preferences).

At the Scottish Learning festival I was delighted to see Neil Winton‘s pupils using my tool and working with the images. This gave rise to the thought that it might be useful to create images that could be used without the embed code that show attribution. I’ve added a feature, above you can see stamp medium and stamp original links. Clicking on these will produce an image with the attribution stamped on.

Stamped by flickr cc
my crop

So I am wondering would this be useful in your class and two, is this legal (stamping a No Derivs photo? ) and is the wording (Flickr photo by name – license) and I would appreciate your comments on both of these questions.

picPosterous is a photo and video publishing app for the iPhone.

Picposterous 0Picposterous 1

At first glance I could not see the advantage of using this rather than the iPhone’s mail application, and neither could TechCrunch but a tweet or two from Sachin, one of posterous’s founders both put me on the right track and gave further evidence that the posterous guys never sleep.

The idea of the applcation is that during an event (or day or meal or whatever) you take photos and post to posterous. The difference is that you can continue to add images to the post after the first image is posted. This will certainly make it a useful application. Instead of waiting until the end of an event you can snap and post without crating a series of posts. picPosterous will also queue up the photos and post then when it can. You can quit the app and it will try to post again the next time you open it.


So the app is a lot more useful than I first thought. A couple of drawbacks/limitations: the only text you can post is the title and the media is limited to pictures and video (on a newer phone than mine). The auto post feature, which I have turned on for twitter, flickr and a test blog only posts the first photo, which makes sense for twitter but if I used posterous as a means of posting to flickr I’d probably want the whole album being added.

All in all a handy addition to ways of posting stuff online if not a whole solution I think I’ll be using picPosterous regularly.

I also imagine that if the development of posterous itself is any indication the application will be upgraded and improved regularly. Posterous itself has had an incredible rate of feature addition. The founders are very responsive to any suggestion for improvement making it the most exciting blogging platfrom out there.

Aside, I used Camera Genius for iPhone as a replacement for Night Camera for Anti-shake stabilization. night Camera didn’t make the upgrade to the 3.0 version of the iPhone software. Unfortunately Camera Genius doesn’t seem to take photos with location exif data so posterous does not get to produce a nice wee map.


I am just back from a weeks holiday. While I was away I had just about no connectivity. I had packed my laptop and iphone, but there was not internet access I could find and I had to walk about a mile to a nearby cliff top to get a mobile signal!

I gave up on following RSS, twitter and getting email and left the laptop shut. I did do a bit of photo blogging from my phone to my posterous account, and this worked very well.

The new iphone software allows you to mail up to 5 photos instead of just one, posterous makes pretty galleries of sets of photos. The mail app on the iphone allows you to create mails and then will send them later whenever you get a signal, this turns out to be a great feature in comparison with other iphone blogging applications.

The results are on John’s posterous, photos from my camera rather than iPhone were uploaded to flickr when I got back.

@suewaters well that did it:-)
@suewaters well that did it:-)

This evening I was having a wee search for World war 2 images for reuse. I hope to be working with a class next term using images as part of there topic work, mashing the images with iMovie. I had a look in the usual places (including mostly) but didn’t get what I wanted. Scran have some great phtos but I don’t think we could edit them. So I turned to twitter, with the usual gratifying results now tagged on delicious:

LCC bomb damage maps – a set on Flickr

WW2 Image Album

Flickr: east_lothian_museums’ stuff tagged with worldwartwo

World War II Posters – a set on Flickr

WW2 History – a set on Flickr

NEN Gallery : World War Two

Flickr: PhotosNormandie’s Photostream


I’ve also discovered that pivot allows you to display an rss feed in a post, so this list will update as I add more links to delicious.

@johnjonston : Sorry, it had to be done! on TwitPic
@johnjonston : Sorry, it had to be done! on TwitPic

Thanks Neil

At the same time as I was doing lazy research, nearly everyone else i know on twitter seemed to be playing connect 4 with Santa avatars! @nwinton is busy making Santas out of everyone on TwitPic / nwinton. It is this sort of mix that make twitter special, useful and silly at the same time.

If you have any other sources of World War 2 photos that can be reused in class let me know with @johnjohnston on twitter or for:troutcolor on delicious.