In a previous post , I warned pro photographers against using Flickr as an archiving system. But while I wouldn’t recommend Flickr for storage, it does have a number of uses that make it increasingly worthwhile.
Whether you are currently using the photo-sharing service or not, chances are you will experience more and more pressure to create a Flickr account. One reason for this is that large companies and other third parties are turning to Flickr to manage their photography contests.
For example, the 2006 Angkor Photography Festival Contest  was set up on Flickr, and showcased its theme, “Asia in the World,” as seen through many different lenses. Viewers can easily find and browse the different contest entries, and the competition itself is amazingly simple to manage. This encourages many small online competitions and photo festivals to migrate to Flickr, where images can be submitted, organized and discussed all in one place. It adds another dimension to the process and allows for some great feedback from the community.
The popularity of ((Flickr)) for contests extends to large, tech-savvy companies as well. HP has jumped on the bandwagon , calling on artists to respond to the question of what resolution means to them. Obviously, the “responses” are in the form of pictures. For HP, receiving and publishing the entries is as easy as setting up a Flickr group; contestants can automatically post to it. This makes it easy for photographers to enter, but also for HP to manage the contest.
So while I wouldn’t recommend Flickr as an archiving tool for a professional photographer, it does have many uses — which are expanding all the time. If nothing else, you’ll be able to enter a host of competitions from your Flickr account.
[tags]photography contest, Flickr, John Chapnick [/tags]