Make Flickr more fun and less time consuming with these add-ons.

When it comes to sharing photographs with your friends, websites such as Flickr offer the ideal alternative to clogging up your friends' inboxes by emailing pictures.

Now, with a little outside help from third-party add-ons and applications, Flickr can be even more fun and uploading photos can become a lot less time consuming.

Spell with Flickr

Create your own ransom note with metaatem.net/words. Input any word, phrase or sentence and the site, will scour Flickr for pictures of letters to spell out your message.

You can change individual letters in the collage created by the website to your taste by clicking on the letter. When you're happy with it, copy and paste the HTML and share with whoever you want.

Word association with Flickr

Tagnautica offers the online equivalent of Mallet's Mallet - the 80s kids TV word association game hosted by Timmy Mallet.

Visit Tagnautica and enter a tag of your choice. The website crawls Flickr to identify all images featuring that tag.

You can then view the images by clicking the tag in the centre or view the images that Tagnautica has identified, all of which are tagged with words relating to your original search. For example, we typed in Hamster which came back with 35,809 different images.

Tagnautica also offered use images featuring the tags rodent, animal and fluffy, to name but a few.

NEXT PAGE: see who's uploading what > >

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Make Flickr more fun and less time consuming with these add-ons.

See who's uploading what

Flickrvision satisfies the curtain twitcher in you by allowing you to see the images other Flickr users are posting up across the globe at that exact moment in time.

Balloons are displayed across a 2D or 3D map and by rolling your mouse over an image, you can even take a closer look at it.

There's something mesmerising about watching snapshot slices of life from people in just about every nook and cranny of the planet appear in near real time.

Saving time when uploading images

If you are using a free Flickr account then you've only 10MB of space. Unless you want to restrict your Flickr gallery to just a few images, you need to go through the time-consuming process of resizing digital photographs so you can upload as many as you want to your account.

However, when free photo-management tool Picasa 2.0 is used in conjunction with a Gmail account, the software can be directed to automatically resize the images before uploading them via email, saving you hassle.

Log in to your Flickr account use the Upload by Email function, which will provide you with a personalised email address that can be used to send photos to your Flickr account.

Open Picasa and, on the Email tab, in the Tools, Options menu, choose Use my Gmail Account.

Then set the picture size that Picasa will scale your images to using the slider.

Select the image to be uploaded and then click on Email, enter your Gmail login details and use the personalised email address that Flickr originally gave you as recipient address. Use the subject line for the picture's title and the message body for its description.

Press Send and your photo will be uploaded to Flickr. Images can only be tagged manually by opening Flickr.

Flickr itself also offers a less time consuming way of uploading images with its Flickr Uploadr software for Windows XP and Vista. Visit the Flickr Uploading Tools page and download the software. Once you have given the software authorization to access your Flickr, you can simply start dragging and dropping your images into the software.

Assign titles, description and even tags to the photos as well as automatically resizing the images to one of four different sizes; 800, 1280, 1600 and 2048 pixels. Photos are then ready to be automatically uploaded you your Flickr account.

Finally, FlickrSync allows you to manage the photos in your Flickr account locally from your hard drive by syncing selected folder on your computer with Flickr.

Once the software has been given authorisation to access your account, use the View and Sync option in the Sync menu to update any changes you have made to the selected local folders in your Flickr account.

NEXT PAGE: update a boring screensaver > >

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Make Flickr more fun and less time consuming with these add-ons.

Update a boring screensaver

Mosaica is a customisable screensaver that uses images from Flickr. Once the screensaver application is installed, simply select the Mosaica in the screensaver options. Customise the screensaver by defining the sort of images you want on your screensaver.

Interestingness allows you to enjoy the most interesting images either posted that day or on a specified date. The Users and Tags function allows you to choose only images from certain users or with certain tags and then offers a further option to sort the images by relevance, date or interestingness.

Alternatively use the Randomness function to randomly select pictures for your screensaver from the latest images uploaded to Flickr. With all the hard work done, just leave your screen and wait for a screensaver with Flickr images to appear.

During a test we enjoyed some fantastic images of unusual glass pictures, Pandas and some beautiful location shots. It's certainly better than traditional Windows screensavers.

Create your own comic strip

If you've ever though you're witty enough to publish your own comic strip, then Bubblr is for you.

Bubblr is an online tool that lets you create your own comic strip, complete with witty comments from images posted on Flickr.

Start by searching for images featuring a particular tag. Then drag and-drop-images found by Bubblr when trawling Flickr. Add as many images you're your comic strip as you want and then complete by inserting speech or thought bubbles with witty comments.0

Save and publish the comic strip with a title and a name in the Bubblr archive, making it available to be viewed by anyone.

NEXT PAGE: Flickr wallpaper, and an addictive Flickr game > >

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Make Flickr more fun and less time consuming with these add-ons.

Flickr Wallpaper

Flickr Wallpaper is a very simple but effective program that downloads a random, interesting photo from Flickr and uses it as your PC's desktop wallpaper. You can specify a set of tags you are interested in and schedule it to run every time the machine is started up or every hour using Windows Scheduled Tasks.

Alternatively install the shortcut on your desktop and just click directly on it when you want to change the image.

Fastr

If you have a few minutes to waste then take a look at http://randomchaos.com/games/fastr/. This online game displays an image from Flickr and you have to guess the tag before anyone else.

Simply input your guess and hit Guess the tag. The mini game option allows you to play on your own.

Just constantly guess what you think is the name of the tag for the displayed picture until you get it correct or get so fed up you choose to give-up and have the name displayed.

Alternatively, if you're of a more competitive nature then opt to play the group game. Enter a player nickname for yourself and choose a Flickr group to challenge. Then see if you can beat them to guessing the correct tag for the Flickr image.

Be warned it's highly addictive and you won't be prepared to give up that easily!

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