Promoting Creative Commons through a tweaked Facebook meme

Facebook Album Cover meme resultIf you’re on Facebook then it’s unlikely that you haven’t been sucked into the meme phenomenon. It tends to involve writing something, mainly about yourself, and then tagging other people with a request to do the same. Most recently it got very popular with the “25 random things” meme (yeah, yeah, I don’t think you need to be a certified sociologist to know that those things are never truly random), that first circulated as 7 things then 16 things, but not surprisingly really went viral when it involved tagging 20+ people.

The most recent one I noticed concerns something much more random as you’re requested to create an album cover based on randomly-generated phrases for the band name and album title, and a randomly displayed “interesting” image from the photo-sharing site Flickr (details below). That last bit about the image bothered me a bit though, because the photos people were grabbing and editing were not necessarily posted under a Creative Commons license. I didn’t like the idea of people grabbing images that their creators didn’t necessarily want reused by others thus my interest in finding those shared under a CC license.

I went searching for a way to browse CC-licensed photos from Flickr’s Explore pool (photos deemed especially “interesting” by the system), but found no such option on the site (the closest to it I saw was to browse popular tags of photos shared under CC). I posted a note on Twitter about this, but the best people could do was point me to the CC option on Flickr’s advanced search page, which doesn’t address this issue since you can’t restrict a search to photos in Explore nor is searching for something specific the same as random browsing. Finally, I posted a comment on a Facebook friend’s photo lamenting the fact that I had not managed to find such an option when one of his friend’s replied with a link to a page that Mike Lietz kindly put together to generate CC-licensed Flickr photos from Explore randomly! A note to Flickr though: I think this is an option they should offer on the site.

So now I present to you the updated meme (italics are my additions) promoting Creative Commons as well as free photo-editing software. If you’re going to participate in this meme, I invite you to do so using the tweaked instructions below so as to help spread CC love.

CREATE YOUR BAND NAME & ALBUM COVER:

To Do This

1 – Go to Wikipedia. Hit “random”
or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 – Go to Quotations Page and select “random quotations”
or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four or five words of the very last quote on the page is the title of your first album.

3 – Go to Flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
Grab the photo randomly generated from Creative Commons licensed photos on Flickr here:
http://mikelietz.org/code/flickr-ccgettr.php

4 – Use Photoshop the free Paint.Net or Gimp or similar to put it all together.

5 – Post it to FB with this text in the “caption” or “comment” and TAG the friends you want to join in.

Photo credit: Thanks to zedzap‘s CC-licensed photo, which is what I used to create the image above.

3 Responses to “Promoting Creative Commons through a tweaked Facebook meme”

  1. Erin Reilly Says:

    Your blog post is great — I love that your encouraging all to participate and create with the caveat that we should attribute to those we remix from. Project New Media Literacies has observed classes (both in school and after-school) where images are often taken and used in presentations and such without considering the copyright. Melanie Dulong de Rosnay has been working closely with NML on developing attribution into the design of the Learning Library application which we’ll release in May. We’re posting it on the DML portal early and look forward to seeing what you think of it.

    I’m taking your suggested tweaks above on the band name and album cover — I love that you not only focused on CC licensed photos but you also gave free browser based sites to use to put it all together. You’ll see it on my FB soon ;-)

  2. eszter Says:

    Thanks, Erin. Looking forward to seeing what you and NML come up with!

  3. barnes r Says:

    Nice work! I love it!

    R