How and Why to Use Wikimedia Commons Public Domain Images
Pictures are attention grabbers.
Warning! Warning! Warning!
Many of the files on Wikimedia Commons are very graphic. Be advised that if you are allowing children access to these images, there are many X-rated images. There are also very gruesome photographs of victims of torture and executions.
Learning to Write for the Internet
I have done some writing in the past for a newspaper (many, many years ago). But writing for the internet is a whole new animal! No more catchy titles; SEO is king and we must write for the search engines or be ignored. Being new to internet writing, I have been reading everything I can about it. After learning about the value of adding pictures, I searched for free photos and found Wikimedia Commons.
What is Wikimedia Commons?
According to the parent site Wikipedia, Wikimedia Common is " an online repository of free-use images, sound and other media files."
Started in 2004 by volunteers, the site now contains over 16 million media files, from master painters to everyday photographers. The files are all public domain, with the understanding that the artist or creator of the file will be credited. The agreement extends to the user, who is expected to make any files obtained and altered from the site freely available to others.
The quality of the photographs range from amateur to professional. If you need images of ancient paintings, this is your go-to place.
Unfortunately, Hub Pages does not recognize the video files, so you will be unable to download to this your Hub directly.
Public Domain Image
Using WikiCommons to Get Attention
In this age of short attention spans, people make a split second decision as to whether they want to read your article or not. Using images can help illustrate your content and entice people into clicking on your article.
I hope the image above caught your attention and made you want to read further. I wanted an eyecatching (eyecatching to me, anyway) picture, I typed in man torso and hit search. This is one sample of what appeared.
When searching for "butterflies" hundreds of pictures of butterflies came up in the search. There were oil paintings, photographs, line drawings and video.
The picture to the side caught my eye. I had intended to use a stunning color photograph, but I'm drawn to the unusual. Never mind that it is actually a moth. :)
Why Use Wikimedia Commons?
The most obvious answer is because the images are free! Make sure you check out the requirements of reusing content.
It adds SEO value:
- Images are useful information that search engines use when classifying your article. Be sure images are relevant to your topic. If you are writing about steam engines, use a picture of a steam engine not a tree.
- Ideally, your image file name should also reflect your articles main topic. If you are writing about red steam engines, include the words in your pictures caption.
- Use dashes when naming your image files when you save them: steam-engine-red, not steamenginesred. Dashes are seen as spaces and will aid the search bots in classifying your content.
Larger Audience of Internet Searchers
- Many people (myself included) have searched for specific images, found one and landed on someone else's webpage. Sometimes I get distracted and start reading the page's writing. Without images for others to search for, you are reducing your potential internet audience.
Design Your Own Products
- If you design products for resale on Zazzle or Cafe Press, you can possibly use these pictures and artwork to design shirts, mugs and tons of other products. Just check the user agreements listed under every image for requirements and limitations.
What Makes a Picture Public Domain?
An image becomes public domain if the copyright has expired. In the US, the copyright is 70 years.
Images produced by or for the US government cannot be copyrighted and as such are considered in the public domain.
Many media files are released by the artist into the public domain with the caveat that they be credited. Wouldn't you like to be credited if 70 years from now someone republishes your work?
Always include the creator of any work when you share a Wikicommons media file. Be respectful and give the artists their due.
Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year 2012
How to Attribute an Image on Wikimedia
Wikimedia Commons provides a clear and easy way to get the attribution information needed to properly attribute the picture's source.
- When you find an image you would like to use on Wikimedia Commons, upload it to your photo capsule.
- Then look at the wording directly above the image. You will see "reuse this file." Click on this.
- A globe will appear to the right of the image. Click on it.
- This will bring up a box with the image's URL, attribution, and html information.
- Copy the attribution information and paste it in the "name of source" box of the photo capsule.
- The information can be reduced to the author's name, image use licenses, and a link to the licensing information source.
Wkimedia Commons on Youtube
Have you ever used Wikimedia Commons?
Resources for Writing
- On Fire: Writing for Yahoo Contributor Network: What They Pay and What They are Looking For
- On Fire: HubPages: Write and Earn Online with a HubPage
My experiences writing for Hubpages. The article shows how my earnings have increased over the past year.
- Morguefile.com free stock photos
Morguefile.com free stock photos
- Welcome to Flickr - Photo Sharing
Flickr is almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world. Show off your favorite photos and videos to the world, securely and privately show content to your friends and family, or blog the photos and videos you