Week 4: Photos, Videos, & Giving Credit Where It’s Due


Image by anda ♥ via Flickr

In our homeschool co-op blogging class this week, we are talking about Copyright and how to give someone credit for their work.

For bloggers, “giving credit” usually means linking. Be generous with your links — that’s what makes the internet go ’round!

But first, let’s warm up our brains with some editing practice…

Editing Practice

Readers almost always consider active sentences (“somebody does something”) more interesting than passive sentences (“something was done”). You want whatever you write to be interesting, don’t you? So let’s practice writing active sentences.

Orally in Class: pages 20-21.

On Your Own: Do as much of pages 22-23 as you like. If you enjoy the silly stories, finish them to create a blog post.

Extra Tip: Judging from the examples in our textbook, you might assume it’s easy to recognize passive sentences from the phrase “by so-and-so” — but not so! Usually, passive voice drops the doer entirely out of the sentence. Stuff just “was done.” So watch out when you use the words “was” or “were” in your writing. Double-check your sentence, and if it’s passive, try to rewrite!

How to Find Photos

2 & 1/2 and already a computer junky!

Image by Wilson (Army Gal) via Flickr

Photos and videos break up the expanse of gray text and make a blog post more interesting. And the way I figure it, anything that makes the reader happy makes a blogger happy, too!

Just be careful that you have permission to use the photo or video. The best kind of permission is Creative Commons Attribution, which means that you may change the image however you like (for instance, by cropping or adding text), but you must tell (and link to) the original source.

When writing a WordPress.com blog post, you can use Zemanta to find cool photos that are free to use — and best of all, Zemanta does all the links for you!

Here’s how to use it:

(Non-Wordpress bloggers can use Zemanta, too. Just go to their Downloads Page and find the plug-in that works with your browser.)

To use more than one Zemanta photo, click on the ones you want and drag them into your blog post.

If you don’t like any of the pictures Zemanta offers, you can “refine” the recommendations by typing in key words. For this post, I typed in blogging and computers and pictures and children — and I don’t know how the dog got in there. But he’s cute!

If you would rather find photos on your own, read How to Navigate the New Flickr.

How to Find Videos

YouTube is a great source for funny videos and clips from old TV shows, but it also has a lot of rude and crude film clips. So the best way to find a good video is to get recommendations from a friend you trust.

Or try the Kim Komando Video Picks. These are always family friendly — but you have to click on the gray YouTube logo in the bottom corner of the picture to get to the original video’s page before you can put it on your blog.

For instance, here’s a funny video I found on Kim’s site:

How to include a YouTube video in your blog post:

  1. Find a video you like.
  2. Go to the original YouTube page. Click the Share button, which is just below the video. (If there is no Share button, then you don’t have permission!)
  3. Copy the highlighted link, which will look like:
  4. In your blog post, type [youtube= and then paste in the URL you copied and type ]. No spaces anywhere! It should look like this:
  5. Click Save Draft and Preview to make sure the video is showing up where you want it.

Optional: I like to add &hd=1&rel=0 before the last ], to make the video display in high-definition and to turn off the related videos feature (because sometimes the related videos are rude.)

Other Video Formats

WordPress allows quite a few other video formats, too. Learn more at the WordPress.com Support > Videos page. The various formats are listed in the blue box. Click any name to find out how to use that type of video.

To the Computers!

Image by Jason.Hudson via Flickr

Let’s get a head-start on this week’s homework:

  • Work on a blog post. Add a photo or video, and be sure to give credit!
  • Visit at least one classmate’s blog and leave an encouraging comment.

“Extra Credit”: Challenge Yourself to Blog

If you have extra time this week, check out the new tips and ideas at Challenge Yourself to Blog. Or browse the student bloggers list for other students who have similar interests or who are about your age, and encourage them by visiting their blogs, reading their posts, and leaving comments. And if you find fellow bloggers whose work you enjoy, add them to your Blogroll!


5 responses to “Week 4: Photos, Videos, & Giving Credit Where It’s Due

  • katiejoyb

    Yeah, I used to not want to take the time to get the info and give credit so I just used my own or didn’t use any, but I love how Zemanta does it for you!

  • TeacherMom

    Yes, Zemanta is a wonderful tool. In fact, I think it was when I saw the colored pencil picture it found for you (in this post) that I decided to give it a try.

    But alas, it is not perfect. In class this week, one of the students wanted to type in extra words to find more pictures, but Zemanta would not offer him a “refine” option. I have no idea why it did that. Strange!

  • Felicia


    I’m trying to start my own blog but can’t find any details anywhere about using images from a catalogue or online store – for example, if I want to write a blog about strange fashion finds, am I legally allowed to use the images from different online stores if I put a link under the photo back to the site? What about using images from from online magazines to show design inspiration? Everything I’ve read about seems to talk only about photos or artwork, nothing really clarifying what I’m able to use in the examples above.

    Please can anyone shed some light?


  • TeacherMom

    Hi, Felicia, and thanks for stopping by my blog!

    What you are asking about is “Fair Use”, and the rules will vary from one country to another. Basically, you can use a limited amount of copyrighted material (with credit given) for educational purposes, or for the purposes of review or satire.

    The catalog photos are copyrighted, so you should research the rules for Fair Use and compare them to what you are wanting to do on your blog. Here are a couple of places to start:

    Fair Use — from Wikipedia
    Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Overview

  • Warning: Don’t Copy! « Blogging 2 Learn

    […] you use Zemanta to find images, it should take care of the credit caption and linking for you. But do use Preview to check that […]

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