David Papp Blog

#BirdCam: Social Media Experiment Part 2

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Interestingly, the robin’s are back with a new batch of 4 eggs in the same nest. I hadn’t removed my webcam so I just needed to power everything back up to take pictures every minute. I was very surprised about this.

This time I decided to host the images through Flickr. The nice thing is Flickr provides you with a private email address which you can email your pictures and they automatically appear in your Flickr photostream.

The images from my Axis 2100 webcam are uploaded every minute to my home FTP server. I then wrote a quick 10 line script which emails these pictures every minute to my Flickr account. So the pictures on Flickr are basically live. The direct photostream address is http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidppapp/ and you can also pull it up as a full screen slideshow which is great at http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidppapp/show/

There are many Flick “widgets” which allow you to display the most recent pictures on external websites. We used an HTML based widget to display the 10 most recent pictures to http://birdcam.ca/bc2/ and also to the mobile version of the website at http://m.birdcam.ca/

As I am sending a picture every minute between 5am to 10pm, this results in over 1,000 pictures being uploaded daily to the Flickr account. I ended up needing to subscribe to a Pro account on Flickr at a cost of $25/yr which allows for unlimited uploads. This is a huge cost savings compared to trying to store, host, and serve all of those images from the website. Bandwidth on websites can add up quickly. It also gives you access to the Flickr tools and support.

We will see how this experiment goes using this alternative social network. I am guessing the eggs were laid the last week of June which means hatching should occur sometime next week (around July 13th). Already there are some neat pictures being captured by the camera.

Getting this project going was a lot quicker and less work than the original BirdCam website. Making use of the social networking tools that are at our disposal, many of them free, is the way to share this with everyone. We will still look at putting together some time lapsed & live videos to YouTube along with Facebook posts.

4 thoughts on “#BirdCam: Social Media Experiment Part 2”

  1. Even with all the noise the internet brings, this Birdcam project has renewed my faith in the great potential of the web in providing relevant content in numerous ways. I also applaud the excellent use of different social networking tools, something that many website owners still don’t get. I really appreciate it when content is optimized for mobile devices since I read most of my news on my phone.

  2. I love the picture that goes with this article. It’s kind of cute. I like this idea. I also have an old neighbor that would love this sort of thing. She goes bird-watching all the time. I should refer this to them.

  3. I agree that social media makes it easier to share pictures and video than hosting a web site to do the same. It is like a nice shortcut. Those pictures of the eggs and robin are so cute. What a good idea. I want a bird cam now too!

  4. Those birds look so cute. I like watching videos of baby birds. I think that the BirdCam is awesome and allows people to see the wildlife better.

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