Tech Tuesday: Posting Images and Hotlinking

This week's post is a response to a question from a reader. Sarah of Mombalance asks:
Would you consider doing a Tech Tuesday about embedding photos in posts? I know how to add a photo from my computer onto blogger, but I would love to add pics from amazon (with things I like) and I have no idea how to use photobucket. I'm also not really sure where to find pictures that it's okay to use unless I take them.
Why sure, Sarah, I can talk about that. When it comes to blog posts, I confess that I love seeing images and photos embedded in a post. It breaks up the text and gives some life to your writing. While it's unethical to steal images, such as personal photos or artwork, I will confess that I've copied images from company sites in order to write reviews on their products. I tend to right click on the image, select "Save Image As" and save it to my computer.
This of course takes up space on your hard drive. When I want to add the image to my blog post, I just get it from my computer and add it.

You can upload images to an online photo-sharing site like Flickr, Photobucket, etc, but that adds another step to posting images on your blog, since you need to get the direct URL links to the photos. Plus some of these sites are free to a point, and often charge you when you go over their limit. I know Blogger has a limit (as you can see in the red box in the image below), but I have yet to reach it and find out what happens.

I know some people just take the direct link to an image from a website and ink it directly to their blogs by putting the URL address of the image in the spot below, circled in red.
This is called hotlinking, and it's a no-no, especially if you haven't gotten permission from the site. There's debate on whether it's illegal or not, but what you are doing when you take the image is not just stealing content, but stealing bandwidth (which many sites pay for) from the website, and using that site's resources. This can slow down their website, and your hotlinks can be traced too, which can lead to a spanking (just checking to see if you're paying attention).

In an ideal world, we'd be using our own images for posts, but sometimes one does need to borrow from other sites. In these cases, I'd recommend asking permission and then posting a small credit below or next to the image.


NateAndJakesMom said...

You learn something new everyday! I didn't know there was a Blogger limit... I had to go and write a post to see (not that I doubted you for a minute) and thank goodness I am only at 8%.
Thanks for the lesson Kathleen - You rock my socks.

•´.¸¸.•¨¯`♥.Erin.♥´¯¨•.¸¸.´• said...

So hotlinking can get you in hot water! I think I already knew that, but it makes sense reading why. Bandwidth is precious. I usually r-click and save and link back if it is not for a review. Good practices!

Naomi said...

And of course if you're an Apple user, you can just click and drag it to your desktop... easy peasy.

nicole said...

so if hotlinking is illegal, why then does blogger have it on add photo with NO disclaimer.hmmmmmmm
seems tricky to me.

also didnt realize blogger had limit. glad i do now! any idea if the SIZE of the photo makes a difference? i usually put up med size photos...

Kathleen W. said...

Nicole, as I wrote, it's debatable whether it's illegal (lots of people say it is, other say it isn't) but I'm not sure why it's not specified in Blogger. Maybe they're thinking that you might just be linking to an image on your own site...but come on! Who bothers linking to their own site, but maybe Flickr or Photobucket.

Thanks for your comment!

JamericanSpice said...

Well that was very informative. I had no idea blogger had a limit. hmm

Thanks Kathleen.

Nicole Feliciano said...

I clink and link too. It's another step but safer. Can't wait to see your blogher posts!

angie said...

You know how much I love and appreciate your Tech Tuesdays. I'm so jealous that you are at Blogher. I want to go next year. Can't wait to hear more about it.

Sarah @ Mom Balance said...

Awww...thank you so much for answering my question! I learn so much from you.

I thought I had heard that you didn't want to link directly, but I didn't know why! (And when I said "take" pictures - I did mean with my camera. ;) That didn't exactly come out clearly!)

Now I'm trying to figure out how to use clip art here and there in my posts. So much to learn!

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