Looking to arrange a driving tour of the best Christmas light displays in your neighborhood? Want to let the world know that one of your neighbors accomplished a truly remarkable advance in the field of decorative illumination? Or especially proud of your own handiwork? We're starting this project so you can let the world know. Don't see any photos from your neighborhood? Get out there and take some!
Post a geolocated photo on Instagram using the hashtag #TampaBayHoliday to make it appear on this map. Fill a Thermos with hot chocolate, jump in the car, crank down the AC and see what you find!
Instagram is an app for smartphones and tablets that lets you take photos and easily share them with friends, family and the world at large. If you're already familiar with it, you can skip to Step 2. Otherwise, it won't be hard to get up and running, even if you've never used it before. Here's what you need to do:
1. Download the app and register for an account. If you need help with the downloading part, it'll depend on what sort of gizmo you're using — but help should be easy to find. Just ask someone you know who uses the same gizmo you've got. Instagram accounts are free, easy to get, and it's perfectly okay to upload one photo and then ignore it forever. Also, you don't need to share any personal information you don't want to.
2. Take your photo. Because obviously. The easiest thing to do is to take it within Instagram, but you can use a photo you shot earlier, if you prefer.
3. Tag it #TampaBayHoliday. Hashtags are just search terms used on social networks to make it easier for other folks to find what they're looking for. It goes in the Caption field for your photo.
4. Add the location. Basically, just make sure the "Add to your Photo Map" switch is on. Optionally, you can name the location or select a name someone else has already used. You'll want to make sure Instagram is using the location where the photo was taken. If you take your photo within Instagram, that will happen automagically; if you upload a photo you took in another app or on another device, you'll need to set the location manually. You don't want light-peepers creeping your house looking for that amazing display you shot somewhere else.
Your gizmo might pop up a privacy alert that Instagram wants to use your location. It should be fine — and if you like you can tell your gizmo later to stop letting the Instagram app know your location.
5. Share your photo. When you're ready, there's a button that says "Share." Tap that.
6. Drink your hot chocolate. Don't let it get cold. Nobody hot chocolate once it's cold. No, it's not the same as chocolate milk. Nobody knows why.