Flickr and the reading
This is a picture of me and a couple friends of mine on top of a mountain in the smokey mountains in Tennessee. We went on a backpacking trip there immediately after finals spring semester of '06. I am standing in the middle with the white hat on because it was quite cold up there. The link is to the rest of my pictures.
To be honest I had heard of Flickr before this assignment but had no idea of it's capabilities. I had seen it on a few of my friend's livejournals and hadn't thought much of it a the time. After looking into it further, I can see the immense possibilities of it (also the immense amount of time spent on it). I really thought that the features such as tagging or the map feature were highly intriguing. To be able to see where people are from and see their pictures where taken just sounds revolutionary.
After looking over the Flickr website and thinking about my own personal experience with it, I found many issues that the book brought up within the website. In regards to my personal experience, "we really need to understand not just how to use the techonology but how to live with it, participate in it, and take control of it." (Gurak, Cyberliteracy, p. 11). What could be a better example of this than Flickr. A website that's sole existence is based upon people contributing to it as a whole.
The book states that the functional units of internet communication are, "speed, reach, anonymity, and interactivity" (Gurak, Cyberliteracy, p 29). It would be quite obvious that all of these terms would be tied to Flickr and I think that someone has already used this quote but I wanted to speak about it further. The largest issue I can see regarding Flickr is that it cuts away at peoples anonymity with the photo tagging system, the maps, and just the site as a whole. While there are many ways to prevent photos being viewed by others and other various security systems I don't see many people bothering with them (case in point, me). At the same time I'm sure it can lead to new levels of anonymity with misleading or misrepresented photos. "The community and intimacy that the internet inspires can create an erroneous trust in any new virtual friends we may have made" (Gurak, Cyberliteracy, p. 39). Enough about the negatives I still do have a positive opinion that this website and it's features.
As a sidenote I enjoyed the comment on page 19 regarding the fact that interactiveness of Jesse Ventura's may have played a crucial role in helping elect him. Gotta love tying class concepts in with Minnesota trivia.