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My Friend Flickr?

Minnie on the steps

This is a picture of my favorite cat and his name is Minnie. We got Minnie as a kitten from a friend of my wife’s that worked with her at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) in Rochester, MN. That's how he came about his name. Minnie’s breed is Maine Coon Cat.

Flickr is an interesting folksonomic web site in that Flickr allows people to store, categorize (tag), and share their digital photographs with friends, family, and the entire world (Sturtz, Communal Categorization: The Folksonomy , p. 2). I had never visited or heard of Flickr until this assignment. Flickr is one of those web sites that screams out for ones understanding of cyberliteracy. “Cyberliteracy means voicing an opinion about what these technologies should become and being an active, not passive, participant? (Gurak, cyberliteracy, p. 27).

I have thought myself cyberliterate, however, most of my thought has centered on Internet security concerns and it is easy for me to see how a site like Flickr makes the theft of intellectual property so easy. Someone may post a killer photograph on Flickr and with great speed and reach grant anyone in the world access to it. The owner may not think much of a photograph's commercial value, however, someone else my see great commercial value in a photograph and use it for personal gain without the owner ever knowing about it. Sure, Flickr has Community Guidelines and a Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy. I don’t think those policies will keep people that want to steal someone else’s intellectual property at bay. I posted my photographs to Flickr as private and available to friends only.

Our reading about speed, reach, anonymity, and interactivity gave me cause to think about the lack of gatekeeping (Gurak, p. 35) and the lack of automated protection of intellectual property on folksonomic web sites like Flickr. Making me wonder, is Flickr really my friend?


I was thinking about security too as I selected my images for Flickr. I decided to go with only landscapes and "unpersonal" images. I was wondering if my hesitancy was not only security but also unfamilarity of the unknown too.

Oh, a Maine Coon! I’ve been fascinated by this breed lately — particularly by their personalities. I’m petless at the moment, but we’re planning to get a cat as soon as we move in a couple of years.

Hi Krista. What an adorable cat. I am an animal lover. I grew up with 2 cats and three dogs. I recently just purchased a puggle puppy 3 months ago, which is a lot more work than expected, but don't get me wrong I'm loving every moment of it.

I validate your point about copyrights- however anyone who is taking questionable photos should understand the consequences of posting them on the internet. Look what happened to Miss Nevada. She knew people were taking pictures of her. I don't believe she has the right to argue that the pictures were 'private' or copyrighted by any means.

I think Flickr is your friend, just as long as you're not posting pics that you wouldn't want your grandma to see, because she just might.


This is a picture of my cousins, siblings, myself, and my grandparents. The reason why I chose it is because over the years the number of family photos we have are steadily decreasing. My cousin Dimitri (on the lower left) lives in Russia and my cousin (on the top right) lives in Boston. They rarely come down to MN to visit so it's hard for all of us to be together and have family pictures. That's why I think that this picture is very important to me.
Flickr is a way for people establish themselves in this new program. It allows users upload their favorite pictures and to tag with them words that would make it easy to find. This system allows other people to view other user’s files who share their interests. It’s a fun way to see what other people are in to. Flickr works in a similar way to Google by bringing up the files that have the largest number of “convergence.? I think that this is an interesting program that I haven’t heard of until recently. What I like about it is how it steers clear of political and ethical issues by having this system of convergence.