So this is Flickr
Maybe I'm a bit ignorant of certain online things, but I had actually never heard of Flickr before this class. Okay, so it's just another photo sharing site. No big deal.
Anyway, I mentioned in my introductory post that I'm a huge Cardinals fan, so this picture ought to prove it. This is a cell phone picture I took back in August 2005, the last time I was ever at the old Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Since then, the stadium was torn down and a brand new one was built in its place. Of course, that makes this picture pretty special to me since I'll never have another opportunity to take one like it again. I have pictures of the new stadium in my Flickr account too.
I believe these "folksonomic" websites as described by Sturtz in the article are natural evolutions of organization and the technologies people have created to make that easier. Flickr may seem like a modern, high tech idea, but it's not like the concept of taking and organizing pictures is a new one. Anyone could take a bunch of pictures on film, get them developed, label them, and put them away in albums or scrapbooks according to those labels without the use of computers or internet. The difference here is the ease of the process and the degree of cyberliteracy involved. Miore and more, people are getting used to working "completely within a digital text" (Gurak, Cyberliteracy, 19), so who knows, perhaps within the next couple generations or so, people will forget about analog modes of organization and rely entirely on computers for this kind of work. Just as an observation though, even something like Flickr isn't totally independent of a human factor. As easy as it makes it to instantaneously file away and bring up pictures under specific keywords, the site isn't going to come up with those keywords for you. Unless the user tags his or her pictures with specific, descriptive words, Flickr's organizational functions are essentially useless.
Something else that Flickr offers that would be beyond traditional scrapbooking is the audience the users' pictures can reach. Unless you're a professional photographer, most likely no one beyond you and a small group of people you know personally will ever see any ordinary, nondigital pictures you take, but on a site like Flickr, pretty much anyone in the world could see them. On one hand, this is a wonderful way to anonymously share your photography with the world since no personal information is tied to those pictures, but at the same time it compromises your anonymity based on the kinds of pictures you post. This isn't just limited to Flickr. Sites like Myspace and Facebook provide places for people to share their personal information with the world, and even supposedly anonymous things like chatrooms and message boards can be used to talk about personal things. This isn't even taking into account the multitude of spyware and other things used by people to collect information about you without you knowing.