Together on Flickr

Originally uploaded by Yanov.

I've started posting some of my Family photos on Flickr. I've started out cautiously, making those photos visible (mostly) only to Family. I started using Flickr thinking that it was mostly a place for me to display some of my art photography and get some feedback on it. Then I saw that some people uploaded nearly every photo they had ever taken. Different people are using it for very different things. It is something of a wonder to me that I thought that most people were using it like I was. Different people using the same tool for different purposes is not new, but in this case the tool is also a community. As a community it turns out that the participants have some very different objectives. What happens when new features are to be decided upon? Certainly they will serve some sub-communities better than others. How do you decide? Does Flickr eventually splinter? The group mechanism in Flickr today allows individuals to group around purposes or interests, but I don't think it is sufficient to create all the opportunities these communities might want in order to communicate. It would be an interesting experiment to build social analysis tools using the Flickr API to determine the vitality and life cycle of the various groups that appear on the site. What groups are vibrant? Which are sickly? moribund? This is not simply an issue of counting heads and photos. It's about trend rates.

By the way, the photo here is from a collection of family photos shot the final week of June 2005.

About Phil Yanov

Phil Yanov is a Technologist, Columnist and Public Radio Commentator.

He is the founder of Tech After Five as well as the founder and President of the GSA Technology Council and the IT Leadership Council.

His personal technology column appears in Greenville Business Magazine and the Columbia Business Journal.

He co-hosts the Your Day technology shows heard on NPR radio stations across South Carolina and is a frequent contributor to technology stories appearing on radio and television.