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Flickr
October 27, 2009, 3:16 am
Filed under: images | Tags: , , , , ,

I haven’t really looked at flickr much in terms of the way it functions as a social network in itself. As far as sharing images goes, flickr seems like the place that more serious photographers and image makers go. This is probably due to issues of ownership that arise with sharing images on facebook. Although a few people I know share paintings, drawings and their own professional photography on facebook, most of the images I come across are more personal amateur pieces. Flickr provides a completely image based community, but further than that, it assures users that content will remain theirs after it is uploaded. Flickr has its own commons and supports creative commons by allowing searches of creative commons licensed content.

Flickr demonstrates complex layers of categorisation. Images can be tagged and can be added to groups, sets, galleries or favorites. You can add notes or comments. You can join groups and add contacts. Flickr offers a folksonomy which is even more subjective and variable, because it offers many way in which an image can be labeled. Not only do you make a subjective decision in deciding what tags to use, but you make subjective decisions in how images are grouped and so, in how they are seen. Many of the images on flickr are just as everyday or just as insignificant to traditional modes of history as those on facebook. However, flickr shows a different way of aggregating material, which focuses possibly even less on who, where, when and much more specifically on what. On flickr communities can document their activities, aggregating information, which may be valuable to future members of these communities. Although the personal histories of flickr users may not have value to greater society at present, there is no way of knowing what value they may have in future.

image from h.koppdelaney on flickr



Facebook’s lifestream
October 25, 2009, 3:35 am
Filed under: images | Tags: , , , , , ,

In april of last year facebook announced that users would be able to import material from delicious, flickr, picasa and yelp. This extends beyond my theme of images and into something else, but I think it is an interesting because it demonstrates something significant about social networks at this point in time. Although our topic is as broad as social networks and personal histories, we have primarily discussed this in relation to facebook. Facebook’s primary feature is the news feed, which streams the activities of all your friends to be viewed in one place. Now you can add content from your other social networks to this feed. At the moment the list of participants includes not only flickr, picasa, delicious and yelp, but also digg, google reader, youtube, last.fm, pandora, photobucket, hulu and kiva. You can also import content directly from your own blog or rss.

image from javier.reyesgomez on flickr

I was thinking of importing my delicious account just to see what it would be like, but I’m not sure I really want everyone I know to see what I bookmark. It has nothing to do with what I bookmark on delicious and a lot more to do with the concious and very apparent decision to import this content. What kind of impression would it give that I want everyone to my bookmarks? The other thing which kind of disturbed me was the amount of information this would give my facebook friends. It’s not really anything private, it’s actually pretty mundane stuff and I think this is what bothers me. There are just certain really ordinary things that I like to be able to do without feeling as though everyone I know is watching. I’ve always been a little bit like this in everyday life. As a kid I hated that my brother and sister would follow me around watching me cook or paint or whatever. This feeling is also related to the fact that facebook tends to break down the boundaries of the different social spheres we inhabit. Usually you give different appropriate information to different people in your life. It’s almost as though the different social networks we participate in online are a replacement for the different kinds of relationships we have in real life.

But how do behaviours change when we feel we’re being watched? Do you think facebook will become a kind of hub of social networks? Is facebook creating a panoptic society?

ps: the facebook news feed changed ever so slightly this morning. Already people are signing up for groups like “please give us our old news feed back”. This happens every time the function or the layout of the site is changed. I can’t remember thiss ever having an effect. But maybe I haven’t been paying all that much attention.



!
October 20, 2009, 11:34 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,
image from cogdogblog on flickr

image from cogdogblog on flickr



facial recognition and mobile networking
September 29, 2009, 12:02 am
Filed under: images | Tags: , , , , , ,

What if all your personal information was written on your face? That’s the idea behind this clip, which shows how facial recognition technology might be used for mobile use of social netoworks. It is apparent that mobile access to social networks is commonplace. Facebook updates and Twitter posts are simple enough to be created and read on the run. Facial recognition technology is also already in use on both Flickr and Facebook. It is not far fetched to speculate that this kind of technology might be widely available in the future. There are issues of privacy and social implications which might cause concern here. What might happen if anyone can access your details? What is lost in a society where likes, dislikes, interests, age and religion are communicated non-verbally and indiscriminately? Issues such as these are already prevelant in discussion regarding social networks, so it is difficult to judge if this is going too far or just a natural extension of already present practices.

Image by Will_Lion

Image by Will_Lion

Do you access social networks on your phone?

-Bridget