I’m hanging out at Roos Roast with photojournalist Mark Bialek, who is doing a photo shoot for them. Mark is known for his night time photos of Ann Arbor on his Ann Arbor Nights weblog. We’re talking about working together in some way to have some of his photos show up here on this weblog. As a start, here’s one of his favorites: a night time winter scene from Kerrytown.
The site loads slowly, the photos are all squished together, and the carefully curated metadata and tags and comments and photo names are de-emphasized. It's like a weird mix of Pinterest and Tumblr.
If I had the time, I'd cherry pick the best photos from my Flickr stream and blog about them here.
Camera-wiki.org is a successful, non-commercial fork of Camerapedia. It was built over the span of about a month, with a small team of volunteers reconstructing the wiki and its image database in response to a sale of Camerapedia to Wikia. Steevithiak tells the tale from the inside, of late-night perl scripts crawling through the databases reconstructing the site and of coordinated action to rebuild the photo pool.
The challenge of running a wiki is not only that you have to maintain a large collection of encyclopedic content, but also that you have to keep a pile of funky software running. The enticing trade is to accept advertising on your wiki pages in exchange for "free" hosting. The hosting company gets your community's sweat equity, unless they rebel en masse and go and build their own sandbox. More power to them.
Once upon a time, Flickr was just an experimental part of Game Neverending. Then it was a full blown society, full of interesting people who happened to express their interestingness through photography. Digital photography was new then, and special, and there was some first flush of enthusiasm for having a system that "got it".
Time and space happened, and Flickr became part of Yahoo. A piece of the fun drained out, and the Internet got bigger. Digital photography got more ordinary, and the camera I carry around everywhere felt more and more like a crappy camera and not like something I could capture the essence of the world with.
I'm at a point where I could easily take a photograph every day and send it somewhere. Should Flickr be that place? Will the time come not too soon when I will want to be a refugee from it, downloading my photos in the hopes that I can re-upload them somewhere else, tags and annotations intact and some fragment of society reconstructed around them?
I loved Flickr once, in the way that I'm sure that people once loved Compuserve. There is still a Game Neverending to play with photographs, but I don't know yet where to play that game.