Document (#34571)

Author
Cox, A.M.
Title
Flickr: a case study of Web2.0
Source
Aslib proceedings. 60(2008) no.5, S.493-516
Year
2008
Abstract
Purpose - The "photosharing" site Flickr is one of the most commonly cited examples used to define Web2.0. This paper aims to explore where Flickr's real novelty lies, examining its functionality and its place in the world of amateur photography. Several optimistic views of the impact of Flickr such as its facilitation of citizen journalism, "vernacular creativity" and in learning as an "affinity space" are evaluated. Design/methodology/approach - The paper draws on a wide range of sources including published interviews with its developers, user opinions expressed in forums, telephone interviews and content analysis of user profiles and activity. Findings - Flickr's development path passes from an innovative social game to a relatively familiar model of a web site, itself developed through intense user participation but later stabilising with the reassertion of a commercial relationship to the membership. The broader context of the impact of Flickr is examined by looking at the institutions of amateur photography and particularly the code of pictorialism promoted by the clubs and industry during the twentieth century. The nature of Flickr as a benign space is premised on the way the democratic potential of photography is controlled by such institutions. The limits of optimistic claims about Flickr are identified in the way that the system is designed to satisfy commercial purposes, continuing digital divides in access and the low interactivity and criticality on Flickr. Originality/value - Flickr is an interesting source of change, but can only be understood in the perspective of long-term development of the hobby and wider social processes. By setting Flickr in such a broad context, its significance and that of Web2.0 more generally can be fully assessed.
Theme
Internet
Form
Bilder
Object
Flickr

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