Great article in Salon about Flickr today, The Friendster of photo sites by Katharine Mieszkowski. What I love about this article is the author really got her hands dirty and found all the good stuff, talked to all the users, and spent a lot of time exploring all the cool things all you have created. It’s the first article we’ve had that focused on the community, and I’m thrilled about that. I used to work at Salon (though Katharine wasn’t there when I worked there) and these are people who really know and love the web. They understand online communities there, especially since The Well — one of the original (and very best!) online communities — became one of their sites.
The article links to tons of photos — maybe even one of yours! — so make sure you sit patiently through the ad and read it:
On most sites, you
create your own album or page of photos, and invite your friends to
look at them. But on Flickr, you can mingle all your photos with
similar images, creating an endlessly beguiling cross-pollination of
photos that spark a host of unique communities.
Flickr allows its more than 176,000 members [now 182,000, and growing at 7% a week!] to meet each other through both images and
words in an ever-evolving visual playground. The onslaught of
images that appear on the site range from the truly artistic to the
bluntly documentary, a pool of more than 2.2 million photos that’s
growing at the rate of about 30,000 a day. What’s unique is that 82
percent of the pictures on the site are publicly available to anyone
who cares to look at them and riff off them. Members can keep
their photos private, shared only with a specified group of intimates,
but most choose not to, allowing the pictures of their cat or car to freely commingle with others.
The result is a dynamic environment, prone to all sorts of instant fads,
created by members inspiring each other to go in new directions with
their cameras. It makes digital photography not only instantly
shareable, but immediately participatory, creating collaborative
communities around everything from the secret life of toys to what grocery day
looks like. The result is an only-on-the-Web conversation where text
and image are intermingled in a polyglot that has all the makings of a
new kind of conversation.