Tagging is a tool for organizing information, similar in a lot of ways to subject headings in catalogs. Tagging is also similar to slang in the sense that certain tagging words become popular and signify the sharpness of one's place on the cutting edge. Still, websites like Flickr come and go, and for every rising star there seems to be one hundred that burn out, either completely or far out of cultural prominence. Myspace is a good example of the quickly evolving levels of popularity and culture. This blog posting compares the popularity of myspace and facebook to white flight.
A thought: isn't Facebook doing a lot of these things. One of the distressing things about all of the innovation is that when new ideas emerge, they seem to be everywhere. I think people like the idea of having many of these innovations in one place and in user-friendly forms. Flickr is nice, but why not share photos, tag them, and display them to groups you already have with friends on Facebook.
There does seem to be a tension between hipness and practicality. Flickr can be a practical way to share photos with other people. It would be helpful (in a practical way) for libraries to tag photos they take of library activities, that way when people search a particular library, they can see what they want to discover. Seeing is believing, and creating a visual connection can welcome users in, not only virtually, but also in through the library's doors.
Flickr is also a good place to find artistic photos of a topic that interests you. For example, if I were doing a presentation on Madison's Memorial Union. It would be helpful to show it. But, of course, the images have to be downloadable. Google Image might work as well as Flickr for something like that. Might.
8 years ago