Thursday, March 20, 2008


Very cool possibilities with Flickr. What immediately strikes me is its potential as a storage space for images--we recently bought a secondary hard drive for this purpose, but in the case of a fire we'd still need to rescue THAT. Using Flickr, the images really are "safe". And we can upload in batches, which would make the process pretty fast. As for the sharing--I think we're going to see a theme here--I think that's cool for people that are computerheads, i.e., people who are online ALL THE TIME. Me, I have two little kids and where I'm at in my life, I'm not going to spend hours--or even minutes, truthfully--randomly surfing Flickr images. On the other hand, if I did need to find an image of penguins or something, I think I would go to Flickr.

I'm not entirely sure how a library would use Flickr. The Clemens & Alcuin Libraries' example--that's cool and all, but do they get a lot of circulation that way? It's seems like a long and winding road to the library and its materials to me.

I feel like I'm coming across as a naysayer, and that's not my intent. I guess I do just fear that--as was discussed in the initial Library 2.0 subject--that we sacrifice something real and good for the mere idea of the usefulness of technology. I may accept a business case for the use of Flickr in a high school or academic library (because of the user demographic) but no way for a public library. I just don't think the average public library user is at that level. No offense to the average public library user--but when I think of one of my favorite branches, the Rondo Community Outreach library of St. Paul, I feel fairly sure that their service to the local Somali and Hmong populations needs to be a little more direct than posting images of their collection on a Web 2.0 tool like Flickr.


Off topic, and on the subject of RSS feeds, I suddenly recalled the other day that a couple of years ago I was using a service that was clearly a precursor to RSS--the service I used, I'm sure there were others, but the service I used was Furl. You marked your websites and then the URLs were stored at the Furl site. It was like storing your bookmarks at that location, so that no matter what computer you were on you had access to all your favorite sites. It was cool, and convenient. It was lacking the update feature--just held the static URL--but I can see that it was a similar concept. I think I need to go back to Google Reader and fool around with that some more. Maybe it was just the interface that was turning me off.

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