Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Flickr, Google and Walls.

I've been following a number of discussions which I think are of interest and linked one to another.

Josie Fraser has been writing about Pictures of Children online. Her wise observations bring together several strands of thinking about consent, ethics and digital presence.

I like photographs. I like Flickr. I love looking at the photographs deemed interesting, I love looking at the wonderful landscapes, I envy the skill of the photographers, but I don't feel the need to post personal photographs for the world to see. If I ever place family photographs on Flickr (and to be honest I'm not sure that I will) they will always be behind the family and friends wall.
Having a digital presence doesn't mean not having a private life.

Josie points to D'Arcy's "Deflickering".
I note his sadness at re categorising photographs of his son to the friends and family setting, but he's done the right thing. I don't really understand his thoughts about having carved his son out of his online place, to my mind he's placed his son into a far more special and safer online place.

D'Arcy deflickered his photographs in response to Cole Camplese seeking advice in "Flickr You."
On February 1st. Cole wrote
"I just pulled all of the little lady and little man from public view on Flickr. It hurt a bit, but it is the right thing to do. Funny how conversation just sort of sparked action. I like this social stuff … I hope I’m not being too open"

Well done Cole, I hope others will follow his example.

Josie mentions the conflicts we face in contributing to our children's digital presence and asks "Would you have liked your parents contributing to what searches of you might return?".
Can you imagine?
But think on, it might be time for us to consider how we have been contributing to our own digital presence.

Read what Nelson has to say about "Google search history and privacy".
Like Nelson I'm not sure that I want Google to be storing data about me. Time to do a little opting out. This personalisation of search results only happens when you sign in to a Google account. Time to question whether I want or need to go through that particular door. What's to be done?

Finally Apophenia has written a thoughtful post "about those walled gardens".
She's right, walled gardens aren't all that bad, but sometimes it depends which side of the wall you're standing.

Stephen Downes (not David Brake) notes
"the best wall is one with a door, and the best door is one with a key"


  1. Actually it was Stephen Downes who said that - mine was the comment above.

  2. Apologies to David and Stephen, I misread the comments headings on apophenia.

    Perhaps I shouldn't be allowed through the door!