Originally posted on Digital Curation class blog, 9/16/09
Sept. 14th, I found out on Mashable that Flickr launched a Galleries application: http://mashable.com/2009/09/14/flickr-galleries/. What interests me the most is that it differs strongly from the already existing “favorites” ability (which is more the accumulating of images that interest one than “curating” of images). Their Galleries limit one to only 18 images (pulled from available images on Flickr), and one may title and write about what one finds meaningful about them.
Please explore the Galleries that people have created here: http://www.flickr.com/galleries. One can comment on the gallery, but not rate it or add it (which I think would be great features). Two of my favorites are Moleskinerie and tea. I would love the ability to enter metadata on gallery collections as a whole – as part of cataloging a curated exhibit goes beyond each individual image to address the relationship the images have to each other and how they interact.
The architect that I code metadata in his image database for – has been explaining to me his vision for a metadata hierarchy or schema. His vision seems to be one that is personal, intuitive and based upon his own use of images as visual inspiration. It is fascinating to work through and help develop this kind of metadata functionality in a workable way. For example: He wants a category called “Activities” – in which would include courtyards, outdoor cafes, public squares, people. He would like a category “Skylines” which would include architectural facades against the sky.
Going back to the Galleries on Flickr – I am inspired by seeing the arrangements and limited selections selected by individuals, named brief and poetic titles. I find these to be creative and mental exercises that not only allow others a glimpse into how others see the world, but allow others the chance to craft and curate one’s own expression through the pairing, juxtoposition, arranging and poetic guidance of images that speak to us.
Flickr user “nonac” has created numerous Galleries on Flickr and what I especially love about them is that they contain written text – the voice of the curator. The eyes have it.
I expect to follow great things on Flickr because of this new capability – but would like to see gallery-specific tagging in addition to the ability to favorite these collections. The potential to comment on and discuss these arrangements as well as the possibility for artists to collaborate via this application is very exciting.
Can this creative use of digital/social-tagging and curating be extended to other creative uses of digital content online? I find YouTube ripe with creative usability problems. Amazon.com allows one to create book lists. I am very interested in how one might move beyond the “accumulation” level of online content collection to the “curating” level – and how that might play out in other creative online platforms.