This is Part III of my weekly dummy series on web goodies with a social twist. Part I was about social bookmarks manager, part II about the social knowledge bases Wiki, this weeks technology is the webs best way to store, search, sort, and share your photos – Flickr. Everyone having heard of Flickr before can safely hit the back button.

What’s that?

Flickr is a free webservice for well storing, searching, sorting, and sharing ones photos with friends and family and the rest of the world. The introduction gives a good overview.

Why is it great?

  • It’s web-based. Photos can be accessed across all browsers and machines.
  • It’s social. Everyone can upload, tag and comment his photos and can also browse, search, and comment upon the public photos of all other users.
  • It’s quite easy to use.
  • It provides an ocean of pictures for diving into. Take care not to get lost.
  • It’s subscribable. Various RSS feeds are provided for subscribing to new uploads of specific people or tags.
  • It’s great fun.

Thats it?

Well, almost. Flickr might very well be the entrance drug for tagging. Tagging (applying one or more terms to entities like photos, tracks, bookmarks or documents) has become one of the most effective way of giving sense and value to items living within an overall data-overkill on a individual basis. Unlike moderated techniques like ontologies, bibliographic categories, subcategories, and subsubcategories, or other formally structured systems, everyone is free to use those tags that make most sense to him. Interestingly enough this turns out to be no weakness of a system (works even if they all do what they want to) but the very strength of it (it works just because everyone does as he pleases). The possibilities of browsing the photos are endless (from a user to a friend of a user to a tag to the cluster of related tags to another user…) and always surprising.

As of today, these are the 150 most popular tags:

2001   2002   2003   2004   2005   7610   africa   amsterdam   animal   animals   architecture   art   australia   autumn   baby   barcelona   beach   berlin   birthday   blackandwhite   blue   boston   brasil   brazil   bridge   building   bw   california   cameraphone   camping   canada   car   cat   cats   chicago   china   christmas   church   city   clouds   concert   day   dc   december   dog   dogs   england   europe   fall   family   festival   florida   flower   flowers   food   fotolog   france   friends   fun   garden   germany   graffiti   green   halloween   hawaii   holiday   home   honeymoon   house   ice   india   italy   january   japan   kids   lake   landscape   leaves   light   lights   london   losangeles   macro   me   mexico   mobile   moblog   museum   music   nature   new   newyears   newyork   newzealand   night   november   nyc   ocean   october   old   orange   paris   park   party   people   phone   photo   photos   portrait   red   reflection   river   sanfrancisco   scotland   sea   seattle   sign   sky   snow   spain   street   summer   sunset   sydney   texas   thailand   thanksgiving   tokyo   toronto   train   travel   tree   trees   trip   uk   urban   usa   vacation   vancouver   washington   water   wedding   white   window   winter   work   xmas   yellow   zoo