Category Archives: photo-sharing

Tagging social objects to enhance and encourage conversation

Mother and Daughter at Alton TowersThis started out simply as a post highlighting a slightly charming picture of my mother walking at Alton Towers, with her mother, and sticking her tongue out at the camera (held by my father, I presume). But looking at it in flickr and thinking about the people involved got me into thoughts about tagging and sociability.

Electronically-stored, people-generated, collaboratively-organised metadata enhances sociability – that’s why tagging has been so hot (or cool – which is it? It can’t be both. Can it?) We get to make serendipitous discoveries of a certain class of social object because of this shift in metadata management. Fantastic.

I was speculating tonight that since so much conversation about such objects is in a question and answer form, the certainty provided by attaching metadata could reduce in some way the possibility for social interaction around a well tagged artefact. When, Where, Who, Why are all frequently asked questions.

But looking at this picture, it’s easy to see that while metadata would be useful, a fascinating conversation could still ensue around this photograph, if it had just been, say, plucked from an old biscuit tin when my mother (she’s on the left) was helping her mother (on the right) to sort out some junk “Oh look at us!” “When was that then?” “Oh it’s Alton Towers” “Yes the day your father got a flat tyre and had to change the wheel” “So how old was I then?” “Look at you, sticking your tongue out. Oh you must have been 18 because you weren’t married there” “I don’t know, didn’t we have Lloyd with us that day?” “No it was definitely before he was born – you’d just got engaged, I think” “Oh do you remember that dress?” “Yes, I got it off Mrs Winters who lived up at the Cotteridge, it was too big for her Janet and you said you wouldn’t dream of wearing that colour, but you do seem to be wearing it…” on and on and on – believe me, I’ve been listening to these conversations all my life (though I should point out that I have no idea whether any of this is true or I’ve just made it up).

No matter how much metadata had been captured about this photograph, the conversation would still have happened and still been as rich – another re-inforced bond between mother and daughter. The bit about “When was that then?” becomes superfluous, but there may well be other details that either or both the participants had forgotten… or not.

I dunno, just in case we ever were getting sceptical about the value of tagging…

FB photo fun

FBFriends @ 23/08/07Thanks to Friend Block I can see all of my 238 friends profile pics in one place.

Some observations (NB, I can’t count very well) I leave it to you to suggest interpretations:

8 have not provided a picture at all and so are represented by a ‘?’

3 are represented by hand-drawn caricatures of themselves and 1 has a Simpsons avatar.

There is one cartoon character (Pinky), one stuffed toy and one toy cartoon character.

There is one cat in sunglasses and one cat with the mouth of a shark. One person is a pair of Lions, possibly copulating.

4 have some other form of graphic design (I can’t think of a better description at the moment).

Four people have pictures of themselves further processed with an imaging tool.

10 people have included other people in their profile pictures mostly people with their spouses and children.

Four people have pictures of themselves as children.

One person has two heads (or perhaps two faces)

Two people have their names in the shot.

21 of those who have photographs of themselves have chosen monochrome images. Most of these are men.

Of those with simple headshots about 30 are not looking into the camera.

Around 20 have one hand up to their face in some way.

7 are wearing sunglasses.

One person has a parrot. One person has a snake.

Yes. These are my friends.

[UPDATE: Since posting, it has come to my attention that two of the monochrome folk have gone coloured *AND* both put on shades – co-incidence or conspiracy?]

New Moos

newmooYay! My new batch of moo cards arrived yesterday and here they are. Let me know which is your favourite. I quite like the monochrome ones. The Russell Brand one was clearly a mistake.

I also (thanks to my compulsive RSS reading) got in quickly on the sneak preview of Moo’s new product which should be here very soon, but I’m sworn to blog secrecy about them until their official launch on 18th April.

Charming

funny adwordsNo I’m not using adwords on this site, but I wanted to share the selection that came up on a ning social network I’ve just set up for SMC London. All there is on the page for reference is my picture and an introductory post from me, and the title with strap “If you get it, share it (in London!)” which still doesn’t quite explain (at least to me) the link to gay bikini wearing chauffeurs with ringworm.

Btw, of course, if you’re interested in joining the network and thereby generating some more relevant advertising, please do get over there and sign up.

Billy No-Mates

Shaftesbury AveSo, the first weekly Social Media Club meetup – Thursday Night is Social Media Night – was obviously too soon for many people. In fact everyone except me :) I waited for about 45 minutes and then walked on my own from the John Snow down to Green Park to get on the tube home, taking pictures on the way which are now in the Social Media Club London Group Pool.

I know I’ve taken to calling myself a Social Media Tart, but I didn’t expect that to extend to me standing alone on a street corner outside a pub in Soho, trying to catch the eye of young-ish men who looked like they might have an interest in photo-sharing…

I’m all ready to do it again though. This week we’re going to do some podcasting, somewhere in Central London. Suggestions welcome on the wiki for a venue or location that’s quiet enough to gather and record audio, but not somewhere where we’ll get shhhhed.