I was looking for Veerle Pieter’s blog about designing the Greenmyapple site on Saturday and my search on “Veerle Pieters Greenmyapple” stumbled upon my own Flickr DNA page — something I didn’t know existed.Flickr DNA just does a great job of aggregating everything that Flickr knows about you: who your friends are, what your favorite shots are, your group memberships, your most interesting photos. Scary? Nah. I chose to put my identity out there, and if it gets refracted and reflected in ways I can’t control, well that’s kinda what identity is all about: it’s not a monologue.
The nifty “ego surf” section led me to a dozen sites using my Flickr photos that I knew nothing about: Everything from “Millionaire Mommy Next Store” using a photo of my son with marshmallow all over his face to kid’s games sites to cat photo sites to Duncan Rawlinson’s Last Minute Blog use of a shot of Bruce Sterling to Journalistopia, which used a photo I took of Kathy Sierra hugging her Mac at SXSW last year.
As someone who is constantly looking for good photos to illustrate stories, I found it supremely satisfying to see my work integrated into the work of others — a silent collaboration I’ve been having with other sites simply by putting images into a central repository. Somehow the fact that this was happening unbeknownst just gives it an added zing.
I shoot under a Creative Commons License which only requires attribution, and every site I saw honored that honor system. Neat.
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