The Commons on Flickr

The amount and diversity of riveting photo collections on the world wide web continues to impress me.

The Commons on Flickr shows you hidden treasures in the world’s public photography archives. You’re invited to help describe the photographs you discover by adding tags or leaving comments.

The key goals of The Commons on Flickr are to firstly show you hidden treasures in the world’s public photography archives, and secondly to show how your input and knowledge can help make these collections even richer.

Little Champlain Street, Quebec City, QC, about 1890

Little Champlain Street, Quebec City, QC, about 1890 – Musée McCord Museum

I remember hearing about Flickr’s Commons project early last year. I think it is an innovative initiative that harnesses the power of online social collaboration. I do wonder though how they manage the feedback as the tags are a little chaotic for my taste. The praise feedback which often evolves into social dialogue was interesting to see as viewers can converse with the owners of the photos. The Egypt: Gizeh photo below had 181 comments at the time of this post.

Egypt: Gizeh

There are several comments that were informative but most of them were simple praises (wow, oh nice shot!), flickr group invitations, and self-promos by other flickr users. While browsing the collection and feedback, I kind of felt like I was mingling at a party and overhearing dozens of conversations, scanning them and deciding to whether or not interject with my two cents. Most of the time, if I see a photo with intoxicating topics and conversations, I move on.

Finally, the search capabilities (basic search) are typical Flickr but decent. The advanced search for the Commons however, doesn’t seem to exist (it searches all photos rather than the Commons set after executing a search).

Overall, it is well done and I look forward to hearing more about how the initiative progresses.