Just announced today, Flickr now does video. I don’t really care at the moment, because I don’t ever make videos of anything (Maybe that will change when the baby comes, but I doubt it). But just yesterday I was writing in my novel-in-progress, which takes place in the not terribly distant future, about Flickr and video. I had been thinking about what Flickr (Or whatever takes its place) might be like in, say, 30 years. Once you start thinking about that, you have to go back and try and define what Flickr is now. On the surface, it’s a photo sharing site with a community surrounding it. But the ways people use it mean that it really goes well beyond just sharing photos. Some people use it as a cheap and reliable image hosting service for their blog. Some people use it to track changes over time in something. You see this a lot with babies and pregnancy. Some people use it almost instead of a blog or public journal – “See what I did yesterday, here’s a picture”. The Library of Congress is using it to crowdsource the categorization of their photo library. Barack Obama is using it to connect with supporters and advertise himself. So I was thinking, as technology advances, will we still take photos? In thirty years, you could be wearing contact lenses that can record hours of HD video. Maybe you’ll even have a hard drive installed in your head that can store video recorded by your eyes. Do we only take lots of photos now because that’s the convenient technology? There may always be a demand for still images as art, but we may get away from using them to say, “Hey, look at my cat!”. Or maybe not. Anyway, just thought it was cool that Flickr is doing what I thought they’d do, thirty years early.

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