Flickr Followup

Happy young womenI need to start out this post with a single word: thanks.

If it?s true that a picture is worth a thousand words, then thank goodness for those 3,100 pictures, because words are failing me right now.

The response to the Library?s pilot project with Flickr has been nothing short of astounding. You always hope for a positive reaction to something like this, but it has been utterly off the charts?from the Flickr community, from the blogosphere, from the news media?it is nothing short of amazing.

Let?s start out with a few statistics, as of last night (thanks, Justin!):

? 392,000 views on the photostream
? 650,000 views of photos
? Adding in set and collection page views, there were about 1.1 million total views on our account
? All 3,100+ photos have been viewed
? 420 of the photos have comments
? 1,200 of the photos have been favorited

And just look at all of those tags!

I?ve been writing this blog (although not nearly often enough) for about nine months, and this topic lit it up like fireworks. I was handed a sampling of what you all have been posting about this on your own blogs, and after only about 24 hours, the stack must have been close to two inches thick. Even Wil Wheaton wrote about it! (Yes, the Trekker inside me is giddy.)

The Flickr blog had more yesterday?and I almost unintentionally stole their headline:

We had a call today with the Library of Congress team to catch up on what had happened overnight with The Commons pilot project. There was a lot of laughter as we shared stories about watching all the activity overnight, and frankly, none of us could quite fathom how fantastic the response to the pilot has been.

They also update the number of comments at more than 500.

A common question we get is, ?When will you upload even more photos?? Or, ?What will you do with all of this information?? For right now, we are marveling at the response; a lot of very eager curators are watching with rapt attention and enthusiasm. I?m not sure what the next step will be and when it will happen, but I can tell you that the reaction to this two-day-old project has already vastly exceeded our expectations. To paraphrase Bogey: I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship, with a wonderful community of image enthusiasts.

Don?t forget folks, while we have put 3,100 images on Flickr so far, there are about 1 million others online where those came from, not to mention millions more in the physical world.

(Bain Collection photo apropos of the general mood here)

34 Comments

  1. HOLLi
    January 18, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Just happen upon the LOC flickr page and all I can say is WOW! Awesome job of getting it all together. I could spend days looking through them all!!

  2. Patrick Peccatte
    January 18, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    I have just discovered your pilot project which is similar to our one called PhotosNormandie, described on our profile page (in French with English summary below):
    http://www.flickr.com/people/photosnormandie/
    Our project is alive since about one year and we are using IPTC/IIM metadata embedded in photos.
    I am interested to know more about your technique both to populate initial descriptions on Flickr and to collect users comments to improve the descriptions.

    Congratulation and good luck for your pilot project.
    With best regards

    Patrick Peccatte

  3. Beth Wellington
    January 18, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    http://bethwellington.blogspot.com/2008/01/library-of-congress-on-flicker-but-cipa.html

    Matt, what do you intend to do about the CIPA problems?

  4. Chuck B.
    January 19, 2008 at 4:49 am

    Actually I am disappointed that the Library of Congress spent our taxpayer dollars to display our nation’s photos on a publically traded company (Yahoo) that uses Flickr as a tool for marketing its greater services.

    Did you read Flickr Community Guidelines

    Pages on other web sites that display images hosted on flickr.com must provide a link from each photo back to its photo page on Flickr.

    In essence, the Library of Congress is supporting the marketing of Yahoo Inc.

    Has Yahoo promised not to run advertisements in this section. Now or in the future?

    You should allow all publications to access to your database for download.

    When you have a chance review:

    http://rdf.dmoz.org/

  5. Mary J. Johnson
    January 19, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    I write a blog for educators called The Primary Source Librarian. Just thought you might like to know that I wrote a post about your fabulous LOC/Flickr project: http://www.maryjjohnson.com/primarysourcelibrarian. I’m delighted that so many people have already discovered your fine work.

    Congratulations and much luck to you! Thanks also for introducing Web 2.0 concepts to your public.

    -Mary J. Johnson-

  6. Maureen
    January 19, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    oh, excellent! I was just going to write an email to flickr blog folks telling them they really ought to blog about the LIbrary of Congress on Flickr and I see they already have (!) What a great idea — kudos to all the curators who thought of this project, and signed onto it. I hope to see the other 1Million+ photos on flickr eventually, though I think we all know that is a daunting task. I’m amazed and impressed with the response! When I first saw mention of LOC flickr this morning, I thought, “Wow a dream come true! how long has this been up there without my noticing it?” Then I saw that it has only been two days.

    LOC American Memory project is one of my favorite haunts, and like Beth, when I was growing up outside of DC I also used to go to the physical place, LOC. The grandeur, the quiet, respect, the history and knowledge embodied within all of the books was equally part of the building itself. I loved it. Now that I live in Montana, way too far to make visiting the actual library in person feasible, I have access to the online library. I can only be more excited by LOC on Flickr, my all time favorite website ever!

  7. Okinawa
    January 19, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    I enjoy flickr, and appreciate all of the hard work they do over there. How wonderful would it be if one day photographers could post their work to flicker and the Library of Congress at the same time….electronically.

  8. Gerald Ardito
    January 19, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    I am so excited about this whole project. Of course, it is great these this huge collection of our national history is starting to be made available.

    But I am equally warmed by the sense you convey of the world sharing in and adding to (those tags) the media themselves.

    I believe this says a good deal about how we are all learning to interact in a social/networked way.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  9. Kevin
    January 20, 2008 at 6:39 am

    This is an amazing resource and archive that it being put into the hands of the people. My sons and I just went through the old baseball photos and it gave us more opportunity to talk about the history of the sport, and the history of our country.
    Thank you
    Kevin Hodgson

  10. Elizabeth Thomsen
    January 20, 2008 at 10:26 am

    I love the American Memory site, but it’s great to see some of these images also appear on Flickr. That’s the wonderful thing about digital objects — they don’t have to be either here or there, they can be here, there and everywhere!

    I hope we’ll see more collections soon. One that I think would be especially interesting is the Built in America, perhaps just the photographs with links to the other data. This has much broader coverage around the country than the other two collections, and there is so much opportunity for then-and-now connections with current photographs of these same buildings on Flickr.

    As a librarian working with digital libraries and historic collections, I look forward to learning more about how the process of batch-loading or harvesting of these images into Flickr.

    I am especially interested in Patrick Peccatte’s comments about PhotosNormandie, and its use of IPTC data. This is an important issue. If I download a photograph from PhotosNormandie, all the metadata is embedded in that image. If I download an image from The Commons, there’s no information embedded. It’s like photographs that have fallen out of an album — you’ve lost whatever descriptive information was written on the page. EXIF/IPTC data embedded within the file is like having the information written on the back of the photograph — it’s still available even when the photograph comes lose from the album.

    (Note: to test this out, you need to go to All Sizes and download the original image from Flickr, and then open them in Picasa or any other program that know how to read IPTC data.)

    Anyway, it’s great to see the Library of Congress participating in the Flickr community, and it will be interesting to see how things develop!

  11. Shadab
    January 21, 2008 at 11:12 am

    “650,000 views of photos”

    Now that’s a good achievement.
    Publish another blog post here when the 1 mil. mark is hit.

    Great going.

  12. Carol
    January 21, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Thank you so much for this wonderful endeavor! As soon as I discovered it I started tp spread the word to all the teachers I work with.

    I too am interested in k owing when or if you will be posting more of your collection? Even though the photos are on the library of congress site they are so hard to find and search. Posting them on Flickr has made the process so easy.

    Thank you again,

    Carol
    Curricular Technology Specialist
    Germantown Academy

  13. rrsafety
    January 21, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Great job by the LOC.

    I’d suggest you keep the photos coming on Flickr!

    Post a thousand a week, preferably by subject. Then reach out to blogs that cover those subjects to have their readership inspect the photos and comment.

    You might want to check out some interesting findings on the current pics featuring the city of Brockton, MA. (exact date of photo determined by newpaper info in window, streetscape locals ID’d via MSN Live Maps and Google Earth, etc.)

  14. Pixel Head
    January 22, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Its so cool that The Library is doing this project. From the few photos I have seen, I can tell its going to so cool. I’ll be doing a post about the program asap.

  15. Greg
    January 27, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Hey, I just want to say THANKS for putting these on flickr. I’ve LOVED going through the images. Please, please please add more. I know you have them on your own website but there are so many ways people can use them if they’re on flickr thanks to the API.

  16. Mary J. Johnson
    January 29, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    I would like to introduce students to Flickr as well as to the LOC Photos and Prints collections by asking them to search for images by theme in the LOC collections, then post them to thematic sets in Flickr. I’m stymied, however, by the Flickr rule against uploading photos from anyone else. I assume this means that I could not ask students to upload any photos from the Library of Congress. Is this how other commenters (or Matt Raymond) would interpret the Flickr regulations? Do you know of any legal workarounds?

  17. Tony B.
    February 1, 2008 at 7:09 am

    Wow! Just ran across this and what an valuable resource for historians, writers, bloggers like myself, as well as librarians. Great job!!!

  18. Stacey
    March 20, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Have you thought about allowing the public to upload their photos to include them in your collections?

  19. David Miller
    April 13, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    I’d be interested in knowing about the change in web traffic to loc.gov that resulted from this. Great idea, long overdue.

  20. Moldova
    April 18, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    This project turned out to be very successful for The Library.

  21. Kate O.
    April 22, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    I think it is great to see such a well known, prestigious organization jump on the Web 2.0 bandwagon.

    I have to say I am finishing a graduate class in Information Technology tools for education and I have learned a great deal.

    Seeing this site helps to relate the concepts I am learning to what is happening in society today, especially on the technological front. Thanks!

    I cannot wait to look at your gallery of pictures, after I finish my final exam.

  22. Anthony
    May 29, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Someone mentioned allowing the public to upload photos to be added to the collections.

    I think that’s a great idea. I imagine you would probably get flooded but maybe you could allow visitors to vote for their favorites or vote dislikes. That would allow everyone to try and contribute whether they can upload or not.

  23. Ali
    July 6, 2008 at 9:57 am

    Hmm sounds like a pretty good idea

  24. Okinawa
    December 8, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    I enjoy flickr, and appreciate all of the hard work they do over there. How wonderful would it be if one day photographers could post their work to flicker and the Library of Congress at the same time….electronically.

    V/r,
    John
    http://www.johnburgreen.com/

  25. Outsource Accounting
    December 27, 2008 at 4:01 am

    Someone mentioned allowing the public to upload photos to be added to the collections.

    I think that’s a great idea. I imagine you would probably get flooded but maybe you could allow visitors to vote for their favorites or vote dislikes. That would allow everyone to try and contribute whether they can upload or not.

  26. Ashley
    January 13, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    This is a brilliant, brilliant idea.

  27. Niv Singer
    April 7, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    About 80,000 tags were added to the photos by 3,000 different people.

    The top 3 taggers are:
    1. Marshall Astor – 5,605 tags
    2. Emily – 4,853 tags
    3. Harry Angstrom – 4,378 tags

    See http://bit.ly/EmT97

  28. Okinawa
    May 5, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    I think that’s a great idea. I imagine you would probably get flooded but maybe you could allow visitors to vote for their favorites or vote dislikes. That would allow everyone to try and contribute whether they can upload or not.
    V/r,
    John in Japan

  29. noborders in flickr
    May 23, 2009 at 5:57 am

    A wonderful travel in time… I wish I had more “time” to go through this treasure trove, But I’ll manage, as it is so important to see these documents witnessing the history of your country !

  30. Charlie Shirtz
    June 18, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    I just want to say thank you… really wonderful.

  31. Alina
    July 12, 2009 at 4:09 am

    Hey, I just want to say THANKS for putting these on flickr. I’ve LOVED going through the images.

  32. Michael Miller
    July 31, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    So glad I found the LOC flickr stream and this blog. Great stuff!!!!

  33. kansascagerz
    March 15, 2010 at 8:34 am

    And you do not know, how it is possible to find the author and to talk to it concerning this information. Someone can knows it ICQ?

  34. neyrilsalong
    September 3, 2013 at 5:25 am

    500 Days of Summer is a fav of mine!

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