Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Woo hoo I won!!

Excitement all round as I won ten Popolos in the Popolo Photography group!!!
This photo is my latest success:

Looking-for-the-Levi-Guy .. A soap opera

But before this, I won with this one:


The group was set up by Zombizi Prime, a contact of mine. He was sick of the mean things people were saying to each other on the deleteme uncensored group and wanted something a bit more light-hearted.

Need more explaining?

OK. The site content of Flickr is not only supplied exclusively by users of the site, but it is organised by them too. Flickrites can set up groups and invite others to join. So there is for example, a 'girls eating sandwiches ' group, which is something quite fun. Then there are those which might interest Michele at the moment, which are quite arty, such as photographic impressionism, or 'photograph like painting'. I like the 'Martin Parr we (heart) you group. Then there are those who are in what I think of as 'look again mode', which directs people's gaze to things they might otherwise ignore, such as the mundane details group. Some are keen on looking at how to do stuff so there is a masterclass group here.

If you set up a group you are called an administrator. You can select others to be admin too. Some people take such roles VERY seriously and will kick out photos that do not fit properly. For example, an image of a girl eating chips is likely to get kicked out of the girls eating sandwiches group. As an admin of 'photovoyeurism', I have occaisonally not only kicked out porno pictures, but blocked those posting such pictures again to the group!!
So there are interesting power dimensions in Flickr; and I intend to write about them probably using ideas about cultural and social capital but also maybe Bernstein's stuff on vertical and horizontal discourses to think about different types of learning and value systems.

There are quite a few groups on Flickr, which invite people to add their photos to a pool in order to receive practical criticism. They often comment about framing, light, photoshop techniques etc etc. People say they use them in order to learn and get better. But as you can imagine, some folks are REALLY brutal and victims get upset. Moreover, the pool remains small as commenters vote either 'delete me' or 'keep me', or in another group 'kill' or 'keep'. Ten delete mess and you're out. The admin kick off your photo. See an example here of the kinds of comments you can get. Or see how one of my friends get her picture of her daughter criticised.
I e mailed Kelsana while her photo was in that group and she told me she was upset; and I think you can see that coming through in her responses. Yet she remains really active on Flickr and overall is loving learning about photography.

I would not post one of my pix in a mean group because I would get upset by that kind of 'play'.

Hence Popolo. With Popolo, someone else selects your picture to put in the group. They tag your photo 'ybp' and write a comment 'You've been popoloed by the Popolo photography group'. Then people vote even ' Popolo' or Unpopolo' or ' don't give a popolo'. Pictures with 10 popolo votes will be eligible for Pop Fabulous. Pictures with 10 unpopolo tags and comments will go to a far more interesting place, in some opinions Unpop Fabulous for that thing called posterity palaver. If you get 10 dontgiveapopolos - quite an achievement, really, - you can go here.

So there you have it.

Some very interesting cultural games going on over in Flickr.
And I am writing about it more more more.
There will be at least one more article on Flickr from me.


zombizi said...

Flattered though I am, I do have to put the record straight - it wasn't my idea, it was brendadada's; she set it up, because she wanted (I think) more crit and less shit...otherwise


Joolz said...

cool thanks Zombizi for setting the record straight .. trust me...

Mary Plain said...

these are well to the jay bad unbad photos and you deserve 10 to the jay bad popolos, DrJoolz. Also v interesting about this bit of Flickr.

Karl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Karl said...

The aim of popolo, if for constructive criticism in a fun envirnment, is laudable. (However, I was suprised at Brendadada giving a 'dontgiveafucko' instead of a 'dontgiveapopolo' earlier today.) Yes popolo doesn't have the nastiness of DeleteMe groups but I don't see many of the comments being really constructive and the 'play' quickly funnels to the end result of 'like' or 'dislike'. Perhaps it's a consequence of having to meet the comment quota? Don't get me worng, I like daft and/or friendly comments for their own sake but I've also been wondereding how to encourage constructive suggestion. The best I've seen spontaneously recently is here.

Trois TĂȘtes said...

I wonder if directly asking for feedback works consistently, after all the photo you cite Karl is called 'Any Better?'

One of the things I have also wondered about is that flickr management seem to encourage quite a competitive approach - particularly with the Explore/Interestingness functions, When I first joined I was quite into 'how many views have I had?' It soon becomes obvious that this is pretty meaningless, and it is the content of the comments which counts. I don't necessarily look for constructive criticism, I quite like humour on its own.

Karl said...

I'm not sure feedback from one of the big groups is necessarily consistent or of better quality than otherwise. But we're all looking for slightly different things - if, indeed, we know what that is.

On criticism, I am very happy for people to propose things that would work better (rather than just saying what is bad) about photos, or indeed any aspect of my work. I think that most people respond well to true constructive criticism. BUT I think it's important to try to understand as much as you can about a person, their motivation and values, if you're really trying to help not just impose your own. This applies on and off line. Do we find giving/receiving criticism online to be different to offline? I wonder if we're more likely to criticise, more likely to offend, more effusive, more or less easily offended...?

And I'm all for humour.

Constructive criticism - you're looking very good in your Blogger icon TT but would benefit from some sun. OK?

Joolz said...

Just checked out the 'don't give a fuckolo' comment Karl; I am pretty amazed at that too, considering Brendadada set up the group for constructive critiism opportunities. I think the lack of thought does arise from the need to comment on ten photos when yours is in the pool. I have found that a mammoth task especially last week when I tried to fulfill this duty with a crap wireless connection in a Belfast hotel room. It took twenty five mins for each page to download for me to comment on the photo! Presumably anyone with a dial up connection will suffer similar angst every time.
TT did not seem too emotionally wounded by Brendadada's comment, though I would have been I think.

Joolz said...

Ooops we were writing at the same time Karl ... am really fascinated by your off line online questions. Would we even like the people in the same way off line as online? (And vice versa) Do we relate to people in the same ways. My instinct is to say yes, it is the same, after the initial euphoria of being in an line group rubs off!

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Sheffield, South Yorks, United Kingdom
I am an academic interested in New Literacies, Digital Lifestyles, Informal Online Learning.