I can't really express how personally gratifying the news of flickr's escape from it's long slow doom at the hands of corporate mismanagement has made me. Such massively expressive datastores are obviously culture and deserve to be celebrated as such. usatoday.com/story/tech/201…
I love how I exhibit my momentary inability to express in the grammar of that very sentence! But seriously, when building the very first bits of flickr, we opted for cc license be default and a folksonomically tagged searchable archive to enable a generous cultural record.
The arrival of instagram and snap and facebook pics signaled the death of this type of cultural history. flickr had always been about open APIs, UIs that empowered curation of sets of images by anyone [and not inside walled garden, thanks Pinterest], and photos as social objects.
There was a moment that it seemed like a proliferation of flickr-like webservices would result in a network of deep shared pools of cultural resource, from which every user could build expressions and applications, but the "entrap and surveil" economics of platforms kicked in.
And now we have no history, and rather than communicating via visualizations of our own shared cultural record, we are left waiting like dogs for treats as facebook decides to surface one of our own images from 3 or 8 years ago. Don't try to search the graph! Advertisers only.
Which is all to say: hooray for flickr's hopeful return! May this mark a turning point back toward a web of open culture, where we all are empowered to dive into the vast stores of shared history, art, essay, education, curation that these online services can be.