I’ve been thinking some more about the meaning of Flickr for those of us who are in Second Life. What follows are additional thoughts on virtual world communication (see also The Importance of Flickr) and then some comments on creativity and Flickr non-user-friendliness.
Meaningful experiences in Second Life are captured in photographs and then posted on Flickr. The responses to our photographs from other Flickr members are important to us and an extension of our Second Life communication process. When posting our photographs we want to share our Second Life experiences with others and we want their feedback. We also want to see what others are experiencing by looking at their images and provide them with our feedback. This photograph-feedback-loop process is an attempt to make sense of our virtual experiences.
One of the main reasons I am in Second Life is because of creativity. I thrive on being creative and also on experiencing and promoting the creativity of others. I find this is indeed true when it comes to Flickr as well. I enjoy tremendously spending time taking a photo in Second Life, thinking about what I want to do with it, processing it using an image-editing software and then posting it on Flickr. The entire time I spend doing this I am being creative. It involves generating new ideas, problem solving and communication of values. I also derive much pleasure from looking at photographs by others on Flickr. When I come across a photo I like, I am usually significantly moved by it in some way or another.
Lastly, however, let me also just say this: as much as I enjoy it, Flickr is not particularly user friendly. I am struggling at times, just as I did initially in Second Life, to figure things out. For instance, how does one include photographs in a private group without other Flickr members seeing them? In the photograph comment section, how does one include in a thank you response the icon of person who commented on the photograph? How does one create a gallery? I’m still fairly new to Flickr, but still, these seem like fairly standard actions that should not be too complicated to figure out. I am excited about learning more about Flickr and also about the Flickr/Second Life connection. This is all for now on this topic, but there may be more in the future. Keep on posting those photographs, I know I will.
Photograph by Kate Bergdorf