Flickr – the other side of social networking

This week has been a bizarre, if not ironic, clash of work and personal life.

I love social networking sites, Facebook, Myspace, Flickr etc. In fact I teach my coworkers and patrons at the Library about them. I present to other Librarians about them and why they should do them. I spent a lot of my personal time on Flickr and blogs. I have a pro Flickr account, but a couple of weeks ago I made the choice to move a LOT of my pictures to private due to some weird comments and emails. Then Monday Robin points me towards this article about Library Flickr accounts and polices regarding them. I read it I think about my Library and our policy and how I will write it the policy, becuase that’s my job. I think about what I’ll do if someone “favorites’ a picture of child and when I look at their pictures or profile it seems inappropriate to me. How will I write a policy that address freedom of speech and expressions and interests of the individuals and at the same time protects the children and patrons of my Library. I’ve been roughing this all out in my head and have yet to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys).

feet.jpgThen this happens in my personal life. It was nice this weekend, nice enough to wear flip flops, so I take a picture of my feet in my flip flops to post on my blog. I put it on Flickr and leave it public and tag it “feet” and “shoes” because I tag, I organize, if I ever want a picture of my feet I’ll be able to find one. Then something else happens – it gets viewed. A LOT. Then someone I don’t know comments. Then someone else marks it as a “favorite” and they have a lot of feet pictures in their account and as favorites. It’s funny, sort of, in a creepy and weird way that I’m not completely at ease with. Then tonight someone else adds it as a favorite. Now I am uneasy. These are only my feet, but I’m disturbed by these strangers taking such an interest in them. There is nothing scandalous or sexy about them. But because someone else has taken such an interest in them I’m almost hesitant to share the picture here. A picture of my feet, boring.

So while my business side was busy writing a policy for my library where I was concerned about the freedoms of everyone, my personal side feels very uncomfortable.

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