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Monday, April 01, 2013

Photo-sharing 


Yes, I finally let go of my Flickr account last year, realizing that it no longer served any real purpose for me or, in fact, held my interest. There's a sort of archive of memory there, but a lot of it was rather ephemeral - or so it seems now, at least. Interestingly though, I'm using Instagram more intensively, and almost exclusively to share more intimate family-related images. In some ways it's a more traditional network. Barton & Lee pick up on a passage from Wellman that fits in very well with this: 'CMC supplements, arranges and amplifies in-person and telephone communications rather than replacing them ' (2001:18). This relates to our family use of Instagram which for me hybridizes the phone-call, the blog and the family photo album without replacing any of them. It all seems far more old-school than the sort of transformational social networking associated with Web 2.0 that I, and others, have written about extensively. Appadurai (2003) suggests that 'where natural social collectivities build commonality out of memory, virtual communities build memory out of connectivity.' - well he might just have produced a killer quote, but certainly the first half matches what we do on Instagram. We must be a natural social collectivity, then. For me this points to a very interesting research area which would look at how new media gets adopted and absorbed into family interactions. Next project?

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