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Serendipity on Flickr

cameraphones One reason aggregated photostreams from your friends on Flickr are neat: the same sunset, captured by people on opposite sides of the San Francisco Bay. A happy coincidence.

Photostream aggregation as a method to keep up to date with friends&family is fairly compelling to me. While I’m not going to constantly ask all of my acquaintances what they’ve been up to lately, the Flickr recent photos from contacts page gives me a low-impact way to get a glimpse of some of that. The barrier of entry to posting a photograph is lower than the considerable-effort involved in composing a weblog post, making photo-sharing (or even “photo-blogging” —ewww) something more people seem willing to participate in.

I also find myself getting small glimpses into people’s private lives that I might not otherwise: I’ve been exposed to the martial and familial status of a few coworkers via their Flickr feeds, creating a level of familiarity with their personal life that wasn’t already present in the work environment.