My roommate Swifty has come up with a neat way to use the interwebs to add dates, names and places to his family’s old pictures using Flickr:
I’ve started scanning the huge batch of old photos I borrowed when my
Grandfather passed away. They are awesome. I created a Flickr account
for my mother and will be uploading them all there so the family can
all access them. Hopefully they can help tag the people I don’t know or
recognize. I’m going to try to scan a batch a day until they’re done.
In the past, these kinds of exercises of memory preservation were done by one dedicated family member taking on the task of collecting, sorting, labeling and archiving photos in some coherent order for the rest of the family. She would have to call, meet with, and harangue people to help out with identifying distant relatives and obscure locales. A very worthwhile but laborious and time-consuming project that could take years to complete.
In theory, this is one of those tasks that Web2.0 is supposed to help streamline and speed up.The trick here is getting family members trained and motivated to actually do the tagging and annotating of the photos, which can be quite a chore if they aren’t particularly web-savvy. I know getting my relatives to even figure out how to surf to a website can take a lot of explaining, not to mention registering, tagging and commenting on images. Hopefully Swifty will have better luck.
The awesomest use of Flickr would be to use the Notes feature to identify specific people and objects in the pictures, or to geo-tag the photos so you could see every picture taken at Coney Island for example. But my guess is that this is beyond everyone but the most geeky family.
In the meanwhile, I’m enjoying watching this online archive grow and get more fleshed out. You gotta love old pictures of people at the beach. And it’s fun trying to guess what Ryan’s grampa is doing in this picture above.