The Power of Flickr

Brian Herzog (again) has picked up on a fascinating coincidence.  Weird Massachusetts is the latest in a series of supernatural travel guides in the Weird U.S. series.  One of the interesting things the publisher is doing with these books is pulling photographs that were made available under a Creative Commons License on Flickr.  The lucky photographers get a credit and a complementary copy of the book.  I actually had a photo under consideration that didn’t make the final cut, but Brian had one that did.  But what’s really interesting is that he learned of two other Mass. librarians who got photos in the book as well.

So what’s going on here?  Are librarians inherently good photographers?  Do we have a higher tendency to travel to places of interest?  Are we more likely to contribute to the Creative Commons?  Or are we just more advanced Flickr users?  I can only speak for myself, but I do use quite a lot of tags and place nearly all of mine on the Google Map Flickr provides, and I wouldn’t be too surprised to learn that a disproportional amount of librarians use the tools similarly.

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