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Flickr: a first look at user behaviour in the context of photography as serious leisure

Cox, A.M., Clough, P. and Marlow, J. (2008) Flickr: a first look at user behaviour in the context of photography as serious leisure. Information Research, 13 (1). ISSN 1368-1613

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Introduction. The use of Flickr, a photo sharing Website, is examined in the context of amateur photography as a 'serious leisure' pursuit. Method. Eleven telephone interviews were carried out with users of Flickr, using an open-ended interview schedule to explore use of the system within the context of the interviewees' photographic practices. Analysis. Practices described are set against theoretical considerations from the literature, specifically the alternate paradigms of the photographic club and the photo magazine. Sontag's cultural critique of photography is an important, challenging reference point. Results. The affordances of the system affect the satisfactions of hobby photography. Flickr creates moral dilemmas, such as whether to reciprocate comments or tag the photos of others. The system's appeal lies in its moral qualities as much as whether it is easy to use or performs functions efficiently. Flickr draws users into the hobby and so, like the camera club or the magazine, can be linked to the interests of industry. Yet it is too pessimistic to see it as simply a vehicle of consumerist culture; users expressed almost unqualified satisfaction with the system for its direct pleasures and learning opportunities. Conclusions. The fluid social relations of Flickr potentially free the hobby from the rather restrictive codes and ordering of the photographic club.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: flickr, photography, hobbies, web2.0
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Information School (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Andrew M. Cox
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2009 14:08
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2014 09:31
Published Version: http://informationr.net/ir/13-1/paper336.html
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9045

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