Give and take: a study of consumer photo-sharing culture and practice

Miller, A. D., and Edwards, W. K. Give and take: a study of consumer photo-sharing culture and practice. In CHI ’07: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (New York, NY, USA, 2007), ACM, pp. 347–356. [PDF]


This paper report a qualitative study conducted using the Grounded Theory of how people use photo-sharing wesites. The authors interviewed a group of 10 Flickr users and found among then a number of power-users that differ from the standard “Kodak culture”.

The paper contains a structured literature review of how people use cameras and particularly digital cameras. One of the main issues is that organizing pictures is kind of inefficient with current technologies.

One of the most interesting finding of the study is that for power users tagging was reported to be a social activity where they could include inside reference and jokes as tags. Conversely, normal users tagged infrequently because they could easily retrieve their picture using their chronological order. Many of the participants interviewed said to share pictures through web sites like Flickr and emails. An interesting finding of the study was that the current tools do not use the storytelling aspect of photo sharing that are so important to the Kodak culture.

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