“Thing 5″ for the MSc module Theory and evaluation of eLearning:
The Impact of Images
I like bikes, but if I waxed lyrical in pros and verse about why this is so, even to a bike enthusiast (in fact probably especially to a bike enthusiast), it would be unlikely to have the same impact as an image…
This is what I ride:
Over 40 years before I finally addressed my mid-life crisis my father also had a bike, but for him it was primarily for transport rather than a hobby. Again I could reminisce about how much more basic, even raw, the biking experience must have been. I could even use emotional notions as “those romantic early post war years when life in the country side was care free and full of simple pleasures”, but just look at this…
These pictures, taken by my mother during courtship, convey so much more than words, and would allow me to quickly identify whether I would be interested in what the writer has to say.
For me the information in an image provides immediate accessibility to the likely interest of the subject matter, or even the values of a writer or on-line community. Check out these blogs, both of which consistently use images to good effect:
Flickr provides three main tools for discovering, building and maintaining communities:
Searching on tags can be quickly refined using Flickr clusters, for instance the motorbike tag is used on many pictures that can be formed into sub-groups or clusters. This allows quick access to the larger groups of pictures, and therefore to people with a particular interest, for example Harley Davidsons.
Having identified people with similar interests through their pictures it is then possible to form or join groups where people share their pictures, and through the pictures and descriptions also share their experiences.
Once part of a group, if some members share particular interests they may enter a more direct correspondance through the mail system.
The above information is based in part on information from the following on-line documents:
Yahoo! UK Ltd (2011) Flickr Community Guidelines http://www.flickr.com/guidelines [Accessed 06-Feb-11]
Yahoo! UK Ltd (2011) Tips for running your group http://www.flickr.com/groups_guidelines.gne [Accessed 06-Feb-11]