Thursday, June 19, 2008

Smithsonian Photostream

There's two things I like about the Smithsonian's copyright-free Photostream on Flickr.

First, as a minor history buff, I like the idea of access to these pictures for free. It feels like I have a greater democratic ownership of my own history.

Second, I'm glad the Smithsonian was smart enough to use a defacto public standard for sharing pictures on the web. A few years ago this would have been done with some very nice looking, but strikingly unusual Smithsonian website with its own user interface affordances, no RSS feed, and relegated to some musty corner of the internet. By using Flickr, the Smithsonian is injecting this history into one of the main arteries of the internet instead. Good work!

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