How You Can Help to Preserve Billions of Photos
The author is establishing the Flickr Foundation, highlighting the unique importance of Flickr, a US-based photo-sharing platform that turned 18 this year. Holding tens of billions of images uploaded by millions worldwide, Flickr stands as a digital world heritage site, distinct from traditional, physically bound UNESCO sites. The concern raised is that Flickr, under corporate ownership, lacks the permanence that institutions like libraries, archives, and museums offer. The Flickr Foundation’s mission is to investigate this issue, aiming to preserve Flickr’s collection for the next century.
The author’s research at the Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy (ICDE) delves into establishing a 21st-century commons, focusing on long-term preservation, funding, governance, and balancing conservation with use. Starting with a program called The Commons on Flickr, the goal is to turn this collection into a genuine commons by building consensus and cohesiveness among its members.