Flickring Expectations

Last night was another of the Christmas functions at work, this time with the IT function. After dressing up and loading onto a coach, we arrived at our venue for the night – the Hard Rock Cafe – to take part in plenty of food, drink and karaoke. Scattered around the venue were dressing up accessories, such as hats, funny glasses and wigs, plus lots of cameras.

The cameras were all going to be collected and processed, with the photos shared round the office. There were a fair number of personal cameras being used, including mine. However, unlike Saturday night’s geek dinner, very few of those photos will end up on Flickr. In the one’s that I’ve put up, the people in them know I blog, know I put photos online and were aware I would be doing that. Looking at the photos from Saturday, I’m in some from people I don’t know, who never asked permission – but nor would I epxect them to. You can see the same thing from the Les Blogs conference last week – plenty of photos, no disclaimers ever signed. So I’ve been thinking about the type of photos I publish and in what circumstances I put them on the web.

The first type is usually of complete strangers, from events around London or at festivals or get togethers. They’re never identified, but by being in a public place their pictures are open to be taken.

The second type is the semi-private/invitational event. And for me here it is down to expectations. The geekdinner was organised online and many/most of the participants appear to have blogs and Flickr accounts which are not necessarily anomynous. My expectation would be that the people attending understand that they may be photographed, or linked or, or mentioned in a post, even if I’ve never met them before. It is part of an unwritten contract that comes from attending such events. I perceive no such agreement at a work event – it’s far more a private function.

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