In the few days after the Library of Congress posted several thousand pictures from their collection to flickr, I read or heard a surprising number of negative comments about the move.
Many were along the lines of “So, what? All of them are on the LOC site already.” or “Big deal! It’s only a very small part of their collection.”.
Well, a post on the flickr blog explains so what.
In the 24 hours after we launched, you added over 4,000 unique tags across the collection (about 19,000 tags were added in total, for example, “Rosie the Riveter” has been added to 10 different photos so far). You left just over 500 comments (most of which were remarkably informative and helpful), and the Library has made a ton of new friends (almost overwhelming the email account at the Library, thanks to all the “Someone has made you a contact” emails)!
The participation of a larger community is making these images even more accessible and informative than they’ve ever been.
Hopefully, the positive response will also encourage the Library and others to allow more of their materials to be tagged and enhanced by “ordinary” people.
And THAT’S the big deal!