23 July 2006
News, views and pictures for you.
This mentioned the news from Scotland news service I ran online in 1990. Also relevant is the online Scottish discussion forum I established in 1989 and which is mentioned in this posting.
This was long before the web of course and one thing about the web is that it allows specialist news to be served up to anyone online. Previously, outside of those able to get The News From Scotland was to phone a friend back home or wait several days for the specially ordered newspaper to arrive.
I was thinking though, what aspects of life back home are people still interested in that the web no longer fulfils?
Again in a pioneering fashion I was involved with Gaelic-L and which was established in May 1989. The first list for a minority language, it drew an otherwise disparate community together using the power of the internet.
People have strong ties to their homeland, or to somewhere they grew up or even visited a long time ago for a special occassion such as a honeymoon. These places are often not in the news and it is sometimes difficult to know what's happening there or how familiar places have changed in the years you've been away. What does your childhood home look like now? What does the high street look like? If you have ancestors in the area, what is on their gravestones? How about that spot where you had a holiday romance or met your partner? The web doesn't really have a service where you can get photos on demand of places you are connected to or would like to revisit without the expense of a holiday.
So, to provide such a service I'm proposing the "Flickr pays you" service, whereby people living near somewhere you are interested in can be reached via a geographic search and be paid to take pictures for you. If you think this would be a useful way to connect with your memories, please support the idea. It may even expand into providing an online shop for photos in general. I've got hundreds of pictures of the Isle of Skye following our many holidays there that I'm sure would be of interest to someone.