Folksonomies, Ringing Doorbells, Facts and Flicktions

October 13, 2006


Via di Santo Spirito, 36

Via di Santo Spirito, 36, originally uploaded to Flickr on September 21, 2004 by Andrew Losowsky.
Since Losowsky’s photo was first uploaded as the first in an ongoing project called ‘The Doorbells of Florence’, it has been viewed on his Flickr account 3,528 times (as of 10/11/2006)! I believe he is the one who first coined the term Flicktion? His tags are brilliantly simple: Florence, Italy, doorbells and of course Flicktion. Since then his doorbells have been ringing. Check out the tag ‘doorbells’ now on Flickr and you will find 1000’s that I believe were inspired by Losowsky.

Each of Losowsky’s photos has an accompanying quirky text with pull-you-into-the-story first lines inviting the reader into (fictive) urban lives behind the doorbells. Losowsky has plans to publish ‘The Doorbells of Florence’ as a book.

I learned about ‘The Doorbells of Florence’ Flicktion project in an article by Adam Mathes, a young CMC grad student (2004). It’s entitled Folksonomies: Cooperative Classification and Communication Through Shared Metadata and has been frequently (1917 times on del.icio.us) bookmarked . It is a concise, useful article in which he describes the role of cooperative, user-generated classification (organic tagging, folksonomies, ethnoclassification) in contrast to those generated by dedicated expert knowledge workers who focus on taxonomy as a profession. The success of this organic process of social tagging is dramatically illustrated by “The Doorbells of Florence.”

I learned about tables that stretch in Ben Henick (2006) article “12 Lessons for Those Afraid of CSS and Standards” alistapart.com (bookmarked 1097 times on del.icio.us). In this article he introduced ‘Tables vs. Semantic Markup’. I don’t understand anything about Semantic Markup, css or xhtml but his code was so clean. Hopefully my tables will stretch to contents.

3 Responses to “Folksonomies, Ringing Doorbells, Facts and Flicktions”

  1. Andrew Losowsky’s flicktion has just been published as a coffee table book. I rarely buy books (I devour them at any library within driving distance) but this is one I would love to have on my coffee table. I have modeled my own blogs and my version of Flicktion on his. This is the link to the Lulu site to purchase a copy The Doorbells of Florence

    “This book contains 36 real Italian doorbells (including some never before seen), each one with a strange story about the people and things that may, or may not, live inside. This first-ever volume of flicktion was written by Andrew Losowsky and lovingly put together by award-winning designer, Nuno Vargas as the mini coffee table book that espresso was invented for.”

    PS. Andrew, I would be more than happy to review your book if I had a copy. It will take awhile before the Vancouver Island Public Library has one.

  2. Hi Maureen

    Thanks so much for mentioning the book. I suspect it will indeed be a while before the Vancouver Island Public Library has one.

    Lulu.com is a print-on-demand website. It’s products are extremely good, though not cheap, even for creators. Each copy costs me $26.50, plus postage, to order (hardly any different from the public cost), so sadly I have no stockpile of review copies to send out.

    Still, it’s a lovely product to have.

    All best


  3. bobbyRicky Says:

    with posts like this how long before we give up the newspaper?!!

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