Today I emailed this photo to Flickr. I had taken it with my cellphone last month while traveling on business. Within minutes, Jogales added a comment which revealed the make of the plane, the airline, and pointed me to a far more interesting picture of this very same plane colliding with another plane, on the ground, its wing slicing through the tail.
And that is why Flickr is cool.
It is not so much the technologies that were involved in making this happen (cellphones, digital cameras, email, tags, search, etc…). I could have found the same information myself, without uploading the photo to Flickr, if I had bothered to look for it. But I didn’t even think to look for it — and that is where Flickr comes in:
It nudges you.
And the humans that use Flickr, Jogales in this case, are the engine behind that bit of magic.
UPDATE: Chris Barrus posts about a similar experience.