International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media

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March 26-28, 2007

Social Browsing on Flickr

Monday, March 26, 2007

Kristina Lerman and Laurie Jones

The new social media sites--blogs, wikis, del.icio.us and Flickr, among others--underscore the transformation of the Web to a participatory medium in which users are actively creating, evaluating and distributing information. The photo-sharing site Flickr, for example, allows users to upload photographs, view photos created by others, comment on those photos, etc. As is common to other social media sites, Flickr allows users to designate others as "contacts" and to track their activities in real time. The contacts (or friends) lists form the social network backbone of social media sites. These social networks facilitate new ways of interacting with information, e.g., through what we call social browsing. The contacts interface on Flickr enables users to see latest images submitted by their friends. Through an extensive analysis of Flickr data, we show that social browsing through the contacts’ photo streams is one of the primary methods by which users find new images on Flickr. This finding has implications for creating personalized recommendation systems based on the user’s declared contacts lists.


Short Paper


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