Using Flickr for Neighborhood Activism

November 21st, 2009 by Editor B

Some of my neighbors have been bickering, er, I mean debating about Comiskey Park here in Mid-City. The basketball goals that used to be there were taken down when an television production company made plans to rebuild the park for a reality show. That didn’t pan out in the long run, and the park was left in a worse state than ever because of it.

But back to those basketball goals. Some neighbors don’t want them back up, and some do. Both factions have conducted informal polls and claimed results that support their positions. As the rhetoric ratcheted up, the legitimacy of these polls was called into question.

I don’t want to get caught up in the debate though. Rather I wanted to cite how one neighbor, Joseph Brock, has responded. He’s created a Flickr account specifically for this issue. He printed out signs stating the pro-basketball position. Then he went around and used his cameraphone to take pictures of various neighbors holding the signs, and posted those pictures directly to Flickr. Check out the photostream. It’s simple, powerful, effective and cheap.

I’m quite impressed.

4 Responses to “Using Flickr for Neighborhood Activism”

  1. Anthony Says:

    I know you probably heard my response to this but I am pretty tired of the idea that the park infrastructure is the problem rather than the behavior of some of our fellow citizens. It is the same arguments put forward when a store gets robbed and some of the short sighted people want to shut down the store rather than dealing with crime.

    If we take apart everything that can potentially be a part of criminal (or in the case of the basketball discussion, obnoxious) activity soon we won’t have anything at all.

  2. Editor B Says:

    For once we are in complete agreement.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    B, did you see any addresses on the photos? No. Most of those people were friends who live God knows where. I think his tactic was “tacky” and ineffective in convincing anyone who knows that photoshop can put a sign in anyone’s hands….including all his friends from “facebook”. Not powerful, but stupid. Sorry B gotta disagree on this one.

  4. Editor B Says:

    I think he squandered an opportunity. His comments on the discussion group undermined the point he was trying to make. Then again, the basketball goals are up now so who knows? By the way I know most if not all of the neighbors he photographed; also I ran into him at the grocery shortly after and he confirmed he posted these directly from his cameraphone. Rather than criticize his technique, I’d recommend trying to learn, both from what he did right and wrong.

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