Friday, July 24, 2009

Social objects, distributed attention and aggregation

A couple of days ago, I had what seemed like a good idea at the time. If, as Martin Weller says, <embed> is the universal acid of the web, rather than writing one of my usual text-based microbiology posts, take the image that would accompany an article and turn it into a social object for discussion.

Simples! The image is on Flickr, the Flickr page it's embedded in allows comments, so embed the Flickr page in the blog and away we go.

Except that there's no way to embed a Flickr page in another blog, other than a rather clumsy iframe. And commenting on Flickr requires registration and log in, so there's not likely to be a free flow of comments. And if people do make comments, how do I solve the problem of divided attention between sites (which occurred when I tried FriendFeed embedding recently).

So maybe a better way is:

What's this?

Please use the comments below to discuss what you can tell about this virus from the diagram.