Flickr Fail

Searching Flickr in recent weeks, the system seems to fail. Just a few years ago, it seemed like community tagging of digital objects would collectively yield vast networks of accessibility, connecting searchers to user-generated-content of relevance. But increasingly tags seem to yield ... crud. Or subterfuge. But certainly not access.

A recent search on Flickr for "chicken" brings up these images:

"Chicken" even yields this image ... because it's chicken wire.

A few posts ago, I discussed "the web as trash." In this view of what has been previously imagined as clean place, the web is a kind of sea of garbage with content circulating and re-circulating unendingly and without context. The fluidity of folksonomies seem to contribute to the trashed out nature of the internets. Search for "chicken" and find: a hamster, junk, flowers, a dog. Of course, there are ways to find images of chickens, but folksonomies seem to increasingly misdirect toward the clutter.