Flickr and plain English, please

Very good article in today’s Guardian technology section about the photo sharing site Flickr. The article by Victor Keegan, states that “Flickr has reinvented photography for the digital age” and although the writer states that he was very sceptical about Flickr when it was first launched – i.e. would it be full of awful family photos? – the advent of tagging and the formation of online groups has made Flickr an excellent place to search for images. Flickr has also been instrumental in the development of what Keegan calls “citizen journalism”. Keegan then bemoans the fact that Yahoo, who now own Flickr, have launched a service offering to host people’s videos but at a cost to those posting. Keegan’s conclusion is that when large corporations take over aspects of the web, innovation ceases and profit predominates. Excellent topic for students to discuss.

For the past 4 weeks, I’ve been in correspondence with the National Australia Bank about a problem encountered at an ATM here in Scotland. Yesterday, following my online request for information on how the problem was being dealt with, someone from the bank’s Customer Relations (sic) section replied to tell me that “the interface of paper request for reconciliation is in place”. Now I think this means that the NAB is contacting the Clydesdale Bank here in Scotland to settle the problem but who knows? I’ve replied asking for an explanation in plain English. I’ll keep you posted or I’ll instigate a subsequent nonverbal communication heretofore.

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