Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 161–188 | Cite as

Words about Images: Coordinating Community in Amateur Photography

  • Rebecca E. Grinter


This paper describes how the adoption of digital technologies by two amateur photography communities created coordination challenges. Digital technologies disrupted the classification schemes used not just to sort images into groups for competition, but also served to coordinate the community itself. In opening up the classification scheme, members were able to see and reflect on the sources used to establish the definitions that sorted images and organised their practices not just locally but more widely across various boundaries. Without having words about images, both amateur photography communities would have struggled to coordinate.


amateur communities classification 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Becker, H.S. 1982Art WorldsUniversity of California PressLos Angeles, CAGoogle Scholar
  2. Bogdan, C. 2003IT Design for Amateur CommunitiesDoctoral Dissertation Royal Institute of Technology, StockholmSwedenGoogle Scholar
  3. Bourdieu, P. 1990 (orig. 1965)Photography: A Middle-Brow ArtStanford University PressPalo Alto, CAGoogle Scholar
  4. Bowers, J. 1992The Politics of FormalismLea, M. eds. Contexts of Computer-Mediated CommunicationHarvester WheatsheafNY, New York232261Google Scholar
  5. Bowker, G. and S.L. Star (1991): Situations vs. Standards in Long-Term, Wide-Scale Decision-Making: The Case of the International Classification of Diseases. In J.F. Nunamaker and R.H. Sprague (eds.): Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Hawaii, 1991. IEEE Computer Society Press, pp. 73--81.Google Scholar
  6. Bowker, G.C., Star, S.L. 1999Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its ConsequencesMIT PressCambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown, J.S., Duguid, P. 2000The Social Life of Information.Harvard Business School PressBoston, MAGoogle Scholar
  8. Crabtree, A., T. Rodden and J. Mariani (2004): Collaborating Around Collections: Informing the Continued Development of Photoware. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW ‘04), Chicago, Illinois, November 6–10, 2004. ACM Press, pp. 396–405.Google Scholar
  9. Chalfen, R. 1987Snapshot Versions of LifeThe Popular Press, Bowling Green State UniversityBowling Green, OHGoogle Scholar
  10. Chalfen, R. 1991Turning Leaves: The Photographic Collections of Two Japanese American Families.New Mexico PressAlbuquerque, NMGoogle Scholar
  11. Churchill, E.F.Snowdon, D.N.Munro, A.J. eds. 2001Collaborative Virtua Environments.Springer-VerlagHeidelberg, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  12. Frohlich, D.M. 2004Audiophotography: Bringing Photos to Life with Sounds.Kluwer Academic PublishersDordrecht, NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  13. Frohlich, D.M., A. Kuchinsky, C. Pering, A. Don and S. Ariss (2002): Requirements for Photoware. In M. Twidale (ed.): Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW 2002), New Orleans, LA, November 16–20, 2002. New York, NY: ACM Press, pp. 166–175.Google Scholar
  14. Gerson, E.M., Star, S.L. 1986Analyzing Due Process in the WorkplaceACM Transactions on Office Systems vol.4257270Google Scholar
  15. Harrison, S. and P. Dourish (1996): Re-Place-ing Space: The Roles of Place and Space in Collaborative Systems. In M.S. Ackerman (ed.): Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work CSCW ‘96, Cambridge, MA, November 16–20, 1996. New York, NY: ACM Press, pp. 67–76.Google Scholar
  16. Hughes, R. 1997American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America.Alfred A. KnopfNew York, NYGoogle Scholar
  17. Kiesler, S. eds. 1997Culture of the Internet.Lawrence Erlbaum AssociatesMahweh, NJGoogle Scholar
  18. King, D. 1997The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Photographs and Art in Stalin’s Russia.Owl BooksNew York, NYGoogle Scholar
  19. Koskinen, I., Kurvinen, E., Lehtonen, T. 2002Mobile ImageIT PressHelsinki, FinlandGoogle Scholar
  20. Kurvinen, E. (2003): Only When Miss Universe Snatches Me: Teasing in MMS Messaging. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces (DPPI 03), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 23–26, 2003. ACM Press, pp. 98–102.Google Scholar
  21. Lave, J., Wenger, E. 1991Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation.Cambridge University PressNew York, NYGoogle Scholar
  22. Lieberman, H., Rosenzweig, E., Singh, P. 2001Aria: An Agent for Annotating and Retrieving ImagesIEEE Computer345762Google Scholar
  23. Lofland, J., Lofland, L.H. 1995Analyzing Social Settings: A Guide to Qualitative Observation and Analysis 3WadsworthBelmont, CAGoogle Scholar
  24. Lutz, C.A., Collins, J.L. 1993Reading National GeographicUniversity of Chicago PressChicago, ILGoogle Scholar
  25. Mynatt, E.D., A. Adler, M. Ito and V.L. O’Day (1997): Design for Networked Communities. In S. Pemberton (ed.): Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI ‘97, Atlanta, GA, March 22–27, 1997. ACM Press, pp. 210–217.Google Scholar
  26. National Union of Journalists (1996): If you Mac it, mark it! In Proceedings of the, 1996.Google Scholar
  27. Rodden, K. and K.R. Wood (2003): How Do People Manage Their Digital Photographs? In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing (CHI ‘03), Fort Lauderdale, FL, April 5–10, 2003. ACM Press, pp. 409–416.Google Scholar
  28. Sarvas, R., E. Herrarte, A. Wilhelm and M. Davis (2004): Metadata Creation System for Mobile Images. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services (MobiSYS 04), Boston, MA, June 6–9, 2004. ACM Press, pp. 36–48.Google Scholar
  29. Schmidt, K., Bannon, L. 1992Taking CSCW Seriously Supporting Articulation WorkAn International Journal Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)1740Google Scholar
  30. Smith, M.A., Kollock, P. 1999Communities in CyberspaceRoutledgeNew York, NYGoogle Scholar
  31. Sontag, S. 1979On PhotographyPenguin Books LimitedLondon, EnglandGoogle Scholar
  32. Strauss, A. 1985Work and the Division of LaborThe Sociological Quarterly26119Google Scholar
  33. Strauss, A., Corbin, J. 1990Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques Sage Publications IncNewbury Park, CAGoogle Scholar
  34. Suchman, L. 1994Do Categories Have Politics? The Language/Action Perspective ReconsideredComputer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) An International Journal2177190Google Scholar
  35. von Ahn, L. and L. Dabbish (2004): Labeling Images with a Computer Game. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing (CHI ‘04), Vienna, Austria, 24–29 April, 2004. ACM Press, pp. 319–326.Google Scholar
  36. Winograd, T. 1994Categories, Disciplines, and Social CoordinationComputer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) :An International Journal.2191197Google Scholar
  37. Yee, K.-P., K. Swearingen, K. Li and M. Hearst (2003): Faceted Metadata for Image Search and Browsing. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing (CHI ‘03), Fort Lauderdale, FL, April 5–10, 2003. ACM Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Computing, Georgia Institute of TechnologyGVU Center-TSRBAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations