The Flickr phenomenon

This morning’s Observer column

Virtually every Tom, Dick and Harry has a digital camera. And if he doesn’t, there’s probably one in his mobile phone. Which raises an interesting question: what are people doing with all these cameras? The answer: snapping everything that moves, and much that doesn’t.

But then what? At this point, options begin to narrow. You can take the storage card into Jessops, push it into a slot and pay to have your photos printed. You can upload them to your computer and view them on screen in tasteful little slideshows, perhaps to the accompaniment of a track from your music library.

You can buy an inkjet printer, pay through the nose for paper and ink cartridges, and print them out. Or you can upload them to a printing service like Ofoto or Fotango, have them deduct money from your credit card and send back nice prints on proper photographic paper.

Alternatively you can put them on Flickr ( If you don’t know about Flickr, it’s time you did…