Community matters @ Magnum

In the hope of making its archives more usable while also engaging its many online followers, Magnum is initiating a collaborative annotation project. For the trial run, Magnum is looking for 50 volunteers who are passionate about photography and want to help shape its site into an online community.

Magnum offers some give with its take. Participants also get to see important photos that have rarely, if ever, been viewed. They are also permitted what amounts to a sneak preview of new work from Magnum photographers in the field. And they’ll be helping an agency that is essentially a nonprofit — if not by design — because it has focused so much of its energy on the core mission of documenting world events.

“People who would balk at doing this for giants like Getty or Corbis would be happy to help this particular collective of photographers and preserve part of photography’s cultural heritage,” Mr. Carter said.

Read the whole thing here.

Could National Geographic pull off something similar? Or would people “balk at doing this” because our Society has become a “giant” with a much, um… broader focus.

We still believe NGS could “shape its site into an online community” — but only if NGS executives come to understand the prerequisite for building a community, online or off: We have to be able to discover who else is actually in it.

NO NEW POSTS will be published here after February 6, 2014. THIS IS WHY.