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25/11/2008

L is for long lost pals


letters.jpg

Just when you think might have seen everything the social web has to offer, it tickles you with some magic.

This morning I was entertaining my four-year-old son by building his name out of letters in Flickr photos. It's a service I found a while ago called, appropriately enough, Spell With Flickr.

It takes advantage of the fact that there are a lot of people who love letters, typography, in Flickr, who maintain neatly ordered, tagged, collections of images of individual letters.

My son's learning to read at the moment, so he loves letters. What I thought would be a few minutes of fun turned into an hour or so of exploring typography. Wonderful.

He also picked up the concept of favouriting images so that he can find them again among the trillion or so pages on the web out there.

One he chose was this L - the first leter of his name - made out of a pattern of coffee cups.


L.jpg

He was so enthralled by letters, we decided to take the camera on a walk along the seafront to find some letters of our own...

When we got back there was an email for me from the photographer of L, who goes by the Flickr name UrbanMkr. Turns out I went to university with them, we'd lost touch since they'd moved to Montreal. They followed the link back to my account when Flickr had alerted them and saw my photo.

Like I said, the web is a beautiful thing...