The Official White House Photostream uploaded its first photo to Flickr on April 28, 2009 and has quickly become the most buzzed about account on the photo-sharing site. Official White House photographer Pete Souza snaps all the photos for the photosstream and the resulting images - at times funny, poignant and inspiring - offer unprecedented access to the most famous address in the world.
The White House photostream is completely relevant to small businesses because of two words: transparency and accessibility. Scrolling through photos of the President enjoying a laugh with advisors or rearranging the furniture in the Oval Office, I'm struck simultaneously by the sheer normalcy of images and also how extraordinary they are. The snapshots of intense meetings draw me in and make me feel as if I'm right there next to world leaders as the important topics of the day are discussed, and the White House has never felt more accessible. The administrator of the account (whether it's Pete Souza or an assistant, I don't know) even went so far as to make the EXIF information visible for all new photos in response to the recurring suggestions to do so from members of the Flickr community in the comments section.
I'm going to take a cue from the White House and think of how to do more with my own (somewhat neglected) Flickr stream. I may not have an award winning photographer to document my every move but I do have a business to promote, an audience, and a desire to connect with customers and creators. If the Federal Government, the largest employer in the U.S., can utilize Flickr to make themselves seem so approachable and transparent, surely we small businesses owners can do the same.