by Mike Masnick

Who Needs A Yearbook When You Already Have

from the welcome-to-the-new-world dept

There's an interesting in the Washington Post about students at a high school in Maryland who got a bit of a shock when they opened up their latest yearbooks... only to find photos from their profiles included in the book. Apparently, the yearbook staff procrastinated on finding photos for the yearbook and took the shortcut route of simply copying them from various student profiles, without bothering to ask permission. This has freaked out some of the students. There are a few things that come across as interesting about this story. First, it shows yet another example of students thinking of everything on the web as being open content for use. Second, the reaction of the students freaked out by this reminds us that the social networking sometimes forgets that the content on these sites is publicly available for people to find outside their closeknit group of friends. All in all, it seems pretty lazy for the yearbook staff to not at least ask the individuals for permission to use their photos, but at the same time it's fairly creative for the staff to also realize that they were more likely to get interesting candid photos of students via the website. Then, of course, why isn't anyone asking whether the whole concept of "the yearbook" is starting to get outdated thanks to social networks like Facebook?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Tom, Jun 27th, 2007 @ 12:28pm

    Who cares? Its high school kids!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2007 @ 12:31pm

    I never bought a year book...

    There never was a good reason to buy one. Generally the people who buy year books are the people who have high school as the high point in their lives. I never really cared about high school. Even when I got letters in sports or varsity positions on a team, I never bought a jacket, never paid for the patches. I never thought it mattered.

    The whole thing is less about the practicality and more about peoples weaknesses. I doubt technology will change the fact that people want to look back and say "Look, I was cool once upon a time".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Rog, Jun 27th, 2007 @ 12:33pm

    Interesting article. I can't imagine the parents of the students who bought the year books being very happy considering the prices of them are outrageous (when I went to highschool they were anyways)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Buzz, Jun 27th, 2007 @ 12:34pm

    dumb yearbooks

    I hated yearbooks. I don't hate people who like them, but I hated yearbooks. They were overpriced books with coverage of dozens of events that I never took part in. Upon hearing that about me, people tend to think, "Well, you need to get out more." I participated in plenty of school events/groups. The problem was the yearbook staff would regularly focus on their own close knit friends. So, the yearbook consisted of pictures and articles revolving around interviews with the yearbook staff's best friends. You could see evidence of this by noticing how a particular guy or girl would show up in ten different sections/pictures around the yearbook (and not for participating in clubs or whatnot). It was yet another aspect of the typical high school popularity contest. Everyone just wants to be noticed at that age.

    I do have a Facebook profile, but I doubt it would have any bearing on whether I'd buy a yearbook (since I never wanted to in the first place).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Luke, Jun 27th, 2007 @ 12:41pm


    I'm on the Yearbook staff at my highschool and Facebook is extremely useful for getting pictures of people from over summer vacation. Other than that, we do take all our own shots, and we would have the sense to ask permission if using pictures from Facebook.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Kevin Wright, Jun 27th, 2007 @ 12:58pm


    I graduated from highschool about 17 years ago, and the older I get the more I enjoy my yearbook. I am sorry so many of you did not enjoy highschool or the other people that were there, but I like to think back on it on occasion (one a year or less) and a yearbook is an easy way to do that. Kevin

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    TheDock22, Jun 27th, 2007 @ 1:01pm

    Re: dumb yearbooks

    I agree. I got Yearbooks as present every year from my parents (they were like $55.00 and I was not going to pay that). You would open up the yearbook and there would be nothing about any activities I was involved in.

    The even had a section where they took pictures of all the personalized plates in the lot and picked the most creative one. For one, my plate wasn't even pictured. For two, it was better than "buggy" on an old beat-up VW bug.

    Yearbooks staffers are all about making their friends stand out more than being objective, but hey it was highschool. Maybe online yearbooks will become the future since it would be cheaper and every student who wanted to could contribute. Beside, paying $55 and waiting a year for my yearbook was pointless. I couldn't even have my friends sign it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    bubblegum crisis, Jun 27th, 2007 @ 1:44pm


    Quick: "There's an interesting in the Washington Post" is missing a noun somewhere in the first few words there :p I'm guessing article, but in reality there may have been an interesting advertisement, or perhaps a talking banana.

    I have one yearbook. I hated school, so it's more like one of those things I try to forget.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Michael, Jun 27th, 2007 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: dumb yearbooks


    My senior year yearbook was almost $200...shit I got ripped.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Karen, Jun 27th, 2007 @ 2:09pm

    Ha Ha

    Our school used photos from our profiles for our Senior Sideshow... also without permission.

    It was kind of weird seeing pictures on the huge screen, but that way, everyone was included in the sideshow.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2007 @ 2:15pm

    Hell, these days with all the online publishing tools, including custom books, it would probably be better and cheaper for the schools to get rid of the year books staff and do an online yearbook, in which anyone can contribute pictures, then those who wanted could have their own custom book printed, and only use those photos they wanted.
    In '87, the yearbooks were about 75 bucks at our school. Now you can't even get a picture in of two guys kissing

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Chris Brand, Jun 27th, 2007 @ 2:37pm

    Copyright infringement

    How long until we see the first copyright infringement lawsuit ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    anonymous coward, Jun 27th, 2007 @ 4:10pm

    if you learn to take shortcuts in high school, it will save you time of having to learn them in college.

    kudos to this students! i hope they spent the time they saved smoking pot, drinking, and banging cheerleaders!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    William C Bonner, Jun 27th, 2007 @ 7:04pm

    It's a frozen snapshot that exists beyond the curr

    I graduated high school over 20 years ago. I rarely get out my yearbooks, but I like knowing that they are around, and I can get them out and thumb through them to stir old memories, even of things that I didn't really participate in.

    Anything online has to change by its very nature. Try going to a set of pictures from just 5 years ago, and I'll bet you can't find them, unless you archived it to your own site 5 years ago.

    The good thing about the book is that you'll still be able to read it if you can open the cover.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Jimmy, Jun 28th, 2007 @ 12:17am

    That's what happened at my school!! HAHA!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Mark, Jun 28th, 2007 @ 10:02pm

    The article mentioned that some of the included photos were of people at house parties with red plastic cups. (which in case you didn't know, are commonly used for alcoholic beverages!) This could be unfortunate for some of the students in case their parents look through their yearbook (which they most likely will now that this is all over the newspaper) and see their child out drinking. One might argue that the parents could've just checked facebook, but how many parents really do that? Not many.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    slartibartfast, Jul 3rd, 2007 @ 10:21pm

    Who Cares?

    I hated high school and couldn't wait to leave it. The very last thing I would want is a yearbook!

    Yeah, I know, you don't give a rat's arse about my opinion of high school but i thought I'd get that off my chest.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    lamia, Jul 6th, 2007 @ 10:58am



    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    laci, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 7:46am



    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    someone that you don't need to know, Apr 4th, 2008 @ 9:34am

    Re: Yearbooks

    I total think the same thing. A year book is something that you can look back on, and almost relive your high school days. You can look at a pic. or something that was wrote in the year book and know what it was talking about or why the pic was took when other people have no idea why. I love it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    hi, Apr 22nd, 2008 @ 11:37am

    y u do htis

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Your a ass, Apr 22nd, 2008 @ 11:38am

    You Crackhead

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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