When you came home from a vacation, you dropped the film canisters off at the local grocery store, or maybe a photo kiosk and got your 24 or 36 4x6" prints back anywhere from 1 hour to 1 week later. You brought them home, to the next extended family function, and maybe to the office to share.
People would thumb through with maybe some "oohs" or "aahs" thrown in. If you were an organized person, they get filed away or put into a little album labeled "Vacation 1996" or something. (if you were me, they got dumped in a box :)
With the advent of digital cameras, the equivalent is coming home, downloading the photos to a computer, maybe emailing them to friends and family, posting on a blog or a photo share web site such as flickr, pbase, yahoo etc.
In either case, not many people take the time to do much editing in the form of throwing out the boring, the out-of-focus, or incorrectly exposed photos. Only if one or a few photos were chosen for reprinting and "blown up" was any effort made. I was one that usually made the effort to cull the worst shots, the ones that look the same as the others before anyone thumbed through. So by the time people saw my photographs they saw only my better shots. Usually they saw less than 1/2 (sometimes much less) of what was taken. One result is that I have received a number of complimentary comments over the years along the lines of: "Your photos are really nice".
First, I'd suggest that if you throw out the worst 50%, everyone's photos will look better. Second, this was the long way of saying I've finished going through our vacation photos. I ended up "messing with" 35 out of 289 that I took. People that got to see all 35 saw a mere 12.1% (less than 1/8) of what I shot...I sure hope they look good :) These were a few more of my favorites...