Thursday, August 18, 2005

Flickr - love/hate


Flickr overload
Originally uploaded by Pandarine.
So it seems that flickr is going through some growing pains again. There are issues over ID mergers with Yaoo. Some are less than thrilled about the new ranking system, so-called interestingness. Others are frustrated with the so called flicky awards. There are also many photographers out there working very hard to self promote their work. The picture that I have blogged comes from a member who is trying to make a statement about flickr's social games, the funny thing is, he is so popular that even his "overload" photo easily made it into the top of the interesting bucket.

Social software is an animal. The developers may try to design something to be used in a given way, only to find out that their user base has found a completely different use for the same feature. Once a piece of social software goes live, it very much gains a life of its own.

Flickr is just like an online game, and I should know having spent years playing them. There is a class system, there are the community giants, and the nobody's. There are those who love to be hated. There are those simply there to pet their egos. Some are there to exploit others, others are there to contribute. It is all the same.

I think that flickr is a great service. I believe that their photo management software is some of the best that I have used. I like the fact that I can just drag and drop photos to share on the internet. I love the way that I can organize them into groups, tag them, annotate them, title them and describe them however I choose. I enjoy the fact that I can comment and favorite other users photos. I love that flickr has made it open and easy to get your work out of their system and onto a blog, or into a 'flickr badge'. Honestly, it saves me hours of coding, or trying to find another solution to do it for me.

I used to love the social aspect of flickr. Then I learned that it is just like the social aspect of any other online game; it is best to have a few friends, but not worry about 'domain domination'.

For me, flickr is a great tool. I use it as an online photo organizer. I pay gladly for the service. If there are any social perks for being a member of the 'flickr community', then they are just that perks. I am not seeking them out, nor am I actively playing the game.

Is it overloaded though? Absolutely.
Am I a fan of interestingness? No. I agree whole-heartedly with a person who stated that a few hours a day looking at ‘explore’ on the flickr site is enough to make anyone vomit. There are just too many pretty photos. Why should we use an algortihm to tell us what is interesting, I liked the adventure of finding it on my own.

I had really intended on writing a small essay about hacking phpbb and nukephp last night, but apparently flickr got the attention today. Oh well.

1 comment:

Michael Sarver said...

Interesting post!

I have wondered about these things myself over the last week or so.

I like Flickr. I may even like it a lot. It gets the job done for me, but I can definately see your point. Flickr is it's own beast.