Distributed Flickr

I recently upgraded my Flickr account to Pro and started using it wholeheartedly. I’ve even invited a few folks to join, which is something I’ve never done with any of the Social Networking sites I’m on. Okay, so the digerati who follow this blog are probably yawning right now. (If this includes you, then be patient. I guarantee you’ll find the latter part of this post interesting.) Obviously, Flickr’s been a phenomenon for a long time. But my reasons for jumping on the Flickr bandwagon may interest some, and if not, my thoughts on distributed photo sharing hopefully will interest the rest of you.    (KKP)

Why did it take so long for me to embrace Flickr? Mainly because I’ve got a hacker mentality. I’m also not crazy about my personal data being stored on someone else’s machine. I’d rather hack and host myself if I can help it.    (KKQ)

This mentality has changed over the years, largely due to lack of time and shifting priorities and philosophy. But what really sold me was:    (KKR)

  • I like the basic Flickr information architecture, namely, the notion that every picture has a single unique ID. This simple premise enables you to layer all kinds of organization on top of your pictures, from collections to tags. Moreover, it also enables a photolog view of your life. I haven’t found any gallery software that uses this architecture and hence, that offers these features. Gallery, for example, offers per-album RSS feeds, but not a site-wide RSS feed. Plus, if you want to share a picture across multiple albums, you need to duplicate it.    (KKS)
  • I like the Flickr UI (yes, even the new gamma version).    (KKT)
  • I haven’t been doing a good job of sharing my photos with others, and Flickr is the best service for doing that right now.    (KKU)
  • Everybody’s using it. Usually, the fact that a lot of people are on the bandwagon is enough to drive me away from it. But at some point, pragmatism trumps the curmudgeon in me.    (KKV)

We’re still using Gallery at Blue Oxen Associates, largely due to some special needs. Which leads me to my big gripe about Flickr. Why can’t I use Flickr to share pictures hosted elsewhere? In other words, if I have an image somewhere on the web I want to share, why can’t I “bookmark” it on Flickr a la del.icio.us?    (KKW)

This idea emerged from Greg Elin‘s participation at the first FLOSS Usability Sprint. Greg’s team, which included Mary Hodder and Matt Mullenweg, was discussing Fotonotes‘s needs. At some point, Matt brought up the idea of a bookmarking service for photos, and the team started running with it. These discussions helped inspire and influence Mary’s startup, Dabble, which allows you to bookmark video hosted elsewhere.    (KKX)

I’m totally psyched to see Mary take this idea to fruition, but I’d still like to see something similar for pictures.    (KKY)