Flickr (beta) is a great service and is very quickly becoming the photoblogging tool of choice for many bloggers. Very cool features, very zippy application and ease of upload coupled with a relatively usable interface makes this product a winner. Photoblogging is a personal interest and I want to try and understand what makes this product so likeable as compared to, say, Gallery and the places where I think Flickr could improve upon itself.
- Easy setup – It is very simple to setup a gallery for yourself, almost instantenous if you dont want to provide much information. I like that. If an online service requires your life’s story for account creation, users are lost.
- Mostly uncluttered homepage – Though that is quickly changing. The main items of use are clearly visible and easy to find within the thumbnails.
- Ease of upload and multiple photo upload – Downloadable applications for both Mac OS X and Windows make uploading multiple photos a cinch. Online forms are also available. A bookmarklet to automatically select images from a viewed webpage for upload to Flickr is incredibly useful. I am not so sure of the lisence implications of that feature, but very cool otherwise.
- The image editing interface – Is very nicely dont. Simple image editing (rotation), ability to highlight parts of a photo with comments and various sizes for download are also cool features.
- Blog directly from inside Flickr – Again, nicely done. Easy to use, not much setup, simple interface and fast response.
- Tags – You can add tags to your photographs. In my mind, tags are simple descriptive words for your pictures and photos can be classified using those tags. Much like the GMail Labels. More on that in a minute
- Lots of image security features – Well, a couple that come to mind are the ability to make a picture private and the ability to classify an image as “might be offensive”. Useful for those not-so-nice pictures.
- Social Network Integeration – Only possible on a hosted service, but nicely done in Flickr (though could use some improvements). Assign groups, contacts, invite people to join etc.
- Full EXIF implementation – Get all your EXIF information translated and added to your photos
- Cameraphone/moblog ability – Send pictures to Flickr from your cameraphone. All your photoblogging under one roof.
- RSS and ATOM feeds – Much like most other modern blogging applications, Flickr provides ATOM and RSS feeds for each user.
- Last but not the least, a powerful FAQ – Most questions are answered here.
Where they could improve:
- No Albums?? – This is an opinion but Ive always missed having folders in GMail and I miss having albums in Flickr. I think tags are useful in their own right and are a very useful way of classifying pictures, but the ability to group pictures upon upload, especially if you upload a lot of pictures, is very important. If I plan to upload 300 pictures to Flickr every week, it would be impossible to keep them straight. I think Picasa does a good job with albums. Pictures can be grouped by name, date uploaded and the album in which they have been uploaded to. They can also be classified by “tags”, but thats secondary to a higher order classification.
- More clutter? – I remember when Flickr was launched it had a pristine interface and I cannot help but think that the marketing/design departments (if they have one) have had their way with the evolving interface.
- “Your photos” interface – The page to view your own photos (and make modifications) needs a little more work in my opinion. Long names overlap, icons are non-descriptive and LJ – esque