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Flickr: A Review

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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.

Product features:

  • 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
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Comments

  1. Ruby (3 comments.) says:

    Flickr totallyt has albums! You may not have noticed it because it’s labeled “Organize.” But if you look at my Flickr page you will see two photo albums I have made on the left. Another amazing feature is that it creates instant slideshows based on any collection you are viewing (eg: by tags, by someone else’s tags, by album). Also, I like that you can use a static link to these slideshows, for example here’s a slideshow of photos taken with my phone.

  2. MsCantBWrong (6 comments.) says:

    Yeah but… the sucky thing about FLickr is that everyone’s “blog” looks the same. Basically it’s just like every other impersonal photo album site out there. *snooze*

    It does have some interesting features, but I chose Picto over Flickr.

  3. Matthew Holt says:

    I was somewhat fooled by your mulitple upload line. you can upload multiple photos INTO flickr but that’s no big deal (many programs allow that). You CANNOT upload multiple photos from Flickr into one Blogger post. Blogger’s own Hello/Piccassa program already does all this and integrates just as well with Blogger, so I think Flickr is not worth using until it gets around this problem.

  4. zen says:

    For me, looking the same is only ‘sucky’ if its all about you (the individual). In real community flogs (not just storehouses for photos for the written blog) that sameness gives a feeling of continuity as you bounce around looking at people’s photos. Prior to Flickr i came from a flog community where color and links and backgrounds can be changed (Fotolog.net), and the community isn’t one of ‘an interesting quilt of diverse people,’ it comes off more like ‘chaos.’

    Looking at people’s photos with sane and similar surroundings gives the chance for the photos themselves to shine, instead of putting bad paintings in garish frames and calling it art. I hope that Flickr doesn’t go the route of “customize your page,” and turn a thoughtful community into one big colorful chat room.

    Sometimes it’s easy to confuse people with complicated cellphone ringtones for those that actually have personality.

    rior to Flickr, i came from a

  5. Mario Aguila says:

    The main problem with flickr is that you can’t creat sub folders, or subsets. Check this forum: http://www.flickr.com/forums/ideas/2078/page6/
    There are many members with complaints about this issue

  6. BillyWarhol (1 comments.) says:

    I find Flickr is awesome*

    to scale to the numbers they have & with the relatively painless upgrade to the Gamma version is truly amazing!

    a Fine example for all Software companies & Web communities*

    i just read they handle a Billion image views a day*

    if i was recommending the Internet to anyone i would recommend Flickr first above ALL the rest!!

    Easy to Use & a pure Joy to experience & meet fantastic people from all over the World & see amazing Photographs*

    Cheers! Billy ;))



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