Boris Mann

Open Source. Community. Decentralized Web. Building dev tools at Fission. Cooks & eats.


Flickr kicks off rich media arms race for social networking apps

Somehow, Flickr feels like a place to hang out. This is more like it -- it puts the "social" back into social software. The basic, web-page only interface isn't much. Actually, it's really barebones.

So go ahead and hit the big Launch! button. It could maybe be even bigger, to signify what it leads to. Which is the first shot across the bow of every other app that dares call itself social software (Update: you have to register to see the "Launch" button, says Dave, and Lloyd wanted to see a screenshot without having to register)

A giant, gorgeous interface that feels like a second desktop. With contacts, little graphical icons, tab-key navigation (tab navigation!) and everything feels clickable and draggable, because it is. Oh, and there are little icons representing your groups, and some more little icons representing your pictures, which do a nice magnify effect like the OS X dock as you mouse over.

I actually thought it was an amazing DHTML interface the first time. Because I didn't get a "crappy Flash interface" allergic reaction to it. And, you can click on things and they open real URLs, which you can actually link to.

Anyway I was hanging out at some point, when Stewart Butterfield acquainted himself to me, and let me in on some upcoming features…

IM conversation logs is all I can remember, which isn't all that interesting :p. Gimme gateways to other IM clients and I'm yours forever. People that don't have Macs and don't run Fire don't realize how easy it can be to talk to all the different networks out there.

Sure, it's got some growing pains. I had a long rant in the FlickrIdeas channel about why you can't rename pictures after you've made them public. The answer is: no particular reason, that's just the way it's coded (ref: long discussion about database design, person-specific meta-data, pointers to the original image data, problems with owner not being able to fix even simple spelling mistakes, etc. etc.). Thanks for listening, Caterina (actually, I think I was badgering George first, before you jumped to the rescue, macro in hand: We don't know why they coded it that way, but that's the way it currently works).

Let's see...ostensibly, Flickr is about sharing photos that you have kicking around. You've got a shoebox that you can upload to through your browser or by sending Magic Email. I love Magic Email. Wouldn't it be neat to have Magic Email that was trolled on a couple of spammer sites and see what happens? Interesting shoeboxes. And you have a gallery, on your profile page. Which is inexplicably not linked to your shoebox in any way. And doesn't do Magic Email.

Maybe I'll wander by the Ludicorp offices and see if they need the services of an itinerant web tinkerer (ah-ha! new BMC slogan) -- this looks like it's going to be fun.

I'll Flickr you later, dude.