Ming the Mechanic:
Stewart Butterfield on Flickr

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Stewart Butterfield on Flickr2005-02-10 22:29
15 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

O'Reilly has an excellent interview with Stewart Butterfield who's the CEO of Ludicorp, the company making Flickr. This guy sure has the right attitude. Making cool stuff, facilitating open sharing, and having great success while you're at it. Particularly interesting how the cool stuff and open sharing thing makes sense as a business strategy.
It's really valuable for any new product or service to reach the hyper-geek audience, who are particularly influential. And for them, the open API is a sign of good faith, a sign that your photos and your data are not going to be locked up in Flickr--even though we don't currently offer a feature to download your photos to your own computer (we will), you could develop one.

It makes a difference for us as a business that other businesses are interested in working with us because they can tell up front how much work it's going to be. Basically third-party apps fall into one of two categories, useful or cool, and some things are both. Useful would include uploaders for a bunch of different platforms, a screensaver that pulls in your contacts' most recent photos, and an application called 1001 for OS X that grabs the most recent photos from your contacts or specified tags, and it pulls from them like an RSS reader. And then there's a bunch of applications that are just cool, like one that takes photos tagged with different colors and arranges them into the shape of a rainbow.

It makes a difference for us as a business that other businesses are interested in working with us because they can tell up front how much work it's going to be. They can have their engineers look at the API and say, "This is what I want to do, how long do you think it's going to take?"

If you didn't know, Flickr is a photo sharing site. You can upload your pictures and make galleries of them. You can use it like a more traditional photo site, and just share them with your friends and family. But the new and cool thing is that things are arranged so that you're most likely inspired and motivated to share the pictures with a wider audience. And you can tag the pictures with keywords, and so can other people. And you can designate what kind of license you imply by sharing your photo. And there are various program interfaces that allow people to construct all sorts of cool stuff around it. On their own initiative, without having to ask anybody anything.

The picture there is constructed automatically through the Flickr API from a bunch of shared pictures tagged as "squared circles".

In case there's any doubt about it, Flickr is going to make billions of dollars before too long, and will blow away any oldfashioned photo gallery sites that are trying to lock you in to their paid services.


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15 comments

11 Feb 2005 @ 10:25 by jstarrs : Flickr
..I have a gallery on flicker but I use the NCN gallery more.
Flickr's a good site though & they seem user friendly, in not using your info to sell your info. If you see what I mean.

http://photos5.flickr.com/4577749_5685194687_m.jpg

Photo under Pont Neuf at sundown...  



12 Feb 2005 @ 01:14 by Ge Zi @24.127.146.67 : links
How again do you get links and in-line pictures into comments???
Flemming, you answered me that once but as we don't have a search function in the blogs (hint, hint ;-)) I had no chance of finding that in a reasonable time.  



12 Feb 2005 @ 01:45 by ming : links
The same shorthand codes as what are valid when posting an article can also be used in comments. I really ought to explain that to the rest of the world, I guess. Anyway, you use curly brackets, either around just a url, or around something like link:http://www.someurl.com|sometitle  


12 Feb 2005 @ 22:27 by Ge Zi @24.127.146.67 : I knew that ;-)))
Thanks Flemming,
and the embedded images like above?
I know you have nothing to do really, so I throw some things at you so you don't get too bored: As mentioned above - a search function through a blog, and then what I'm really missing right now with these spammers advertizing their online gambling:
- I get the rss feed in thunderbird, see it's spam
- click on the url in the title and am looking at the full article
- want to delete the spam comment, but can't
- so I have to log into newciv, find the right article and delete the comment there.

Wouldn't it be nice if I could do the loggin in right from the article page and have my page right there to remove the offending spam?

By the way - are you currently working on the rss feeds? since the last days I get - beside all these spams - a lot of old comments again in my aggregator - or is this something else going on there?  



13 Feb 2005 @ 20:04 by ming : Nothing to do
Yeah, one should really be able to log in directly from the article page. Anyway, stay on my case if I forget to do some of these things.

I didn't change anything on the rss feeds. I think the last I changed was the thing about ampersands that sometimes made it not validate. But that might accidentally have broken something. Anyway, it is a rather difficult thing for aggregators to know whether a post is really new or not. There's no sufficient standard that ensures that. So it involves some guessing.  



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