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Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Canada

blog

Flickr

Chris Campbell

I like to think that I'm an alpha geek. I try as much stuff out as I can and I like to be able to see things that are coming or things that I want to see develop. There were some rumblings about Flickr and I noticed it and looked at the site and the photos there a few times and read about it, but never signed up. Finally I did and I was hooked fairly quickly. Flickr is a way to share photos which isn't really that revolutionary, but it's how they do it that is remarkable. There are a bunch of ways to put galleries together to share images, but they can be a bit of a pain. If you want to have more personal photos you can set up rules and passwords, but that's not a lot of fun. Flickr really clicked for me when I realized that I was emailing the same photos to different people. It would make more sense to have the photos in one place and let them go there. Then it clicked even more when I made the connection between RSS and Flickr. In the same way that I don't need to go to a different site to see if it has been updated, it's easier to check the feed. With Flickr you have an imagestream, which consists of the photos that you upload. You can also view streams by how they are tagged or who uploads them. When this is combined with the ability to share certain images with contacts or friends or family or everyone it moves into the killer app territory. It's in beta now and all of the details aren't worked out, but I'm hooked. It's easier to understand once you use it though. The interesting thing is not that you have a limited amount of space, but it is how the space is limited. You have limits on how much you upload each month. So the bias of the system is to post stuff every month (or day or hour if you start to use it a lot). If you have a cell phone with a camera you can send images directly to Flickr. If you have a blog you can blog directly from Flickr. Technologically it's great, but the social component is what will make it stick... that and the well-documented Flickr API that lets you make other cool new things out of it and of course they have a blog. They also have Creative Commons licensing built-in as well! Hopefully as it develops and the pricing scheme is worked out it will take off. This is going to be very big I think. In some ways I think that Flickr and the RSS and Atom feeds that it generates will also help a lot of people understand why they would want to use feeds. Outside of the more tech-savvy blogging world there are a lot of people who use the Web and don't use feeds. NetNewsWire has changed the way that I view the Web because of how it lets me use the feeds and I think that Flickr is dramatically changing the way that I see sharing images. You can go to my Flickr page and you'll only see the photos that you're allowed to see... if you're a contact you'll see more, if you're not you'll only see the public photos. It's simple, functional and addictive!