Finally Breaking My Flickr Silence

I’ve been quoted – albeit anonymously – by Peter Cohen in this week’s Macworld Week In Review, trying to boil Flickr down to a quick pitch:
To that end, I’d recommend that Apple take a closer look at social networking Web sites, which have just exploded in popularity over the past few years — sites like Orkut, Multiply and Friendster have enabled people to create virtual online communities. Flickr, a photo management and sharing site, is a great example of this. My friend pitched it to me this way: “Imagine if Apple’s .Mac photo sharing — nice and easy, right? — was mixed with social software, blogging functions, and more features than you could shake a stick at.”
I realized reading this that I hadn’t yet posted anything about it to my own blog, although if you look at my sidebar, you’ll see a random thumbnail from my photo collection.
There’s really no denying that Flickr is hot shit, for a large variety of reasons. There’s the multiple upload pathways – direct upload, an iPhoto plugin, mailing a photo to a user-specific email address, and more.
There’s the really easy to use management settings – keywords, descriptions, access limitations, etc. Even with iPhoto, I don’t often feel compelled to use any of the metadata functions, but here it just feels like a natural extension, probably because the transfer is so simple.
There’s the fact that it instantly resizes everything to a number of alternate sizes, making it easier for me to just upload something to Flickr and link to it than to make my own smaller versions and upload to my site.
There’s the blogging functions – one click next to any photo will post it to your blog, or moblogged photos can automatically be posted.
There’s the social elements – you can form interest groups, enter a chat room, and live chat about your photos. It’s all Flash-based, so there’s nothing to install on your local machine or have as a platform boundary.
There’s also the fact that there are a lot of people uploading really nice photos, and it’s fascinating to surf through and find some gems. I’ve been particular enamored with the work of Nachosan, with some gorgeous B&W shots of NYC and some color shots of the city.
The site has re-awakened my on/off desire to do amateur photography, and as you can see, I’ve already uploaded 20 pictures from the last few days. I’m definitely going to be pulling the digital camera with me more often, including our trip out today.
So check Flickr out; it really gets the thumbs up from me.