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I AM SHARING THIS WITH YOU
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
... and speaking of Flickr, people have been noticing that we put the first rev of notes up.
Notes are incredibly powerful, allowing people to articulate the stories that the pictures contain, but they definitely take some getting used to, and a lot of the images end up with funny and obvious annotations like these as people fool around with the feature.
Once people get comfortable with it, some amazing things could happen. Thinking back to the big gathering for my grandmother's 80th birthday, and the incredible albums of photos from the 10s, 20s, 30s, 40s that got put together, I'd love to see collaborative annotation of the family archive. It just makes no sense to not have that stuff online.
One thing that is not public anywhere yet is that we're committed to helping to develop and supporting a standard for annotation, based on Greg Elin's Fotonotes stuff. (Once there is something to be compatible with, Flickr will be 100% 'Fotonotes R/W' (read/write) compatible.) The JPEG format allows for 8 headers (of 64k each!) and EXIF is the only real respected standard right now, but once it's possible for people to upload photos with Fotonotes headers into Flickr we'll display the notes - and if you want to export a jpeg from Flickr with the notes intact you'll be able to do that too.
The same day we released this first rev of notes, we also added tags. Tags are like simple keywords that you can add to photos, except that doesn't capture it at all. Because it is done in the simplest possible way, it ends up much more powerful than trying to come up with The Complete and Accurate Categorization of Everthing in advance: just type in the terms you think are significant for that photo, hit return and that's it.
And then you can find, group or sort photos as easy as hitting flickr.com/photos/stewart/tags/maui (all my pictures of Maui; at least the ones visible to you) or flickr.com/photos/tags/flowers (all the public images in Flickr tagged with 'flower').
The implementation is a direct rip off of Joshua Schachter's del.icio.us (is it time to start talking about design patterns in social computing or what?). It took me a long time to grok del.icio.us, but once I did, I saw the light.
(Also, check out the 150 most commonly used tags where the size of the link represents its frequency of use.)
And that is that. We now have a clear idea of where we want to go with Flickr (not all of it is public yet) and I am happy. We've started on a giant refactor and clean up, going all the way from the fundamentals of relationships and permissions settings to the visual design. And sometime soon after that, notes and tags will be coming together in a beautiful way and there will be big enhancements to both. And thinking about it gives me an excuse to post an image that I've wanted to post for a while:
love is in the air, originally uploaded by Arya.
(Incidentally, that is the best bit of fan art I have received for any project I've worked on ... so cool!)
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