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Posts Tagged ‘flickr’

Is the Flickr API a National Treasure?

December 16th, 2012 12:20 admin View Comments

Software

First time accepted submitter somekind writes “Over the past few months Twitter imposed restrictions on the use of its client API, and Facebook shut down the facial recognition API supporting face.com after acquiring the company. Mathew Ingram noted these and other examples (Google starting to charge for high-volume use of Google Maps) as evidence that ‘open APIs’ published by a single vendor can’t be trusted by outside developers. Worried about the possibility that Yahoo! might do the same with Flickr, Dave Winer has just launched a petition to Obama asking the President to declare the Flickr API a National Historic Landmark, thus (by Dave’s reckoning) legally protected from arbitrary withdrawal or wholesale changes by its corporate masters.”

Source: Is the Flickr API a National Treasure?

Flickr Photo Leads To New Insect Discovery

August 9th, 2012 08:07 admin View Comments

Social Networks

rhettb writes “Scientists have discovered a previously unknown species of lacewing insect after stumbling upon a series of photos posted on Flickr, according to a paper published in the journal ZooKeys. Entomologist Shaun Winterton first found evidence of the species when he randomly stumbled upon a set of photos posted by Hock Ping Guek, a Malaysian photographer. Winterton recognized the insect as a potentially new species, but needed to collect field specimen in order to formally describe it. About a year later, an individual was collected at the same site, enabling Winterton to write up the description in ZooKeys. Hock is a co-author on the paper.”

Source: Flickr Photo Leads To New Insect Discovery

How to Share Your Business Photos Online – Discreetly

May 15th, 2012 05:58 admin View Comments

You have just returned from a corporate retreat or some other business event that was well-documented with several amateur photographers. Now you want to share all of these pictures amongst your co-workers. The challenge is that you want to keep them private to the participants and not plaster them all over the Internets. What to do?

 

Assume that your requirements are to satisfy the ultra-paranoid in the group and also find something that is dirt simple to use. You don’t want to make everyone join a new social network just to see the photos; most of us have too many logins already. That leaves out most of the microblogging sites. And you don’t want to have to worry that someone will click on the wrong button and inadvertently share the entire photo collection with the universe, including the press, competitors and so on.

Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and many other social-networking sites aren’t very good at setting up discrete group-privacy controls, so they are out of the running for our purposes. And while there are dozens of file-sharing sites such as Box.net and Evernote, the idea is to find something that is designed around uploading and sharing images.

With that in mind, we looked at the following five services:

  1. Shutterfly.com
  2. Photobucket.com
  3. Flickr.com (now part of Yahoo)
  4. Zangzing.com
  5. Posterous Spaces (now part of Twitter)

None of these services is perfect, but they fall into two broad categories: those that have better privacy controls and those that are easier to use.

Let’s look at our requirements in more detail:

First, we want a service that can create a private space that doesn’t appear on search engines and can’t be discovered by unauthorized users. Photobucket and Shutterfly both do this, by setting up a special URL (Photobucket.com/groupname or Groupname.shutterfly.com) for your group. In Photobucket, for example, you have three choices for each album’s privacy controls: everyone can see them, no one else can see them, or you can password protect them by invitation only. The latter is perfect for this application, and you can set up an album password so that only those folks who know the password can see and download the photos. (See screenshot below.) Shutterfly has similar options with its Share Sites feature.

The problem with both Photobucket and Shutterfly is that you need to become a member to upload photos: That is fine if you have just a few shutterbugs in your group, but if everyone wants to be able to contribute images, it can become cumbersome.

Flickr offers URLs for groups, such as http://www.flickr.com/groups/groupname. But Yahoo really wants you to sign up to its service, and you will need to do so if you want to post any photos. Flickr has a guest pass option, but it is designed to work with individual photos. And Flickr users have to make sure to set up its autoposting/notification features to keep your photos from showing up in your Facebook Timeline or other places.

Zangzing (which we have written about previously) is easier to use but that comes at a privacy cost. You can set up individual albums that have their own URLs, such as http://www.zangzing.com/username/albumname. But because there is no password required, anyone who knows the URL can access the entire album. And you must join the service in order to upload pictures, you will need to join. On the plus side, you can also email pictures to albumname@zangzing.com, and they will be automatically posted to the album.

Finally, Posterous is more of a blogging site than a photo collection, but it can be used for sharing photos, as well. Indeed, if you want to mix your photos with other business content, Posterous could be a good choice and could serve as the base for a simple low-end Web presence. Groups of photos can have their own URLs, but you do need to become a member to post content. You can also email your photos and have them posted to your site, like what Zangzing does.

Recommendations: Start with Zangzing

We recommend you start with Zangzing, especially if you require the simplicity of a shareable URL and don’t want to mess with having each person sign up for the service. If you need the additional security that a membership site offers, then look at Photobucket. It has more granularity for the security options than Shutterfly. Steer clear of Flickr: Its interface is somewhat long in the tooth, and it is too easy to click on the wrong button and end up sharing your entire photo collection to Facebook or Twitter. If you have more confidence in your users’ abilities, you can set up private groups in Facebook or Google+.

Source: How to Share Your Business Photos Online – Discreetly

Why Flickr & Pinterest Need Each Other

May 2nd, 2012 05:15 admin View Comments
Flickr and Pinterest announced a big partnership yesterday. Pinterest now has a primary sharing button on Flickr photos, and the pins contain full attribution info. It might seem like a case of the old-school photo site trying to remain relevant, but actually Pinterest needs Flickr just as badly.

Pinterest has problems with attribution. It’s a casual site, and its users are casual about attribution of the images they pin. Outcry from publishers forced Pinterest to let them opt out by including code, and in February, Flickr confirmed that it had included the code for all copyrighted, nonpublic and non-”safe” pages.

Flickr is one of the top sources for Pinterest images, so this was a stern stance toward Pinterest. Today’s announcement smoothes that over. By pinning Flickr photos the easiest way, Pinterest users will automatically bring along proper attribution. Other publishers will surely follow suit.

For Flickr, this arrangement integrates the well-established photo site with the hot new social network of the day, but it does so in a way that preserves Flickr’s community and context. “We believe that the photo is about a lot more than the image,” a Flickr representative tells ReadWriteWeb. “It’s about the title, tag and description, and helps build the community that we have.”

Flickr’s users agree. “Flickr’s strength is in groups/communities,” photographer Aaron Hockley told ReadWriteWeb. Tecca senior editor Taylor Hatmaker agreed that the community “is arguably still Flickr’s greatest strength.” Now that Pinterest’s sharing agreement respects Flickr’s community guidelines implicitly, the two services can start over on the right foot.

See also: What Is the Point of… Pinterest?

Source: Why Flickr & Pinterest Need Each Other

Why Instagram Images Will Take on a Sense of Permanence

April 30th, 2012 04:32 admin View Comments

Flickr is a photographic world all its own, so one would think that the photos posted there would be unique to the site itself. But one glance at the “all time most popular tags” page shows otherwise. Among the more obviously popular photographic tags, such as canon and nikon and the always visible wedding tag, one’s eye moves to the tags instagramapp and iphoneography. No site on the Internet can avoid filter-enhanced Instagram images – not even Flickr. 

With Facebook’s recent acquisition of Instagram, however, those once fleeting, filtered images will soon have a new repository: Facebook. Why would a photographer who is using Instagram in the post-acquisition era drag and drop that same image into Flickr? This will be one of Flickr’s main pain points – not to mention the impossibly slow upload speed of its mobile app. But if users care about preserving their images, Flickr might stand a chance.

Instead of lashing out or trying to fight back against the ever-expanding world of mobile photo-sharing apps, Flickr has decided to jump on board. It has happily donned Instagram’s rose-colored glasses or, rather, filters.

The announcement that Facebook has acquired Instagram underscores the incredible growth and influence of the mobile photo-sharing ecosystem,” says Flickr’s Kay Kremerskothen. “This growth is highly beneficial to Flickr, with mobile apps such as Instagram, Hipstamatic and more making up a large percentage of the images uploaded to Flickr every day.”

Sharing an Instagram image to Flickr changes it from a spur-of-the-moment snapshot into something that feels more formal and permanent. On Instagram, an image is a one-size-fits-all look at users’ fleeting moments. On Flickr, though, it is now living in a space that’s particular to documentation, clearer copyrights (everything on Instagram is public) and the possibility for multiple sizes. Flickr acts more as a repository for a wider range of images. 

Will Instagrams Move from Facebook to Flickr?

If for some reason Instagrammers want a more permanent, searchable home for their images after Facebook’s acquisition, they will take the time to download those images from Facebook and up onto Flickr. This is because right now on Facebook, it’s difficult and clunky to locate past images.

Facebook organizes photos by album – to find a photo, one must click through the albums or scroll through the entire “photos and videos of you” section, which is organized by year. It’s nifty if you’re thinking about time chronologically – but how many users are? While the photo section gives you a nice overview of your “Facebook life,” it’s not exactly an easily searchable, metadata-rich space. This is where Flickr, especially the new HTML5 photo uploader, could come in handy.

Yet do Instagram users really want to create a searchable database of their images? If they do, and they are willing to use Flickr for these purposes, Flickr could become a repository for images that Instagram and iPhoneography users want to make more permanent and searchable. That is, if they actually care to document their memories.

If these users prefer to live in the moment, well, let the ultrasounds and kid photos on Facebook keep coming.

Soon they will be cloaked in Earlybird, Sierra, Lo-fi and 1977 Instagram filters

Images via Flickr.

Source: Why Instagram Images Will Take on a Sense of Permanence

How Photographs on Instagram Differ From Flickr

April 27th, 2012 04:00 admin View Comments

The very nature of mobile-sharing apps has changed the types of imagery that people upload. There is also an added on-the-move life-streaming nature to the whole thing. Photos found on the flowing Instagram news feed don’t look like the ones you might come across on Flickr.

Instagram is a community conducive to likes and comments, whereas Flickr focuses more on displaying collections of photographs in photostreams, sets and galleries, organized by tags and maps. Yet interestingly, the most-used camera on Flickr is the iPhone4. What’s fundamentally different about the two sites? The privacy settings.

“I’ve been using Flickr for six years now and have post almost 6,000 photos in that time and have almost 600,000 views,” says Boston-based photographer Greg Peverill-Conti. “The main thing I use Flickr for is a project called 1000faces that’s almost at 3,000 photos now. It’s been great for storage, for having people find photographs and connecting with other photographers.”

For Peverill-Conti, Flickr operates more as a storage space and ongoing project. He also shoots photos that he uploads to Flickr with a Canon T2i in RAW format, which in English is the highest resolution possible. He then uploads them with Flickr Uploadr or Lightroom. Instagram is more of an afterthought, for spur-of-the-moment stuff that he sees when he’s out and about.

“Last night, for example, I was walking out of a movie theater and a guy was on a scissor truck changing the marquee,” he says. “That I shot with my iPhone.”

Photographer Chris Azar tells ReadWriteWeb that he sees Flickr as “a good space for my DSLR photos, and Instagram for grab shots and realtime stuff.”

“I send Insta stuff to Flickr, too,” he adds. “Instagram is almost exclusively mobile versus Flickr, which is exclusively desktop (& more studio work & creative commons).”

The two do not often share the same space. And why would they?

Public vs. Private Imagery: Instagram vs. Flickr

Instagram features the Andy Warhol-esque polaroids of our day. One perfect description of Instagram lives on Instagrammers.com’s About page

“Instagram unearths your creative side and gets it flowing. It allows you to make artistic pictures even if you always thought you were the least creative person on earth, and last but not least, it makes you part of an international and multicultural community that is really into sharing.”

And on Instagram, everything is public. Audiences appear and disappear almost as quickly as images on the stream.

That is not the case on Flickr, where users have granular settings for changing photos to public, visible to friends, visible to family or completely private. Communities are more deliberate. Following is not an option, but joining is.

Flickr provides a list of the most popular tags on the site. Not surprisingly, a few of the biggest categories include canon, instagramapp, iphoneography, nikon and wedding. The iPhone4 is the most popular camera of the Flickr community, just ahead of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and the Canon EOS REBEL T2i.

The very fact that community members of Flickr have the option to upload from a point-and-shoot camera, however, changes the popular imagery that one is likely to see on Flickr.

The iPhone4 may be the most popular camera of Flickr users, but the four other cameras are not smartphones.

What Instagram lacks, Flickr fulfills: A possibility for adjusting privacy settings so that every photo uploaded doesn’t appear out there, for the entire Web to see. On Flickr, there is no such thing as social media celebrity.

The public nature of Instagram makes the idea of celebrity not only normal, but encouraged.

Images via GregPC’s Flickr, Chris Azar’s Flickr, Followgram and Instagram.

Source: How Photographs on Instagram Differ From Flickr

Flickr Still Lags on Mobile, But At Least Its New HTML5 Uploader Respects Privacy

April 26th, 2012 04:26 admin View Comments

Yesterday Flickr announced its new HTML5 photo uploader, which offers a few perks for regular users of the photo-sharing service. Now users can rearrange photos that they’ve uploaded, placing them in the exact order in which they’d like to see them. On the Web version they can, at least. The mobile app version is remarkably slow, and if you’re a user who is trying to upload more than one photo at a time… good luck with that. Even though the iPhone4 is the most used camera on Flickr, the photo-sharing service has never been known for its mobile capabilities.

There is some good news in this: the images do upload faster than before, file sizes are bigger, and it’s easier to tell the story behind the photo itself. It’s also quite nice to just drop photos into the browser, thanks to the HTML5 features. Flickr also has an open API, so there’s additional integration into newer OSX and operating systems. 

“Flickr holds about seven billion photos, and uploading is one of the most, if not the most, important aspect of the site,” says a Flickr spokesperson. “We believe that the photo is about a lot more than the image – it’s about the title, tag an description, and helps build the community that we have.”

Yet take a look at the most popular tags on Flickr and you’ll notice that iphoneography and instagramapp are two of the leaders. In this sense, it seems like Flickr is becoming more of a repository for photos from mobile services – rather than a standalone platform. 

Nevertheless, the Flickr mobile app does have a clean, visually enticing photostream homepage for every user. 

And what’s more, Flickr actually respects privacy – for every photo uploaded, Flickr asks if you would like this to be a private image (only you), something to share with friends and/or family, or anyone (public). If Facebook and Instagram took a few tips from this aspect of Flickr, perhaps they could engender more trust amongst users. 

So while the HTML5 Uploader isn’t going to be Flickr’s comeback, the fact that it allows you to move something from public to private again gives Flickr one advantage at least over Facebook and Instagram.

Source: Flickr Still Lags on Mobile, But At Least Its New HTML5 Uploader Respects Privacy

Flickr Still Lags on Mobile, But At Least Its New HTML5 Uploader Respects Privacy

April 26th, 2012 04:26 admin View Comments

Yesterday Flickr announced its new HTML5 photo uploader, which offers a few perks for regular users of the photo-sharing service. Now users can rearrange photos that they’ve uploaded, placing them in the exact order in which they’d like to see them. On the Web version they can, at least. The mobile app version is remarkably slow, and if you’re a user who is trying to upload more than one photo at a time… good luck with that. Even though the iPhone4 is the most used camera on Flickr, the photo-sharing service has never been known for its mobile capabilities.

There is some good news in this: the images do upload faster than before, file sizes are bigger, and it’s easier to tell the story behind the photo itself. It’s also quite nice to just drop photos into the browser, thanks to the HTML5 features. Flickr also has an open API, so there’s additional integration into newer OSX and operating systems. 

“Flickr holds about seven billion photos, and uploading is one of the most, if not the most, important aspect of the site,” says a Flickr spokesperson. “We believe that the photo is about a lot more than the image – it’s about the title, tag an description, and helps build the community that we have.”

Yet take a look at the most popular tags on Flickr and you’ll notice that iphoneography and instagramapp are two of the leaders. In this sense, it seems like Flickr is becoming more of a repository for photos from mobile services – rather than a standalone platform. 

Nevertheless, the Flickr mobile app does have a clean, visually enticing photostream homepage for every user. 

And what’s more, Flickr actually respects privacy – for every photo uploaded, Flickr asks if you would like this to be a private image (only you), something to share with friends and/or family, or anyone (public). If Facebook and Instagram took a few tips from this aspect of Flickr, perhaps they could engender more trust amongst users. 

So while the HTML5 Uploader isn’t going to be Flickr’s comeback, the fact that it allows you to move something from public to private again gives Flickr one advantage at least over Facebook and Instagram.

Source: Flickr Still Lags on Mobile, But At Least Its New HTML5 Uploader Respects Privacy

Why 500px Plus Has Photographers Fired Up

April 16th, 2012 04:00 admin View Comments

500px_stars610.jpgPhotos are one of the Web’s most valuable emotional currencies. Photographers deserve a good home online to host, showcase and share their work. Thus far, Flickr has been that home, but it has left photographers wanting. The insurgent site 500px launched its Plus plan this week, and we asked digital photographers whether this is finally the home they’ve always wanted.

“A lot of people are wedded to Flickr since it’s been around for ages,” says Taylor Hatmaker, senior editor at Tecca and henofthewood on Flickr. “The problem is that the experience hasn’t evolved. I find myself spending more time clicking through labyrinthine menus than engaging with the community – which is arguably still Flickr’s greatest strength – or even uploading my photos.”

“I reluctantly maintain a Flickr Pro account to keep my photography in the cloud,” Hatmaker says, “but 500px’s elegance caught my eye, and I’ve been wanting to haul everything over since.”

So how do these two services compare? It’s more than just a matter of user experience. There are differences in the paid plans, and 500px Plus seems targeted at Flickr’s weaknesses.

500px Plus

  • $19.95/year
  • Unlimited uploads, storage and access
  • Unlimited number of collections
  • Market functionality, including digital downloads and canvas prints for purchase
  • Analytics on photo performance and follower engagement

500px610.jpg

Flickr Pro

  • $24.95/year
  • Unlimited uploads, storage and access
  • Unlimited number of collections
  • Basic account statistics

flickr610.jpg

When comparing the overall services, Flickr does have some advantages. It’s the older and more established network, so it has the network effects of already having friends there. Its forums are thriving and celebrated.

But 500px has a stylish interface and more attractive photo presentation, arguably the most important feature for a photo site. It has a great new uploader app for the Mac and a gorgeous new viewer on the iPad. Flickr’s growth has slowed under Yahoo, and 500px is shipping worthy features for the 2012 Web at a prodigious rate.

And for the paid accounts, 500px Plus offers the same features and more for less money. But what about the less tangible parts of the experience?

What Photographers Want

“While Flickr increasingly seems like a disorganized virtual shoebox crammed full of photos, 500px feels sleek and elegant, with much more of a professional portfolio vibe,” Hatmaker says. “It’s hard to say if Flickr’s resolute, still-thriving community will migrate any time soon, but 500px is poised to pick up the baton that Yahoo dropped years ago.”

Alfred Maskeroni, design director and photographer at Adweek, thinks 500px is aiming slightly lower on the professional totem pole than Flickr, though it might just be messaging. “My mom would always tell me that she was afraid to get a ‘Pro’ Flickr account, because she wasn’t worthy of such a title,” he says.

“500px’s ‘Plus’ and ‘Awesome’ plans target Flickr for sure, but aren’t attempting to give users the presumption that it’s to be taken too seriously,” Maskeroni says. “But it may be setting its target demographic a little low. Pros may be a little put off by this, but it’s looking like it’s not stopping anyone from posting really great work.”

“Frankly, [500px] display[s] photos better than Flickr ever has,” says Jason Stoff, editor and photographer at Encor.es. Stoff signed up for 500px Plus as soon as it became available. “Flickr has been iterating their product this year (slowly), but 500px has far greater momentum – they’ve released a fantastic iPad app, for one. They greatly improved their site design recently. They’ve introduced a market feature that I’m excited to try.”

But while photographers seem to agree that 500px offers a more appealing experience, they keep coming back to the strength of Flickr’s forums and community, and it’s enough to keep some of them from letting go of Flickr.

flickrforum.jpg

“I probably won’t be canceling my Flickr membership anytime soon,” Stoff says. “I’ve got years’ worth of photos and goodwill built up there. But they should be worried that professional photographers [who are willing to pay for services they use] may flock to 500px sooner than later. There’s a lot of space between ‘probably won’t cancel’ and ‘unconditionally love.’ I used to love Flickr.”

“Ultimately, Maskeroni says, “I really think the only thing getting in the way from 500px to truly be a ‘Flickr-killer’ (if that is the goal) is if they can pull off a legitimate forum structure. If there’s one thing photographers like to do, it’s TALK.”

Source: Why 500px Plus Has Photographers Fired Up

The Fallout From a Flickr DMCA Takedown

March 5th, 2012 03:14 admin View Comments

The Internet

Maddog Batty writes Dave Gorman, UK comic and Flickr user, recently received a DMCA takedown notice for one of his own pictures which had become rather popular — 160,000 views + lots of comments. The takedown was in error (from a porn company) and Flickr allowed him to repost the image. However, the fallout is that all the original comments are now lost and the many links to the original picture are now broken. Sure, Flickr needed to remove the image, but shouldn’t there be a way to reinstate it while keeping all the original comments and links?”

Source: The Fallout From a Flickr DMCA Takedown