IT Poetry

Information hubs
November 20, 2007, 3:24 pm
Filed under: Internet

Flickr is a pretty interesting online photo sharing service.

  • It has pretty lousy user pages with almost no control over the page appearance
  • It has some lousy discussion features, where discussions are organized either by latest comment or chronologically
  • It has a groups system where you can post your pictures.
  • You can comment on pictures, make the photographer a “friend” and add photos to your “favourites”. Even still it is not super convenient to keep track of photographers of interest.
  • (It has geotagging with integration with Yahoo maps, which is cool and slowly getting useful. Will probably explode in popularity when GPS is embedded in the cameras)

The interesting part of its success (2 billion uploaded photos) is its open API. Letting you delegate trust in a controlled way to third parties without giving out your password. You can also revoke access whenever you feel like from a list of all active permissions.

One aspect I don’t like is how flickr give out programmatic access to “public” content to anyone on the internet without explicit permission from its users. (Remember the days when “public” ment public to only the community users?) I don’t think this affects flickrs popularity since its something you don’t realize until its too late and you’re already using the service.

Well, the features that flickr lack is available through third party “addons”. Like FlickSlidr, where you can create embeddable slideshows for with your or somebody elses photos. Or a yahoo pipes implementation, where you can see your “contacts” favourite pictures. BigHugeLabs has a vast collection of tools like these.

Esentially, flickr is like an online hard drive of photos, where applications are on the Internet.

Similarly, I hope that the online document editors that are emerging will open up to something similar. It would be utterly convenient to have an online document storage where I could place my documents to be edited with the best online editing tools. The storage solution could specialize in storage-centric features, (that we all would love on our hard drives) like versioning, tagging, indexing, sharing, available time windows, branching/merging, licensing, backup to own hard drive, and other cool storage features.

Amazon S3 is a cool service where Amazon is sellining its great storage solution to others. But since it doesn’t have these features, all i’ve seen it being used for is as a backup solution.


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