October 04, 2004

On Flickr, Favcol and my experience of weblogging...

So I love Flickr. I think it’s absolutely awesome. I’ve been weblogging for five years (almost - see me in thirty days) and the fun I have using Flickr reminds me of the immediate joy and excitement that I used to get from writing on my site. The stuff I post there - the stuff I write there - is resolutely frivolous and personal and bears no relationship to my job, technical/design interests or the industry in which I work.

As my weblog over the last few years has changed to become more sober and more work-oriented, and as the pieces I tend to write have become longer and less-frequent, it has at times felt like posting had ceased to be a pleasure and was becoming a chore. I don’t know why that might be - possibly it’s a result of Movable Type’s posting interface interface, the obvious practical utility and web-native aspects of the post-per-page format or maybe it’s just because of my own determination to bore the world slowly to death. Whatever the reason, I think Flickr’s gradually making me feel more positive about the whole thing. I think it’s helping me find a different parallel space where I can post in a completely different register.

For all these reasons, and because I finally got moblogging working on my Nokia 6230, I was more than happy to pay to go Pro. And thanks to Feedburner I’ve even merged plasticbag.org’s feeds with my Flickr feed to create a slightly more varied and nuanced reflection of my life (that isn’t monomaniacally obsessed with social software, comment spam or music technology). So hopefully now, those of you who are subscribing to the plasticbag.org feed (around 1,000 of you by my reckoning) will actually have something to read each day.

Of course one of the greatest things about Flickr is that it has an API that other people can hook into. My favourite example of its use recently has been the Flickr Rainbow applet that uses tagged up photos and what amounts to a tiny (and obvious) controlled vocabulary filter around colour to assemble a rainbow of photographs. I only wish that Mr Webb’s favcol was still around so that he could build use Flickr to determine the web’s favourite red or purple…

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