The problem with Flickr

The Home view is also quite un-interesting. Some recent activity is displayed, as well as a few recent photos from your Contacts, but it’s just not done in beautiful way. And these are photos we’re talking about! What’s with the miniature thumbnails?

[via Flickr’s upcoming makeover]

After Vimeo’s impressive UI update, I cribbed about Flickr’s lack of updates so I was glad to hear about the upcoming changes. But apart from making changes to the single photo page, I don’t see any major overhaul in the way the site is designed. I hope I’m wrong and BetaBeat didn’t report on the entire list of changes. But as Ryan points out, Flickr, especially after being bought by Yahoo, has lagged. I still consider it a superior photo hosting site compared to its competition. It still offers plenty of options in terms of customization and privacy; the recent geofences privacy was especially brilliant.

But the way I use it now is more of a photo storage in the cloud with almost no interaction with the community that it was known for when Flickr launched. I receive almost no comments or favorites on the few public photos I upload but then I don’t comment or favorite others’ photo as well. Flickr Home is a total disaster; cluttered, filled with unused features, and worst of all, scant focus on the photos. Almost all social networking sites have or at least are working on presenting the recent activity in more pleasing terms. Facebook’s News Feed updates constantly and hence fosters more interaction. Flickr’s idea of recent activity is showing recent photos from your contacts in the smallest thumbnail size possible at the bottom of the Home Page. If one of your contact has uploaded several photos at once, like most of us do, then all you see is that person’s photos. Why isn’t the much vaunted ‘Interestingness’ photos promoted on the home page? Where are the photos that inspire you to shoot better photos, like the way 500px does?

O HAI! by Pratik M (Pratik) on 500px.com

On the other hand, 500px is an excellent site if you want to get inspired (or intimidated) by people’s photography skills. But more importantly, their UI is excellent and so is their iPad app. I nearly purchased their ‘Awesome'(pro) account until I realized 500px doesn’t allow private photos (to be fair, they want you to only upload photos that you want to share with everyone else). Checking out the Popular and Editor’s Picks on 500px is something I do every night before I sleep. It helps to end the day looking at wonderful art disguised as photographs.

Flickr doesn’t even have an iPad app; I hope they do especially after the retina display iPad 3 launches. But they’ve already lost the market to apps like Flickring and Flickr Studio that tap into their public API. Talk about a lost opportunity.

PS. I hop over to 500px site to get their URL and am surprised by an overhaul of their UI to make it even more impressive (just look at the size of the thumbn…err…photo previews). Flickr indeed has a steep hill to climb.

Upgrade to WordPress 2.1 and K2 Theme Changes

If you have noticed, this blog has undergone some changes [if you are reading this thru a feed, now is the time to drop by]. It started out with upgrading WordPress to the latest version which as usual was smooth. It is the backing up of the files that is painful. Unlike other upgrades, the changes in this version are noticeable and extend beyond ‘under-the-hood’ fixes.

Others have written extensively about new features in WordPress 2.1. At first sight, the switching between using rich visual editor and code is simpler. Most of the plugins that I use and trust me, I use a lot worked fine which later I understood was because the coders introduced backward compatibility. Your posts are now auto-saved as drafts so you may have to worry less and maybe not rely on other word processing apps to write your posts. The much-loved spam plugin Akismet also gets a bundled-in upgrade. Anyway, you can check out more detailed features of WordPress 2.1 here.

Another big and more visually evident change on this blog is the use of a three-column K2 theme. I contemplated on using a different theme but K2 is simply too good to get away from. The header images are a little more stretched and if you have to scroll left-right too much you are probably on a 800×600 resolution. Now you have more sidebar goodies and hopefully that doesn’t take you away from the main content. The Asides have been moved to the sidebar so don’t forget them.

I have tried to keep ads as unintrusive as possible so the header ads are now removed and instead the three ad servings – Yahoo Publisher, Amazon, and Text Link Ads – are on the left sidebar apart from above the comments box on individual blog post pages. The other sidebar has the usual blog knicknacks. The movies and Flickr photos list are at the top. I have also added the Popularity plugin and put up the list of ‘Most Popular Posts’ on this blog [see bottom of the left sidebar]. I was suprised to see the posts that made it to the list.

Hope you enjoy the new look. I would love to hear your comments.

Flickr Profile Widget

patrix99. Get yours at flagrantdisregard.com/flickr

Flagrant Disregard, the Flickr tool creator has another fantastic widget for your blogs.

Flickr Interestingness Pool

Flickr Interesting

A damn useful tool to view the Flickr’s pool of Interestingness.

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