1 Million

It ticked over earlier this week but I finally got over 1 million views on Flickr.

flickr_stats

I’ve been on Flickr for years and still have my grandfathered in pro account but sometimes I wonder why I don’t just switch to the free offering. I’ve also looked at other sites like 500px as Flickr has stuttered again recently and just looks to be in the wrong hands at Yahoo.

I don’t even know if thats a little or a lot of views but every so often I get a little thrill when a photo I’ve taken is being used elsewhere on the internet.

As for most viewed photo….it’s not even a photo!

Games

Over 10 years ago I put up this image of my favourite 25 games. Since then it’s had over 100,000 views – not too shabby. Frustratingly the old Flickr notes feature meany I’d overplayed the image with notes about each of the games but that feature is no longer supported.

Thats the niggle with Flickr. It feels like they are doing enough to keep the service going but Google Photo’s and to a lesser extent Photos on Apple are showing the way.

So while a milestone for me has been reached this could be the year of the big photo migration. Come on Yahoo, show Flickr a bit of love.

What price free?

It’s been an interesting week for Instagram users. First the company change their terms and conditions and make it pretty clear that adverts are coming and that they will be able to use your photo’s in adverts that they serve. They don’t quite say they are selling your photo’s but for me go pretty damn close. This caused quite a commotion ranging from chatter on Twitter that it’s time to go through to a discussion on Newsnight. Really?

A day later Instagram tried to clarify the position via a wordy blog post, acknowledging that their legal speak had caused confusion for it’s users but don’t worry, we will make the language easier to understand. Meanwhile we will change the terms a bit so it doesn’t appear to be such a major change. Sneaky?

This was a long time coming. Facebook didn’t pay $1 billion purely to stop competition. They have to make that money back somehow and advertising is just one of the ways that they will do that via Instagram. So as a user what choices do you have? Either suck it up and continue to use Instagram or leave and use something else. That’s it. And it’s clear many are leaving because on deleting my account this morning Instagram are actually linking to their clarification blog post.

Instagram now linking to their clarification statement on changes. Seeing a few users leaving?
Instagram now linking to their clarification statement on changes. Seeing a few users leaving?

For me it’s exactly the same as Twitter where they are changing the service into something I don’t want in order to make money but won’t let me pay for something I do want – the service as it stood a few months back. This is the danger of free. Free web services will alter/pivot to suit advertisers and not their customers.

While I have much to say on this topic, Gordon has blogged about this already and covered much of my views so go and read his post and then come back here for some conclusions.

So my Instagram account has been deleted. This is no biggie for me as I took only 14 photo’s via the app. If you’ve taken hundreds and made lot’s of contacts then I can see why it’s not so easy to leave. I’ve had a Flickr Pro account for 7 years and despite looking at 500px, self hosting and new options like openphoto (they have a nice import feature so you can copy photos from Instagram, Facebook and Flickr like I’ve done here) I’ve stuck with Flickr. With the new iOS app update I’m glad I did and I’m hopeful of future improvements down the line. I’ve too much invested to make the move trivial.

Aside from privacy concerns my main problem with Instagram was always fragmentation. I want all my photo’s in one place, and as I was a Flickr user, that one place wasn’t Facebook or Twitter. I never felt a compelling reason to use Instagram. Yes the filters were great and it made it really easy to take and upload an image and also see your friends photo’s and comments quickly, all in one app. Flickr missed a trick in taking 2-3 years to release a decent iOS application. In fact Flickr has been missing a trick since Yahoo bought them but thats a whole other topic. But for me I never got the Instagram bug. I tried but it never clicked.

The lesson for me is to try and stop jumping from app to app, service to service. I pay for Evernote, iTunes Match, Flickr, App.net, web hosting and share my data via Dropbox and iCloud. There’s probably more that I pay for that doesn’t spring to mind which is a problem in itself. App.net shows lots of promise but I have two issues. One is that many of the people I interact with on Twitter haven’t moved which I expected but it has made it far less sticky for me. The second is my time – I find it hard enough to keep up with Twitter (cull coming soon) but adding a second similar social network on top is a time sink. However I need to make more effort with App.net – maybe a Netbot for Mac would help? Even writing that ‘I need to make an effort’ tells me that App.net isn’t working for me. Mmmm.

Will I go all paid like Gordon is musing? It’s probably heading that way. I use Google App’s for all my domains and the podcast and would happily pay a fee each year to keep using those services. Same with Gmail – I’d have no issue paying for a great e-mail service. Where paying get’s frustrating is when iTunes Match goes through a flaky patch yet Googles similar but free service has worked without a hitch so far although I’d expect Google to charge at some point or start showing some ad’s. The excuse that Apple doesn’t get web services is wearing thin.

If I get a great reliable service then I will happily pay – Xbox Live for example has been really good over the years and it’s a service I have no objection to paying for. What I will be doing is shutting down the accounts that I’ve created over the years that I just don’t use anymore. Last.fm jumps to mind – scrobbling from everywhere used to be important to me but not anymore. I will also try and stop signing up to everything shiny and new. Honest.

Well, thats a lie really as I’ve signed up to three new services in the last day or so. When will I learn.

Schmap'd

Back in April I had a stroll around Glasgow with Shakeel and took some photo’s. It was a pretty good way to spend a day and I plan to do some more winter shot’s around Glasgow during the Christmas break…weather and time permitting.

Anyway, to the point of this ramble. Someone at Schmap liked one of my photo’s and from today the Glasgow guide is featuring one of my snaps. Nice one. Even nicer is that I’ll be able to see if anyone clicks on the photo and visits my Flickr photo’s via their new stats service.

Stats and other Mince

Okay. My love of statistics knows no end. Three stat related topics, one of them seasonal, all of them useful..ish.

  • Google Zeitgeist 2007 has now been published. There is nothing too surprising this year although it’s great to see the Wii top the poll as Christmas comes around. Great stock management Nintendo. Definitely keeps people thinking you are the must buy games console.
    Where's Wii?
    Also worth noting that HD-DVD is more searched than Blu-Ray despite Blu-Ray disks outselling HD-DVD and that more people want to know what love is rather than who God is.
  • Flickr StatsMore stats can now be found on Flickr. If your a pro user, activate your stats and in roughly 24 hours you too can see who is viewing your photo’s. As expected nobody is finding any of my photo’s interesting but it did remind me to get my tagging and geo-tagging sorted.
    The stats are really well presented. Clear with lot’s of white space. You can also dig down into screens that show more details i.e. all photo’s. You can then sort by comments, date’s, your photo’s that have been added as a favourite by other members. Very informative and a great place to waste a few minutes. I even found some photo’s that I had put up that I had totally forgotten about.
  • Now onto a festive stat. Well, when I say stat I really mean reviews. My friend Roy has been road testing Mince Pies (not to be confused with mince rounds). So far the mince pie to beat is from Starbucks. I’m in shock. Having just sampled a Marks classic mince pie I really must seek out a Starbucks version over the holiday period. Anyway, if you have any more recommendations for Roy and his co-workers to test then add a comment below and I’m sure they will oblige.

I hope to have my own further stat/review post up this weekend. Stand by for startling revelations!

Flickr Picnik

Photo editing has arrived at Flickr. It makes use of Picnik and having a play around this morning it looks very easy to use and pretty feature rich. You can easily edit any photo, add effects, play with contrast and colours, resize and crop and also apply an ‘auto fix’.

Picnik Crop

It’s nice to have these tools online as opposed to on your computer. Not all photo’s need Aperture or Lightroom and it’s great you can do this editing from anywhere while easily saving results within Flickr. I wonder if it works on the iPhone?

Flickr Related Tag Browser

A great Flickr search tool – Flickr Related Tag Browser. Type a tag and watch the preview window fill. Move your mouse to the edge of the screen and related tags to your search will be shown – click and view those photo’s. A great visual way of searching through Flickr.

With updated map searching, video support and online picture editing all coming soon it’s looking like good times ahead for Flickr.

Flickr Disaster?

Flickr announced some changes to terms and conditions today.

1) All users must now use a Yahoo account to login to Flickr.

2) A limit in the amount of tags has been added – 75 per photo

3) The maximum amount of contacts a user can have is 3000

When I saw the hysterical headlines about Flickr today I thought some hard hitting changes had been implemented. It even made the BBC tech news pages. However dig a little deeper and it’s some changes blown well out of proportion.

1) Yahoo integration with Flickr started a long time ago. I eventually merged my Flickr and Yahoo accounts last year with no problem. The Flickr page stills looks the same and I don’t need to do the ‘Yahoo dance’ when logging in. Is Yahoo a big horrible company – aren’t they all? If I had an issue with privacy at all I’d probably not be using many accounts on the net or indeed sharing my photo’s. I can understand there maybe some kudos with having an old Flickr ID instead of a Yahoo account but does that really matter? Did my photo’s or contacts disappear when I moved – no. In fact my user experience didn’t change at all – it’s something I don’t even think about now.

2) 75 tags is a limit? Who the hell wants 75 tags on one photo. Why? Who’s got the time to put 75 tags on a photo? How does that help to identify and manage photo’s. Some people have too much time on their hands.

3) 3000 contacts also seems a massive amount of contacts to have. Does anyone know 3000 people and want to share private photo’s with them? OK there is one guy on the Flickr forums that has 19000 contacts who he loves and respects. I’m sure they also love the private porn pictures he regularly posts. Not really the target audience for Flickr. I can’t see anyone realistically browsing 3000 users photo’s regularly. Is that not what Flickr groups are for?

Probably most annoying is the vocal minority that this affects and the influence of sites like Digg (I do love Digg but you’ve got to question some of it’s user base and their reporting). Firstly Flickr has around six million users. Don’t know how many are active but the Flickr group Flick Off which is against the forced usage of Yahoo accounts has 1447 members. Not much in the grand scheme of things. The mail that old school folk received today said 95% used a Yahoo account. Yet people in the main forum post that has all the complaints are making comments like 1 million pro folk may leave because they don’t want a Yahoo account. How bizarre. Seeing the Flickr staff respond frequently in these posts impresses me and reassures me all is well.

The Digg post with the most comments was submitted by Thomas Hawk. He didn’t point to the Flickr news page on these changes but to his own blog post. I guess there’s nothing wrong with self publicity or having an opinion as he has posted a lot of content on Flickr…but he is CEO for Zooomr, one of Flickr’s competitors. I’ve posted about Zooomr before and even have a pro account which I got via a give-away last year. The site however is so slow as to be unusable. It’s allegedly down to increased traffic today but I tried it last week to see if there were any improvements and I was disappointedly with it’s speed then. No fear – there’s an upgrade on the way sometime in March. Yeah, right.

I’ll be sticking with Flickr which offers a great service and since the Yahoo merger offers unlimited uploads. It’s also fast and they’ve now added an API which allows export of photo’s and tags if you so wish. Maybe long term there will be other changes which degrade the service as the doom bringers are predicting but something I’ve always felt hasn’t changed for me. Flickr isn’t Yahoo. Thankfully it isn’t Zooomr either.

Flickr Christmas Gifts

My first Christmas present – Flickr have upgraded Pro users accounts so that we now have unlimited uploads – no more 2 Gig monthly limits. Free accounts have been upgraded to a not too shabby 100Meg per month limit.

There’s also a Christmas Easter Egg – add notes with ho ho ho hat or ho ho ho beard to add a festive theme to your pics.

Flickr Christmas

One more goodie I didn’t know about – calendar view. Add date-taken-calendar/ to your photostream URL to get a calendar view of your photo’s i.e. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ian_d/date-taken-calendar/. Another great feature which is also available via the archives link once logged into Flickr.

Flickr Love

Flickr MobileFlickr added some new features over the last day or so, one of which combines my love of stats and technology. Firstly the two mundane updates. They’ve updated their Flickr mobile site (http://m.flickr.com) making it easier to type and use while adding some new options. This feature hasn’t changed in ages so it’s nice to see it getting some attention.

Also new is ‘Guest Pass’. Invite up to 50 other guests to view your friends and family pictures. A great way to invite non Flickr members to see your photo’s. The nice part of this feature is that you are in control of who gets the pass, what they can see and how long they have access for. Finally onto the geek feature.

Camera Charts

Using Camera Finder you can see the most popular camera’s in use at Flickr and also find photo’s from actual users of the camera your thinking of buying. What better way of confirming a good review than seeing other people’s results for yourself. Whats nice is that browsing through each camera (my DSC-P200 for example) you can filter not only interesting shots but also from a range including macro, night and landscape. Great to see what each camera can be capable off in the right hands.

Flickr’s use of photo metadata is really smart – it will be interesting to see how new camera’s affect the charts over time and also what other stats and search options can be added to Flickr. Can it get better? Yes! Subsets please! While I’m alkinh photo’s, interesting post on The Truth about Digital Camera’s – comments also worth a read.

Moo

MooFree Moo cards came though on Friday. If the images are right then this is a nice option for handing out small cards to folk – gift after party or wedding perhaps? The crops worked OK (some a bit inaccurate) and a couple of the images were soft but these were some of the scans of American snaps from 10 years so probably expecting too much. Would certainly use the service again.