Wednesday, July 20

You look like a terrorist - and other tips for getting the most out of Flickr

I'm having to much fun today, and if this isn't over the top then forgive me, I'll try harder next time. I wanted to point out the fun I'm having with Flickr these days and this was "the most immediately gratifying path of least resistance."

What follows (much, further down in block-quotes) is a comment I posted on Phil Torrone's flickr photos page just (quite a few) minutes ago. (BTW, for those who don't know him by name Phil is of Make Magazine and previously of Engadget.) In short this illustrates not just the hellacious fun you can have with flickr, but it contains two important tips on how to get the most out of flickr... well, maybe three.

  1. Use flickr for your blog. Post thumbnails of any images you're using on your blog to Flickr and call them from Flickr. Flickr has excellent snapping utilities for grabbing thumbnails from the sites your blogging about, plus, you can actually post to your blog right through flickr if you like.

    Make sure to put links in your flickr photo pages linking TO your corresponding blog posts on your blog. Perhaps in the future Flickr will pick up on this and automatically create links and trackbacks to any pages that refer to a photo to automate this process.

    Congratulations, people can now subscribe to your Flickr feed and see a visual representation of your blog. While this doesn't give them the precise blow-by-blow or post-by-post on what your blog is about it's a LOT of fun to follow and makes it really easy to keep up on a blogs goings on during the day when most people are to busy to read many blogs. Note: this is particularly useful for photo blogging.

  2. Get the most out of your Flickr Friends Feed If you haven't used Flickr to subscribe to all your "friends" flickr feeds do so... after you do that go find yourself a specialized, stripped down, simple RSS reader or desktop widget that reads RSS and place your Flickr Friends Feed in that RSS reader. Make sure you remove all other feeds. I personally use NetNewsWire, it's not a desktop widget, but it is an awesome RSS reader and notifies me of new photos in the Mac Dock without being intrusive. Now that you've placed your friends flickr feed into your RSS reader set you're RSS reader to check your Flickr Friends Feed every 30 minutes or so. Now photos from your friends should trickle in as they're placed online.

    Congratulations... you can now see what all your friends are doing visually in near realtime. Yesterday I noticed 4 of my "Flickr friends" including Eric Rice, Chris Pirillo, the Scobelizer and Phil Torrone of Make magazine were all flying over Mt. Rainier just East of Portland on a magical plane trip to promote the new in-flight wireless internet connection service Connexion. Four perspectives on the same event. I just wish I would have had discovered this little tip before SXSW or Gnomedex. Traditional media, eat your heart out.

  3. Bonus round. Ok, now that you've mastered the art of Flickr feed blogging and flicker friends feed viewing go back and subscribe in your Flickr only RSS reader to some more flickr feeds. Find a good event like Gnomedex or SXSW, but something that's going on right now, and subscribe to the photo feed using a couple of flickr tags. Congratulations, you can now watch any live event unfold live before your very eyes. I wish I would have thought of it during the London bombings, but alas I was a flickr neophyte.

    Traditional media... you know the drill... that's right... eat your heart out.

Posted to: DSC03646 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

(Warning: misspelerings, and gramatical errs not corrected for the sake of preserving the spontaneity of this post)

"You look like a terrorist!


Just joking, you're a fine looking man, you just need to smile more for craps sake!

BTW, I don't think I've commented before on your flickr feed. So I wanted to say a few words.

IT ROCKS! I can't keep up on make, to much going on, but through your flickr feed I can CAN keep up on make. I can flip through your photos and get the skinny on a story in about 1/1000th of the time it would take to keep up on all of Make, and that let's me find and spend more time reading the make stories I really like as opposed to skimming them all.

In short the use of flickr as an alternative blog feed interface is bloody brilliant! I've been posting all my blog images on flickr since the beginning of time, but I've failed to link them through to the actual articles so while it makes a great 'life picture' it's useless for following my day-to-day blog.

Sorry, I aspire to but cannot compete with your brilliance. :)

Oh, soo, a tip for a make article, you should focus in on using a specialized news reader, or desktop widget with your flickr 'friends feeds' to keep up with your friends photos in real time. Also very useful for events, I wish I had thought of it during the longon bombings, to watch tat unfold in realtime would have been overwhelming.

I got the idea from a chris pirillo interview with the napsterization gal, I forgot her name, oh, and she's sort of also the person behind this here thing, flickr, I think. :) Anyway, I immediately went and downloaded NetNewsWire and removed all its default feeds and popped in just my flickr friends feed and set it to 30 minute updates.

Yesterday was amazing watching you, eric rice, scobelizer, chris and the rest of the gang all post your raineer photos in damn near realtime from the flight. I got an amazing near real-time impression of the whole event, and was able to follow up through all yoru blogs, podcasts, and especially eric's video blog. Needless to say I'm bloody hooked. An whomever came up with that idea to invite you all on that flight... hot damn... I've never seen better media coverage of a single even in my life. Screw the superbowl!

Thanks a million!

-Mike of"
On a final side note, how often do you get to call people you hardly know terrorists? You just can't pass up opportunities for that type of irreverent humor.


mary hodder said...

Hi, I'm the person from Napsterization, and I'm not behind Flickr. But I do love using 1001, by the guys who let you stream your flickr contacts onto your desktop as a stream of small thumbnails. Love it, addicted to it, for the past 10 months.

Michael Meiser said...

I'm pleased to meet you mary. And thank you very much for the tip. I'm going to try out 1001. From your discription it sounded a little intrusive, but worth a look.