I am glad that the Flickr folks have decided to focus on: "the best way to store, share, sort your photos online"
Here are my lightly edited notes from Stewart's fcking talk about designing Flickr last Thursday: Stewart's fcking presentation - "groupware for play" is Ludicorp's motto - hard to raise money in fall 2003 for massive multi-player gaming - started as a way to raise money, now solves a problem with digital photos - rating people made sense in GNE - flickr original im/photo sharing - first mistake - this is neat, what is it : friendster + im + photo sharing - no clear idea what you want to do makes designing hard - eric flash developer who lives in NY started sending pictures of kids - these photos turned into magical, shared experience - hard to stumble onto friends on Flickr because old version required you to be logged on at the same time! - 8 weeks from decision to initial launch - administrivia mostly - colo, load balancer install - 1999: upfront categorization of web done by human beings (yahoo) but rather links (google) worked - 2004: google's approach validated and successful, yahoo's far less so! - link is human value judgement - got first digital camera in 99, now has 5000 pictures - mostly organized by time - most common method is albums (artifact of old film paradigm) - work well with 2 or 8 or 15 - after a certain point, it doesn't work, have to remember where - unless you are anal :-) - Stewart stores everything on desktop which he periodically archives - old Flickr (OF) couldn't change title of photos because you were worried about people re-titling it offensively - or url wouldn't work so they didn't allow public to change to private and vice versa - OF couldn't delete photos because of 404 error fear - OF:friendster with chat, photo with chat, no focus! - there is no maxim - because you wouldn't build something without knowing what you were building - when did u figure out you wwere going to be photo sharing? - 6 weeks ago! - if u can 't articulate clearly and quickly what the product is, you are in trouble - OF:live component was over emphasized - OF:couldn't see photos unless you were online at the same time as the person sharing - meta data input should be collaborative and fun - people should be able to add bits when it occurs to them - not just when I add the photo but also when others look at them - the best way to store, share, sort your photos online - next set of features: groups and group photos - private groups are twice as active - just like 1/3 of TypePad blogs are private - they used flash in order to re-use GNE base - 90% of server stuff from GNE - 60% client stuff from GNE - GNE prototype was in DHTML - changed to use Flash - none had ever worked with Flash before - live socket open to server - can get/receive info via scripts over HTTP - using Flash 6 - 98% of browsers have it - price: very cheap! 5 dollars (American or Canadian? ) a month no bandwidth limits - building upload apps so you can upload outside the browser - windows only app - bookmarklet