TAG: Flickr

Why You Should Want to Pay for Software, Instagram Edition

Alexis Madrigal writes why we should want to pay for software: “Under these conditions, companies have to sell themselves because they do not have a sustainable business. And when they’re sold, they either A) get shut down or B) become part of an advertising machine, like Facebook’s. Truly, the only way to get around the […]

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Community Building isn’t about Features

This list of ways to build community features is interesting as much for what it leaves out as for what it leaves in

So two weeks after I called out Derek Powazek to write a 2nd edition of his book Designing for Community, his wife Heather Champ has put together a nice list of ways to build community, Flickr-style. (via Derek himself)

Businessweek: Ten Ways Flickr Builds Communities

Here’s the list…

  1. Engage
    Don’t just listen to your community. Engage
  2. Enforce
    Let the community help set standards and policies for appropriate behavior-then enforce them
  3. Take Responsibility
    Fess up immediately when you make mistakes
  4. ….

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    The Social Graph and Objects of Sociality

    Why our relationships can’t be explained without the objects and experiences that we share.

    One of the biggest problems on the Web is joining a new social networking site. To do so means going through the painful effort of creating a profile and adding all of our friends, something we’ve done over and over…at least once for each social networking site we already belong to. This is quickly becoming an issue for everyone who uses social networks.

    This problem has led to a flurry of activity, highlighted by LiveJournal creator Brad Fitzpatrick’s missive: Thoughts on the Social Graph, in which he clearly outlines the issues involved as well as some worthy goals to shoot for. Brad’s piece was followed shortly after by the Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web, which among its rights is the right to allow users to syndicate their own profile and friend data. This, of course, would alleviate the squeaky wheel.

    Social Network

    In addition there are countless groups getting together to try and solve this problem. The microformats folks are working on building formats to help with this. The DataSharingSummit is an entire event focused on this and related problems. All of this activity is centered around one idea: that people have a social graph that can be represented in software. In other words, we can recreate our offline relationships online and let everyone know about it by sharing some sort of file or feed.

    The major axis of the social graph, as Fitzpatrick points out, is relationships between people, or more simply, a list of friends. My social graph, for example, consists of my friends, colleagues, family, and acquaintances. These people I know to some extent or another, some I talk with daily, some I know only online, and some I would rather not speak to. :)

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    Psychology of Social Design Talk

    Last wednesday I gave a 45 minute talk at UXWeek 2007 (photos) called The Psychology of Social Design. Here are the slides:

    Download PDF of The Psychology of Social Design

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    How to Prevent Valueless Design in Social Web Sites

    How an over-focus on technology and visual design can hide the real value of social software.

    In a fascinating piece on the amazing growth of the photo-sharing site Fotolog, Jason Kottke clearly articulates a growing problem in design:

    Fotolog…relative to Flickr…has changed little in the past couple of years. Fotolog has groups and message boards, but they’re not done as well as Flickr’s and there’s no tags, no APIs, no JavaScript widgets, no “embed this photo on your blog/MySpace”, and no helpful Ajax design elements, all supposedly required elements for a successful site in the Web 2.0 era. Even now, Fotolog’s feature set and design remains planted firmly in Web 1.0 territory.”

    How do sites with sub-optimal visual design and technology grow so big and become so successful?

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    Caterina of Flickr on Communication and Freedom

    From a fascinating interview with Flickr’s Caterina Fake: “We wanted to build a web-based game that would take the social web to the next level. When we realized it was the communication that was so important we changed direction” Web apps are tools with which people communicate. Of course people do some task with them, […]

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    Thoughts on the Impending Death of Information Architecture

    Editor’s Note: (I have written a follow-up to this piece: More Thoughts on the Impending Death of Information Architecture. Since I wrote this piece, I’ve had many conversations with information architects and designers alike, and in the new piece I’ve tried to really outline the problem: IA at its most basic is the wrong frame […]

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    The 5 W’s of Social Software

    Social software has been around for a long time. Email, after all, is the canonical example. But it’s been only recently that web designers as a whole have embraced it and really started innovating. We’ve got social news aggregators, social encyclopedias, social bookmarking, social networking, recommendation systems, social tagging…all of these things add up to huge changes in the way we use the Web. Though some folks see it as nothing more than social networking, there are elements of social software being built into most software today.

    Who: Social software helps people by modeling their social lives online.

    What: Social software is software that supports social activities.

    Where: Social software is nearly everywhere.

    When: Now.

    Why: Social software is important because that’s the way that software is trending.

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    Flickr’s Geotags Feature: Wow!

    Flickr, the popular photo-sharing web app, continues to innovate with their latest feature, geotagging. Geotagging allows people to attach location-based coordinates to photos they’ve taken, essentially adding location metadata to the picture so that everybody knows where it was taken. This is a great social feature, and one that I think is worth inspecting in-depth.

    At first glance, geotagging doesn’t seem that exciting. You’re simply adding coordinates to pictures, right? But after taking one look at some of the early activity that Flickr users are doing with it, combined with the additional magic of mapping and search that the Flickr folks have included, and you might wonder why every site isn’t clamboring to add tags and geotagging to their arsenal. (I bet many will soon be considering it)

    Here’s the skinny on the feature…

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    Self-expression in Web Design

    Professional web design isn’t about self-expression, it’s about effectiveness.

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