Thank You, Flickr! Hello Google Photos!

When Flickr was acquired by Smugmug, I was happy. Rather than comparing between the two services, they finally under one team, even Flickr and Smugmug are still two separated services. I believe that Smugmug will work hard and listen to Flickr community to bring Flickr back with better features.

But, I decided to leave Flickr for Google Photos. Thank you, Flickr!

Flickr and I

Before Instagram era, or mobile-first photo sharing becomes so popular, Flickr was on the top service if it’s referring to photos/photography. Especially when there was Yahoo behind it.

I created my personal Flickr account back in 2004 — it’s 15 years ago — and I started uploading and sharing photos. When I was having close discussion with Public Communication Center of Ministry of Health and they asked me what kind of platform to choose to share photos, I recommended Flickr. The best part is they’re still using it until now!

Thomas Arie presenting flickr #ytownhall
Me sharing about Flickr during Yahoo Community Townhall event in May 2011 in Jakarta. I even still have the presentation slides with me. Thank you, Della and Gage!

Dear Flickr,

Probably, it’s just me. But, I wish you offer better experiences in — in my opinion — some of the key features.

First, help me to organise my thousand of photos. For me, it’s not that easy to put multiple photos into multiple albums. I am not sure about how you handle exactly-the-same photos, or…. duplicate photos. As far as I remember, it will be treated as different photos.

I wish you can also help me to organise my uploaded photos… automagically. There are lots of faces in my photos. Help me to organise them by faces so that I can easily and quickly find photos of my wife, my sister, and also my friends.

I know that sometimes it’s not about you. But, I feel that it’s slow to send my photos to you. I know, it’s also because you can also secure my photos in their original sizes.

I will stop talking now. I don’t hate you at all. I need something that works for me better now.

Find and Remove Duplicate Photos on Flickr

I’m organising my Flickr photos and want to find the easy way to remove duplicate photos that are already in or outside albums. Flickr does not offer the simple tool to work on this task. After searching for a while, there is Flickr Dup Finder 2. It’s a simple tool to search for duplicates and remove them. It’s utilising Flickr’s API and it works really good. At least for now, I already found more than 1,600 duplicate photos.

Bye (legacy version of) Yahoo Messenger

Say goodbye to the old legacy versions of Yahoo Messenger — “On August 5, 2016, legacy versions of Yahoo Messenger will be discontinued. If you haven’t upgraded Yahoo Messenger recently, you’re probably using a legacy version. To continue using Yahoo Messenger, please upgrade to the newest version on mobile (iOS or Android) and desktop (messenger.yahoo.com or from Yahoo Mail)”

Lifehacker Faceoff: Google Photos vs. Flickr

Last month, both Google and Yahoo introduced big changes to their photo storage services, Google Photos and Flickr (4.0), respectively. Both offer identical, useful features: automatic photo backups, intelligent organization, online editing tools, and sharing capabilities. So which one should you use? (Source: Lifehacker Faceoff: Google Photos vs. Flickr)

Let's talk about the (new) Yahoo's email service

Recently, Yahoo redesigned its mail service again. I’ve talked about Yahoo Mail last August. I hoped for an improvements. Recently, on its 16th birthday, Yahoo gives a new look for its mail service. Quoting from a release published at Yahoo’s blog:

We redesigned Yahoo Mail to be more efficient, too. Things you do all of the time like search, starring, and deleting are now one-click actions that appear when you hover over an email. We also wanted to give you more breathing room in your inbox, so you can collapse the left-hand toolbar to be more productive.

I’m not a big fan of Yahoo email service actually, I’m sold to Google Mail. I use Gmail web-based interface on my daily basis. So, what Yahoo offered on this redesign this time?

1 TB of storage to handle email and attachments.

Yes, that’s huge! Currently, Google ‘only’ offers 15 GB of free storage (shared between Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos) with some detailed conditions. The 1 TB storage is tempting for marketing purpose and by number. Do I really need 1TB? I can live with 15 GB Google offers. By having 1 TB of storage, it can handles more than 54 million of emails.
Previously, if you’re a Flickr user, Yahoo also offers 1 TB of storage to store more than 500,000 photos in original quality. This one is really a good deal!

Themes

I’m not a fan of themes for email service. I left my Gmail in the standard look, without fancy themes. Yahoo — since it also owns Flickr — brings some selected photos from Flickr to choose as the background theme. Here how it looks.
Yahoo mail themes
For the web interface, I choose the of of the clean theme styles.

Jadi, bagaimana tempat/suasana kerja yang seharusnya?

Sekitar dua tahun lalu, saya pertama kali melihat salah satu episode TED Talks, dengan pembicara Jason Fried, founder dari 37signals. Jika belum pernah mendengar 37signals, ini adalah sebuah perusahaan teknologi dengan produk yang populer, salah satunya adalah Basecamp — sebuah layanan untuk mengatur sebuah pengaturan proyek (project management).

Walaupun sudah lama, tapi mungkin baru satu atau dua tahun ini saya semakin masuk ke dalam apa yang disampaikan dalam episode tersebut. Padahal, video tersebut sudah dirilis akhir tahun 2010 yang lalu. Ya, hampir tiga tahun lalu! Tapi, semuanya terasa sangat relevan sampai saat ini. Paling tidak, untuk saya dan hal-hal yang terkait dengan keseharian pekerjaan atau lingkungan pekerjaan saat ini, maupun sebelumnya.

Oh ya, jika belum melihat videonya, silakan meluangkan waktu untuk melihatnya.

Jika ingin melihat dengan terjemahan Bahasa Indonesia, bisa melihat juga langsung di situs TED. Dalam video tersebut, secara garis besar menyoroti tentang bagaimana sebuah ekosistem pekerjaan berjalan. Tentang pentingnya kantor, bagaimana pegawai/karyawan bekerja, dan beberapa hal yang mungkin bisa jadi pertimbangan dalam menciptakan sebuah kultur pekerjaan yang produktif. Muaranya, pada kelangsungan bisnis, pekerjaan, dan ekosistem orang-orang didalamnya. Menarik. Hal lain lagi dan yang terus dibicarakan adalah bahwa pekerjaan bisa dilakukan dimana saja. Terdengar tidak asing?

Bulan Febuari 2013 yang lalu, Marissa Mayer, CEO dari Yahoo! membuat keputusan yang bertentangan dengan konsep Jason Fried. Marissa justru memberlakukan aturan bagi pekerja untuk bekerja di kantor Yahoo!. Ada yang bilang bahwa ini adalah keputusan yang tepat, tapi ada juga yang melihat bahwa ini keputusan yang sebaiknya tidak dilakukan. Lalu, siapa yang benar?

Photo Sizes on Flickr

I’m not sure when Flickr started to generate more sizes for uploaded photos. If you upload a photo, it will be uploaded to Flickr, and will be processed to generate multiple image sizes. Here are the sizes for reference — based on a photo taken using iPhone 5:

  • Square 75 (75 x 75)
  • Square 150 (150 x 150)
  • Thumbnail (100 x 75)
  • Small 240 (240 x 180)
  • Small 320 (320 x 240)
  • Medium 500 (500 x 375)
  • Medium 640 (640 x 480)
  • Medium 800 (800 x 600)
  • Large 1024 (1024 x 768)
  • Large 1600 (1600 x 1200)
  • Large 2048 (2048 x 1536)
  • Original (3264 x 2448)

Dear Yahoo! Mail, how are you?

There is a fact that Yahoo! Mail is probably one of my first email service providers. Not sure about the exact date I created my account, but I think it was in 2000’s. It was the time when Yahoo! was so popular, had lots of services, and interesting products. Probably, it was also because that there were not many alternatives. Yahoo! Mail was a good choise.
But, it has been years. Many services — not only email — come and go. But, when we jump to the internet world, everybody will get an email. Not only about the very basic features (sending and receiving email), but email service should be build better, answering what users need. What internet users really need.
Let’s not forget also about some other services. Google launched its Gmail in April 2004 (so, it has been 8 years). Recently, Microsoft re-launched its Hotmail as Outlook.com. Every service tries to make improvements for its users to deliver the best product and features for them. This is how Yahoo! Mail inbox looks like.

If you have a Yahoo! Mail account, just try to login and see yourself. What do you think? Well, what do I think? And, why I’m writing this post, anyway? If I don’t like it, why should I write about it? Isn’t it easier to just leave it?

Yahoo and Twitter's New Communications Heads

Yahoo just had Amanda Pires (from eBay) and Twitter grabbed Gabriel Stricker (from Google) as its new VP of Communications.

10 patents Facebook is suing Yahoo with

ZDNet has a list of 10 patents that Facebook is using to attack Yahoo. This is a simple list:

  1. Generating a feed of stories personalized for members of a social network (U.S. Patent No. 7,827,208)
  2. Tagging digital media (U.S. Patent No. 7,945,653)
  3. Headline posting algorithm (U.S. Patent No. 6,288,717)
  4. Method for enabling a user to fetch a specific information item from a set of information items, and a system for carrying out such a method (U.S. Patent No. 6,216,133)
  5. Customizing database information for presentation with media selections (U.S. Patent No. 6,411,949)
  6. System and method for dynamic profiling of users in one-to-one applications (U.S. Patent No. 6,236,978)
  7. System and method for dynamic profiling of users in one-to-one applications and for validating user rules (U.S. Patent No. 7,603,331)
  8. Architectures, systems, apparatus, methods, and computer-readable medium for providing recommendations to users and applications using multidimensional data (U.S. Patent No. 8,103,611)
  9. System for controlled distribution of user profiles over a network (U.S. Patent No. 8,005,896)
  10. System for controlled distribution of user profiles over a network (U.S. Patent No. 8,150,913)

Go to ZDNet for complete details of each patent. Other reading: Facebook countersues Yahoo over 10 patents.

Flickr: Photo Sharing or Photo Storage Service?

If you read this blog, or meet me in person, you probably know me as Flickr fan. Yes, among services owned by Yahoo!, Flickr is one of my favorite. I have friends who love to use Flickr and also bring some people to Flickr. So far, they’re enjoying it. Well, at least I heard some positive feedbacks from them. Some friends also bought/renewed their Flickr Pro account and they asked me to buy them Flickr gifts.
But, it’s 2011 now. Many photography-related services flourish. To refresh your memories, let’s take a look at 500px, Instagram, or picplz for example. And, I’m sure more to come to the game.
Butterfly
I asked myself recently: How do I use Flickr? Is it as photo sharing, or simply as a photo storage service? You can find out a bit about how I use Flickr by watching a short presentation during Yahoo! Community Town Hall few months ago. With many other options to share photos these days (again, mind the word “share”) here, I feel that Flickr is more photo storage for me. I do actively share and upload photos to Flickr. But, it’s not only about having photos uploaded there. It’s also about social web interaction.

The magic feature: Share to Flickr

Look at some applications/services that put photos as its primary contents. Many of them has “Share to Flickr” feature. Photos are shared to Flickr directly. Easily. But, where the discussion takes place? Is it on Flickr? May be not.

The way people enjoy photos

06052011315A simple question: how do you enjoy Flickr photos? There are some ways: visiting the website from the desktop, from Flickr mobile version, or using mobile applications. Even I have Flickr for iPhone, I rarely enjoying the photostream. I feel that it’s not something I’m enjoying. Try to fire up your Flickr for iPhone apps, and experience yourself. If you have your photos delivered to many services e.g. Instagram, Twitpic, and Flickr, I am sure Flickr is not the first site you (or your friends) will visit. Except you make your photos exclusively uploaded to Flickr and share the links to social networks.
It does not seem that simple though. For example: If I share a photo from Flickr to Twitter, Twitter will display the image right away. Some Twitter applications are smart enough to display the shared links as photo thumbnails and photos with bigger dimension. Will they visit Flickr — and exploring my photostream? Probably. But, I think most of them won’t.
I might sound selfish here by expecting other people to explore my photos. But, you know what I’m talking about here, right?

Shoot, share, and interact

People take photos using many devices, from simple to advanced tools. Using mobile phone or expensive DSLR cameras with fancy lenses. And, to upload the photos, there are some ways too: send directly from mobile devices, by email, or using another social network services and put Flickr as the last destination. Some people still love doing the traditional way: transfer the photo from memory card to laptop/computer, and upload them manually. I still do this sometime.
Again, what happen when the photos are stored to Flickr? Is it easy to interact with the photos? Of course, it’s easy. But, is it super easy? People might to go to Flickr for some reasons: they want to browse their photos or their friends’, or because some photos are made exclusively available at Flickr. Look at White House for example, or NASA. Or, because special event photos are displayed there at Flickr. People will go there. I will go there. But, for personal collection, or just simply “because I don’t want to loose these” photos, Flickr might be a great place to store them. When I need it, I will go there.
This is challenging. It might be a big challenge for Flickr and many other services out there. Innovations and strategies are designed to answer this kind of need. Some services come with an idea and unique approaches. So does Flickr, I think.
I might be wrong here, but from a personal perspective — as a Flickr user — I feel like using Flickr as photo storage service now. Something Flickr does not expect.

about.me offers free email for its users. Do you use it?

I decided not to use it.
I’m using about.me service to create my personal splash page. You can see mine at about.me/thomasarie. It looks good, and very useful to display multiple online profiles like Twitter, Facebook, or even Instagram. Everything works great.
Few days ago, about.me users received an email informing about an offer to get more personalized email address. Yes, another mail service! Last May, Nokia did the same step by powering its mail service called Ovi Mail using Yahoo! Mail features. Since about.me is now part of AOL family, you will get AOL Mail-powered email. Just a reminder: AOL bought about.me back in December 2010.
I claimed my email address. Yes, I have now thomasarie [at] about.me, powered by AOL. If you want to get yours,  authenticate yourself at about.me website, and you should see “Offer” menu under “Dashboard” menu on the top navigation.

The setup was easy. You only need to give your date of birth information. I use Google Mail — Google Apps for domain — as my primary email service right now. I also keep my Yahoo! Mail account checked on regular basis. They offer a good service until today. AOL Mail did offers some features, but I haven’t found any features other mail services don’t have. So, I decided not to use it. If you send your email to thomasarie [at] about.me, it will go to my inbox. But, I’m not sure whether I check it regularly or not.
And, this is how the the email frontpage looks like. Sorry, I just need ’email’.

Instagram now received more than 150,000,000 photos!

Instagram announced another milestone yesterday on their blog:

Today, we’re excited to announce that more than 150 million photos have been shared on Instagram and Instagrammers now share photos with one another at a rate of 15 photos per second.

And, it only took less than a year to hit that impressive statistics! And, I never had a chance to have Instagram-experience. Should I get an iPhone? Errr…
Anyway, this is the 150,000,000th photo posted to Instagram:

What about other similar service like Yahoo! Flickr or Smugmug? Even they’re not identical services and probably reach different users, it’s still interesting to read the statistics.
Flickr — owned by Yahoo! — just got its 5,000,000,000 last year. Yahoo! bought Flickr in March 2005. That’s right, it was six years ago. I don’t know exactly how many photos sent to Flickr per day, but it seems that Flickr got less photos — considering the photo sharing services and their simplicity these days. Well, correct me if I’m wrong on this matter.
Another photo sharing service is Smugmug. It’s not that big, but it seems that Smugmug has many happy users. If we look at the service profile, there are more than 1,400,000,000 photos uploaded. Smugmug was launched in November 2002.
And, last but not least, there is also 500px. Not sure about the exact photo statistics, but last week update posted on 500px blogs can give you some hints. According to the website statistics: “500px.com passed 4 million visits in the last 30 days, 35 million pageviews and 1.9 million unique visitors”.
 

Yahoo! Flickr's new landing page

When did the last time you visit Yahoo! Flickr homepage? If you visit flickr.com, it has a new look and I think it displays more information. The new landing page will be visible only for non-logged in users.

Compared to the previous one, here are few things I noticed:

  • You will see bigger rotating photos and not only one. Notice the sliding effect there. Some members give their opinion about how photos are displayed. Read the feedbacks at Yahoo! Flickr blog.
  • Since this is made especially for new users, the new landing page gives more details on the top features. By this, I think users will not need to go to the Tour page to get some reasons to create an account.
  • Less photo statistics. Previously, the page gave some numbers like how many photos uploaded in the last one minute, how many photos tagged with a certain tag, and also how many geo-tagged photos uploaded in a certain period — within a month? I’m not sure. All these numbers are gone now. I’m not sure whether the information displayed previously was real-time statistics or not.

The current design does not seem trying to sell its Flickr Pro features. But of course, the Flickr Pro feature is something that probably-purchased by existing users. So, get more users first, and when they found the service great and useful, they might want to upgrade their accounts.
And, there are 8 links to the account creation page. I counted and found 8 links. Or, more? Let me add one here: Create a Flickr account now. :D
Congrats Yahoo! Flickr for the new design. I rarely visit the frontpage, anyway.