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!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wiqzz/5695628974/in/[email protected]/
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)”

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.

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?

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’.

Yahoo Maps powered by Ovi Maps. And more!




Some of you probably have heard about this news: Nokia and Yahoo! have an agreement to work on they really’re really good at. According to the press release:

Today, Yahoo! and Nokia announced a worldwide strategic alliance to extend the reach of their industry leading online services and offer people rich experiences that keep them connected to their world and the world around them.
Building on more than five years of collaboration, Nokia and Yahoo! ® will leverage each others’ strengths in e-mail, instant messaging and maps and navigation services, to provide consumers with access to world-class experiences on both PC and mobile devices.

You can also find the press release at Yahoo! Yodel Anecdotal. So, what does it mean for you? Probably… nothing. But, for me it means something. Let me tell you why.

I use Flickr — and I’m really enjoying it. Sometime, I take advantage of its geo-location feature. I can put my photos into map. You can do it manually, or automatically using geo-location meta data captured from your mobile device. I did it using my mobile device. Flickr photos with geo-location information will be integrated with Yahoo! Map. You can see my Flickr map page to see it in action. Is it good? Yes, but not that good. Why?

  • When I had my photos with location information, they’re not placed at the correct information. So, I have to edit their location in the map.
  • Yahoo! Map does not have much details about my hometown, Jogjakarta. Especially, when it comes to street names. For example, my photo taken in Malioboro Street, it’s detected as it was taken in other area, and it’s not even close.
  • I remembered that I have put my photos into correct location. But for some reasons — I don’t know why — the location was changed. I hope I’m wrong with this. The zoom effect or something, I don’t know.

With the new partnership I mention above, I hope I can see improvements. Ovi Maps has a great database of location, and it works really well. I know, sometime it has some mistakes on the street naming, but… still, it’s a great tool.

5,000+ Flickr Photos



This month, I saw that there are more than 5,000 photos in my Flickr photostream. In last October, there were 4,000 photos. So, in less than two months, there are more than 1,000 photos uploaded? Of course, not all of them are displayed for public. There are lots of private photos there. I think, the increasing number of photos happens after I purchased my Canon EOS 450D few months ago.
flickr5000
Here are some numbers related to my Flickr photostream — when I write this post:

  • 5,403 photos in total: 3,872 public photos, 1,218 private photos, 18 friend-only photos, 262 family-only photos, 33 friend-and-family only photos.
  • In total, there are 5,400 photos and 3 videos. Right, Flickr also support videos.
  • About photo tagging, there are 2,914 photos with tags (2,489 untagged)
  • Sometime, I uploaded some photos with geotagging info. Also, I put some photos on the Flickr map. I have 849 photos geotagged.
  • I manage my photos in sets and 5,163 photos among total collections are in sets.
  • My photostream has 120 sets and 7 collections.
  • In December 2009, I uploaded 962 photos, but in September 2009 there was only one photos uploaded.
  • In total, I made 8 transactions (buying Flickr Pro credits). But, I only use two credits. The other credits were bought for my friends who want Flickr Pro upgrade (Flickr Gifts).

4,000+ Flickr Photos

4,000+ Flickr photos
Last year, there were 2,000 photos in my Flickr photostream. And few days ago, I just noticed that I’ve been uploading another 2,000+ photos. So far, I’m satisfied with Flickr service — at least, I never experienced bad service. I bought a new camera few months ago (Canon EOS 450D), and I took more photos using it. The “problem” was that I don’t have too much time to upload many selected photos. This month, I decided to stop my other internet connection — yes, I use two internet providers in the last few months. The reason was simple: it was because I had to cut my internet budget.
I had no problem with my internet connection backup. In fact, I’m really satisfied with the upload speed. The upload speed also helped me working with my videoblog. Right now, I think I consider upload an download speed as “okay”. It’s not super fast. It’s okay. So, I need to be more patient dealing with uploading activity now. I’m using Telkom Speedy now.
Back to Flickr, I just realize that I need to work on the photo “sets” and “collections” management. Right now, I don’t have any “collections” for all my 4,000+ photos. All photos are managed only in “sets”. I’m still finding the best way to manage them.

Dear Yahoo! Meme, I think…



When I heard about Yahoo! Meme and looked its website, in brief I was thinking about tumblelog. Seriuosly, I couldn’t fine any new features, compared to similar service like Tumblr (my Tumblr) or Posterous (my Posterous page). That was before I got a chance to try Yahoo! Meme.
Yahoo! describes Yahoo! Meme as “where you share everything you find that’s interesting”. If we go to Yahoo! Meme page, Yahoo! tells us about these following details:

  • Things have to be quick, easy and simple to do
  • You should be able to share whatever kind of content you publish or find in the web
  • Your posts should get around without you having to be a part of any specific social network
  • You keep the credit for your discoveries and creations
  • You should easily find what’s drawing everyone else’s attention

I’ve been using Tumblr for few months, and when I firstly logged in to Yahoo! Meme (after got an invitation), I see nothing but similar features — like Tumblr. This is Yahoo! Meme’s dashboard when you’re ready to post/share something:
Yahoo! Meme Dashboard
Currently, it supports some post types: text, photo, video and music (audio). For non-text contents, you can directly upload (only images) or embed external contents. So, some contents should be “somewhere” on the internet first. Anyway, Yahoo! already has a video service called Yahoo! Video, but its videos can’t be inserted? Yahoo! Meme only supports YouTube and Vimeo now. What about other video sharing providers like blip.tv or Metacafe? Or, what about any video files that can be inserted using embed codes?
Now, let’s compare it to Tumblr. Tumblr offers more type of posts. And it’s so easy. We don’t need to deal with complex post customizations. For example, we post video embed codes, it will be automagically processed by Tumblr system. Neat.
Tumblr Dashboard
And, let’s not forget about various features including theme customization, custom domain, and more. I know, Yahoo! Meme is still new. They might have improvements in the future. Or, it will be closed down just like Yahoo! 360? Anyone can give me a good reason to use Yahoo! Meme?