- Why aren’t you better?
I’ve been a big flickr fan for years. I take a lot of photos and that’s always been my favorite spot to put them. Flickr‘s been great at pioneering the 2.0 photo experience. They were the first to have a photostream view – not just albums. And they were the first to have tags which allow you to organize your photos in a better way. However, they haven’t done much lately. Sure, they added videos which is GREAT but that’s about it. The look hasn’t changed, there aren’t many new features and i feel that they are getting out developed by facebook’s photo experience and Google‘s Picasa. Sure those sites have different goals for their photo experience but at least they are moving forward. What’s Flickr done for me lately? Nothing.
Both Facebok and Picasa allow you to specifically name who is in each photo. Facebook does this by “tagging” a photo with a user and Picasa does this by analyzing the faces in the photos. Both are brain dead simple to use and are really slick. I’ve always used Flickr’s tags to do this with thier photos but i’d like to more specifically associate a photo with a user.
I also think that Flickr could make the “editing” of photo metadata easier. The order a picture shows up in your photostream is effectively the date you took it – but if you upload a photo much later, you have to go back and manually adjust the dates so it appears in the right spot. Flickr has always made title and description editing amazingly simply by keeping it in-line but adjusting the date and privacy of a photo still takes you to another page. Why can’t they make that easier? Same thing with setting a group of photos to a later date. This is too hard to do.
The bottom line is that i still love Flickr but i feel that it’s getting stagnant. i’m starting to think that Flickr has officially become a Yahoo company and not a nimble startup. And i don’t want to hitch my wagon to something that is in maintenance mode. I knew this day would come and i think the day might finally be here. I think i could say the same about delicious too. That site could have been much bigger than it is.
I’m wondering now – where should my photos go? What’s going to be be even better. I don’t like how Picasa is only albums but i do like how they are at least getting better and better. Is there a 3.0 photo experience that i can use?
I read this article by Tim O’Reilly called “Why I Love Twitter” and it has some good points. Specifically:
- “Following” instead of “Friending” – in my opinion, only true/proper social networks that are primarily about social interactions (like Facebook or MySpace) should use 2-way friending. The rest should allow for 1-way following.
- “Ambient intimacy” is about deepening people relationships via short messages and thoughts. Similar to how you get to know someone who’s desk is right next to yours because of offhand comments, you can do the same via twitter
- Cooperating with others – Twitter allows others, even competitors, to utiilze them. And it seems to only strengthen twitter.
- A true mobile app – for me this is the first mobile application that works better on mobile than the web. It has truly changed how i think about working on a mobile device
Twitter is an interesting beast because it’s still niche but gaining steam. People also love to bitch about how it doesn’t have a business model. This is true, it doesn’t but neither did email for a long time and now it’s one of the biggest driver of pageviews and engagement on the web.
A few weeks ago Google release a product called Chrome which is their own web browser. Only it is really so much more. At first it doesn’t look like much – and it isn’t, just yet. However it’s the direction Chrome is going and the intent behind the release that matters. Google doesn’t want a competitor to IE or Firefox, they want a new OS – a web OS that competes and beats Microsoft Windows.
Chris Messina who worked both a Mozilla and Flock – both browser companies – has a great post about how Chrome came to be and what it means (post is here). Chrome is the future of browsers. It’s one that embraces web applications and has Gears, an engine that enhances the internal code of apps to make them more powerful and quick.
On interesting piece of the post is pointing out WHO is working on Chrome. He paints Google as cohesive team of folks in the pennisula who are laser focused on delivering a next generation browser:
Google is a well-oiled, well-heeled machine. The Webkit team, as a rhizomatic offshoot from Apple, has a similar development pedigree and has consistently produced a high quality — now cross-platform — open source project, nary engaging in polemics or politics. They let the results speak for themselves. They keep their eyes on the ball.
Ultimately this has everything to do with people; with leadership, execution and vision.
When Mozilla lost Ben Goodger I think the damage went deeper than was known or understood. Then Blake Ross and Joe Hewitt went over to Facebook, where they’re probably in the bowels of the organization, doing stuff with FBML and the like, bringing Parakeet into existence (they’ve recently been joined by Mike Schroepfer, previously VP of Engineering at Mozilla). Brad Neuberg joined Google to take Dojo Offline forward in the Gears project (along with efforts from Dylan Schiemann and Alex Russell). And the list goes on.
A few more points he expands in the original and subsequent post:
- One unique feature of Chrome is that it auto-updates without any notifications (with obvious security issues). Chris writes: “if you’ve read the fine-print closely, you already know that this means that Chrome will be a self-updating, self-healing browser….. by using Chrome, you agree to allow Google to update the browser. That’s it: end of story. You want to turn it off? Disconnect from the web… in the process, rendering Chrome nothing more than, well, chrome (pun intended).”
- Another interesting point of note is that Google evolved the UI of the browser and “went ahead and combined the search box and the location field in Chrome and is now pushing the location bar as the starting place, as well as where to do your searching” This is interesting as it was a logical trend that no browser has yet picked up on
Not in terms of functionality or ease of use but check this out:
Yahoo dominates e-mail with 88.4 million users in the United States in August, according to comScore. That is far more than Microsoft’s Windows Live Hotmail at 45.2 million and AOL at 44.8 million, not to mention Gmail at 26.0 million.
When you look at how much time people spend reading their e-mail, Yahoo mail users spend the most time (286 minutes a month), Gmail users the least (82 minutes), with AOL and Microsoft in the middle (229 and 204 minutes, respectively).
Wow. As a Gmail-lover, i would have never thought that was the case. You read the whole article here.
It’s been a while since there’s been a major power play by someone in Silicon Valley. A big “take over the world” type of action. I think Google’s latest Chrome is that – reminiscent of the old days of Netscape, Sun and others who were all trying to take over the world.
Fred Wilson does a good job of describing how their 3 latest projects: Chrome, Android, and Cloud/Gears are positioning them to be the OS of the future. Saying:
- They are building a modern browser, Chrome, that resembles an operating system as much as a browser. It’s not that Google wants to build a better version of Internet Explorer or Firefox. They want to build a better environment for running web apps.
- They are building a mobile operating system, Android, that is also designed for running web apps in a mobile environment. I think in time, Google’s Android will be to the iPhone what Windows was to the Mac. The iPhone laid out many of the killer mobile device innovations, but its a closed device, a closed carrier relationship, and even a closed application store. Android will take all of those good ideas and put them on every device, with every carrier, and in partnership with every app developer.
- Google is all about the cloud. They have developed all of their apps in what goes for the cloud these days. They’ve build a great cloud computing platform in App Engine.
These three things ensure that Google will be a major player. With other launches of OpenSocial and such don’t display the raw power of Google but here it is. I love it and believe they will be the biggest and most powerful company standing – over facebook, Microsoft and others – when the dust settles.