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My Favorite Social Tools: Flickr

More of you need to start using social tools so I decided to start a little series of posts called My Favorite Social Tools. I will start off with Flickr. Wow what a great tool. I have been a paid user since July of 2005 (I only know this because I had to renew my account the other day). At first I did not understand why Flickr was so great, but as the number of people I met from around the world added me as a Flickr contact I understood the value of Flickr. Let me start with the basics:

What: Flickr is a social picture sharing site started in 2004 by Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake. The best feature of flickr is the ability to add one or more “tags” to each photograph added to the site. Why is this so powerful? Take me for example: I have more than 8,000 photos on Flickr and finding a specific picture would be impossible if it were not for the tagging function. Each time I added a photo of my son I used the tag ethanmuse, that helps me narrow my search to just photos of him. But I have more than 1,000 photos of my favorite little guy, but good news, I used other tags such as soccer to describe the photos in greater detail. So I use the advanced search feature and search for photos of ethanmuse and soccer and find his soccer photos. You get the idea. Ethan’s Grandmother can search my photos for her tag (bethmuse) and Ethan’s tag to find photos containing both her and my son. Neat huh?

For Networking: I live in Dallas, Texas, but I have met lots of people on the West coast that I want to keep in touch with. It is hard to stay in touch with people you don’t see more than once or twice a year. More often than not I don’t have anything to say, certainly not anything worthy of an email or an IM, but I want to stay connected. Each day when I log into Flickr I am presented with the most recent picture added by each of my contacts. Usually five or six of my contacts has added a new picture each time I log in, so I open each photo in a browser tab. If the photo is comment worthly I might just make a note. Why? Why do you say hi in the hall when you walk by someone? It is a good way to say, “hey I am interested in you and your life, thanks for sharing it with me.” I know I love it when someone comments on one of my photos. Earlier this year I went to India and met almost 200 programmers and business people, many of whom have Flickr accounts. I have been able to stay connected to them from across the globe with pictures.

For Business: Back in April I wrote a posted titled, “Flickr as PR Tool…EyeFi” and wrote, “Got a great new product? Want to get a lot of people to see it? Get a power user on Flickr to take a picture of it. Scott Beale, also known as Laughing Squid, is a well know photographer. In fact, he may be the second most ‘internet famous’ photographer (Thomas Hawk is perhaps the most famous). So if you are going to create a product for photographers call up Scott and get him to take a picture of it. That is exactly what the Yuval Koren, the guy behind Eye-Fi, did. What is Eye-Fi? An SD memory card that will turn your camera into a wi-fi camera - no more USB cable. This is going to be huge! And Yuval, by simply showing it to one of the best know ‘internet famous’ photographer is getting his product in front of thousands of people who WILL buy the Eye-Fi. Very smart. More on Gizmodo here.” Check out Scott’s eyefi flickr pics.

To Do: Okay get a Flickr account right away. Add me as a contact, add a photo, tag it with a couple of tags (be specific) and lets start being social. You can setup your phone to send photos directly to Flickr (lots of people do it). You can use your photos to make books, prints, calenders and so on. Have fun!

Alexander Muse | 8:18 am | 1 Comment Tags: Blogs , flickr , socialtools | Bookmark on | Digg It

Hawk makes Zooomer relevant to me. . .

Let me first explain that I am a huge fan of Flickr (I have over 7,000 photos on the service), but since I heard Thomas Hawk is joining Zooomr I have decided to give it a try.  Brian was visiting Mike Arrington when Kristopher Tate was showing off his new photo site called Zooomr.  Brian was knocked out!  Mike wrote about it in a post titled, “Flickr on Steroids.“  But I was unconvinced, I never bothered to set up an account because Flickr isn’t broken for me - it is great!

That all changed when I saw Brian’s post that Thomas Hawk (one of my favorite photographers on Flickr) is joining the Zooomer team.  Holy Bat-pictures!  Why is he joining Zooomr?  Is Zooomr important?  Isn’t it just a Flickr clone?  Hm…  I better find out more.  Usually, once I settle on a platform there is a huge amount of inertia keeping as a user.  Unless something is broken or there is a huge advantage to switching I will stick it out.  I still haven’t set up a Zooomr account, but my interest has been piqued by Thomas Hawk’s action.

I am sure I am not alone in my surprise.  Isn’t it interesting how a single, influential person like Thomas Hawk can make a business relevant?

Alexander Muse | 2:36 pm | No Comments Tags: Blogs , flickr , thomashawk , zooomr | Bookmark on | Digg It

But Will They Wear Your T Shirt?


You send out free t shirts because 1) t shirts are fun & you are fun and 2) people will put them on, snap a photo and post them to flickr. And because you really want to be the skinnycorp boyz when you grow up.

Brian Oberkirch | 6:51 am | No Comments Tags: Blogs , biginjapan , valleyschwag , tshirt , mashup , flickr | Bookmark on | Digg It