Category Archives: Flickr


That photo in Here Comes Everybody
Is VIDEO on Flickr better than youTube?
Evidence of life on Mars and figures found in rocks
Three months Flickr pro for free
Music business models for internet artists
Facebook MySpace and Linkedin friends
Schmap guide to London

That photo in Here Comes Everybody

Thanks to Frankie for first noticing it and Shirlyearly for tracking the page down for me in Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations

Here Comes Everybody

Flickr photo reference in

Please do not inform children of the explosions

This is the picture referred to in the book, and it came in for a lot of attention on the day itself, July 7th 2005.

do not inform children

The book relates directly to the topic we’ve been discussing in the “End of Organisationsdebate, and there’s also a blog by Clay Shirky which recently published an insightful article about the cognitive surplus caused by forty years of watching crap TV, which I can relate to. It’s called Gin, Television and Social Surplus although the permalink reveals a subtitle “looking for the mouse”.

Posted in Flickr, London | 2 Comments

Is VIDEO on Flickr better than youTube?

Better than youTube?

Video uploading to Flickr went live earlier today so it’s a big topic of conversation, especially the inevitable comparison with youTube the leader in the field. So is Flickr video better than youTube or just different?

Video on Flickr - better than youtube

My first reaction was delight to discover that the flickr video upload and sharing is totally integrated into the photo sharing community aspect of flick that made it so successful. Videos appear in the photostream alongside stills, and can be community tagged, commented on, sent to sets and groups, and blogged using “blog this” which is fantastic. The quality of the video and audio is superior too, with up to 150MB file sizes acceptable for a 90 second video. Why the 90 second limit? Well this is to avoid the problem of being used as a file download service for copied music videos, TV clips and films etc and to encourage home made movie clips from digital cameras, phones etc. So Flickr can avoid the enormous copyright problem that google inherited when they bought youTube.

“long photos”

Central to Flickr’s philosophy for introducing video, and something that youTube does not really have is the concept of the “long photo” which kind of fits in with the use of digital still cameras that have the capacity to take video clips. This service is for genuine user generated video, short clips about everyday life, surroundings, little art videos and so on. Not so much about long videos of talking heads recorded straight from webcams saying “um” and “ah” a lot either.

London Video group

Flickr groups by default can accept both pictures and video but I thought it might be useful to have a group for London Video that focusses on video only, still linked to the London photo group, London Flickr meetups. I’ve invited some flickr contacts from London and from the social media cafe as well, but anybody interested in video is welcome to join and upload anything vaguely London related. All in all, it’s going to be very interesting to see how creative people use the opportunity that Flickr video is offering.

To give an idea, here’s Billy’s bacon video from Flickr, embedded on this wordPress blog.

I know, you can already do all that with youTube but I feel there are some significant advantages with the Flickr Video implementation, aren’t there?

Better than youtube

Yes or no?

Posted in Flickr, London, social objects, video | 6 Comments

Evidence of life on Mars and figures found in rocks

Life on Mars

In both of the freeby London newspapers yesterday on the tube there was a story about the picture from planet Mars which seemed to show a human like figure walking across the Martian surface. At first glance the picture looks like a joke or a fake, reminding me of the “Elvis found on Moon” headlines from the launch of a new tabloid in the eighties. But in the articles they seem to claim that it’s a genuine photograph from a Mars Explorer that shows a part of the rocky terrain that just happens to look very much like a bipedal torso with head and arms. Here it is again on the BBC website. Now the newspapers may have enhanced the illusion slightly in their image processing, but it does beg the question what are the chances of a randomly formed piece of rock looking so much like a recognisable figure competely out of context?

Evidence in rock

Then I remembered the rock I saw with my own eyes when travelling along the Canyon de Sil in Galicia, northern Spain. This photograph is straight from my own camera in 2005

DSCF0106 2

It’s the old ink blot phenomenon again, like seeing faces in clouds. Our human brains are so wired by evolution up to recognise the specific patterns of faces and human forms or figures that we tend to over-detect them, and given enough random material to look at, we’ll eventually notice one somewhere. So is there really any evidence of Life on Mars? – that’s for another post!

Posted in Art, Flickr, Randomness, Spain | 8 Comments

Three months Flickr pro for free

Flickr loves you

I just had my Flickr Pro account extended by three months for free. That’s not exactly going to save me a fortune in general internet running expenses, well not in terms of dollars or pounds, but little things like this can help keep me going, so I thought it would be worth telling you how to do it.

It’s all because Yahoo! are closing down Yahoo! Photos in favour of Flickr, which they bought last year and is much better. So closing down the old one is a sensible thing to do. You wouldn’t keep google video open if you’d just bought YouTube would you…?

The three months free Flickr Pro is a reward for agreeing to import any old photo sets I might have had on Yahoo! Photos, into my Flickr Pro account. That’s all there is to it. The old photos are all imported with privacy set to “private” at first, so I can decide whether I want to make them public or not, and no mention of the reward was made until after the photos had been imported, so you wouldn’t know about this nice little bonus unless somebody like me blogs about it.

Here’s the FAQ

It’s nice to have more of my photos all in one place, and a Flickr Pro account extended by three months for free.

Posted in Flickr | Comments Off on Three months Flickr pro for free

Music business models for internet artists

Samantha Murphy asks on Facebook MyQuestions how can a musician earn a living in the digital age, in conjunction with having just decided that “Free is the way to go” and making all the tracks on her album available for free download.

I’m trying to synthesise this situation facing musical artists with the ideas from Jyri Engestrom back in June. He noticed a change in successful website businesses towards charging the publishers, not the spectators. Photos on Flickr for example, are consumed free of charge by a readership far wider than the photographers. The photographers themselves pay a small premium in order to be allowed to upload a larger number of pictures and organise them. Back to music, currently charges consumers for full access to their own personalised radio station but in some sense they are also publishing their playlists. The movement there is towards encouraging artists and labels to provide free downloads and then perhaps pay to gain higher exposure on the system. Applied to the digital music industry then, the model would appear to be to “charge the uploaders, not the downloaders”.

Vanity publishing

So life would appear to be tough for the artists. Perhaps there is a surfeit of aspiring musicians and it is audience attention which is in short supply? All a bit like the vanity publishing industry for amateur novel writers. Or is it?

Free Prince album

By coincidence, news has just broken that the artist now known again as Prince has struck a deal whereby his new album is given away with a newspaper. This is said to be an arrangement more lucrative than his previous album sold conventionally through the record shops. That doesn’t seem very repeatable, but it’s seen by the music publishing industry as a betrayal. They managed to convince most celebrity artists that defending intellectual property rights is the only way to ensure they can get paid for being creative. In truth, it’s the only way to ensure the intermediates get a disproportionate slice of it, and that is what’s being lamented.

Singer songwriter

Nearly all musical artists who work solo call themselves singer-songwriters these days, and nearly all bands perform their own material. This is probably a distortion caused by the writers royalties being a major factor when choosing material to perform. Probably there are a lot of great singers, many potential songwriters and a few who are great singer songwriters. There could be opportunities for musicians who have mastered the art of digital studio recording to offer to turn songwriters’ material into published tracks for them. Alternatively singers may commission writers to provide materal especially for their performance style. The opportunities for cross covers, remote collaboration, duets and derivative mixes are bursting out of the old model, and who knows where it may lead in the long tail of diverse taste and the needs of so many people to find an outlet for their creativity.


A spokesman for the singer told The Mail on Sunday: “Prince’s only aim is to get music direct to those who want to hear it.

“Prince feels that charts are just music industry constructions and have little or no relevance to fans or even artists today.”

Technorati Tags:

Posted in Flickr, Music, social objects | Tagged | 2 Comments

Facebook MySpace and Linkedin friends

Escape from Cubicle Nation asks Are there any rules for social/business networking? We’re talking about Facebook, MySpace and Linkedin here.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, as a person who deals with the business of networking on the internet, you are aware that Linkedin, Facebook and MySpace are important places to see and be seen. If you are growing a business and want exposure and connection with your target audience, it is critical to explore these online communities.
The question is, how in the world do you know how or where to be seen, and most importantly, with whom?

It’s a good question, and I would add Twitter, MyBlogLog and Flickr to the conundrum. But don’t expect any finished answers, because this is a question you have to keep asking yourself from time to time for each network you are in. I’m just going to list some practices which I’ve adopted or observed for each.


This is the only one which allows for some granularity of the relationship, on three levels. Family, Friends and Contacts. There’s also a strong link to my city, London, in the way I use it so my friends tend to be people I’ve met in person, or might do. Contacts are like bookmarks to people’s photostreams I want to keep track of.


I have a musician’s MySpace so that’s slightly different, but not much. MySpace can turn into a pointless game, and I lost interest after a while. Initially I collected a bunch of links to people, mainly from the past, who influenced my own music. So my Top friends list was like an indication of taste. When new friend requests came in, (mostly from other musicians who are playing the game of “add, add, add”) I would check them out and be a bit discerning. There are some important connections to be made in Myspace, but eventually they get swamped by many extremely loose ties. If you stop adding, the interest in your profile dies. So now you can choose to block add requests from musicians, which shows how silly it has all become as a means of reaching a potential audience.


There are two types of LinkedIn users. Normal sensible people, and “power users”. These are essentially spammers who will link in with anybody in order to leverage their extended network for marketing purposes. They break the terms and conditions by advertising their email address as part of the name field, and thus allow total strangers to become their trusted business contacts.

LinkedIn is great for keeping an online CV, access to contact details and for recruitment. Link to real friends, business colleagues and important contacts. After that, there’s not much to do. With the new Answers function you can get useful suggestions or build a reputation by answering others.


MyBlogLog has crept up on me and I’m starting to find it interesting. When a new face appears in my sidebar widget I usually check. They have a function whereby if you visit another members blog a few times you get automatically added to their circle. So I think the general idea is to be quite free with your adds on this one, and it may help slowly to build readership, by seeding clusters of bloggers with common interests.


I’m getting twitter spam follower notifications already so activating the “Turn all your followers into friends” button seems like a really bad idea.


I saved the hot one for last.
Facebook has a tradition of using real names and reflecting real life friendships from its origins in the colleges. This is now changing a bit, with the wide open membership and platform but it shouldn’t end up like mySpace. Within Facebook there are the new applications, and some of these are linked with external apps which have their own social networking aspects. It’s not yet clear how all of this is going to settle out.

General Reflection

My approach seems to be generally a cautious one, attempting to keep a sense of real value in the connections I make. In some ways I may be missing opportunities to enlarge the circle, and I’m sure I should be doing more to nurture the connections which are already in place. Having a transparent online identity which is prolific and probably important to my longer term strategy engenders a certain reluctance to engage in aggressively direct marketing activities. I’m also having some thoughts about the bidirectional nature of add friend requests.

I’ll come back to this topic again, but now throw the question out to you. What are your own rules for adding friends in the different online networks and how do you see the general territory developing?

Posted in Blogs and community, Facebook, Flickr, Music, Tools | 6 Comments

Schmap guide to London

I have two of my Creative Commons licensed photos included in the third
edition of Schmap, which is an online / offline guide to London and other cities. Teh downloadable version only works on Windows though. It says “MAC OSX – coming soon” (where have I read that before? ).

Bank of England Museum

Bank of england


Moshi Moshi Sushi

Moshi Moshi at Liverpool Street Station is the pioneer of conveyor belt sushi restaurants.

Moshi Moshi

I’m also informed about “schmapplets” – customizable widget versions of the Schmap London Guide:


The innovative technology behind Schmap Guides is also used by clients, partners and bloggers to power the display and syndication of schmapplets – a range of fully customizable map mashups and map widgets.

Schmap’s platform enables users to:

• Collate, edit and manage place related text, photos and maps.
• Publish fully customizable mashups directly to the web with a single click.
• Power websites or blogs with a range of templates and choice of mapping APIs.
• Syndicate content via fully customizable map widgets.
• Support mobile browsing, custom printing, and much more.

For a traveler or local resident, schmapplets are a great way to share recommendations, trip itineraries, local expertise and reviews. For the professional web publisher, schmapplets add an interactive mapping element to a website with a travel, events or local interest focus, and a compelling way to promote and syndicate map-related content to readers or fans.

A selection of showcase schmapplets can be viewed at

The link I was sent (
leads to a page which says “Schmap New York Published Photographer: Andy Roberts” although I’ve never been to New York in my life, and probably won’t now. It doesn’t work either. Looking at the schmapplets page, the so called widgets will only work after you’ve downloaded something onto a Windows computer. I can’t see them leveraging a whole load of free word-of-mouth from Flickrites and bloggers with this one, but maybe I’m wrong.

Posted in Flickr, London | Comments Off on Schmap guide to London

Thanks for reading Andy Roberts articles about Flickr on the DARnet Blog