Posts tagged “flickr”

I guess I must be dumb.

flickr now lets you add location information (“geotagging”) to your pictures. This raged through the blogosphere over the past few days (e.g. here ) with all the usual fawing over how great it is and how easy to use it is.

It’s not easy to use. People need to refine their definition pretty dramatically or we need to stop paying attention to sophisticated blogger/RIA/Web 2.0 types telling us what is easy or what isn’t. The feature started me with a map of the world. I wanted to find a location in Washington, D.C. Every time you zoom in, it recenters somewhere, and it’s pretty hard to get it to center on the part of the world you want. Not to mention the map itself is a horizontally scrolling box that seems to repeat itself, as if you could put some pictures in one part of the planet and then on another copy of the planet you could repeat the same process with other pictures. What the hell is going on?

People like to say “drag and drop” as if that is obviously going to be a trivial task – so I’ll hand you an icon that is about 1.5″ x 1.5″ and give you an entire planet that is about 6″ x 6″. You try to precisely drop that icon on that planet.

I eventually got it, but was pretty fed up after a few pictures and (let’s not even talk about why this is something we’d want to do – I haven’t got there yet, I just wanted to try it!) didn’t bother to continue. If my picture is tagged “washington d.c.” maybe the interface could try starting me off with a map of Washington?

I’m mostly posting this for contrariness; my experience was counter to what I’m seeing gushing forth elsewhere.

I heart flickr, I don’t think that everything they do is automatically perfect and “easy to use” however.

My camera is better (more popular) than yours; am I better than you?

I wrote about our connection to others who have the same product we do

When we go through decisions to acquire things that are visible, in many cases, that’s a personal decision. The belongingness we feel when we observe that in someone else is a great deal of fun, not a product of personal inadequacy. I wouldn’t nod at someone else carrying a can of Coke. I might nod at someone else wearing a Rolling Stones tongue shirt. Hey, I might nod at someone else drinking a can of Jolt (I drink neither, I’m just hypothesizing about the level of identity, meaning, uniqueness, tribal, outsider, etc. embedded in the various product choices). I do have a few shirts with tongues on ’em, however.

Today Karl Long points out a site that tracks the top cameras used on flickr (the info is stored inside the photo file and can be extracted if you know where to look, I guess), and my camera – the Nikon D50 – is the top one listed.

For no real good reason, this makes me feel good. I have recommended this camera to others; I feel a bit of personal investment in the brand of the camera+model, this is some silly validation of my decision and loyalty, I guess. Popular doesn’t always equal good, but at an emotional level I’m going to choose to ignore that.

Tokyo: 2002

In 2002 I travelled to Tokyo a couple of times with clients in order to do in-home ethnographic research, participatory design sessions, and general cultural immersion. Here’s some of my walking-around pictures. The entire set is here.

Community Safety Family

You must be 20 to buy us!


Late night snack

Late night

Harajuku girls

Strolling Through Shibuya

Coming home from school>

flickr redesigns

flickr just launched a new interface. Here’s some screenshots. I don’t think I can be objective about it; of course, I’ve got habits to break and new ones to learn, and that will take a while. I will say I trust them and so am hopeful for good things.

Update: I just noticed this: There are sneaky advertising links buried in flickr!

Taken with a Nikon D50.

is now
Taken with a nikon_25x25.gif D50.

and that logo is a hotlink to a Nikon advertising site.

India pics posted to flickr

I have completed the mammoth task of editing and posting all my Asia pictures to flickr, with the completion today of the set from India (Mumbai and Bangalore). Previously: Bangkok and Hong Kong. All told, about 650 pictures.


I’ve written two long pieces (and many smaller pieces on this blog) about our trip. An article for Core77 here and a more personal assessment here.

The process of taking time and reviewing the pictures with increasing distance from the event is pretty interesting, giving me a chance to reflect and revisit, to see things that I certainly didn’t see at the time I opened the shutter, and through the interactions on flickr, to gain insight and clarifications about things I observed but did not understand, especially with the pictures from India, where a pretty good dialogue has emerged (seen in the comments posted on the various pictures in that set Oops, not any more). The document of the experience is scattered, the interactions are scattered, but as the publisher of this content, I’m personally at the hub of all of it, so I’m taking full advantage. But clearly technology (even the ability to take several hundred pictures on a two week trip) is enabling some powerful behaviors; we know this, of course, but stepping back and noticing it is always pretty cool.


Hong Kong Pictures posted

I’ve finally finished posting 269355 pictures from Hong Kong. I put every one most of them through Photoshop and tweaked and optimized and cropped. Uploaded ’em all to flickr, tagged ’em, titled ’em, wrote a description, and sent them to various groups. No wonder it’s taken more than three weeks.

Still to come is Bangkok and India.

Here are just a few samples.

Sorta Tasty Snax

Schoolgirls and Bag-Noodles To Go

Panties on the Street

Burning Incense closeup

White Eyeglasses Frames

Busy Signs

Blog/flickr project for class

For my class in Design Research Methods at CCA, I’ve asked the students to start either blogging or adding pictures to flickr. They are ideally doing this regularly, at least weekly, but I think it’s taking some time to ramp up.

I’ve asked them to think like design researchers and use this as a way to practice noticing stuff, and telling stories. They can blog whatever they want, but at least one piece per week should be something interesting they noticed – something funny or odd or curious or unusual – in their daily lives. An experience, a design, a need, a person doing something odd. Just to learn to pay attention to that alerting part of our judging selves. Ideally, this will help build the muscles they’ll need for making sense out of the fieldwork they start doing.

Anyway, I’m going to link to ’em all here and maybe some of the folks who read this blog will check out what the class has done. Maybe offer some comments or encouragement. Once they got their feet wet, the hope is that having an audience will actually provide some inspiration, motivation, momentum. NEW

Hong Kong Groovy

Just a quick note-from-the-field. We’re here in Hong Kong and have been for several days. Really a great city to be a visitor in; if nothing else (and there is lots that is great) the transit system is really incredibly well thought-out.

I’ve taken a huge number of photos already, eaten some interesting food, seen some great architecture and signage. I’m initially struck by the post-SARS hyper-awareness of the potential for disease through bad hygiene – through many public service announcements and warning signs and admonishments about various things like wrapping up your spittle and so on.

We leave for Bangkok tomorrow quite early, so we’re just doing our last few things today.

Not much content here; it’s hard to compose much of relevance at a public internet terminal in a museum. I can’t wait to share photos and stories here and on flickr in more detail!

Flickr: Photos from steve.portigal

I’ve put a link in the template (along the right) to my Flickr photostream, along with a nifty random preview gizmo. If you want to see what’s up with my latest pictures (although I will be uploading some from the past while, not exactly recent necessarily but you get the idea) check it out. If you’re using RSS, you can also set up a feed for my pictures. Have fun!


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