Issues with flickr categorization, but it’s still great! Yay for Flickr!

I’ve been using Flickr for a few months now, and I have really enjoyed it. My favorite feature is the ability to add meta data to photos (even if it is only in a flash interface) but there are several features that many may hold above that. Overall I have had a very pleasant experience, and they recently sent me an notice thanking me for being an early adopter.

I thought this was pretty nice of them, but of course I have a complaint. Flickr allows you to add tags to your photos, put your photos in sets, or put your photos in groups (shared), all of which can be hyperlinked to. Now I like both features, but the issue I have is with the sets. Flickr’s behavior has seemed to only encourage use of the tags instead of sets, since it seems that only tags are searchable (I could be wrong about this). I guess its nice for Flickr to offer multiple ways to categorize your data, but I think it’s a limitation since you can’t count on one way to search for photos.

I propose that Flickr change sets up to be expanded tags, such as _tagname. This might prove to make it difficult to have a ‘shared pool’, but I’m sure the geniuses at Flickr/Ask Jeeves will be able to figure it out without too much difficulty. Give me one medium or another to share photos with other people, but make sure that the methods work well with each other, as opposed to one method serving as redundant information. I want to upload pictures and allow people to view them based on tags, sets, comments, notes or the time take/uploaded. Time seems to be the biggest problem of all, since you can make tags for events, but not tags for time itself (other than using clock values as tags, which feels like a poor solution to me). Since most cameras include tons of meta data with pictures now you would think it would be pretty easy to pull of time categorization. maybe I just need to look into the search details more, who knows?

While I’m throwing complaints around, should give a few complements as well. I love that Flickr provides RSS feeds for just about everything. It brings my cold heart joy when I go into Bloglines and see a picture like this in my “poop” subscription. As far as creativity with Flickr’s features goes, Clockworks has done a group pool to try and capture the different faces of the clocks, which I thought was a pretty good idea. I uploaded a shot of the Kitty Kat Clock and submitted it, but no go. I think they were looking for rounder clocks, but I really think the clock is funny. There have also been plenty of people combining Google Map’s new satellite features and Flickr’s notes to make memory maps, also an interesting idea. Kind of enforces the parallel between blogging and scrap booking (shiver).