Friday, October 17, 2008

Flickr's New Face Lift

Wow! Much to my surprise I signed into Flickr tonight and was greeted by a message welcoming me to my "sparkly new homepage." The Flickr blog has the official announcement with FAQ and a screencast. The most obvious change I noticed right away was that the thumbnails of "Your Photostream," "Your Contacts" and "Everyone's Photos" are now on the left side of the page and instead of seeing 4 of your contacts photos, you now see 8. A new "Your Groups" and a new "Explore" link have been added to the homepage. The new "Explore" allows you to refresh and toggle between "Explore/The Commons," "Explore/Places," "Explore/Everyone's Photos," "Explore/Interesting in the last 7 days," and "Explore/Groups" and quickly link to each choice. As "Explore" refreshes it shows "Thinking.." until it loads.

As is my nature, I started clicking around to see what is different and hopefully improved. "Upload Photos and Videos" looks exactly the same. All of the drop-down menus at the top have not changed. Probably the biggest changes are to "Recent Activity" and the "Stats for your account." Just as I was trying to figure out which view I liked the best, I noticed I had Flickr mail. It was an invitation from one of my contacts to join the "FLICKR! The new homepage is dire (straights)" group. The first (latest) discussion in the group is entitled "So does anyone still hate the homepage?" The discussion focus on the changes Flickr has made and most of the replies are negative especially with regard to the mixing of "Recent Activity."
Flickr Discussion

From the Flickr website:
"The new Recent Activity has more information and more tools to help you look at that information. You can save a default look, mix up what you want to see at the moment, and even mute images you don’t want to pop up anymore."
Flickr invites members to provide their feedback on the [Official Topic] Feedback on your new Home Page.

I tweaked mine to only show the comments and activity on my photos in the last 7 days. I can always tweak my settings again whenever I want to. A little different than before, but I do not feel too strongly about it. My first impression is that there is a lot more settings than before and that the default setting may not be the best setting for everyone in the Flickr community. I am presenting "Picture Yourself Using Flickr in the Classroom" in two parts at the Midwest Education Technology Conference in January 2009, so I am excited and compelled to invest time in learning all the new features and settings.

I really like the new stats. It show you a graph of daily aggregate views on your account; view counts from yesterday, this week, last week and all time; most viewed photos from yesterday and all time; referring domains for your account and a breakdown of your photos and videos which gives you all kinds of great information like how many photos are public or private or how many are geotagged or not geotagged. My stats show that my 3,036 photos have been viewed 31,470 times and one photo has been viewed 2,337 times.
Flickr Stats
Overall, I like Flickr's face lift and I'm glad it still greets me in different languages.

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Karen Montgomery is the author of Gomeric Hill. The opinions expressed herein are mine and not necessarily those of my employer.