Join 3,375 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


I Hardly Know Her - an "alternative way to view Flickr photostreams"
January 27, 2009 7:24 AM   Subscribe

I Hardly Know Her - is an "alternative way to view Flickr photostreams. It is designed to facilitate high quality viewing with minimal distractions." By Justin Ouellette, creator of Muxtape.
posted by nthdegx (52 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's funny, just last night my wife and I were both complaining about how hard it is to use Flickr to view and browse images the way we'd like. And then there's this. A completely different, but no less easy, method.

What is wrong with a big table of thumbnails that get big when you click on them? The current interface already has the big thumb table but when you click on it you are brought to another page with a linear list. And the only way to get a big image is to go to ANOTHER page that you then have click "back" from.
posted by DU at 7:31 AM on January 27, 2009


I have long hated the way that Flickr presents image. I rather like this.
posted by grouse at 7:33 AM on January 27, 2009


Am I missing an obvious reason why Flickr wouldn't shut this down quickly? Technically it follows the TOS, since a dedicated link to the image on the original Flickr page is made available... but it is designed to work around their interface, while poaching their bandwidth. What's in it for Flickr, especially now that they are The Man?
posted by pineapple at 7:35 AM on January 27, 2009


pineapple: "Am I missing an obvious reason why Flickr wouldn't shut this down quickly? ... What's in it for Flickr, especially now that they are The Man?"

People making custom interfaces to Flickr encourage people who might not otherwise upload photos to Flickr to upload photos to Flickr. People uploading to Flickr are more likely to purchase an account. Therefore, providing open APIs and encouraging remixing improves their bottom line.

More succinctly: Flickr doesn't make any money from people who just look, so why would they care what interface people use?
posted by Plutor at 7:39 AM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


"minimal distractions" == "I can't be bothered to write html"?
posted by mark242 at 7:40 AM on January 27, 2009


No, "minimal distractions" == "the useless horizontal list is now vertical"
posted by DU at 7:42 AM on January 27, 2009


It really isn't that much better and doesn't give an easy way to view sets.

Try CoolIris. I'm not a fan of many browser plug-ins but CoolIris is pretty sweet and works for sites beyond Flickr.
posted by geekyguy at 7:45 AM on January 27, 2009


I rather like this. Thanks.
posted by odinsdream at 7:53 AM on January 27, 2009


I like this too, I use Cooliris but this is the exact opposite. Stripped and simple rather than flashy and loud. Both ways to look at photostreams are better than Flickrs.
posted by Keith Talent at 7:56 AM on January 27, 2009


There are ads on Flickr for people without pro accounts, so in theory they do make some money from people just looking. I suspect pro accounts and sponsorships from camera companies might bring in more revenue for them however.
posted by chunking express at 8:11 AM on January 27, 2009


And yeah, this is really good.
posted by chunking express at 8:12 AM on January 27, 2009


Interesting, but really not that useful. Probably for hard-core minimalists only.
posted by jon_hansen at 8:13 AM on January 27, 2009


Wow, for me this really drove home how annoying flicker's interface has become. Some of the criticism are way off base, particularly this one
"minimal distractions" == "I can't be bothered to write html"?
How on earth would HTML help me view images?

--

Also this comment seem spectacularly wrong-headed:
"Am I missing an obvious reason why Flickr wouldn't shut this down quickly? ... What's in it for Flickr, especially now that they are The Man?"
1) How could they shut it down when they don't own the copyright on the pictures?

3) Why would they want too when they make money off pro subscriptions, rather then advertising, so it doesn't matter if people visit their pagers or not?

2) Why would they when they actively encourage people to remix their data and provide it in convent formats like RSS?

Flickr is an image hosting provider. You pay them and they host your images, there are various privacy settings you can set -- private images don't show up in RSS feeds, for example.
posted by delmoi at 8:16 AM on January 27, 2009


A few minutes later, and yeah, this is the greatest thing ever.
posted by chunking express at 8:18 AM on January 27, 2009


How could they shut it down when they don't own the copyright on the pictures?

It's their bandwidth. By your argument here, the Flickr user / copyright owner could always upload the photos to the IHardlyKnowHer site, yes? And of course, no one would do that.

Why would they want too when they make money off pro subscriptions, rather then advertising,

Except that Flickr does make money off advertising. I don't know their financials well enough to know what percentage that is compared to other revenue streams, but allowing people -- nay, encouraging them, by your perspective -- to strip out the advertising seems to be a failure of the business model.

Why would they when they actively encourage people to remix their data and provide it in convent formats like RSS?

Yeah, this is fair. If the company's attitude is "we don't care what you do with the APIs," then that answers my question.

"Spectacularly wrong-headed" seems a bit overwrought for a question posed in sincerity, requesting additional discussion.

Especially for someone who can't number a list properly.
posted by pineapple at 8:27 AM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


but you loose the captions - which are often part of the point. I'd prefer it to keep the captions
posted by mary8nne at 8:29 AM on January 27, 2009


HTML would help you view images by organizing them in a logical way on the page.
posted by echo target at 8:31 AM on January 27, 2009


pineapple: "Except that Flickr does make money off advertising. I don't know their financials well enough to know what percentage that is compared to other revenue streams, but allowing people -- nay, encouraging them, by your perspective -- to strip out the advertising seems to be a failure of the business model."

Is ihardlyknowher.com going to significantly eat into Flickr's pageviews? I doubt it. Some would argue that being a dick is a worse business decision than letting people tinker.
posted by Plutor at 8:33 AM on January 27, 2009


I really don;t see the point of this.

The Flickr TOS say that if you use Flickr as an imagehost, you have to credit Flickr. People use it to host buy and sell photos for a message board I'm on, though, so not sure how they plan to enforce this exactly.
posted by mippy at 8:38 AM on January 27, 2009


When I'm visiting art galleries, I often jump to the title block beside the work, instead of focusing on the work then seeing the relevant information. This view only gives you the images, and no back story or title. (Or so I thought ...)

Wow. I just allowed scripts to run on the site, and its better. Click the images to view larger versions. Hover your cursor over the image and get the relevant information (no titles, though). Click the link back to the flickr view, and you can read more.

Checking a few of the images from various galleries, and many of the "plain" photos (vs. manipulated scenes) just have the file name as the "title" to the piece.

I dig it. Thanks!
posted by filthy light thief at 8:41 AM on January 27, 2009


I thought about posting this site, but it seemed a bit buggy when I was looking at it.

I prefer flickriver. Link shows how it works, is to the person who told me about it on twitter. Cool photos. They're not mine and I don't know the guy.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:46 AM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Some would argue that being a dick is a worse business decision than letting people tinker.

I agree. But Flickr stopped being a company that cares truly and deeply about the little guy a long time ago.
posted by pineapple at 8:53 AM on January 27, 2009


Interestingly, my network security Keystone Kop won't let me go here - although they let me go to Flickr and MetaFilter.

What's in it for Flickr, especially now that they are The Man?

The ability to remain The Man? Flickr is much more concerned with other services poaching users than with active user poaching bandwidth. There's no on-page advertising that I've seen, although they have deals with Moo cards and so forth that I am sure make them some money. What do they care if people let some other company serve the pages and Flickr serves the images. It's SAVING them money, not costing the money.

Flickr has (fairly) open API's and, and they encourage this sort of development.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:53 AM on January 27, 2009


It's a custom app, but I like DestroyFlickr as well. Flickr works exceeding well as a way to browse and organize images, but these approaches give something more when it comes to viewing images. Tags and navigation help you find things, but sometimes the hard-to-emulate experience of flipping through a stack of photos (or walking by prints stuck to a wall) is what I want.
posted by mikeh at 8:58 AM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Should've called it "IHardlyKnowr". So clumsy.
posted by owtytrof at 9:37 AM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Speaking of which, it looks like Muxtape is back too.
posted by nthdegx at 9:46 AM on January 27, 2009


I didn't see much of a point of this until I clicked [showing smaller images by default] at the bottom, which (slightly counter intuitively) makes the images in the stream large. Lovely.

Flickrriver is another good alternative way to browse Flickr.
posted by chorltonmeateater at 9:55 AM on January 27, 2009


Wow. I just allowed scripts to run on the site, and its better. Click the images to view larger versions.

Thanks! That helped a lot. It's a pretty neat way to view photos.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:17 AM on January 27, 2009


beautiful, thanks for bringing this to us.
posted by roombythelake at 11:09 AM on January 27, 2009


Too bad a squatter beat them to ihardlyknowr.com

I like a little more white space and a little more chrome, but otherwise this is the same format I've been using for my photos for a few years now. Except mine is everyone's favorite, hand-written html. So yay, that I can see people's flickr galleries without having to suffer through flickr!
posted by aubilenon at 11:22 AM on January 27, 2009


It's their bandwidth. By your argument here, the Flickr user / copyright owner could always upload the photos to the IHardlyKnowHer site, yes? And of course, no one would do that.

Well, they pay for the bandwidth, which is actually pretty cheap these days. I doubt it costs very much to host these small images, and flickr has always given out embed codes for people to use. No one would way to upload all their images to every different website, which is why people pay to host them on an image hosting service.

Except that Flickr does make money off advertising. I don't know their financials well enough to know what percentage that is compared to other revenue streams, but allowing people -- nay, encouraging them, by your perspective -- to strip out the advertising seems to be a failure of the business model.

Can you give me an example of a flickr page with ads? I don't recall seeing one and I don't see any now. I made sure to log off first.

And also, if flickr has ads in some out of the way corner on the site, they definitely don't have advertizing in photo streams, so I'm not sure how you could say the site "strips" advertizing.

Especially for someone who can't number a list properly.

There's a 1-1 injective function from the first three natural numbers, and items on my list. So I say it's numbered properly. Perhaps not ordered properly but it is definitely numbered properly from a mathematical standpoint.

HTML would help you view images by organizing them in a logical way on the page.

What's "illogical" about a linear list? Do you not know how to work a scrollbar?
posted by delmoi at 11:50 AM on January 27, 2009


Booyaka! Booyaka!
posted by chunking express at 11:55 AM on January 27, 2009


How on earth would HTML help me view images?

How on earth would images help me navigate HTML? That's an equally inane question, isn't it?

I really, really despise that people are somehow able to equate "half-finished" with "clean and simple." There is nothing about this that is clean or simple. This is the sort of thing that Microsoft Frontpage used to put out, only with a couple of Javascript effects and an incredibly inane rollover state. Hey, don't give any prompts that you can get extra info by mousing over the image. Or, you know, don't make better use of the whitespace on the page by, you know, centering the images within the display frame. Better to just dismiss those Information Architecture 101 problems as not "facilitating high-quality viewing" or some other self-serving tripe.
posted by mark242 at 12:04 PM on January 27, 2009


Seconding the recommendation to try CoolIris. It really works better in actual use than it initially appears it would.

I'm not sure I see this tool as any kind of significant improvement. *shrug*
posted by Ynoxas at 12:11 PM on January 27, 2009


I like it because it displays your Flickr photos in an arty farty way. I reminds me of the layout I have seen used on the websites of professional photographers.
posted by zzazazz at 12:11 PM on January 27, 2009


the flickr flipping of grid to linear list of TWO WHOLE preview images is horrible and terribly counter-intuitive (and slow); the way they label the sizing sucks, almost everything about that site sucks other than tags and popularity. This is a nice way to view material once you've found it on flickr.

Flickr could really learn a lot from sites like this and thin hard about the poor usability they offer.
posted by Rumple at 12:35 PM on January 27, 2009


This portal allows you to browse & access Flickr photos by color.
posted by squalor at 12:52 PM on January 27, 2009


There is nothing about this that is clean or simple.
It's a list of images. What makes it complex?
There is nothing about this that is clean or simple. This is the sort of thing that Microsoft Frontpage used to put out
That's certainly true, with the exception that this lets you view images from anyone's photo stream. But so what?
Hey, don't give any prompts that you can get extra info by mousing over the image.
Why would you need them?
Or, you know, don't make better use of the whitespace on the page by, you know, centering the images within the display frame.
What difference does that make? I mean, we're talking about a single pair of <center> tags, it's just an aesthetic choice and I prefer it left justified, as did the author. Either way, centering the images or not hardly amounts to much polish either way
Better to just dismiss those Information Architecture 101 problems as not...
What information architecture problems? Your only complaint is that it didn't tell you could mouse over for more info, which you obviously figured out, and that it's not 'polished looking' and centered. That people find the site hard to use is amazing, i mean, all you have to do is use the scroll bar and click the next page link: with the option to mouse over the images for more information. How hard is that? Everyone figured it out and if you can't you must be a moron. I realize a lot of websites have been designed for old people who aren't very familiar with computers, but that doesn't mean every site has to be designed as if for idiots.
posted by delmoi at 1:26 PM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I reminds me of the layout I have seen used on the websites of professional photographers.

Except that it eschews Flash, mercifully.

Or, you know, don't make better use of the whitespace on the page by, you know, centering the images within the display frame.

That's pre-1928 thinking. Maybe you should learn typography and visual design 101?
posted by grouse at 2:00 PM on January 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's a list of images. What makes it complex?

Thank you, Mr. Gopher.

Everyone figured it out and if you can't you must be a moron.

Well shit, let me get right on switching the camber on my car. Everyone else I hang out with can do it, you must be a moron!

I have sat behind two-way mirrors and watched people-- smart people, mind you, these aren't mouthbreathers who ask about the Any key-- completely fail to click on a gigantic link, underlined in blue, that was the largest piece of text on the page. It isn't that they're morons, it's that every single website on the Internet behaves differently. There is an astonishing amount of eyeball and brain processing that takes place whenever you go to a new page, so to dismiss the desire to actually make things a little easier as "you must be a moron" is juvenile and unhelpful.

How long did it take you to realize that you could see all the images at the large size at the same time? Let me guess: "when I scrolled all the way down to the bottom of the page and clicked on the link". That's a failure of the site to tell you that you could do that upfront. You didn't even know that functionality existed until you were at the end of the page. How many people are going to scroll all the way down the page? You can't say "don't you know how to use a scroll bar?" because you can't assume that people want to see the end of a page.

I'm looking for a picture that a friend of mine took on vacation over Thanksgiving. How can I find that picture on this site? Oh, I can go to page 2... uh, it isn't there... page 3? No... uh... page 4? Can I get a longer list of images here? Can I search for images here? Can I... oh fuck it. You see where this is going. A website that is no better than the bastard child of a shitty RSS reader infodisplay and an Apache default directory listing is honestly not worth spending any more words on.
posted by mark242 at 2:37 PM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's pre-1928 thinking. Maybe you should learn typography and visual design 101?

Well fuck, I guess that whitespace to the left of my comment here is direct from the fucking stone ages!
posted by mark242 at 2:40 PM on January 27, 2009


"How many people are going to scroll all the way down the page?"

Everyone using this to view a photostream, I'm guessing. That's kind of the point of the site. He's not trying to replace all of flickr, he's just trying to make it easier to browse through photo streams quickly. And the site does that wonderfully. If you need to find that thanksgiving picture, search for it on flickr.

Your criticism are kind of lame ass.
posted by chunking express at 2:51 PM on January 27, 2009


I'm somewhat surprised by the vitriol. If you hate this alternate interface so much, then just don't use it. It's not like they're taking away the original interface from you.
posted by grouse at 2:55 PM on January 27, 2009


That's pre-1928 thinking. Maybe you should learn typography and visual design 101?

Well, except Tschichold was over his youthful obsession with "Die neue Typographie" by the 1940s, and went on to do a lot of very traditional book design, including centered heads and other elements.

But hey, don't let facts get in the way of a little snark.
posted by D.C. at 3:15 PM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


My point was that since that time centering objects in a layout has not been universally accepted as superior, despite mark242's silly "Information Architecture 101" comment. Regardless of Tschichold's later repudiation of his earlier ideas, they are still influential.

But hey, don't let facts get in the way of a little snark.

Likewise, I'm sure.
posted by grouse at 3:48 PM on January 27, 2009


Meh. Just meh. Flickr has many problems, but these are not the solutions.
posted by fixedgear at 3:55 PM on January 27, 2009


I guess the vitriol is because Metafilter is loading slow today, and people are a bit on edge? Dunno.
But anyway, thanks once again to the folks who mentioned flickriver, DestroyFlickr and CoolIris. They all sound like interesting Flickr alternatives.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:55 PM on January 27, 2009


Multicolr is an awesome flickr colour browser. And it's made in Toronto.
posted by chunking express at 4:30 PM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well shit, let me get right on switching the camber on my car. Everyone else I hang out with can do it, you must be a moron!

That doesn't even make any sense, since you can't do it I'm a moron? How does that work? First of all, I do actually know how to do that -- at least in Gran Tourismo, and I know how to read instructions and I'm sure I could do it on my car if I had the right equipment.

But that said, there is a huge difference between "adjusting the camber on a car" and "scrolling a web browser". That's like being unable to start a car.

How long did it take you to realize that you could see all the images at the large size at the same time? Let me guess: "when I scrolled all the way down to the bottom of the page and clicked on the link". That's a failure of the site to tell you that you could do that upfront... You can't say "don't you know how to use a scroll bar?" because you can't assume that people want to see the end of a page.

LOL What? That's just an absurd criticism. Like I seriously can't even comprehend why that's a problem. I mean, if they don't even want to see the bottom of the page, then why are they going to bother wanting to see the images in a larger size.

All of the extra features are just that, extra. You can use the site to view images without looking at the pictures in a larger size or doing the mouse over, but you discover those features (within a few minutes) if you actually use the site a little bit. For the basics, just viewing a list of pictures, all you have to do is scroll through.

I'm looking for a picture that a friend of mine took on vacation over Thanksgiving. How can I find that picture on this site? Oh, I can go to page 2... uh, it isn't there... page 3? No... uh... page 4? Can I get a longer list of images here? Can I search for images here?

If you want to do that, you can just go directly to flickr, where... well guess what, you still have to click through a bunch of pages to find pictures you want! (unless they're tagged or in sets) So it's kind of absurd to fault this page for not having features flickr doesn't even have itself. I mean hey, this site doesn't have natural language parsing and image analysis that will let me do natural language queries against the images! It sucks!

It's a simple site to do a simple thing, if you need a more advanced system you can go somewhere else, but it suits it's purpose.
posted by delmoi at 5:11 PM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like it because it displays your Flickr photos in an arty farty way.

I like it because it displays your Flickr photos in a hip emo way. This super-simple, unadorned, pretentiously bare style seems to be all the rage among that group.
posted by jayder at 10:11 PM on January 27, 2009


Wow, what an angry bunch of goons. Hmm, perhaps there are better words considering the context. Anyway, I'm a new user, but I've lurked MetaFilter for a while. Honestly there weren't that many things that made MF better than any other portals out there besides the community. You guys set a high bar for postings and comments, with minimal moderation. And of course there's the tenbux to keep out complete bottomfeeders.

Is it just things that are (nearly) completely subjective to begin with that incite this kind of trolling? Or is this a common phenomenon on MF these days...?
posted by PostOfficeBuddy at 1:21 AM on January 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Five bucks, not ten. Unless you went for the sockpuppet option right away.

Trolling? No trolls here, these are people discussing software. Stick around for an Apple fanboy thread if you want to see real fireworks.
posted by fixedgear at 4:53 AM on January 28, 2009


« Older Ben Burtt... heard the name? Well if you've ever w...  |  Snow day (in DC) flash fun: Cl... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments