Thursday, 10 April 2008

Video on Flickr. Hmmm.

I should be enthused...

Flickr is pretty much the full package when it comes to Web 2.0 services. Looks clean and professional but also friendly; has decent search options; has lots of good content; people often tend to upload good stuff to it; users are relatively articulate - compare the comments on, say, this Flickr picture with those on this YouTube video; the groups and social networking side are nicely developed; it's an easy way of making new contacts and finding geographically close people doing similar things.

And with video, hopefully, there'll be lots of good stuff. Like this cat video (there's always a cat video...). 

But ...

Dunno ... but the new video upload service doesn't feel right.

Is it because the core of Flickr - a photo album that you build and other people add bits onto in the form of notes and comments - is becoming a little fuzzier?

Is it because the owners of Flickr have fudged this a bit, by referring to videos as "long pictures" (perhaps their admittance of the previous point)?

Is it mainly financially driven (only people who have paid accounts can upload videos)?

Is it because the search options are now a little clunkier?

And is it because different media will upset the recall/precision balance, which Flickr searches often get right?

Is it because it would be better for Flickr to concentrate on developing more, and deeper, services focusing on the photograph as the central object, rather than going sideways on other media? I fear it'll be short music clips next.

Or is it because it may start to attract the (yeah, call me a snob) downmarket elements of the YouTube crowd to Flickr? ("Us nice middle class kids were enjoying playing ball in the park; uh-oh - looks like those chavs from the estate want to join in. Damn.")


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I hope not. Even though only "safe" videos can go up, am hoping that it won't end up with just the same videos that exist on YouTube (on which there's far too much repetition anyway) appearing on Flickr.

Maybe it'll work out. Maybe there'll be lots of genuinely funny, interesting and thoughtful videos. With Hebridean content, it'll be interesting to see if it ends up being more YouTube-lite, or Hebrides.tv-like, in nature. 

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