2005.03.30

Flickr Tips: Monitoring Comments and Configuring Alerts

Monitoring Comments and Conversations

After I used Flickr for a while, I started to pay more and more attention to the social and community aspects. I haven't ventured onto the message boards or chat yet, but I enjoy leaving comments on photos and having conversations there.

In several instances, I've asked for travel advice and questions about the locations and people in certain photos. Other times I've inquired about the techniques used to capture wonderful photographs or after-effects. In all these cases, it's easy to comment but it had always been hard for me to remember where I'd commented, and notice when a reply was posted.

Then I discovered the Photos you've commented on page. This page solves all those problems for me: in a clean way, it presents all the photos you've commented on. It's ordered by most recent activity, so you see photos you've recently commented on, as well as those that have been recently replied to. It works great, and has encouraged me to contribute and participate even more.

Notes and also Comments are shown in this nicely-integrated view.

Configuring Flickr Alerts

The Flickr mailbox is OK, but it doesn't' really fit into my personal online workflow. I prefer to receive my notifications in email. To set it up so Flickr sends you email instead of only adding to your Flickr mailbox, click My Account from the top of any page. From there click Notifications from Flickr (which you'll see on the right, under the Privacy Settings header) and adjust the settings. For the four choices on the page, I have "Yes", "Yes", "As soon as it happens" and "Yes please!".

To modify which email address these messages are sent to, click "Edit your email address" from back on the My Account page. (I set up an Address Guard on Yahoo Mail, which allows you to create a unique mail address, which I use to keep "alert" messages like this out of my main inbox.)

If you haven't played with Flickr for at least 10 hours, start now. You'll discover cooler and cooler features the more you use it. In fact, this "discoverability" aspect of Flickr is one of it's great strengths and attributes.

Posted by Nate Koechley on March 30, 2005 at 09:30 PM in HOWTO's and Tutorials, Idea, Knowledge & Content Management, Metadata, Photos, References, Social Networking and Community, Software and Tools | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Yahoo! 360 Launch, with Overview and Thoughts

Yahoo! 360 launched and began its invitation-only beta period today. Yahoo! 360 is a new product that allows you to easily share stuff with the circles of people in your life. It's a social site, letting your connect with family, friends, friends-of-friends, and new people with whom you share interests.

Eric has a nice post up called Why 360 is not a Blog, and Jason has some good comments on target audience complete with a plea to invite your mom. Troutgirl wrote a thoughtful piece too that's well worth reading.

So far I've been very impressed. I guess I'm what Jason has called a capital-W Weblogger of sorts, but I recognize that this service is for a different part of my online life. Not necessarily a place to build my career, forward the Debate, or even publish my complex travelog, it's instead a great place to spend time, share things frivolous and intimate with friends and family, and benefit from my off-line connection online.

I can only imagine that this will spread its reach and therefor its value. Already you can share quick blast messages and longer blog (or journal) entries, as well as personal messaging. Photo sharing is integrated, as well as your music from Yahoo! Music LaunchCast station. Groups are there, and definitely some other things I'm forgetting about right now.

One of my early favorites though is over in Yahoo! Local (the web's best yellow pages and location based search). Here you can see your relationship to the authors of user reviews for things including restaurants, parks, dentists and mechanics. If you look around the Yahoo! network it's easy to see many sites where Y~360 may add significant value. As I said in the comments on Troutgirl's entry, I can definitely imagine sending a message to a friend (or friend-of-a-friend) that's written a review to ask follow-up questions on restaurants, dentists and mechanics.

All and all, I offer an unqualified congratulations to the entire 360 team: Well done.

(And it's LSM too! With Progressive Enhancement and Unobtrusive Javascript!)

Let me know if you're interested in an Invite, I still have a few left.

Posted by Nate Koechley on March 30, 2005 at 12:31 AM in Blogging, RSS, Layered Semantic Markup, Photos, Social Networking and Community, Yahoo! | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

2005.03.03

Yahoo!'s Ten!


yahoo@10-17
Originally uploaded by natekoechley.

Yahoo! celebrated it's 10th birthday today (well, i guess it's yesterday now: March 2nd).

It was a big party - Yahoo has always known how to throw a big party. It started out with open bar (beer, wine), and a well-made video history. After the video, Terry, Sue, Dan R, and the founders Filo and Jerry each gave talks.

Dan brought a few groups of users on stage. First were two cute old women, who played cards on Yahoo Games. Second and third were two mothers who recounted how Yahoo Groups provided critical health information that enabled them to better care for their children, each of whom was afflicted with horrible, rare diseases. The last group was a local couple who met on Yahoo Persons. Of course, he dropped to one knee and proposed on stage.

In addition to being on stage, all the proceedings were carried live in all the yahoo offices around campus and around the world, and also broadcast online. (She said Yes.)

After the user's were on stage, Dan and Sue presented awards of service to those that had been at yahoo for more than 9 years of service./p>

"Sugar Ray" was the band for the day.

The usual big spread of food (sushi, carving stations, appetizers) and then, of course, birthday cake and ice cream.... And the beer/wine kept flowing.

Happy Birthday Yahoo!


Posted by Nate Koechley on March 3, 2005 at 12:59 AM in Events, My life..., Photos, Yahoo! | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

2005.02.17

Casual Gaming

At last week's Mobile Monday, which I attended, Anita Wilhelm (aka MobileGirl) presented a mobile-based game her startup is working on:

Caterpillar Mobile's current product is a cameraphone game called Zooke. Zooke allows its members to create challenges for all members or only members of an immediate social circle. You might be on a mission to find the best George Bush bumper sticker in Berkeley and have other game players rate your findings. It is a community-driven reality play experience that makes everyone's day a little more exciting with minimal effort.

I liked the idea of casual gaming, the idea that you can have an experience in short segments while you're going about your normal routine. I'm also interested that this represents a shift from highly time-intensive games. Well, she follows up that with a new post last week discussing Casual Gaming and thinking about an article of the same title by Tom Hume.

He captures the essence of an important shift from hard core gaming experiences to engaging play experiences perfectly! Allowing players to engage lightly in the experience throughout their daily lives is essential to creating something compelling and addictive to be used on a mobile device. Allowing players light weight games or frameworks that they can think about while on the move, but not have to interact with continually in the virtual world is essential. Giving them tools which allow them to explore and play at their will fits the affordances of the mobile device.

I remember the days of having hours and hours to play video games, but to be honest, it's a pretty distant memory. It's cool to see people working to bring games and playing back into the lives of otherwise distracted and busy peeps like me. It's also fun to watch a new medium like Mobile develop.

Posted by Nate Koechley on February 17, 2005 at 03:53 AM in Gadgets, Idea, Location: San Francisco, My life..., Photos, Social Networking and Community, Software and Tools | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

2005.01.22

Arch Bishop Don Magic Juan's B-Day Pictures

Don Magic Juan's Birthday Photos

Great photo album from Don Magic Juan's birthday soiree. Photos by Will Okun. (via Frank151)

Posted by Nate Koechley on January 22, 2005 at 02:38 PM in Events, Music [1], Other, Photos, Pop Culture | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

2004.12.14

The Hitherto Impossible in Photography is Our Specialty

Here is an amazing page of photos taken from a kite-mounted camera in post-earthquake 1906 San Francisco. As you can see in this photo, the city has been literally leveled by the quake and fire.

This novel aerial perspective drew world attention. Flown two thousand feet above the bay, the lens scanned the waterfront.

The photos were taked by George R. Lawrence at least three weeks after three days of fires -- caused by the earthquake -- left at least the two hundred thousand homeless.

Posted by Nate Koechley on December 14, 2004 at 12:27 AM in Gadgets, Location: San Francisco, Other, Photos | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2004.10.05

Improve the Quality and Functionality of the Treo 600 Camera

There are at least two pieces of software that will increase the quality and functionality of the Treo 600 camera.

The first is qset, which allows you to modify the compression ratio used when saving your photos. Treo photos are stored in JPG format, which is a lossy format. By default, the Treo uses a compression/quality factor of 20, which results in files weighing approximately 20kb. Using qset, you can specify a factor up to 99. Any increase beyond 20 will be immediately noticeable, with 99 generating photos up to about 200kb. (I don't know what scale this quality factor is on.)

I definitely recommend this piece of software. After you've added it, launch it from your apps menu and enter a new number. I recommend 90. With this new number added -- which is a low-level system preference -- all photos will be at the new quality.

The second program is called Pickem. Pickem provides quick sharing of photos as attachments, and more seamless web sharing, but it's two other features are more noteworthy. First, it provides zoom functionality. Pressing "z" while in picture-shooting mode toggles the zoom mode. It's digitial zoom not optical, of course, but it still helps in certain situations. Second, many users have suffered from the 'blue dots of death' problem that plagues the Treo 600's camera. Pickem cures that problem.

If you're using Pickem, it can exist in parallel with Pictures the default camera program. You can remap your launcher buttons to always use Pickem if you want, by going Apps -> Prefs -> Buttons.

Happy shooting!

Posted by Nate Koechley on October 5, 2004 at 01:42 AM in Gadgets, HOWTO's and Tutorials, Photos, Software and Tools | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

2004.06.08

Designing in a loft in san francisco

Here are some photos I took over the last week. (They are snapshots taken with my Treo 600 camera phone.)

I usually work in the South Bay, but my company has hired an outside firm, Hillman Curtis, to help redesign our homepage. I've been working on location with HC in some rented loft space in the SoMa district of San Francisco. The firm's from NYC, but they rented loft space in San Francisco, about a block from where I used to live and work.

Hillman Curtis is a guy -- author, well known designer, pusher of Flash technology -- and well as the name of his firm. There's him, 4 other designers from his firm, an intern designer, a designer from our company who's only been at working for us for a couple months, and me. In addition to brainstorming, pencil and digital sketching, and other design activities, I bring two things to the table. The first is a focus on technology. Being a Web Developer, I'm interested in the technical patterns and practices that make up the internet. The second thing I bring is a pretty deep understanding of my company. I've been working there for about three years now, and paying attention most of that time. I've worked in several different roles of the past years so I have a pretty wide view of the company -- it's needs, capabilities, tendencies, politics and vision.

Anyways, here are ten photos from about the loft.

snapshot camaraphone photo

snapshot camaraphone photo

snapshot camaraphone photo

snapshot camaraphone photo

snapshot camaraphone photo

snapshot camaraphone photo

snapshot camaraphone photo

snapshot camaraphone photo

snapshot camaraphone photo

snapshot camaraphone photo

snapshot camaraphone photo

Posted by Nate Koechley on June 8, 2004 at 09:24 PM in Photos | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack