one man's journey into creating gibblybits

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The trouble with photos-- wherefore art thou, Flickr?

I've read a lot about user interfaces, and I've designed some pretty crappy ones in my day (which is a great way to learn). But you'd have to be a bit slow to not acknowledge that Flickr provides some very nice functionality and a tight UI for users n00b and l33t.

So many are asking of today's Apple announcements: why no Flickr uploading in .Mac? The easy answer is "because they want you to buy .Mac for photos!" But this ignores the YouTube uploading. This ignores Picassa online galleries (does anyone use that?). This ignores the relationship, tenuous though it may be, of Apple and Yahoo with PUSH email on iPhone.

The problem is too much choice. As Seinfeld would say, "not that that's a bad thing!" Indeed, choice is great. But as Scoble and others have ruminated, there may be too many diamonds in the coal. (source: Shel Israel)

Like too many microblogging services: Twitter, Pownce and Jaiku are two too many. There isn't enough time to use them all, and too often there isn't enough differentiation... Well, I've wandered.

Apple isn't going to have Flickr upload for puritanical reasons, end-of-story. What isn't the end of the story is if or when external resources will be used again. Google and Apple are quite cozy, so expect that to only get sexier. Apple adopts things when it sees fit, sometimes taking beggars at the feast under the wing for a time. Remember iChat's vaunted use of AIM ID's in place of .Mac? I'd say that's analogous to choosing AT&T as the iPhone partner. Not the best tech, but the widest reach. Steve has finally become the business man he so wanted to be lo those many years ago.

I'm pretty happy about that, having once typed a goodbye letter to the company on my Performa many moons ago. Apple is in the envious position of being the belle of the ball, able to choose its own suitor. Good for them.

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