Flickr Articles, Mentions & Accolades

You suspected all along that our "Aw shucks" Canadian modesty was a big charade, and by George you were right! We're really just a bunch of chest-thumping braggarts who can't wait for you to finish what you're saying so we can get on with the important business of talking about ourselves.

But wait! Other people are talking about us too, which helps us boast much more effectively. And since an army of stylists and wardrobe personnel is standing here waiting to doll us up for the latest photo shoot, let's palm off some of the bragging to them:

Tagging is it by Wade Roush

There's no uniformity to the way people tag Web pages, so the same tag might wind up being applied to very different kinds of content. But to most developers, that's actually a strength of the technology, not a weakness. "The information you get [through tags] is always going to be somewhat imperfect and fuzzy," says Joshua Schachter, the creator of Delicious. "But a bunch of people doing 'okay' tagging may actually have a higher net value than an authoritative organization telling you how information should be organized." (June 2005)

Nashua Telegraph

Tagging pictures is proving useful by Dave Brooks

The secret is "tagging," or adorning photos with words that alert search engines about what's there. This sounds like a recipe for chaos, full of Beavis-and-Butthead vandalism, but it has proven a surprisingly effective tool.

Flickr tagging can be seen as part of a broader phenomenon that was summed up in the book "The Wisdom of Crowds" by James Surowiecki. He argues that a properly organized group can be "wiser" than its component parts, just as Wall Street is "wiser" than any individual investor.

Forget experts: Let the masses decide! (30 March 2005)

Village Voice

Pic Your Friends by Julian Dibbell

Flickr didn't invent online picture sharing, of course, but it was the first such site to recognize itself as much more than a hosting service for personal photo albums. Tricked out with features inspired by the latest fashions in online-software design & post-Friendster social-networking tools, folksonomy-friendly image-tagging code Flickr has also won a devoted following of users hungry to explore the possibilities its Web-centric toolset opens up. It's a place not just for self-display, but for an emergent visual conversation. (24 March 2005)

Yahoo's game of photo tag by Stefanie Olsen

The deal, made public Sunday, is the latest in a string of acquisitions in the red-hot online photo-sharing space. But, more importantly, Flickr is a pioneer in a new method for cataloging the Internet that some believe could revolutionize Web search. As a result, Flickr could give Yahoo new competitive tools to take on Google, if it can put Flickr's community-based technology to broader use.

Finding information in the vast and expanding sea of data online is one of the biggest problems to crack. Creating metadata, or tags, for describing files has long been thought of as a solution for hunting down a range of files on the Web, PCs and intranets, but it has remained an elusive goal. That could explain why tapping Web users' desire to create addictive services or communities is an attractive solution.

"Any time you navigate a sea of data, you're going to need something better than search. You need many more dimensions to navigate the data," said Joshua Schachter, founder of

"The tags provide more traction to navigate the world," he added. (22 March 2005)

Newsweek logo

Photos for the Masses by Brad Stone

On Flickr, you can choose to make your photos either public or private (but more than 80 percent of the 5.5 million photos are public.) You can annotate your pictures, adding captions within the frame, or post comments below other users? photos. Most significantly, you can append "tags," adjectives that describe the photo?s category (such as "dog," "poodle," "cute"). Then all of the photos that share a particular tag can themselves be explored as a group, which online pundits call a "folksonomy."

The result is something that approaches a vast theater of collective performance art. Various groups on Flickr are devoted to photo collections of confusing street signs, mannequins and Halloween costumes. There's a group devoted to pictures of dogs, naturally, but there's also a group devoted to pictures of dogs' noses. One popular thread includes photos of circular objects framed within squares. Fake says that the best part of the service is finding like-minded shutterbugs and getting recognition for your art. "There's a real magic to getting reactions to the work you've done," she says. (11 March 2005)

Sociaal netwerk 'Flickr' groeit als kool

AMSTERDAM - De Canadese fotosite Flickr ontwikkelt zich in sneltreinvaart tot een interessant sociaal netwerk. Op dit moment zijn er nog 250.000 gebruikers, maar dit aantal groeit maandelijks met 30%. Per dag worden er 50.000 foto's aan het huidige bestand van vier miljoen toegevoegd, zo meldt Emerce

Op het eerste oog lijkt het een gewone fotosite, maar Flickr is veel meer dan dat. Gebruikers kunnen op de website foto's plaatsen en met elkaar delen. Bij Flickr is het de bedoeling dat familie, vrienden en kennissen de foto's gaan bekijken en bestellen. Dit is DE bron van inkomsten. (14 February 2005)

Guardian Logo

Tag Team by Jim McClellan

It is hard to avoid the buzz online about Flickr, a photo organising/sharing service yet to celebrate its first birthday. In tones echoing the optimism of early 90s internet culture, enthusiasts say the service makes possible new kinds of conversation and community. For others, it shows how the efforts of individuals can be harnessed to help organise the internet.

Flickr's growth has matched this excitement. Though still in beta, it has 245,000 members, and is growing at 5-10% a week, according to co-founder Caterina Fake. "We have 3.5m photos online - members upload up to 60,000 new photos a day."

Flickr is well designed and easy to use, but its popularity is probably because it permits what Fake calls "a rich, sharing experience". The tools it gives users - in particular the ability to "tag" photos (describe their content with a key word) and then, via those tags, share images with others, have unleashed the social potential of digital photos. (3 February 2005)

Fast Company

Fast 50 Winners: Supercharging the Digital Shoebox

Online photo sharing was a bare bones loss leader for companies interested in selling prints -- until Ludicorp's Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake stumbled onto the pent-up demand for more. The husband-and-wife duo launched a beta of their Flickr service in early 2004 and have signed up almost 300,000 users despite no marketing. "We're capturing the conversations people are having about the photo, in the photo," Fake says. Flickr facilitates those conversations with intelligent features; most notably, it lets both the photographer and viewers tag and comment on images to make them easy to find and share. Version 1.0 launches this year, as does the business model -- professional accounts for $59.95 a year, ads, for everyone else.

Business Week

The future of blogs: tagging & All Your Info in One Place by Olga Kharif

Blogs are about to evolve, however, thanks to an idea called tagging. Tagging is a software tweak that's already used on photo-sharing site, for example. Here's how it works: As the site's users post their photos for everyone on to see, they tag a photo taken in, say, Iraq, with a tagline, "Iraq." A blog search engine called uses these tags to retrieve search results. If you entered "Iraq" into its search dialog box, the engine would serve you up with news stories, blogs -- and photos tagged with "Iraq". (8 February 2005)


Steal this Bookmark! by Katharine Mieszkowski

What makes the site work is how it connects all these people to each other. By a simple software tweak known as tagging, this site and many others, like the photo site Flickr and the bookmark-sharing system, have found a new way to organize information and connect people. The surprise is that the organizing itself is unorganized -- and yet it works. (8 February 2005)

Washington Post

Bloggies Recognizes New Trends in Format by Leslie Walker

(30 January 2005)

Wall Street Journal

Tagging the Internet by Jeremy Wagstaff (Login Required)

Wouldn't it be great if you could actually find stuff on the Internet? Sure, Google is a wonderful tool for searching for some things -- say the home page of a company, or how to make Battenberg cake. But more often than not, you'll get way too many hits for what you're looking for, and end up frustrated.

Last year a couple of free Internet services started doing something interesting, entirely independently of each other. Flickr ( is a Web site for storing your photographs; (simply lets you store bookmarks to your favorite Web pages. They share two features: Both let users add tags to what they are storing, and by default share that data with any other user.

So, say you upload a photo to Flickr , you might add a word or two to categorize it -- say, scuba, or marzipan. The same applies if you add a Web page to your bookmarks. But because both of these tools are public, it also means that you can see what other pictures, in the case of Flickr , or Web page links in the case of, have the same tags. (28 January 2005)

» Read more articles in the Press Archive


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A selection of kudos we found on the web

Absolutely Awesome
So I love Flickr. I think it's absolutely awesome. I've been weblogging for five years (almost - see me in thirty days) and the fun I have using Flickr reminds me of the immediate joy and excitement that I used to get from writing on my site.
 -- Tom Coates

Ninja of Hyperutility
Flickr's rise as the all purpose ninja of hyperutility is unstoppable.
 -- Ben Hammersley

The greatest photo-sharing service since the world began
Flickr is the greatest photo-sharing service since the world began, and I've used more than a few.
 -- Yukino, neonepiphany

To say I'm addicted is an understatement.
Flickr makes it easy ... to indulge this bit of voyeurism while making it easy to engage in a little bit off exhibitionism myself. It ... encourages sharing the slices of your life, realized through photos, that you want others to see.

Check out their Organizr, possibly the most useful flash application ever written.

And all of this through an interface so intuitive it's almost scary. To say I'm addicted is an understatement. Which is why I have my camera with my virtually everywhere I go now; it's rekindled a somewhat flagging interest in just keeping my PowerShot handy and snapping things I see around me in everyday life. And to me, that alone makes it worth the exorbitant fee Flickr charges for their service -- Zero. Free, while in beta, and maybe afterwards too.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take some photographs.
 --Brian Thomas, Wolftrouble

Amazing ease of use
Flickr (particularly the tagging) is SO amazing in its ease of use and potential.
 -- Matthew Lewis

Seamless user experience I've set up my Flickr account... the whole user experience is the major shock in that it's all pretty seamless.
 -- Pete Ashton

A Winner
Their uploading tool is a winner, as well as the Organizer...I've got photos on Multiply, .node (dotnode), and Orkut, but I really like Flickr's interface...
 -- Gail's Balcony

I'm as impressed as hell
Flickr has been on my radar for a while now, but I only recently began to start playing with it. I'm impressed as hell. After my first 10 minutes of playing with it, I found myself thinking "why don't we build stuff like this at Yahoo?" In other words, I realized that we could probably learn a lot from this when it comes to building next generation applications at Yahoo. (Whether or not we do is a whole separate topic of discussion.)

If you want the short version of why I think this, consider the following points. Flickr has the potential to set the new standard for on-line photo sharing, management, etc. Why? Because Flickr...

  • does one thing and does it well
  • provides a clean and simple UI
  • has clear and helpful documentation
  • exposes core functionality with a documented API
  • account sign up is brain-dead simple
  • makes extensive and intuitive use of RSS
  • like, uses tags to help organize
  • doesn't spam me with graphical/animated/flash ads or try to unexpectedly pop up any sort of window

In other words, it's developer friendly, user friendly, and is a web site as well as a "service" or "platform" (in the Web 2.0 sense) all at the same time.
 -- Jeremy Zawodny

Bloody hell Flickr is a bit good isn't it!
I realise that I am well behind the times by posting this, but Bloody hell Flickr is a bit good isn't it!

For the uninitiated, it's an online photo album photo-sharing site, totally free. There are several of those about, but the sheer number of ways you can get photo's uploaded and the number of things you can do with them once they are is the really impressive bit. It is, by any stretch, a most inventive and ingenious application.
 -- Super Ray, RW4

Other systems like Picasa can't hold a candle to Flickr IMHO
Flickr is just taking off like a shot now, as word slowly filters out...other systems like Picasa can't hold a candle to Flickr IMHO.
 -- Ryan Schultz, as i live the questions

Flickr is not just YAPSS (Yet Another Photo Sharing Service)
The Flickr feature that first caught my attention is that it has an automatic 'post to your blog' feature (which I used yesterday). It also lets you post photos to your Flickr site and/or weblog by email and directly from camera phones. What's more intriguing though is that it has a number of creative ways of organizing photos. Most photo sites make you sort pictures into albums. This one lets you attach pictures to several different groups, tag them by keyword, lets you and your Flickr-using friends pool and organize your pictures in interesting ways etc etc.
 -- David Brake,

I love Flickr so much.
I love flickr so much. I love searching on the tags.
 -- Emdot

Flickr surpasses the functionality of iPhoto
Flickr just launched a new feature of their photo management/sharing site called Organizr. Watch the demo videos to see it in action -- this is as close to a desktop app I've ever seen a web application. With a bit of Flash programming and photos I've already uploaded, Flickr approaches the features of iPhoto (the photo manager I currently use) and Photoshop Album (tried it, liked it too), but all within a browser. In some aspects (gallery control, keyword additions/searching) Flickr surpasses the functionality of iPhoto.

I can see this is just the tip of the iceberg with Flickr and can't wait until someday I'm storing all my photos there, editing them, posting them, and organizing them all in Flickr.
 -- Matt Haughey, A Whole Lotta Nothing

Rocks Big Time
Flickr is this neato photosharing, group moblog, gallery, chat, social networking type of doodad website which rocks big time. Get thee an account!
 -- bopuc

They've really thought about how an online user/photographer works
As mentioned, I'm testing Flickr as the place to publish and catalog my Internet facing images.

I'm very impressed so far, as they've really thought about how an online user/photographer works. An example being this posting, which after uploading the shots with their simple drag and drop tool, enables you to post to your blog with a simple click.

Most impressive.
 -- Simon Perry