Yahooflickr! Ruckus!

In response to John M who asks :”I’m totally confused by the animosity here. Like Chris, I can’t see that it makes any material difference whatesoever. What gives kosso?

You know what? It’s weird I can’t put my finger on it exactly. Why I feel peeved at all this, after recently renewing my account fee. Oh.. hang on!! πŸ˜‰

It probably has something to do with me not really liking Yahoo’s web stuff that much recently, and particularly all the ads that have appeared over the years. I was a Yahoo! user a looong time ago. I liked it (and them) a lot more back in the day. But this complete and utter blind hunger for ad revenue is kinda screwing my experience a bit.

At least it certainly feels that way.

I CAN see the technical reason why they would want to streamline stuff – in a way. But also I can see programmatically how they could get over or around it.

It’s the fact that I pay flickr for this hosting, in a world where more and more, hosting will be offered for free – IF you don’t mind the ads squirted in here and there.

You are correct though – there is no ‘material’ difference here. But that’s not what they have damaged. They have knocked some of their users’ passion and loyalty.

I love flickr.

Free PHP5 Script to grab YOUR flickr Photos

UPDATED: To support Curl, if it is installed. It appears that some servers have the ‘fopen’ wrapper disabled, preferring Curl – which is faster too ! )

OK, so I have just knocked up a PHP5 script which, WITH SOME MORE WORK (on your part) will grab all your photos from flickr, should you want to move away from them.

This script takes your screen name and then lists all your photos, with the original photo file url, the title, description and any tags, comments and geocoding data too.

That’s as far as I go – the script is not doing any downloading at all – I leave the rest up to you :) You could add the details to a database, store images anywhere you like, ftp them somewhere – it’s up to you to get the PHP to do what you want.

If I get the time, I will create a desktop version which does the same thing. The tricky bit might be deciding on a static xml format for all the rest of the data – maybe a big RSS file would do. Or OPML. Or both?

Here is the PHP5 SOURCE.

NB: You MUST have PHP5 with simplexml and fopen wrappers or Curl activated (Some webhosts prefer you to use Curl, so they deactivate file_get_contents)

Enjoy! Feel free to use this code and hack and mash it up at will. Please add to the comments of this post, if you do extend it. Cheers! :)

Damn Youhoo, flickr!!

Merge This!Well, it seems like the time is nearly upon ‘old skool’ flickr users like myself where we will be FORCED to ‘merge’ our accounts over to a Yahoo! account.

I expect this story to hit TechMeme later today – looking forward to seeing what others have to say about it, beyond the 500 700 or so responses to this news so far on the flickr help forum. It’s times like this that TechMeme is so invaluable.

UPDATE: BBC News now has a story on this

STILL NO SIGN of it on TechMeme, which I find very odd at this time of day

Judging by the responses to this, people are not too happy at all. And can you blame us? We PAY for this service. If I merge my account, will I still be subjected to the constant onslaught of advertising banners which Yahoo! riddle their systems with? Fair enough, these ads make them money, but we are PAYING customers. Do ‘regular’ Yahoo! Photos users have to pay for their hosting?

I think this a BIG BIG mistake.

I have had a Yahoo! ID for years, but rarely, if ever use the messenger etc these days. So many better systems have emerged since. I have a very old ICQ account somewhere too.

Not that long ago, when Yahoo! introduced the ‘360’ blogs, they placed links on those ‘old skool’ Yahoo! profile page, trying to get you to create one of these ‘blogs’. The trouble is, they don’t tell you that once you have done that, you will not be able to see your ‘old’ profile page ever again. It’s gone. Then, you can’t revert and change your mind. You’re stuck with it.

Usually I really like what Yahoo! do for users, but this completely sucks.

I think it’s time I wrote a script to pull all my photos out from my flickr account soon. Who knows, it could prove to be quite popular.

PS: If there’s anyone out there who runs a server hosting facility, please do get in touch – We can build a system pretty quickly to ‘merge’ OUR PHOTOS to a new system – Hell, I could even let you use your flickr usernames and passwords if you like. Same url structures, widgets (to a degree) – just a different domain.We can build it to be what users want. It’s not that hard to do – in fact I’d say their Flash based Organization features are the most complicated bit. The only way I could do this, is by working with a web-server hosting farm ‘guru’ with the hosting infrastructure already in place. (Hey Libsyn! Fancy getting into the photo hosting game? πŸ˜‰ )

PPS: Kris from Zooomr should be very excited around about now. There’s an opportunity screaming at him right about now.

PPPS: Here is link to a Google search for flickrbackup. Some useful stuff here.

– I nearly have a system working here to download all my photos πŸ˜‰ Now, the question is, where and how to move them – apart from back home here, on my hard disk.

Word from the Blogosphere (seeing as Techmeme still hasn’t woken up to this yet)

UPDATE: Techmeme now has a thread on the subject, after Thomas Hawk, the CEO of Zooomr weighs in about it πŸ˜‰

A Question Of Tagging

OK. So I have recently built a new tagging system for (which is inches away from a big overhaul) and a few other sites I build, and I wanted to ask you a question:

Which would be the preferable ‘delimeter’ to post multiple tags?

Spaces (with quotes to enclose multiple words)? Eg: cat furry “my pet” “eats mice” – As seen in flickr


Commas : Eg: cat, furry, my pet, eats miceΒ  – As seen in WordPress?

I personally think commas is easier, but how about you?

NOKLOG.COM : Mobile Multimedia Publishing

Presenting NOKLOG.COM!!! :)

So, what else have I been working on? Well, some of you will already know about the BlogHUD system I built for Second Life users, which lets them post messages and articles to a blogging system. It will also crosspost the post to your external blog too (WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, etc) – as well as send on any images you take to your flickr account.

Well, all this is really a model for a simple web application for mobiles which I started think about and testing back in 2004 called ‘camoby’. I used it to post articles of gadgets back to the BBC News website while I was out at CeBit in ’04. The editor back in London watched my RSS feed for things he liked for the site, then republished them on the BBC news site like a blog (one of their first, actually!)

So, the camoby system has evolved – as have I. Since learning many new skills since then,I was able to sit here in my hotel room in Boston/Cambridge yesterday and build the whole proof-of-concept system at (This will probably move to another domain eventually, as more manufacturers allow this very useful feature)

NOKLOGNOKLOG is a mobile publishing system, optimised for mobile browsers which support the oft-requested file upload form tag. (input type=file) Nokia’s Symbian Series60 web browser and Sony Ericsson’s phones with the Symbian UIQ browsers have supported this for a while. No need to build and install more apps on the phone. It all goes via the web. Sweet! it also works with the connected Archos devices (PMA430 and 604WiFi).

The difference with this and the camoby system is that I can now support ALL media types which the handset can produce. Ie: Images, Audio and Video. Once uploaded, the user can choose to publish/post the media to the main blog, when the server then processes the image to a sensible jpeg size (with branding / watermark) and transcodes audio (.amr, .wav etc) to mp3 for podcasts and flash players AND now also video – .mp4, .3gp etc will get transcoded to the ubiquitous Flash video format (.flv) to use in a webbased Flash player, a la YouTube. No reason why I can’t transcode to MPEG4 H.263 for iPods and PSP too. It’s easy once you know how πŸ˜‰

BUT, not only that – like the blogHUD system, users will also be able to share this content and extent its reach even further by crossposting to your own blogging system – if it supports XML-RPC / MetaWeblog / Blogger APIs or email publishing. There is also no reason why I couldn’t FTP the media to a host provider like Libsyn too!

This means that as well as sending you post to your blog, you can also send images on to your flickr account or even your YouTube or account – AUTOMAGICALLY!!! W00t! (as they say!) heheh Also each user has their own ‘home’ page and RSS feed to share their mobile life. Aggretastic!

I’ll be improving this system over the next few days, as I stay out of the cold currently blowing over Massachusetts and add things like tagging etc.

NEXT – the killer metadata support will be the Geographical Latitude and Longitude data (geotagging) of where the media was taken or recorded. I simply cannot wait to get my hands on the Nokia N95 phone, with built-in GPS, to see how I can grb the position data and populate a form field or Javascript variable, while using the Series 60 browser. I hope that wont be too tricky. We shall see. This will let me add real world maps from Google and/or Yahoo! very easily to the site. Kind of like the idea I had for ‘‘ – another unfinished project πŸ˜‰

Using Second Life and the blogHUD to model this system – as well as model my own abilities and support/iteration mechanisms has been a truly wonderful experience, One which I emplore any developer to try out. You will not regret it.

I’ll keep you posted when I can let some testers to NOKLOG in to try the system out. It shouldn’t be too long – because it’s simple! Just the way we like it πŸ˜‰

Naturally, all this fits in perfectly with the system I am creating, which is about to get a big overhaul to the new system upgrade I have nearly finished :)


I’ve been meaning to say this for a while. Are there any Flickr users out there who are a bit pissed off that now, when you click to sign in, you have to go to a Yahoo sign-in page, where you have to find the link to the old Flickr sign-in form?

Also, when you want to comment on a photo and sign in to do so, the link used to take you back to the photo you wanted to comment on after logging in. Now, due to this Yahoo! sign-in interstitial, the link back to the photo I wanted to comment on is lost. Very annoying. I paid for this service.

I’ve always been very happy with Flickr, as it gets the pictures I take ‘out there’ as opposed to in the various self-hosted galleries I have set up over the years. They get seen more.

I’d love to know what’s going on inside Yahoo! since the big reshuffle announcements. I also wonder what’s going to happen to Flickr. Have I missed something?

Flickr Geotagging

At last!! Flickr have launched a way to hook up flickr and Yahoo! Maps.

I started work on a system like this for podcasts, but had stopped work when I saw that they didn’t cover Europe. Now I see they cover the whole world, so it’s time to dig out that flash file and knock out a version for podcasts. Hurrah! πŸ˜‰

Here’s a map of photos in Antigua. And watching the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Cooool!

Meta Meta

Meta Meta

Originally uploaded by kosso.

A photo taken while at Gnomedex of Flickr displaying a photo taken by Steve Lacey of my laptop while in Second Life, looking at photos from Gnomedex while sat in the auditorium at Gnomedex. Woo – weiiiiiird.
Even weirder still, i was outside in between sessions chatting to Steve and we were talking about Second Life and he mentioned about someone doing something around the podcaster places in Second Life at a place called the Bluggcast something – I said “Ha! That was ME!”

Me so meta