Flickr and other useful tools

Thursday, November 29, 2007

After much thinking, I’ve decided to move away from my proprietary photo galleries, and into the welcoming (and API-ful) hands of Yahoo!’s Flickr. I spent many hours over the last two days trying to get my too smart phone to upload my photographs automatically to Flickr. So far I failed, but I am enthusiastic that if I spend another ten or so hours on it, it will eventually work, and everyone will revel in blurry photographs of my dog and my coffee cup. At least for the three days I actually take photographs with my too smart phone, before growing bored with the effort and realizing that I go to the same places and do the same things every day, and such things are, to put it mildly, not even mildly interesting.

I installed ShoZu on my phone. ShoZu tries to add value by providing its own web service where you send the photos before they route them to Flickr. While I understand ShoZu’s attempt to add value (and get eyeballs), it fails in annoying way. ShoZu required me to set up an account that I will never visit. It also didn’t work (although they may have something to do with my upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.0.) What I want is a simple application that attaches itself to my phone’s camera and sends the photo to Flickr directly after each photograph is taken. Somewhere between my phone, ShoZu, and Flickr, my photographs are getting lost. The ShoZu application tells me that the photos were properly uploaded to ShoZu. But the ShoZu website doesn’t find them. This is what happens when you add a middleman where it’s not needed.

Clearly, getting my phone to upload to Flickr is not an important part of my redesign of the photo section of sewcrates. What I need to do is use Flickr’s APIs to display sets (or is it groups?) of photos in NAIS. This also simplifies my website design, as there will be only four types of posts: text posts, photo albums (pulled from Flickr), Horribles, and lists (perhaps tied to Amazon’s service as in the current sewcrates). I would love to replace my proprietary movies and books list with a third-party service, but I haven’t found one with a decent API.

That’s a long way of saying I’m making progress, but it’s slow. I haven’t written a line of code yet.