Live from Etech: Flickr and the end of Day One…

02/11/2004

So ETCon Proper Day One ends and I’m basically high on some kind of highly emotionally charged intellectual hysteria-generating buzz. So far I’ve only managed to write about the things that have caused me frustration and irritation – probably because irritation can be easily quantified and described while the enjoyable papers cause an explosion of possibilities that are hard to collate and contain. The papers I’ve found most stimulating today have been threefold:

The first two in particular I can’t rave enough about and have pushed me into some kind of weird euphoric intellectual trance – but I think it’s best that I talk about them later when I’m feeling more centred and can produce a more rational response. The Castranova piece on cyberspace economies intrigued me and stimulated me because of the question-and-answer component rather more than the paper itself – which was more of a bringing-up-to-speed piece for people who haven’t been reading Terranova or read Richard Bartle’s Designing Virtual Worlds.

But it was the final talk of the day that was the most heady, but more because of the launched product and the play around it than the talk itself. I’m going to let Cory describe what was launched because – frankly – I’m a bit fried:

Flikr is a social image-sharing application: it’s a mechanism for creating ad-hoc chats, using a drag-and-drop GUI interface that lives inside your browser, and share images from peer-to-peer and within conversational groups.

I’ve beta-tested this at various points and at each time I’ve been struck by Ludicorp’s amazing combination of utilitarian, usable interface aesthetic and genuinely witty whimsy. As Ben Ceivgny, a developer on the project, said:

We collect images with cameraphones and so forth, but we have no good mechanism for advancing them out into the world. Here’s a mechanism for batching them into a locked-and-loaded tool for firing them into the world.

I’m not a Ludicorp adviser, but I have been beta-testing it. It’s bloody good fun and I highly recommend it. Much much better than Orkut – introducing Flickr!