De-Socializing Flickr : Needs more privacy features
I know Flickr's success is particularly based on it's community aspect, it's not just a photo sharing web site that allows me to share photos of my kids with their grandparents (while it does do that very well) - it's a site where the openness of the photos combined with the openness of the contact system, creates a community like none before. My most popular photo (based upon either views, comments, or "interestingness") is a photo that I would not consider to be my best, but it's just one photo that I have designated to be apart of a Flickr Group - thus causing it to get a lot of attention.
So while I think the site's openness is great, and I don't want that go away entirely - I think there is room to give users some more control.
My wish list is small really:
- The ability to have hidden "contacts". Maybe don't call them contacts - because I don't want contact to be made. Right now when I see someone that posts interesting photos, and that I want to mildly keep an eye on them, I have to add them as a contact, which notifies them that I want to be their contact, which is really not the case. I think a "Spy this person's photos" option would be cool. Where I get a page of all the recent photos from persons I am "spying", but they aren't contacts - and my spying is not made public in my profile, but rather it's just a page for me.
- Along the same lines, ability to have hidden "Favorites". One time I got called out by a friend asking why I marked a particular photo as a favorite - and it threw me for a loop in multiple ways. 1) I did not really recall marking the photo as a favorite, and 2) I was unaware that any photo I marked as a favorite became public knowledge. So again, along the same lines of spying - I think an option to flag a single photo to be added to some list you can retrieve - that's not made public on your profile - would be great.
- The ability to have greater control over e-mailing your photos. Flickr has an awesome feature that allows you to add photos to your account via e-mail. You couple this with an e-mail enabled camera phone like my Sidekick II - and wham-o - you can add photos in a 1jiffy! But you are only given one option, to have all your photos e-mailed be private, or to have them all be public. I think that there should be a way to specify in your e-mail 2options on the photo that override your default settings - so you can have your default set for all photos to be public, but then when wanted you can e-mail a photo as private.
1 I was able to upload photos of my wife running a half marathon before she even finished. This was awesome on multiple levels. A) People could watch the events as they unfold. B) The marathon was over 300 miles away from home, and I was without Internet access for my computer for the entire trip - but I was still able to send photos to my Flickr account.
2 Stay tuned for sometime next week when I will give a much more in-depth look at this particular idea.