Twitter makes Flickr more useful
Friday, August 24, 2007 by Dave Winer.
I've finally got the bugs worked out of the Flickr-to-Twitter agent (knock wood). I now feel confident as a user that when I post a picture to Flickr it won't unleash a torrent of old Flickrs on my unsuspecting Twitter followers (up to 1900 now). Because of that, I'm willing to use the feature more often.
So when I go out for a walk, and see a lovely tree with red flowers, I take a picture, route it to Flickr, my iPhone upstreams it, my agent notices it, posts a tweet, and then 80 or 100 of my followers (awful terminology, btw) click the link before I'm home. In real-time, their eyes and minds have taken the walk with me.
This is one of those rare moments, when something works, and now my use of computers reaches a plateau that makes total sense. I call this feeling Living In The Future. It's the nicest feeling technology can deliver, and it's one important reason I like playing with these toys.
The other reason it's a significant futuristic feeling is that to make this work, I needed to use two web services, from two companies. Because they support standard technologies (email and RSS) and have blazed new trails (Twitter's API) a mere user (me) can bridge the two in a couple of hours as a proof of concept, and fairly debug it in a couple of weeks. In other words something is working on a broader level. These two companies are to be applauded, and encouraged to find more ways to help users make themselves happy.
And look at how the newcomer, Twitter, made the old standby, Flickr, so much more useful. Now I have a way to link a network that I've already created into something cool on Flickr. And as a benefit, Flickr has a discussion feature, so it provides an easy way for me to get to know people who are subscribed on Twitter, and of course for them to get to know each other.
New: If you want to see the pictures of all Flickr-to-Twitter users, follow this Twitter account.