Lately I’ve Really Been Getting Into Sets

Lately I've Really Been Getting Into Sets

As they say, best viewed large.

Lately I’ve really been getting into sets on Flickr. I’ve made about 250 different sets recently and plan to have at least 1,000 sets made by the end of the year. I can envision a day when I’ve got 10,000 sets even.

I’m not sure what it is about creating sets that appeals so strongly to my obsessive compulsive need to arrange and order my photography, but every day I’m finding new ways that I can group and categorize the many many photographs that pour out of my camera and my life.

Longer-term I have plans to do some interesting things with some of these sets. Many of these sets will be shows. Many of them will be collages. Some will take print form, others will live in plasma displays.

I use Eric Appel’s excellent SmartSetr website to build my sets. I highly recommend it.

You can check out my sets on Flickr here.

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12 Comments

  1. El says:

    I thought you were no longer using Flickr because of their censorship of photos?

  2. John says:

    In addition to going back to Flickr, you hardly mention Zooomr anymore. Have you lost enthusiasm for Zoomr?

  3. jschuur says:

    I was talking to a friend the other day who lamented the fact that on most photo sharing sites, you couldn’t do ‘folders in folders’ (i.e. subsets in Flickr’s e.g.).

    Are there any sites that offer that? I checked Flick, Zooomr and SmugMug, and they didn’t seem to meet the mark.

    He wanted to be able to just create a master set for a vacation e.g., and then subsets for each event on that vacation. He wasn’t savvy about the tagging concept, and I don’t think you can assume everybody knows how tags work, nor is there really a good UI anywhere that uses tags for a hierarchy.

  4. CJPhoto says:

    Are you still the Evangelist and CEO of Zooomr or are you moving back to Flickr now that Zooomr has moved to Japan.

    I know you helped them out with the recent move but your comments now seem to be less “anti Flickr” and more promotional in nature.

    Not saying it as a good or bad thing, just interested.

  5. JeffH says:

    Why not create the sets in Zooomr? Haven’t heard a peep from you regarding Zooomr lately, are you still associated with the company?

  6. TranceMist says:

    Thomas, I too am surprised and wondering why the switch back to Flickr. Perhaps I missed a post on this?

  7. Thomas Hawk says:

    Why not create the sets in Zooomr? Haven’t heard a peep from you regarding Zooomr lately, are you still associated with the company?

    I like Zooomr a lot. There are some things that Flickr does better though. Sets are one of those things.

    At Zooomr while I can make unlimited sets, in the past it’s been very difficult to get my sets pages beyond about page 4 to load. So, I’ve been limited to about 60 sets really. Even page 4 have loaded poorly so really more like only my 45 most recent sets or so. This is not conducive to building a library of 1,000 sets.

    Right now sets load better on Zooomr, but a lot of my photos are missing from my sets. See this set for example: http://www.zooomr.com/photos/thomashawk/sets/9745/

    This is due to a problem with transferring our photos to Japan that will hopefully be fixed by the end of the month. But still, it’s hard to want to showcase my sets on Zooomr when they look so lousy right now.

    Flickr has collections (sets of sets) which allow me to better organize my sets. So, for instance, I have a collection of images of Bay Area photo destination sites. Collections help bring more organization to sets. Zooomr does not have collections or sets of sets yet.

    On Zooomr if I create a set and tell it to include all shots with either graffiti or mural in the set it will double post photos to the set that have both graffiti and mural as tags. This is annoying.

    Zooomr also lacks the bulk organizational tools to bulk tag photos. This makes it harder to organize sets around tags as well.

    Theoretically Zooomr should be better than Flickr at sets. SmartSets are dynamic on Zooomr whereas I have to manually update sets using SmartSetr with Flickr. But, given all the other ways that sets are lacking on Zooomr right now it’s hard for me to want to pursue my set building there.

    I am affiliated with Zooomr still and I do hope that sets on Zooomr improve with future releases. If/when sets improve on Zooomr I’m sure I’ll build my sets at Zooomr as well.

    I’ll definitely be blogging more about Zooomr in the future when there is more development that is worthy of blogging. Zooomr has a new release scheduled later this year that promises to bring some interesting new things to photo sharing.

  8. the marquise de sade says:

    I am glad you’ve finally spoken about the Zooomr issue, though I have to admit your statements appear to be somewhat tepid. I don’t know why, thats just what I’m seeing as a stranger on the internets. Almost as if you don’t know what your role with them, if any, will be in the future and you’re hedging your bets.

    This would be sad because with the possibility/likelihood of a MSFT takeover something like Zooomr is sorely needed in the market as an alternative/counterweight to Flickr. Unfortunately though based just on your statements in this thread Zooomr doesn’t take enough of a structured software engineering approach to product development in order to really penetrate the market. I know you’ve only got a few people but until you deal with not only the issue of how to effectively develop and prioritize product requirements (down to a VERY granular level), and implement quality controls to ensure they are met, you’re never going to reach critical mass. You’re always going to have problems.

    It seems like you and Kris tried to do this, but when you only have one coder to implement this you lose out on having multiple eyes/brains being able to point out flaws in architecture and implementation. I can’t tell you how important this is in a growing company. I think if you had even one or two more developers to counterbalance you might have much more success. Maybe the new folks in Japan will help in this regard, who knows. I am able to say this because I’ve been doing this for 10 years.

    Not to get up on a high horse, but who in their right mind would trust their customers data (in this case images) with no redundancy being shipped in cardboard overseas? I almost couldn’t believe it. Hard drives fail more than you might think, there are so many other ways to implement a datacenter move with no interruption in service. Let hope some lessons are learned here?

  9. tinou says:

    So does this make Thomas Hawk a hypocrite? Still using Flickr even though he thinks they censor users?

  10. mojodenbow says:

    “I like Zooomr a lot.” Is this a comment from the CEO & Chief Evangelist for Zooomr or not? What are the Zooomr investors thinking at this point?

    I want to believe in Z and have supported it since I was granted Pro member for life status (VERY GENEROUS).

    But do we “stay the course” or do we “cut & run?”

  11. Andy Roth says:

    @ mojodenbow – that really is the million dollar question.

    As a long time Zooomr user, I am cautiously hopeful that the worst is behind, and that Mark IV will really give me a reason to stay. If it does not…

    @ Thomas – I am glad to hear you mention Zooomr on your blog again, and also post some comments on zipline. It seems like there might be more going on regarding your relationship to Zooomr than you can discuss. I hope everything is OK.

  12. CJPhoto says:

    Thomas,

    You state a number of reasons why Flickr handles sets better than Zooomr. Surely that means you should get Zooomr to improve (you are their CEO?) rather than jump ship to the competitor.

    A few of your issues are just simple code issues (ie. photos turning up multiple times due to multiple tags in the search).

    I thought the whole idea of Zooomr was to create a worthy competitor to Flickr, not to give up.