Scripting News for 8/24/07

Twitter makes Flickr more useful 

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.

All around good show, lots of win-wins, technology working for people.

New: If you want to see the pictures of all Flickr-to-Twitter users, follow this Twitter account.

Easy ‘tinyurl’ for OPML Editor users 

A script for the “custom” menu in the OPML Editor.

Scanned page from AT&T phone bill 

Click the pic to see the bill page.

8 responses to this post.

  1. Great post! Totally right. Life is much more fun living in the future 🙂


  2. Posted by mat on August 24, 2007 at 10:58 am

    re iPhone bill… at least your’s didn’t come in a box!


  3. i can’t believe they sent you a bill full of $0.00 charges; and for each and every data transfer.

    well, at least you know they’re spying 🙂
    I betcha they capture the data too 🙂
    then probably run it through NSA filters. I already know att&t is illegally letting the NSA wiretap in it’s san francisco office; they have a special room in the middle of the building, with direct access to the phone/data lines.


  4. Mat, it didn’t come in a box, but it did come in a really thick envelope!

    Lemon, no doubt. What they’d find is a lot of Flickr and soft porn. 🙂

    Just kidding about the porn. Heh.


  5. Posted by Jake on August 24, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    It seems like what Twitter is providing (over Flickr) is a push notification and some sort of group management function.

    Twitter becomes your push platform to a group of followers. You can push various things through it without your followers having to subscribe to your individual feeds.

    Flickr provides RSS feeds. Your followers could subscribe to a Flickr feed for your photos (perhaps tagged with followme) and get, through their own aggregator using a pull mechanism, the same photo feed. But, by going through Twitter, they can also get your random twits and your TwitterGrams.

    So Twitter becomes an intermediate platform for you to aggregate push notifications delivered to your subscribers.

    Of course, TinyURL plays a role in this, too, helping with the short message nature of Twitter.

    Flickr, while being a useful social photo site, is still weak in the social area of managing different types of relationships. In my opinion.


  6. Jake, I think that’s a very fair description of what Twitter is. And maybe the relationship stuff could be built on top of it? Worth considering.


  7. Woo hoo! Push is here at last! We are finally realizing the vision of 1999.

    Watch out, this means the vision of 2001 (the movie) is just around the corner: automated TwitterCams watching us and reading our lips to Twitter what we thought was private.

    I’m sorry Dave, I can’t Twitter that. 😉


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