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Posts Tagged ‘flickr’

Are Hashtags Useful?

Of all of the techniques, strategies, flotsam and jetsam to spawn from social media since its meteoric rise in the mid-2000′s, there may be nothing as polarizing as the hashtag. Some users utilize hashtags any chance that they get, others see them as an aesthetic and textual nuisance.

But the real question is: are hashtags useful in any real way?

Today, another social network, Vine, announced the platform-wide adoption of hashtag-focused organization and search. Vine CTO Nick Kroll wrote in a blog post for the company:

“To surface that content, we’re introducing trending hashtags, which show you the fastest-rising hashtags on Vine. These hashtags signify those that have moved up quickly in popularity; they aren’t necessarily the hashtags with the most posts.”

Using hashtags to track trends has been the mode of choice not only for Vine parent company Twitter, but also for Flickr, Path and Instagram. Last month, there was even talk of Facebook taking up the hashtag trend, though the social media giant has remained silent on the topic. On the surface, incorporating a searchable component based on hashtags is a helpful thing: users would be able to discover topics and search for what they want quickly, without having to bother with further context. Read more

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Fun Finds From Around The Journosphere

It’s Wednesday, hump day. The week’s half-over or half-begun, depending on how optimistic you’re feeling today. Either way, it’s probably about time you had a little lunch-time diversion.

So today I present a feast of fun finds I’ve seen linked around the journosphere (and related areas) recently. Hopefully, you can find a few minutes to waste, err, peruse, them when you need a creative boost. There’s something for everyone, whether your “thing” is for words or photos or design. Have fun!

1.) Play the NYT “stupid game” and destroy their story page with the flash, keyboard-controlled triangle. The game is meant to play off the content of the piece, which is all about why we love to play stupidly addictive games, such as Angry Birds.

2.) What if Facebook was Invented in the ’90s? This is what it would look like.

3.) I Shot The Serif. (But I did not shoot the sans-serif.) This fun, fast-paced game tests your typography knowledge and how well you can pick your serifs from your sans-serif.


4.) If type isn’t your forte, how well do you know your way around the color wheel? This game, Color, gives players a limited amount of time to precisely pinpoint the given hue or saturation or the complimentary colors. It’s sort of maddening, but it’s also sort of addicting to see how precise you can be.


5.) Speaking of color… The color of “newspaper” is a lot prettier than I expected. This simple site allows you to search for a name, item or place — whatever really — and it compiles a composite image of recent Flickr photos with that phrase. The composite is a colorful image supposedly showing “the color of” that item. Generally, the colors don’t stray too far from each other (except for items very heavily favoring one color, say “blue” or “grass”), but it’s still sort of fun to see how different images/themes combine to affect the mood of the final image.

A real-time, geotagged Flickr map? Here’s how.

When reporters are in the field with their smartphones and they have a story to tell where both photo and location are vital, a stream of Flickr photos imported into a Google Map will do the trick.

In light of Los Angeles’ recent Carmageddon, above is a geotagged Flickr map of the empty 405 highway.

For example, if you have a reporter covering a huge parade, a bike tour, travelling along the coastline, taking a wine tour across the country, or you want to collect reader photos from a highway closure — really, the use cases are endless — an easy way to get interactive, live content from the field is through a Flickr map. And, you can accomplish it all from email, with no extra apps or training required. Read more

Lessons for journalists from the demise of Friendster

The phrase “social media” had barely been coined, let alone popularized, when Friendster hit the scene in 2002. The first big social network was ground breaking … until it wasn’t. Now, as the once great site hangs on for life, it’s unplugging the relics of its early life, deleting the memories of its original user base as it reimagines itself and role online.

For years the site has been fighting a — let’s admit it, losing — battle, first to MySpace, then to Facebook, to Twitter, to Flickr, to YouTube, to FourSquare, to ? … well there’s the rub. There are too many social networks already here, as well as those fading and just emerging. At their core they all do the same thing: Connect people to each other’s ideas and allow them to share their personal experiences and interests. That sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Sort of like what journalists strive to do each day by connecting to readers/viewers/listeners with their stories, pictures and videos? Turns out, journalists can learn from social networks, and not just pop culture or breaking news, but also broader lessons about how to do their job. So knowing that all good things have an expiration date, at least on the Internet, here’s what journalists should realize and remember as they tiptoe through social networking topics. Read more