Friday, March 31, 2006

Flickr RSShenanigans

A little while back I was looking for some stock photos of Washington D.C. while at the same time I read an article on lifehacker about setting up an Flickr RSS. Let me pause for a second to explain Flickr and RSS. Flickr is a website where users store photos online for all to see and RSS means Really Simple Syndication, basically a subscription to websites.

The lifehacker post was about seeing your city through new eyes. This sounded like a great idea to me. I walk past or metro past some of the best looking buildings and monuments in the world and every once in a while I realize I haven't "seen" them in a while. So I set up the subscription and now every hour or so I get about 10-20 new pictures downloaded straight to my e-mail program (thunderbird).

It was great, at first. I suggest everyone do this because you really do get some great pictures. But after a while I found myself deleting pictures before I ever got to view them. Why? Because there are only so many pictures of the Washington Monument you can take. I think in the last week I've seen something over 200 pictures of the cherry blossoms. It got me thinking about a new way to do this.

Everyone wants their own pictures from their trips and everyone thinks their pictures are unique. As someone who has seen those pictures I can honestly tell you, they're not unique.

So here is what I propose. Every city gets one pool photographer who takes pictures throughout the year and uploads them to Flickr, where you can then download them and call your own. Now of course you will still want pictures of yourself, friends and family on vacation so those will still be allowed.

Washington monument: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Cherry Blossoms: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (There were more obviously, I just got bored...)

And the coup de grace, I give you cherry blossoms WITH the washington monument: 1, 2, 3

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