Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Ian Bogost is helping me figure out my "workflow" and my post processing. He's giving me very good advice on the shots. As I work on trying to figure out how much perfection to work on in the context of my workflow, I realize that I'm getting more and more confused about the role of Flickr on my photography.

My Flickr feed currently consists of everything from quick shots uploaded immediately from my camera phone to quick portraits shot, processed and uploaded in minutes with my Leica to 6X6 film shot with my Hasselblad scanned with my film scanner. The feed also includes my WoW screen shots. It contains everything from presence to "art" and everything mashuped up in between.

I used to upload images to, but there is a max size and the traffic there seems low. I've started uploading to JPG Magazine, but it's rather intimating and probably still a bit too high end for me.

Any thoughts? How does everyone else manage to separate the various versions of photography in your life and what makes the most sense from the perspective of a viewer? Inevitably, "want to see my pictures?" has been the dread of any house guest, photos usually being more interesting to the photographer than anyone else. Do you even CARE about my photos? If so, what is the best way to present them to you?

From the perspective of a viewer, crappy photos from friends of other friends that tells me a story, or slightly crappy pictures of friends where a gesture or expression make the image for me, or amazing photos from people I don't know - these all "do it" for me. Crappy photos from people I don't know, or even "nice" images from people I don't know are just noise to me. The context is so important. I guess maybe I'll start splitting up my feeds to Radar, Flickr and JPG Magazine or something and blog links here when I want you to look at them. ;-)


You're right, context is all important. Unless the content or composition of a photo is fantastic, I could care less about it unless it was taken by someone I care about. But when it comes to people close to me, the little cameraphone snapshots of life can mean a lot.

I tend to use flickr mostly for my artistic/photojournalistic shots– my pro an semi-pro stuff. For quick screenshots, I use mySkitch (now in beta), and if I used my camera phone more than once in a blue moon, I'd probably use Radar for that.

Deliniation of content is a good thing for the very reasons you brought up. Different content has a different audience, and in the end, making content work is all about exposing it to the right audience.


I like to see your photos, but you're right...context is everything in terms of a photo meaning anything to me. Your blog and twitters do that for me.

Hitting Flickr directly gives me a slew of random shots, some great and some less so... As a viewer, I'd think, "so what?"

Your idea of using the blog to unite all the repositories is a good one. The question of "wanna see my pictures?" can be answered by a blog post. This provides context to the shots; directions to the repository; and adds tags for anyone searching for shots specific to an event, for example. This works for both the browser that comes to your site, or someone that is searching for the photos from an event, for example.

Who this doesn't help is someone that hits your Flickr pages directly. Maybe all the places that you post have to specifically say something like "For more of Joi's work, go to..."

I have shots of my kid that sits on a password protected site. Other shots for work, I'll post on various sites. My fun shots I may put on Flickr. To unite them all using a blog is a something that's worth a try.

If you REALLY want to bore someone, carry various photo sets along with you in iPhoto like I do. I'm really to do a "slide show" for anyone, anytime, and anywhere. :-)

zzz zzz zzzz

Back to the future, I say!

Those horribly dull slide shows can get new life when well done on the web. For the viewer, we can multitask or turn them off without being considered rude, while at the same time we can enjoy the good ones.

Problem - as with so many of these ideas - is for the presenter to find the time to edit a decent slide show.

My Christmas wish: An algorithm that integrates face recognition software with photo context and photo style to create great looking slideshows on the fly.

As for the Flickr stream itself, I wouldn't really know. (Except of course having several separate accounts, but that's not the point, is it?)

But why not just include different badges based on your tags, i.e. don't include your photos tagged "crazy friend shots" in your weblog, but _do_ so in more private spaces. Include your WoW screenshots in work-related blogs etc, 'cause you relate WoW and work in some way or another.

That way, your photo stream on the Flickr website itself won't be cleaned up, but it's mainly a pool of resources from which you draw: Whoever looks at your stream directly won't mind, probably. Who looks in the more pre-organized spaces won't see anything except what you deem relevant...?

I like to drive my own traffic, so I'm not so concerned about the landing spot for my photo's as much as I am with the presentation. I've really been liking the Autoviewer iPhoto Export tool that really does a bangup job of dealing with the presentation, and let's me host it on my site...the same folks that make this tool, also have some other export tools like Simpleviewer that give you the flexibility of different presentation formats.

Example here:



I believe that there is also an Autoviewer export tool for Aperture as well.

Looks nice Ross.

I'm sure I'm in the minority on this, but I just upload my pictures to my web site. No Flickr or anything for me. And like others have said, the blog provides context better than anything else.

In that context, is there any tool to go and pull down all of the maximum sized images from a flickr account? works great.

It is family owned, and you get email or phone response within the hour if you ever have questions. I have a personal acct with 6,000 some pictures there that is password protected, but also use it for The Unlimited Class, the car race I promote at La Carrera Panamericana.

I upload full res from the camera and allow anyone to use it as a creative commons lic. Users can also print from smugmug at a negligible cost .. and you can set prices on any pictures you want.

You can use their templates (I like black, as it makes the pictures pop out- I really dislike flikrs white pages!) or create your own page. You can create as many folders as you would like, and also have hidden and private folders. You can also have a folder set to get pictures from your camera phone ...

I have a premium package ... unlimited bandwidth, and full reports on who is looking at what pictures at what size.

And no, I don't know anyone that works there .. I just really like the service they provide.

Doh! and of course all you need to do is click "share" and it will provide you links to use for blogs!

All the pictures there are hosted on smugmug.

I think its better to separate pictures by context. I run (on and off) a photo site using blosxom on my server at home for "life in Japan"/Engrish photos but for other things which are intended for a much smaller audience I just send the files to people or a link to a server directory.

I have battled with this problem a couple of times and have created some photoblogs to sort my different kinds of photographs I am taking. In the end, I have settled on using Flickr's photosets and slideshows and point people to entire sets from my weblog.

Another way of doing it that I like is the way that Jason Kottke does it and that is put many of his photos on Flickr but he used a iPhoto plugin to create some excellent photo sets on his blog

Joi, this post in the Flickr forum might help you with retrieving the original size photos:

I must admit I haven't tried it myself, but it sounds promising...