This morning there were some fairly severe storms in the Nashville area. The typically placid Richland Creek in the Nashville community of Belle Meade was cresting its banks when I drove across the Jackson Boulevard bridge around 1 p.m., local time. I thought some video of the creek may make an interesting first experiment with Flickr’s new video-hosting feature. (Note: The 1:14 video was shot with a Canon PowerShot TX1.)
I’m sure there will be lots of chatter suggesting Flickr is way late to the video party. Of course, the reality is that those who live far out on the leading edge often lose sight of the fact that the vast majority of people still don’t even share photos via e-mail. The majority of people still don’t have digital cameras, much less some easy-to-download means of capturing video. And what Flickr is doing — starting out by allowing only 90 second videos — makes it clear that they’re not trying to be another YouTube — this is something different.
But, then, I confess. I love Flickr. I love just about everything about it. While there’s a “free” version, it’s one of the few online services I gladly pay an annual fee for a “Pro” version due to its incredible array of services and features. It’s one of the few services I use that I believe is just about perfect.
I shoot video and photography using the same camera (well, most of the time) and I upload them both to the same desktop software (iPhoto), so why wouldn’t I want to save and share them on the web using the same service? It just makes sense to me.
I’ll still use YouTube, just not the same way I’ll use Flickr.
Later: Some folks are already harping on the ’90 second’ limitation. While I think Flickr will probably expand this time limit later, the time-collar is actually an opportunity for thinking about video in a new way — in my opinion. One of the challenges with video is the editing process — it’s a new skill for most of us. However, sharing video doesn’t have to be limited to the linear narrative piece we’ve come to expect after years of watching TV. In reality, those linear pieces are typically a series of clips. What if, using a Flickr set, you can present those clips in a way in which the viewer can understand why they are being grouped together, but watch them in a new non-linear way? For example, people can already present non-linear video stories on a map, for example — posting small clips of video on maps using the MyMaps feature of Google Maps (example, how-to). Flickr’s new feature will enable this type of video story-telling as well. Here is a great insta-tutorial from Andrew Baron (of Rocketbook) about using Flickr sets to present a series of videos in a way that could be very helpful to viewers. (Andrew’s post via Twitter from Dave Winer)
I’ll be experimenting in the morning and will update this post with quick review then.
In the meantime, here is an embed of the video Flickr used to launch the service: