Jan 06

Signing up for Pinterest

A twitter friend sent me an invite to Pinterest, as I’m interested in what it does. However, do far, all it has done is annoy me!

Clicking the link from the email, the first thing it offered was the ability to sign in with Facebook or Twitter. There was no alternative way of creating an account. This is a personal issue of mine, I don’t want to have things connected by default, I want the choice. I know for many, having this option makes it easy; for the company it also reduces spam and provides a in-built platform for spreading the message about the product, but I beleive the alternative should be offered.

I decided to use Facebook, as that was the site that was promoted the strongest, with messages that it won’t do anything with your account. Click once, click twice and it tells you what it’s going to do with the account – add posts and access when you’re not logged in. Facebook now allows you to deny permission, so too no’s and it lets me skip this stage. To a account creation page asking for username, email and password. So the option is there, just not shown on sign up screen.

The next screen it asked me what I was interested in; a few clicks, a few choices made; my thougth at this point was that it would provide me some options to follow, or a general stream of content around those images. No, instead it automatically follows a number of people I have never heard of. Multiple unfollows later, I’m left with a blank page, ready to do things with.

But remember I got an invite from someone. One thing it has not done is provided me a way to follow that person. Back to the original email, find their account names, click through, click follow.

So 4 things:

  • Not providing me an alternative to a SNS sign up
  • When I refused to play sharing game, then making do an alternative sign up
  • Auto-Following people I have never heard of
  • making it hard to follow the person who shared the product with me

My final issue is actually with the whole premise of the product. It’s all about making scrapbooks of images you like on the internet and sharing them, a visual list of book marks. But it appears to have no regard for copyright at all, eg it allows you to repost all images regardless of rights. It also does not always attribute the image correctly, a link to the top level domain not even the page the image is on. And when that TLD is Google, that’s even worse. Now, there’s a lot of things wrong with copyright, but the fundamentals are correct – the person who owns an image decides what can be done with it. Although the copy and share behaviour is common, why should this service encourage it without even trying to atrribute images to the owners or original posts.

So Pinterest may be current darling of the tech world and having massive growth, but I’m not happy with it…

Oct 27

Flickr Printing

You can now print from Flickr (or you can if in the US, other markets to follow). But even though I can’t print my photos, any contact I have in the US can. good extension to the service – reduces the activity required to get things done.

Aug 27

Unmerged Flickr

With all the problems around the merger of Flickr and Yahoo IDs, Flickr have proved why they have such a fanatical following by unmerging the accounts of anyone who asks. Although you can argue they should have seen this coming (the need to log in continuously is one of reasons I tend to stop using Yahoo aps) at least they are paying attention to the backlash. In my case, the unmerge was done promptly and I’m back to using Flickr with ease.

But I was surprosed at some of the comments in the groups on Flikr such as this one; absolute horror that we would have to use an ID of a company that acts as a ‘spambox’ and make you have a Yahoo mail account. Obviously a completely different company than I’ve experienced. I signed up with my gmail account and I’ve never been asked to create a yahoo one. But the company have obviously annoyed a lot of people over the years.

Aug 21

London Flickr Meetup

One of the monthly London Flickr Meetups took place yesterday. The venue was Richmond, in particular Richmond Park. There were 8 people, which semes to be about average. The order of the day was pub, picnic, pub, with photos taken at many points along the way.

Aug 02


Flickr have launched a great new feature, an interestingness page, a place where you can easily explore far more photos than you did before. And there are some amazing images. Another great way to spend those timeouts at work. I can see my contacts and favourites list growing.

Jun 21

Thames View

I had lunch today at the Oxo Tower, with the team from work, as a farewell lunch for a colleague who is heading for the US. Took a chance to take a series of views from the balcony then used the software that came with the camera for the first time to stitch the images together. A pretty clever process, it managed to get all the joins correct with minimal manual intervention. Here’s a small version, there’s a slightly larger version here.


The food here was pretty good, I think well deserved of its reputation. However service was rather lacking. They got a couple of the meals wrong (which was quickly rectified) but in general it was very slow. Even though there were 10 of us, I would have thought they could have served the meal in less than the 2.5 hours it took – and even then the desert and the bill had to be chased. On a good point, the boxes they gave us for the deserts that were ‘taken away’ (for the people who had to leave for meetings) were very nice. On a bad point, it was annoying how they kept trying to top up the wine glasses all the time; it makes it impossible to track the volume drunk, which is not good when you do have to go back to work.

Jun 06

Photo Usage

I got asked today by someone wanting to use one of my images of Chiswick on a site that supports a language school here in Chiswick. I’m happy to do this – they asked!

Jun 03


I see in the logs that one nice person has been ‘borrowing’ one of the images on the blog to provide a background image. So I’ve changed it to reflect his attittudes. Here’s the image as it now appears.


I would not mind if he’d asked and then hosted on his server, but not when he’s using a direct link