Alex Wright

Figuring on flickr

December 25, 2004

flickr has sparked some good new writing lately - by Gene and Salon's Katharine Mieszkowski, among others - but the most cogent analysis to date comes from Nadav, in which he correctly deduces that flickr is not a YASNS, but a MMORPG:

Why does this make flickr successful where Friendster, Orkut, et al fall flat? I believe itís because flickrís designers are among the first ... who have grokked video game design and (more to the point) figured out how to translate it to the web. What does this mean? It means that, unlike say Zoto, which is just a tool for storing and sharing photos, flickr is inherently, down-to-its-bones about play. If you look at a list of the elements of a successful game, they are all present in flickr: a sense of space to explore, a range of challenges, a range of abilities which can succeed, the need for preparation and skill, a variable feedback system.* > more of Nadav on flickr

Addendum: Peter and Lane chime in.

File under: User Experience

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