Making it fun to explore

Flikr has as their goal to make photos interesting. So I checked out their calendar. Click a day and you see pics from that day. It's interactive. It's quick. I love it. How does this differ from how I want to be able to explore the best that blogs have to offer? Not at all. Now look at the context in which they present a photo – tags, related items, scollable thumbs, a photostream and more. I absolutely love the ability to add notes to photos. Could we add notes to blog posts?

So they are really making photos more interesting! It's fun to explore well design photo collections (and it looks fun to store my own photos – had I not already invested MASSES of time in already storing my photos here at textamerica.com)

Now look at Yahoo Avatars. By playing with this (absolutely amazing Ajax) application I've told Yahoo a phenomenal amount about myself – my taste in clothes, sports preferences and hair etc. That's interesting, but what really captures me about this application is the way I explored and built up my data. How is that different to what I want to be able to do when I explore blogs?

I'm drifting from the user interface we designed for reBlogger where:

  1. step 1 is to define and include keyword and then
  2. begin to define exclude keywords and gradually build more includes
  3. until I have so many includes that I really should define a category… which is essentially the name of my "view".

But when I look at flikr and Yahoo Avatars, I'm wondering if we could invent an entirely new and better visual way of exploring literally millions of blog posts to fnd just what I want?As I wrote those words "add notes to blog posts" I suddenly remembered Ivan's idea of building a layer OVER blogs, so casual visitors can add meaning. I can smell the idea breakthrough… it's coming soon, sooooon.

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