Monday, September 03, 2007

Accessing Flickr on low bandwidth

Flickr is often cited as the great example of Web 2.0 social networking and interactivity, but whilst it can be free to use it comes at a price. The price is the bandwidth, that used for displaying photos, large graphic/pixel output is consumed. Uploading photos can be equally frustrating. If you live in the low bandwidth world (especially those using dial up modems and overstretch home networks, as your kids download from YouTube) you might find flickr frustrating slow to use, or maybe it will be straight out unusable. I have a Next-G wireless broadband modem, which is heavily advertised by Telstra as a modern day technology wonder, and whilst good around the city it can be painful using flickr out in the sticks

There are some ways and tools to easy such stress

  1. Upload via email, you can get your own unique email address to email your photos to flickr and they will get posted into your photo stream, and optional additional address can be used to both post your photo on flickr and then post the email text and photo to you blog. You find the setting under your account, personal information, email (This can take a bit of setting up, and testing so do the set up on a higher broadband access)
  2. Use the ability to change the layout of your photostream so that you just use the small images only or small images and sets. This significantly reduces the amount of image related pixels to be downloaded before it is displayed.

  3. Set up a favorites link directly to the your photos page, this will avoid flickrs front door (main page) and all the ads etc. it contains

  4. If you are using your own computer, tick the keep me signed in box, at sign in time. This avoids the log in page next time you log in. BE WARNED you should never use this, remember me, feature at a public computer (eg at school or a library, or a cyber cafe) and the next users will be able to access your account, and possibly do naughty things

    Flickr obviously recognizers that mobile phone access suffers greatly because of band width and screen size so they have a separate portal for mobile access. However there is nothing stopping you using that from a low bandwidth connected computer. OK the photos are small and menu options are very limited but it does work well and most importantly FAST.
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