Wulf's Webden

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Supercharged Flickr Tag Search

One of the hallmarks of many Web 2.0 services, like Flickr and del.icio.us is that you can interact with them not only by using the elements on the page but also by adjusting the URL (web address).

As a self-professed web geek, I love this and is not, in fact, very difficult. An example with del.icio.us would be that the address for my forums is http://del.icio.us/basswulf/forums: by appending “+quicklink”, I can filter that down to all the entries that have both links (ie. the set of forums I like to access on a regular basis). Therefore, it gives me the ability to interact with my information in a very flexible manner.

Although Flickr also has some options for URL manipulation, this technique regrettably doesn’t work. If I wanted to find all the pictures of me playing with The Elusive Teeth I thought I either had to type a much less obvious URL or use the search tools on the page with all the attendant delay and extra clicking.

Therefore, I was pleased to discover a little publicised feature on the site yesterday: separate the tags by commas and the magic works. For example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wulf/tags/elusiveteeth,wulf brings up all my recent rock star pictures!

If it is useful to me, it may be useful to some one else. The presentation of the resulting pages is a little quirky and I hope that one day Flickr might standardise one the same “+” formula that del.icio.us uses but, for now, I am happy with my new trick.

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