The Feed Thickens

We’re totally flipping out because of our newly announced partnership with Feedburner. We’re co-developing a standard for syndicating photos with them (which of course will be open and made part of existing standards efforts) and also offering the first (of many) integrated features, splicing.

Splicing gives people the ability to offer a single RSS feed which contains a chronologically ordered arrangement of their photostream from Flickr and the feed from their existing blog (so you might end up with something like blog post, blog post, photo, photo, photo, blog post, photo, blog post, photo, photo, and so on).

Part of the story is this: photos are a perfect application of RSS. You can stick an html reference to a photo into a feed right now, but our namespace will allow for passing along the social context of the image: the raw pixels have value, but the title, description, comments, tags and notes, along with things like EXIF data add a whole other dimension of value.

As for the rest of the story … well, you’ll have to stay tuned. But we can say that we hope to lead the way to a promised land where there are aggregators everywhere: wherever there is a device with a display and a network connection, there is the opportunity to share the lives of the people you care about, as told in photos: digital picture frames, TVs and Media Center PCs, Tivos or Playstations, your mobile phone or PDA, and whatever crazy devices emerge over the next few years. Or the next few decades.

(One last thing: We are really happy about this. I’ve been using Feedburner for a few months now and it’s a brilliant service (their smartfeed feature — which hides the complexity of multiple formats from both publishers and subscribers — is by itself an innovation worth all the praise they get). But they have a few huge things up their sleeves yet. Big sleeves, those guys.)