better fun than friendster.
nadav hits the nail on the head with his explanation for the success of flickr. flickr, at its core, is fun, and the fun is deep, deep down in the app, baked in at every level. hell, they even make xml fun. look! little yellow bars i can click and change!
all that other stuff — social networking, social capital, self-presentation — are part of what makes flickr fly, but they all feed the real reason, which is play. in the context of the app, each has its part, but they're instruments to a larger purpose, not ends unto themselves. which makes them better, because they come about (for lack of a better term) naturally. they serve the higher goal.
the flickrfolk embrace the bigger picture. effects, not tools. people, not technology. god bless 'em.