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I don't know Matt, perhaps in the past and mileage may vary, but I've never seen a community as vibrant in the photosharing space than Google+ is right now anywhere on the web. Over the past few years I've been on tons of Google+ photowalks and trips, done regular live hangouts (I'm doing one with my friend Trey Ratcliff on Monday night), etc. Comment threads are long and interactive, much more interactive than anything I ever experienced on Flickr. Flickr does still have a superior Groups functionality vs. Google+'s new "Communities," but there are also some smart things that Google does with social functionality that Flickr does not. For example, when I block someone on Google+ they are really truly blocked. They become completely invisible to me and no longer exist. What personally drove me from Flickr groups was having to deal with stalking/crazy/harrasing sorts of individuals who could not be blocked from the Flickr Group. Google+ has blown away anything I've ever personally experienced as far as community on a network goes. You know a ton about community. Probably way more than I do. But personally speaking I've never met new more offline friends from an online community than Google+. That tells me they are doing something right. There are still functionality reasons why I prefer Flickr in some cases over Google+ (like SuprSetr mentioned above, unlimited high res photos for $24,95, etc.), but straight up for community Google+ wins in my book. To me it feels like much of Flickr's community died years ago.
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Two more things. Albums can be created on G+ that look nicer than sets on Flickr right now. Here's an example of my America set: This still doesn't address your blogging type scenario, which looks great, but it's another alternative to flickr. Google's started allowing full high res photos now so on a straight album to album comparison de facto as products I think they've got the better look at present. I suspect flickr's new sets page ends up looking similar to the G+ album page though. Where G+ can't beat flickr though still is in the extended functionality of sets available via Flickr the Flickr API. More specifically, Jeremy Brooks' SuprSetr is the absolute best tool on the market for managing albums. I've got over 1,700 sets now on flickr and almost all are managed by SuprSetr. SuprSetr allows you to organize albums by keywords. Not only that, it lets you sort the photos by interestingness in the albums. So I can have a neon signs set for example. I can also have a San Francisco neon signs set (i.e. photos that are tagged with both neon AND sanfrancisco). I can have a collection of neon motels (photos that are tagged neon and motel). etc. This opens up all sorts of new scenarios. The app has a tool which will automatically tag all photos I've had that have received at least 10 favs with a fav10 tag. I t can then auto build an album of all of my photos that have received 10 favorites or more, a sort of "best of" my photos on flickr. Automated album functionality is the most powerful advantage flickr sets still have at this point. They should bake this into the actual product as less than 1% of people probably even know about Jeremy's app. As far as display goes I think a mosaic wall with infinite scroll that shows photos bigger with intended crops would be the superior layout for albums. Certainly integrating a blogging tool or secondary display view makes sense too.
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I like this one the best.