Here is a new toy to play with- announcing Pechaflickr, the pecha kucha + battle decks + flickr mashup.

Type in a tag, click “play”, and you will be served up 20 random flickr photos, displayed each for 20 seconds. The idea is to have people practice the art of improv to a set of never before seen images, and try to make sense of it.

I owe the idea to someone asking if there was some way to make Five Card Flickr do something like this. My first, lame response was going to be:

Yeah, do 5 Card flickr 4 times 😉

But I thought this might be fun to do. My first round was a build off of the same code that I wrote for 5 Card Flickr, because all of the image data for the tags read in are stored locally in my database (the site pulls in the flickr id for a photo needed to generate a size of an image via the API).

That was not hard, after tapping into a jquery library for slide shows, jquery cycle, which is amazing for what it provides to create a variety of web-based slideshows. But it seemed limiting to use only the tags defined for my other site.

So I pressed rewind, and just wrote something from scratch, using the same phpflickr library to work with the flickr API. In this version, I use the API to pull up the 200 most recent photos with the tag into an array, and then use array_rand() to grab 20 random from among those, which are then served up by the jquery cycle gig.

I found that the first image in the set loaded a bit slowly, so I made the first slide an intro/explanation/teaser image I pre-created (I have five of them, so you get a random one each time).

The images are then displayed 20 seconds at a time, with a counter on the left- here is an example using tyhe tag “dog” (is there another tag worth doing?)

I did a demo of this at a Moosecamp session for Northern Voice, and people seemed to like it.

After I can do some tweaking of the layout and fish for feedback, I will post the code for it. Some things that people asked for included:

  • An ability on the front to select the duration for slides to appear (it is fixed at 20 seconds, but this could be a menu option).
  • An ability to change the number of slides (maybe a mini pecha, say 10 slides?)
  • A clock on the screen (I am against the idea, it does not meet with the concept, but that is just me)
  • Perhaps a way fo presetting some “easy”, ‘medium”, “hard” settings to set the challenge level

No promises I will do any of this, but I will at least share the code soon.

But this was fun to make!

Give it a play at

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. This will be a great game for ESL kids. Help them loosen up and see how they can have fun with improve based on images. Maybe the rest of the class can take notes on what the presenter says, then the whole class can right more substantial narratives based on the impulse improved words.

    Will let you know how it goes. Thanks

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