Out with Flickr Explore. In with FlickRiver
Flickr user Strange Quark recently introduced me to a Flickr mash-up that is a better (and more addictive) time-waster than Flickr's Explore. It's called FlickRiver. Developed by Alex Sirota, it has many improvements over Flickr Explore.
The first improvement is that Flickriver displays the photographs on a black background, which is much easier on the eyes than Flickr's white background.
The second improvement is that you don't have to keep reloading the Flickriver page. When you first visit Flickriver, you're presented with the top four interestingness photos. When you scroll down, it uploads four more photos. You can continue scrolling down until you've looked at all 500 photos in the current stream (the stream seems to update throughout the day). You can also hit the SPACE bar on your keyboard to advance through the photographs one-at-a-time.
But, the most interesting improvement is that Flickriver lets you specify your own criteria for searching for interesting photos. You can specify only "night photography", or you can specify only specific Flickr users (such as "thelordofthemanor"), or specific groups ("nocturnes"), or by specific tags (which is a subset of the general search field). Would you like to know which of your own photographs rank highest on "interestingness"? Flickriver can do that. There are even links to switch between "Recent" and "Interesting".
Now that you've spent a few hours playing with Flickriver, it's probably time to get back to work!