Tag Archives: yahoo

Why I have more confidence in Flickr/SmugMug than Tumblr/Verizon

Last month, Tumblr and Flickr both announced policy changes that will impact a lot of users, and upset even more. Flickr announced that they’d be shrinking the storage offered to free accounts while adding features to paid accounts. Tumblr announced that all adult content was going to be banned, and immediately set about flagging posts and accounts. In the clumsiest way possible. With a lot of errors.

I feel like Tumblr has been knocked out of orbit, and it’s only a matter of time before it goes the way of GeoCities (or at least LiveJournal). But I actually feel more confident about Flickr. Why?

  • Flickr was bought by SmugMug, a company that’s all about photos. Tumblr was part of the Yahoo! package bought by Verizon, a giant telecom conglomerate that’s searching for a way to monetize users’s content.
  • Flickr has had a freemium business model as long as I can remember.
  • The new free tier at Flickr may be limited, but it’s still big (1000 photos), and it’s still more than they offered before the move to “Let’s get people to host ALL their pictures here!” a few years back (200 photos, IIRC).
  • And that limit is both clear and non-judgmental, not a fuzzy, badly-implemented line that on other social media sites has frequently turned out to be the first step down a slippery slope (like the “Strikethrough” episode at LiveJournal that ultimately led to a lot of fanfic writers and fan artists leaving LJ in favor of, well, Tumblr.)
  • Flickr’s customers are the paying Flickr Pro users. Tumblr’s customers are the advertisers.

In short: Flickr is focusing on their core. Tumblr just jettisoned a huge segment of their users and gave the rest a big red warning flag.

I’ve been a paying Flickr customer for years now, and I’m happy to renew. I still post galleries there, and and my better one-off photos.

Tumblr…I don’t have anything that violates the new rules, but it seems like they’ve taken a step towards self-destruction. Between this, Google+ closing, and the ongoing train wrecks of Twitter & Facebook, I’ve decided to pull back. I’ve downloaded an archive of my entire blog, and I’m in the process of clearing out all my share-posts, reblogs, mirrored posts, basically anything that’s not either original to that blog or an actual conversation. And I’m starting to import the original content here, where it’s under my own control.

It’s clear that Verizon has even less idea what to do with Tumblr than Yahoo! did. When they finally give up trying to monetize what’s left of the user base, they’ll have no incentive to keep it going. Or to respect all the user data they’ve amassed.

Links: Paper, Flickr, D&D Advice, LEGO Firefox, etc.

Some interesting links I’ve encountered over the past week or two.

And now some techie stuff:

  • Interesting idea: Paper.li extracts links posted by Twitter and Facebook accounts you follow, then creates a daily newspaper page featuring headlines, links and excerpts from the top stories.
  • Thomas Hawk’s Open Letter to Carol Bartz, CEO Yahoo Inc. on why Yahoo! should consider Flickr a core product.
  • Firefox made of LEGO

Edit: Not a link, but I should mention: between a bug in Akismet and me not having time to go through it, I ended up with more than 2,000 comments in the spam folder just from the last 3 weeks. I don’t have time to look through that many items for false positives, so I just cleared it all out. If you left a legitimate comment that hasn’t shown up on the site, I apologize.

Internet Fads: GeoLOLTwit

  • My Twitter personality: ordinary sociable cautious. My style: chatty academic ROBOT [note: apparently the “robot” is because of the percentage of tweets with links]#
  • Farewell, Geocities. It was nice knowing you. (Wait, no it wasn’t!) #
  • Jar-Jar Binks speaks LOLCat – or rather LOLcats speak Gungan (Katie on rewatching Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace) #

Yahoo vs. Microsoft

Okay, I really have been out of it the last few days. I hadn’t heard that Microsoft was planning a hostile takeover of Yahoo!.

I have to agree with this Google blog post: this would be bad. Yahoo! seems to “get it” (where “it” is an open Internet) much better than Microsoft does.

Actually, it reminds me a little of Disney vs. Pixar in the past decade. Pixar, in adddition to mastering computer animation, had a great sense of story—something which Disney lost track of in the mid-1990s. They saw Pixar’s movies doing better than their own, and while they were still getting a cut, they didn’t understand why they did better. They thought it was the 3D animation, when really, it was the fact that they were churning out forgettable animated films like that cattle movie whose name escapes me, while Pixar was doing Finding Nemo and The Incredibles.

Actually, the only way I can see a Microsoft takeover of Yahoo! being good for anyone but Microsoft would be if it went down like the Disney-Pixar merger, and the Yahoo! people ended up in charge of web services. Not that I expect it to be likely, and even if they were, I’m sure the higher-ups would cripple them. I get the impression that sort of thing is going on with the IE team as it is.