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Flickr Fans to Yahoo: Flick Off!
August 30, 2005 6:01 AM   Subscribe

Flickr Fans to Yahoo: Flick Off! (by Wired News). "A splinter faction of Flickr photo-sharing community members is threatening a symbolic "mass suicide" to protest closer integration with the website's new owner, Yahoo." Welcome to the Flickr Accounts Mass Suicide Countdown group - Flick Off.
posted by webmeta (91 comments total)

 
I'm missing the problem... is Yahoo evil now? Could someone send me a copy of the memo?
posted by odinsdream at 6:19 AM on August 30, 2005


hahaha, oh man
posted by jimmy at 6:22 AM on August 30, 2005


KTHXBYE
posted by mkultra at 6:31 AM on August 30, 2005


memo
posted by ODiV at 6:33 AM on August 30, 2005


Seriously, people need to get a little perspective and chill. This level of handwringing and moaning over a change in the authentication scheme and corresponding back-end account makes it hard to take seriously the people who claim that they're being forced to "bend over, grab [their] ankles and smile" -- what exactly is the beef with having to switch to a Yahoo account sometime next year?
posted by delfuego at 6:38 AM on August 30, 2005


boo-flickin-hoo.
posted by gwint at 7:23 AM on August 30, 2005


That's one of the most asinine things I've ever read...
posted by SweetJesus at 7:24 AM on August 30, 2005


"symbolic"? Rats.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:29 AM on August 30, 2005


I cannot roll my eyes hard enough.
posted by smackfu at 7:29 AM on August 30, 2005


I've never liked Flickr because I don't like the idea of uploading my photos to someone else's server. I'll host my own data, thank you very much.

Someone should make an open system that allows people to tag and organized photos on their own servers. And then aggregations sites could sniff around Technorati-style and allow people to search for all photos that have been tagged "porkchop" (for example). And folks other than those at Flickr could write their own tools. This would lead to much more interesting stuff, I believe. And it would, at least, solve this problem about getting pissed and annoyed when a for-profit company like Yahoo! starts thinking of new ways to make money...

And then a site like Flickr could help out people who don't want to bother using their own tools, like Blogspot helps out those who don't want to go through the whole process of getting an ISP etc just to run a weblog.

So, anyway, Flickr seemed like a great first step into the realm of photo-sharing tools. But now I'd like to think that the web is ready to move on into something more flexible and open. Maybe Yahoo! will misstep and piss of some bright minds and this will happen...
posted by chasing at 7:31 AM on August 30, 2005


I don't think this is bad enough to cancel my account. But at the same time I am not keen on using my dusty old Yahoo ID. I have a perfectly good login right now, I don't want to have to use a different one. They're trying to go for the one login ID for everything Yahoo, but the web is bigger than that, and as a user I'd like to have a choice of whether to use their "Passport" or the one I've been using for years. My own "unified login system" is tried and tested.
posted by riffola at 7:34 AM on August 30, 2005


Seriously, people need to get a little perspective and chill.

Here's some perspective for you: Out of the 1 million or so flickr members 856 of them belong to the flick-off group. Non story.
posted by zarah at 7:35 AM on August 30, 2005


Thanks ODiV. I don't know what happened with my e-mail this morning, I'll check it and make sure I don't lose any more memos.
posted by odinsdream at 7:39 AM on August 30, 2005


Bic figured out back in the 70s that FLICK looks better in sans-serif caps.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:39 AM on August 30, 2005


I can still use my Flickr account username and password, just that it is linked to a Yahoo account I very rarely would ever need to use. What's the gripe here?
posted by Rothko at 7:49 AM on August 30, 2005


What's the gripe here?

I dunno. What do you say we do a telethon to raise money to buy these people lives?

*begins spinning plates*
posted by jonmc at 7:51 AM on August 30, 2005


There are people who don't have a Yahoo email address? Wow.

My main complaint with Flickr is that its too huge now. Its nearly impossible to keep up with all the pictures being loaded up and still be able to do other things with the day.

I won't quit when Yahoo mates with Flickr for real but I've already been reducing my Flickr usage. It cuts into my MeFi and blogging time too much.

zarah, what's the percentage there? Less than 1 tenth of 1 percent? Oooh. I understand their concern but its just a web community, not really something to get too upset over.
posted by fenriq at 7:53 AM on August 30, 2005


I don't like seeing the web consolidate into a handful of megacorporations. In the long run, it's going to make the web experience as bland and homogenized as television.
posted by Jatayu das at 7:56 AM on August 30, 2005


*begins spinning plates*

/imitates Jerry Lewis

"I think of [a woman] as a producing machine that brings babies in the world."

A comment like that seems worth more attention than this Flickr nonsense.
posted by Rothko at 7:57 AM on August 30, 2005


Rothko: The gripe is that sometime next year, you will be forced to use your Yahoo account to login. Really minor, yes, but the gripe exists.
posted by Plutor at 7:59 AM on August 30, 2005


Plutor, read the article. You can link to an account.
posted by Rothko at 8:01 AM on August 30, 2005


A comment like that seems worth more attention than this Flickr nonsense.

I think Jerry's merely a little zedraddled. The good he's done outweighs any verbal gaffes.

If the telethon's off, I'm gonna start mixing Kool Aid for these Flick Off folk.

"Come to me, my Babies!!"
posted by jonmc at 8:02 AM on August 30, 2005


Am I the only person who objects to having to download a quarter of a meg' of Flash page before I get to see each and every image?
Maybe Yahoo!'s monetary might could buy Flickr a couple of geeks to recode and make the Image Behemoth usable and quick.
posted by NinjaPirate at 8:04 AM on August 30, 2005


From the article:

"If Flickr was honestly concerned about anything besides bank account size, then there would be zero point or purpose to force us into an account we did not originally agree to," Smith said."

Hint, Hint.
posted by eriko at 8:09 AM on August 30, 2005


NinjaPirate, they don't do flash anymore, it's all jpgs, CSS, and javascript.

Since I have the same username on flickr as my yahoo account, it's no big deal to me and I fail to see why they're at all evil. If I had to change my username/password to a new yahooID, that'd be fine as well -- I still get some use out of flickr so it's worth the very small added effort of a changed login.

Yahoo isn't taking over, it's still a fresh photo service that is constantly updating and adding new features. About the only result of the Yahoo merger is that the number of "massage" site closings are way down. I'm curious to see what Flickr can do when everyone is on the Yahoo ID system. There could be flickr streams on Yahoo News photos, flickr on the homepage of Yahoo, flickr breaking news tags of the moment somewhere prominent, etc.

Don't think of this as a monolith closing in on little old Flickr, think of it as little old flickr getting its tendrils into everything at Yahoo.
posted by mathowie at 8:18 AM on August 30, 2005


Jeez, my Yahoo! ID is the oldest ID extant that I still have, going back to ... gosh it has to be '95 or '96. Great spam-trap. I only created my Flickr account last week, and thought "Great! I can use my Yahoo! ID and not have to remember another username and password."
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:18 AM on August 30, 2005


NinjaPirate, huh? They don't use the Flash anymore. Switched to DHTML about 3 months ago.
posted by smackfu at 8:19 AM on August 30, 2005


I'm a member of the Flick off group, and I am upset that Flickr is merging with Yahoo! for various reasons. First, I don't have a Yahoo! account and don't want one and don't want to be forced to get one. Secondly, right now I feel Flickr is one of the best online communities on the web- great photographers (in fact, it's a big reason I just signed up for a photo class this fall), great info, sharing, technique, information, and GREAT images- and a factor that plays a large role in the quality of the site is the relatively small size of the user population. People never seem to understand that you can't just "scale up" an online community and expect the original members not to resent it (it takes time and effort to create a good community and then someone else comes in and makes decisions without your consent), and that the very high amount of signal currently on Flickr is going to get noised out when every Yahoo! asshole starts uploading pictures from his/her digital camera. I recognize that having money for the development of cool Flickr features would be nice, and that Yahoo! is quite the sugar daddy, but I think they're killing the goose that laid the golden egg. It's the nature of online communities.

How would you like it if Metafilter merged with Yahoo!'s message boards? And sent out a bubbly press release about how great it was going to be? I didn't think so.

Flickr is special. If Yahoo! wants to compete in the photo hosting and sharing arena, I wish they'd buy someone else. There's plenty of software out there for that already.
posted by Sidthecat at 8:21 AM on August 30, 2005


Ridiculous.

I turned my nose up at the idea, but after realizing that continuing to use Flickr was more important than extending my vague and rather baseless disapproval of Yahoo,
I went ahead and merged my Flickr account to a synonymous Yahoo account (one without email). Conveniently, this gave me a good opportunity to go into that Yahoo account and set some privacy options, trim back my info and update a profile.

Now, I log into Flickr with the same username on a different GUI. Big freakin' deal.

Yahoo is a big ol' corporate monstrosity, sure, but so is everything else we all deal with every other day. If you want to remove yourself from the clutches of reality's megacorps, you better hop off the Internet, cancel your cell phone, sell your car, get out of your apartment, snip apart your credit cards, close your bank accounts, cancel your insurance, burn your clothes and retreat into the woods to live off the land ... assuming that land isn't part of a business park or national trust.
posted by grabbingsand at 8:22 AM on August 30, 2005


Flickr is special.

*pats head*

And you are special, too.

Jeez, you sound like some teenager. "Oh, golly willikers, the grown-ups found our sooper-sekrit clubhouse. Shucks."
posted by jonmc at 8:25 AM on August 30, 2005


(Of course, I established that Yahoo account about five years ago. If I had to use gra661n95aNx0Rz11, I might be a little more annoyed.)
posted by grabbingsand at 8:25 AM on August 30, 2005


OK, yep. I was wrong. Sorry about that. Flickr aren't using Flash to display their content any more and it was careless of me to assume they still did...
The point may have been missed though.

I still have to download 250kB before the image comes in.
That's 250kB folks.
Of texty code.
Before the content arrives.
On each page.
If I did that to clients' sites I'd get kicked out the door so hard I'd go into orbit.
posted by NinjaPirate at 8:32 AM on August 30, 2005


I read message boards for a living John and believe me Flickr is one of the best (as is Metafilter). I personally think Yahoo! is an internet sewage tank, an inevitable outcome of its size.

The problem people have with the Yahoo! merger is not about getting a Yahoo! account. It's what Matt said about Yahoo! incorporating Flickr into its services...except I have a far more negative take on the outcome. I don't see Flickr enhancing Yahoo! in any way, except perhaps at first. Then it will get so diluted that it will be just another photo hosting feature, rather than the vibrant online community that currently constitutes its value.

If you don't get my Metafilter/Yahoo! analogy, I can't help you.
posted by Sidthecat at 8:32 AM on August 30, 2005


Sidthecat. Jon is not part of a group threatening a symbolic "mass suicide" so I'm guessing he's not the one who needs help.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:37 AM on August 30, 2005


If you don't get my Metafilter/Yahoo! analogy, I can't help you.

Translation: I don't have a real argument, so I'll merely condescend. And most of your original comment is couched in condescension and elitism ("you can't just "scale up" an online community and expect the original members not to resent it" "every Yahoo! asshole."). It's a photo hosting service, not the Star Chamber. And, I might add, it's a business, not a charity playground for you.

Basically, your complaint is that you have to rub elbows with the n00bs and the rubes. Cry me a river.
posted by jonmc at 8:38 AM on August 30, 2005


Rothko, the article is correct. For now. Again, sometime next year you'll be forced to use a Yahoo account. From Flickr's FAQ:

"Please note that we will be migrating all independent Flickr accounts to Yahoo!'s network in 2006. At that time, if you have not done so already, you will be asked to create a Yahoo! ID (or link your account to your Yahoo! ID if you already have one) in order to continue using your account. We'll provide further details about the merge as the date approaches."

No, wait, even the article states it correctly. Next year, you'll have to use your Yahoo account, although you'll keep a distinct Flickr name (for display purposes, not for logging on) and URL.
posted by Plutor at 8:39 AM on August 30, 2005


what a bunch of whiners. Set up your own servers if you hate yahoo so much. Frankly, I found flicker annoying. I can host my own JPGs, thanks.
posted by delmoi at 8:39 AM on August 30, 2005


also:

I read message boards for a living John

Get a real job.

and from your user page:

Actually, I'm bummed that the internet isn't just a place for freaks anymore.

Translation: I have to be around people who I consider beneath me! WAAAAH!
posted by jonmc at 8:43 AM on August 30, 2005


Insult me all you want (elitist, condescending, etc.) but I have a point. Why don't you take a look at Yahoo!'s message boards and see how much quality discussion you find there. Then look at Metafilter. Then decide where you want to spend your time. Are you being "elitist"?

I think online photo sharing is JUST FINE. I think it's great that people want to upload drunk pictures they take with their camphones for their friends to see. But I also think it's important to have an online community for serious photographers (myself not inlcuded, I suck) and photo enthusiasts to share and learn, and that is put at risk with this merger.
posted by Sidthecat at 8:45 AM on August 30, 2005


But I also think it's important to have an online community for serious photographers (myself not inlcuded, I suck) and photo enthusiasts to share and learn, and that is put at risk with this merger.

Even if such people use Flickr, who is forcing you to look at their pictures? Or are you just irritated that "those people," are moving into your digital neighborhood. Yes, Flickr has some great community and artisric aspects, but for many of us, it's simply a practical service.

Like I said before, It's a business, not a fucking commune.
posted by jonmc at 8:50 AM on August 30, 2005


Insult me all you want (elitist, condescending, etc.) but I have a point.

People never seem to understand that you can't just "scale up" an online community and expect the original members not to resent it (it takes time and effort to create a good community and then someone else comes in and makes decisions without your consent), and that the very high amount of signal currently on Flickr is going to get noised out when every Yahoo! asshole starts uploading pictures from his/her digital camera

What's you point again? You don't like Yahoo, and all it's users are assholes?

Jesus, get a life.
posted by SweetJesus at 8:53 AM on August 30, 2005


But I also think it's important to have an online community for serious photographers (myself not inlcuded, I suck) and photo enthusiasts to share and learn, and that is put at risk with this merger.

Beyond vague suspicions of corporate behavior, what exactly about registering for a Yahoo account that you link to a Flick account is putting this specific aspect of the community (sharing and learning) at risk?
posted by Rothko at 8:53 AM on August 30, 2005


Yeah, they're just whining. Whatever. Maybe they'll save Yahoo a few bucks on hard drives when they wipe their pictures.
posted by danb at 8:55 AM on August 30, 2005


"Like I said before, It's a business, not a fucking commune."

Yes, good point. But monetizing online businesses based on content and community is notoriously tricky, and the Flicker has a lot of "value" in the quality of its content and users. Yahoo! has a lot of "value" in its size and scale. Take your pick because you can't have your cake and eat it too.
posted by Sidthecat at 8:55 AM on August 30, 2005


what exactly about registering for a Yahoo account that you link to a Flick account is putting this specific aspect of the community (sharing and learning) at risk?

she might have to look at baby pictures, or family portraits, or something, taken by people in unfashionable clothes, with unfashionable e-mail addresses! The Horror! The Horror!
posted by jonmc at 8:56 AM on August 30, 2005


I think it's great that people want to upload drunk pictures they take with their camphones for their friends to see.

Are you implying that Flickr doesn't have this? If so, then you run in a small circle or Flickrzens™Yahoo Inc. I have wade through my fair share of drunken-frat-dudes-with-PBR-in-hand-trying-to-nail- some-hottie pics before I find the nuggets.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:57 AM on August 30, 2005


Errr, Sidthecat, I appreciate your tenacity, but Yahoo did not merge with Flickr. They bought it all. It's a Yahoo division and they can do what they see fit. A little bit of pragmatism is necessary when faced with a multinational corporation purchasing a smaller community business.

If anything, I would say the Flick Off group is reacting with extreme naïveté, and the Flickr Blog response is a nice mix of condescension and 'happy happy joy joy backslapping.' I think this brings up problems when a blog becomes a larger corporate voice and faces a small backlash. Shame really.

Oh and on preview: the puke tag.
posted by gsb at 9:02 AM on August 30, 2005


Sidthecat, what the hell do Yahoo's message boards have to do with Flickr asking you to use a Yahoo login? Does Flickr force you to go trawl the message boards? Do you find yourself diverted to them between photos? It's a silly argument; it's like saying that you don't want to move to a nice, new Upper East Side apartment in New York because New York has decrepit, infested tenements on the Lower East Side that offend you.
posted by delfuego at 9:02 AM on August 30, 2005


People never seem to understand that you can't just "scale up" an online community and expect the original members not to resent it (it takes time and effort to create a good community and then someone else comes in and makes decisions without your consent), and that the very high amount of signal currently on Flickr is going to get noised out when every Yahoo! asshole starts uploading pictures from his/her digital camera.

Sidthecat's got a point here. I'm not sure why some folks here seem to be insisting it's insane to value a community that's been built up online and is now facing a massive scaling up in someone else's hands.

chasing: Someone should make an open system that allows people to tag and organized photos on their own servers.

Yes. Flickr was a neat idea, but a truly open system would be far neater.
posted by mediareport at 9:03 AM on August 30, 2005


John you're a broken record ("I smell....ELITISM AND WHINING!") and part of what makes MeFi so great: the individuals who make up the community. That's my point.

If you had any idea what I a dork I was you would not make elitism claims against me. I don't mean to come off that way. I'd appreciate the same benefit of the doubt I extend to you. Wait...is that stuck-up?
posted by Sidthecat at 9:04 AM on August 30, 2005


Flickr is software first, and a community second. The community is not the what makes the money, it's the functionality of the software.
posted by SweetJesus at 9:07 AM on August 30, 2005


A quick scan of the tags "drunk" and "art" reveals that "art" outnumbers "drunk" by approximately 5-to-1.

The gallery at the Brooks Institute of Photography contains no "drunk" photos.

You want exclusivity, there are appropriate places.

I'm not sure why some folks here seem to be insisting it's insane to value a community that's been built up online and is now facing a massive scaling up in someone else's hands.

Taking it to the level of "symbolic suicide" for me. What, online petitions lost their lustre?
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:07 AM on August 30, 2005


Christ on a stick, Sidthecat, isn't there some Gopher server somewhere you should be on right now?
posted by mkultra at 9:07 AM on August 30, 2005


If you had any idea what I a dork I was you would not make elitism claims against me

Can you not appreciate the irony of that sentence? It's not only pretty people, and rich people who can be elitist. Your attitude basically amounts to: "You are not like me, therefore you are unwelcome." Geeky elitism is still elitism. You can call it a rose if you want, but I still think it stinks.

John you're a broken record ("I smell....ELITISM AND WHINING!")

And you are a brick wall, mainly because I'm telling you something you don't want to hear.
posted by jonmc at 9:08 AM on August 30, 2005


Everyone here who thinks this is not a bad thing, have you even tried to merge your accounts?

I have, and after that every single time I visit Flickr, I have to login. It won't remember me like it used to with a regular Flickr login, now how is this not annoying? Also once you merge your account you can not use your old Flickr login. Your username stays the same, but you must use your Y! ID to login.

Try it first before blindly pointing and laughing at people who might have genuinely valid concerns.
posted by riffola at 9:29 AM on August 30, 2005


Having to type your password every time doesn't really merit committing suicide--virtual or otherwise--does it riffola?
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:52 AM on August 30, 2005


mkultra: I'm too busy uploading pictures of my cat to Flickr.
posted by Sidthecat at 9:53 AM on August 30, 2005


Sidthecat, and others that fear the masses of Yahoo users flooding flickr, there's one thing I don't understand.

If flickr has 100 users or 100,000,000 users, my view of flickr doesn't change. I look at my own photostream and comments, and I look at my friends' photos. I don't see the rest of the "unwashed masses" beyond that and I couldn't care less if there were millions of others I don't see.

Flickr is going to stay the same for me after the Yahoo integration is complete, which is why I fail to see the problem here beyond a temporary and slightly annoying login transition.
posted by mathowie at 9:54 AM on August 30, 2005


This thread is so fucking white.
posted by solistrato at 9:58 AM on August 30, 2005


WolfDaddy, I never said I was going to quit Flickr, I just said I am not happy about the switch to Y! IDs.
posted by riffola at 9:59 AM on August 30, 2005


riffy, that's a practical reason to be annoyed, but that's not what the Flick Off people have their panties in a bunch over.
posted by jonmc at 10:03 AM on August 30, 2005


One thing Microsoft did right with their Passport system is that they allow you to use your own email as the passport login. You do not need to have a Hotmail email address or a MSN ID name. Your login is simply whatever email you signed up with.

Now if Yahoo would go down that route, that'll be much nicer and less of a headache as it is one less login name to remember globally, not just in the Yahoo universe.
posted by riffola at 10:11 AM on August 30, 2005


Matt, we'll see. I've been wrong before. Maybe it will be awesome. I've seen some communites wrecked after being bought out by Microsoft or Yahoo!, and they're never quite the same after the migration. And who's to say how Flickr would change in the future without Yahoo!?

Solistrato: Maybe we need to get The Pumpsta in here.
posted by Sidthecat at 10:15 AM on August 30, 2005


Wait, so you really have to enter your password everytime you go to Flickr after you merge your accounts? It won't keep you logged in and just take you to your home page? That's ridiculous. I certainly won't plan to merge until they fix that. Flickr is one of those web applications that actually feels like an application rather than a just bunch of connected pages and having to login each time breaks that feeling.
posted by shinji_ikari at 10:28 AM on August 30, 2005


Holy fried mars bars jon, I think you're reading more into Sidthecat's comments than is there, and be honest, you'd blow a gasket if mefi merged with yahoo message boards. I don't think it's a stretch to imagine Matt cashing in big time one day, and the ensuing meltdowns would be spectacular.

I look at my own photostream and comments, and I look at my friends' photos. I don't see the rest of the "unwashed masses" beyond that and I couldn't care less if there were millions of others I don't see.

A few blurry camera phone pics of your kid and sticking to only your friends' photostreams isn't really using flickr to it's fullest though. I think it's only fair to admit that for a large number of users, who use the site more expansively, flickr could change considerably once it becomes more yahoo-ed. I'm already starting to feel a bit hinkty over riffola's mention of the yahoo login quirk 8)

I've just been reminded of what geocities and webring.org users went through in the past with Y! and, well, flickr users would be foolish to not be on their guard.
posted by zarah at 10:34 AM on August 30, 2005


Or, if I'd actually read the Flickr blog post I would have seen:
"Q: OMG, it is really annoying to have to log in to Yahoo over and over many times a day just to get my Flickr fix! [This is not a question.] Uh ... isn't it annoying?!!?

A: Yes, it really, truly is. It's enough to drive one batty. And it's a bug. And a fix will be out soon. It's taken a while, but for security reasons we couldn't do the quick fix here. Just be patient for one more week :)

Or, you know, if you merged your Flickr.com and your Yahoo! ID and it is driving you crazy, then we'll unmerge your account. All you have to do is write to us (read the announcement from last week for details). You'll still have to re-merge it later, but by then things will be muuuuuch smoother."


I am no longer outraged.
posted by shinji_ikari at 10:35 AM on August 30, 2005


Holy fried mars bars jon, I think you're reading more into Sidthecat's comments than is there, and be honest, you'd blow a gasket if mefi merged with yahoo message boards.

I'm survived every other expansion of MeFi without any blown gaskets, I'd live.
As far as reading more into her comments, she explicitly complained about "every yahoo! asshole." If that dosen't reek of "there goes the neighborhood," then I don't know what does.
posted by jonmc at 10:39 AM on August 30, 2005


I think that rather than committing virtual suicide the Flick Off group would be better served by creating their own community. Something along the ideas of a loose federation as chasing mentions would be interesting. And if the technology is important to the community, there's open source solutions such as coppermine (which I prefer over flickr anyway). You can build your own community, with your own technology. You could even go the capitalist route to really stick it to Yahoo! by pulling subscribers away from them.
posted by forforf at 10:47 AM on August 30, 2005


The fix to the "have to login all the time after I merged my accounts" bug was supposed to go out today, but it got delayed. Hopefully tomorrow.

NinjaPirate, I am responsible for all 250kb of the code you are complaining about. Why don't you turn your browser caching on so you don't have to download it on every page? It's all in js and css files, which your browser will cache for you if you let it.
posted by ericost at 10:48 AM on August 30, 2005


riffola: Being required to use a Yahoo! ID to login to Flickr is not a valid concern. Sorry.
posted by punishinglemur at 10:51 AM on August 30, 2005


Why didn't this happen on MySpace after Murdoch bought it?
posted by lunalaguna at 10:53 AM on August 30, 2005


odinsdream writes "is Yahoo evil now?"

Yahoo has been, if not evil, at least corporately unethical at least since they rebranded GeoCities.

zarah writes "Non story."

Users won't care until they can't log in without creating another ID.

Sidthecat writes "Maybe it will be awesome. I've seen some communites wrecked after being bought out by Microsoft or Yahoo!, and they're never quite the same after the migration"

Yep, here's hoping Yahoo leaves Flickr alone instead of screwing it up like they did with eGroups. It would be ugly if, for example, we had to view an interstatial ad before each picture view.
posted by Mitheral at 11:04 AM on August 30, 2005


NinjaPirate: based on a comment in another thread, I think you are an Opera user, which might account for you having to load all the 250k of flickr's js and css files on every page. We though we had fixed this issue with Opera (and it is fixed in Opera for me) but maybe not. What version of Opera are you using?

Here is a related thread at flickr: http://www.flickr.com/forums/help/7976/
posted by ericost at 11:11 AM on August 30, 2005


I think it's only fair to admit that for a large number of users, who use the site more expansively, flickr could change considerably once it becomes more yahoo-ed.

It's not fair to make a big assumption like that. I seriously doubt that a "large number of users" plunge into the everyones photos pile much, or somehow will see a lower quality experience if they start surfing global comments. Unless you have access to their server logs, I'm pretty sure most people stick to their own photos and branch out lightly from there. Beyond that, you're worried about what might happen in the future given that they are part of Yahoo. I haven't seen any degredation in content or quality since they moved months ago, and like I said before, instead of several outages a week, the site is up with minor downtime once a month or so.
posted by mathowie at 11:15 AM on August 30, 2005


Thanks ericost, that explained a lot. Unfortunately it sounds like neither side wants to take the rap, and both of them say "follow the spec!"

At least I got an answer to a great annoyance. I suppose it's only fair to stop ranting at the F! (as it's undoubtedly going to become) crew now.

The trials of using a 3rd/4th/5th choice browser, eh? Thanks again.
posted by NinjaPirate at 11:31 AM on August 30, 2005


is Yahoo evil now

Yes, Yahoo is evil. Yahoo's history of arbitrarily and capriciously suspending user accounts with no explanation and with no possibility of appeal, arbitration, or mediation is extensive. Suspended accounts immediately lose all access to all stored data: email, notes, photos, groups, portfolio data, etc etc. With no warning, and no provision for backup or extraction prior to suspension. It's notoriously easy to suspend someone's Yahoo account maliciously, Yahoo even provides a handy-dandy web form for those so inclined.

Basically, Yahoo takes the path of least resistance when it comes to user accounts. Actually employing real people to properly screen abuse complaints would take time, and money. And is difficult to scale to its ridiculously vast user account numbers. So Yahoo basically refuses to get involved, automating the process and making suspension pseudo-automatic with no possibility of revocation.

It would really, truly suck to lose access to an elegantly tagged photo collection... I doubt many people have the foresight to generate their metadata initially in something like ThumbsPlus or Portfolio and then export it to Flickr.
posted by meehawl at 11:42 AM on August 30, 2005


I'm survived every other expansion of MeFi without any blown gaskets

I dunno jon, mefi has not changed in any considerable way since I joined so I don't see that there's been much to survive. Yahoo message boards are pretty much the same as newsgroups, ie: totally overrun by insane spamming loonie trolls with nothing positive to contribute. We are all pretty sheltered here on mefi, despite the occasional outburst of bad behaviour. Also you seem to only use flickr as a storage facility and might feel a bit more strongly about it if you used it in a more personal way. Or not.

It's not fair to make a big assumption like that. ... Beyond that, you're worried about what might happen in the future given that they are part of Yahoo.

Taking something under consideration (flickr could change once it becomes more yahoo-ed) is not the same as making an assumption. Also I'm not assuming people use the site more expansively than you do, I see it with my own eyes. Btw, you might want to take a look at the commentary on this photopage for an example of random influx of new members who don't care about flickr as a service, and the incredible departure in tone from the rest of the site. It's slightly NSFW, showing a blurry shot of a subway flasher's shortcomings.

As for worrying about what might happen in the future, well, that happens because of how Yahoo did biz in the past. It's hardly beyond the realm of reasonable to judge them by their rep and then watch their handling of flickr with a degree of trepidation.

Personally I'm fine with the way things are (nice to hear the login bug may be sorted out) , but I can definitely see where others are coming from, and empathize with their worries.
posted by zarah at 11:55 AM on August 30, 2005


zarah, that page was linked on hundreds of blogs, news wire stories, etc.

It doesn't really relate to Yahoo at all, and if it happens to your photos, there's always the delete-and-ban link to keep dorks off them.
posted by mathowie at 12:00 PM on August 30, 2005


I would draw you the relating line between that random influx of new members and the concern over the Yahoo message board population but I have to go shopping for new crayons (seriously, I'm off to shop for new school supplies, yay!).
posted by zarah at 12:16 PM on August 30, 2005


The solution to both yahoo groups, and flickr groups is to participate only in groups where users are sane.

That may mean creating or joining private groups for your niche interests, and dumping the open groups overun with spam and trolls. No one is forcing you to hang out with the trolls.

Since when is that really an issue if you are a bit more picky about what groups you use?

As for the yahoo purchase, we'll all have to wait and see. I have no issue with linking my yahoo account further to my flickr account(but have waited until the login bug is fixed). I have to say, I already like the 360 stuff a lot better than older yahoo features, and I'm intrigued to see where things are going.

The devs sound like they're really working on some interesting thing, site changes and features are appearing monthly(including some that make moderation of flickr groups easier). I think it'd be a real shame if yahoo just sunk flickr. I just don't see it happening.
posted by dreamling at 12:25 PM on August 30, 2005


ninjaPirate, in case it is not clear, I am a member of the F! crew. If you can tell me what verison of Opera you are using, I can look into why caching is not working for you.
posted by ericost at 12:39 PM on August 30, 2005


riffola, you're not the only one I've heard of with that login issue and I think its one of the only real valid complaints against this whole deal. Merging accounts should make things simpler, not more of a pain in the ass.

zarah, the pervert on the train was new to me. Strange ways that people are finding to use Flickr. Some of them quite cool, some of them kind of disturbing.

But Flickr never ceases to amaze me and I do make a point of looking through the Everyone's Photos bin at least a few times a day. Yes, lots of stupid shots but also the occasional gem that makes the stupid ones fade away into my memory. And I've come across some pretty wonderful people through Flickr too.
posted by fenriq at 12:51 PM on August 30, 2005


Right, flickr is going to become more lowest common denominator with more users. Guys, the stream of "all photos" has been pretty noisy for a long time, pretty much since the beginning. Remember flickr's ease of use with cameraphones? I hate to say it, but there's not much fine art coming from those.

I use flickr to keep track of some friends and follow a number of groups. That doesn't mean I think every photo on the site is going to be worth looking into. The guy who posted that mefites "don't get" flickr is way off -- if anything, MeFi is like a flickr group with input from everyone and some moderation from administration.
posted by mikeh at 1:01 PM on August 30, 2005


eric, it was clear, promise.
I was using an older version. I've yet to install the version I've downloaded, but I'm happy to accept that between the two forces, this little problem has been sorted.
Thanks for your help, and some, timid props for being able to write 250kB of code and have it work for a few million people - sorry for my misunderstanding.
posted by NinjaPirate at 1:28 PM on August 30, 2005


I was under the impression when I joined it some time ago that Flickr was an easy way to share photos ... you know, a place I could put my family vacation pics so my family could see them. I didn't realize it was all about "serious" photography. It seems to me that a lot of people have been using it to share their drunken night out or their family snapshots since the very beginning. If you want to belong to a group dedicated to serious photography, then start one or join one, but I don't think that is what Flickr's main goal has really been.

I'm just not seeing what the big fuss it about. Yes, as a community gets larger, there will likely be more riff-raff, but you have ways to control who sees your photos and who can comment on them, as well as being able to delete/ban and move on. This just seems like a lot of screaming about nothing.
posted by Orb at 1:48 PM on August 30, 2005


dreamling writes "The solution to both yahoo groups, and flickr groups is to participate only in groups where users are sane. "

My beef with Yahoo about their groups acquistion isn't the members, it is the way they arbitrarily change the conditions, often to the detriment of the service. For example at one point Yahoo just dropped all but foo archived messages so that only the most recent foo were available. Some groups I belong to lost 100s of thousands of messages. And their system is so crufty and ad driven it's practically impossible to extract your own archive. Also it seems to be impossible to get a new group owner set if the existing owner(s) dies or otherwise abandon the group. See also meehawl's rant re: UserIDs.
posted by Mitheral at 2:50 PM on August 30, 2005


Nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING Yahoo!'s acquisition could bring to Flickr could possibly be worse for Flickr than the UAE Horde.

It's like this:

UAE : Flickr :: Brazil : Orkut

Except that the vast majority of the UAE flickr crew are idiots. They post their photos en masse to hundreds of groups at a time. They act like 11 year old boys on Fark.
posted by blasdelf at 3:18 PM on August 30, 2005


Flickr is soo slow and that'd be a reason for me not to use it if I wasn't already hosting pictures by myself (seriously, sometimes it's Orkhut slow.) Maybe the flickr off-ers could find a faster place, that'd be an improvement.
posted by NewBornHippy at 5:02 PM on August 30, 2005


ericost, do you know anyone at Yahoo! who'd be able to respond intelligently to meehawl's point about the service's "history of arbitrarily and capriciously suspending user accounts with no explanation and with no possibility of appeal, arbitration, or mediation"? Assuming meehawl's criticism is accurate, will that policy still apply once Flicker is merged with our Yahoo! accounts? If so, doesn't that entail a terrible risk of lost photos/memories/portfolios? If not, how is meehawl's claim innacurate?

It's great that you're here and all, but it really would be nice to get an official Yahoo! response to that one (and I say that as a person who's recently been nudging Matt to make Yahoo! rather than Google the default search engine for the site). I also can't help notice that no one attacking those with concerns has bothered to touch the issue. Is Yahoo planning on modifying its suspension policy to eliminate the risk of sudden suspension "with no warning, and no provision for backup or extraction prior to suspension"? Thanks in advance for passing this along to the right folks at Yahoo! for a public response here.
posted by mediareport at 6:12 PM on August 30, 2005


Too bad Google didn't buy Flickr. This would be a lovefest.
posted by geekyguy at 6:18 PM on August 30, 2005


it really would be nice to get an official Yahoo! response to that one

(408) 349-3300

Why not call Yahoo and ask about the TOS? Inquire about the abuse form, and who exactly defines "objectionable". Ask if someone has flagged you as "objectionable", will you be told, and if so, can you appeal. It's enlightening.

You agree to not use the Service to:
1. upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any Content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another's privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable;

13. TERMINATION

You agree that Yahoo! may, under certain circumstances and without prior notice, immediately terminate your Yahoo! account, any associated email address, and access to the Service. Cause for such termination shall include, but not be limited to, (a) breaches or violations of the TOS or other incorporated agreements or guidelines...

Termination of your Yahoo! account includes (a) removal of access to all offerings within the Service, ... and (c) barring further use of the Service. Further, you agree that all terminations for cause shall be made in Yahoo!'s sole discretion...

An analogy I'd use is a safety deposit box, a file storage or locker service, or a display case in a commercial establishment. If you have purchased or obtained storage or display rights, and you place your material there, there is an expectation that the other party can and should have the right to terminate the contract within specified bounds. However, the notion that you then immediately could have no further access to "your" material is absurd... outside of Yahoo World.

Consolidation of great internet resources into single sign-ons controlled by voracious companies with appalling customer service policies is tragic.
posted by meehawl at 9:59 PM on August 30, 2005


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