Liz & Mary PRO 7:55pm, 29 October 2009
I was curious to know what the expected wait time was to hear back from someone at Flickr about joining the Commons. We queried and got the expected automatic e-mail back on September 10, but have not heard anything else yet. There is no giant rush, but others at my institution have been asking me.

Liz
Texas State Library
admin
zyrcster PRO 9 years ago
[I am staff]


Hi Liz!

We've had a bit of a backlog and are just getting though it as we can, however it's probably going to be about a 6-10 week wait until we get in touch with you. Hopefully sooner!
Liz & Mary PRO 9 years ago
Thank you! We'll just be patient.
Liz & Mary PRO 9 years ago
It seems time to follow up on this. Any way to figure out where my institution is on the waiting list.? We have been on the waiting list since September 2009 -- four months. Any guidance you can provide would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Liz
Texas State Library
Hi Liz & Mary,

We expressed an interest too - and this was about 4 1/2 months ago with no reply yet (However, since then we have become unsure if it is the right choice for us as we cannot determine how flexible the system is).

Swindon Central Library
UK
ABC Archives 9 years ago
Hi,

I'd really like to get some information about this as well. We originally contacted Flickr Commons in April last year and were asked to get back in touch in the last quater of 2009. We have sent lots of follow up emails to Omar with no reply.

We have just started uploading our images to a pro account under ABC archives but are still really keen to get onto the Commons. Or at least get an idea if this is still possible

Thanks

Monique Potts
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
admin
zyrcster PRO 9 years ago
[I am staff]

Hi all, we do have an update:

So, the bad news first, do the volume of backlog we're experiencing, we've closed new registrations through 2010:
www.flickr.com/commons/register/

Before some rumors get going about this, I want to assure everyone that Flickr is still committed to the Commons and we do hope to bring as many institutions into the Commons as we can during 2010. But the registration process itself was contributing to our inability to work on the queue, so we had to turn off new registrations. We'd like to open it back up to new folks wishing to join sooner than 2011, but our priority is supporting our current institutions and bringing abroad those who have expressed interest in joining.

We have all of your current registrations in a database and are going to be contacting people starting next week to get contracts into their hands, and we will get through this backlog and be able to provide support to you.

What you can do to help get through the process:

- If you have an account on Flickr, make sure it has a good representative sample of the type of content you will be posting (it can be private, no problems there)

- If do you not have an account, please set one up and populate it with content (as above)

- The account you'll be using for the Commons ought should not be 'blended' - that is to say, please use distinct accounts for your "how we look today" content and your archival material.

I'll try to answer what questions here if I can - I may not reply until Monday (posting this on a Friday night).



Thanks! We look forward to shortly seeing you all in the Commons.
Lú_ PRO 9 years ago
Thanks *so much* for the update, Cris! I'm pleased that this group can help institutions keep in touch with the process.
Hi Zyrcster,
Thank you so much for the update - very much appreciated.

We can make your job a tiny bit easier by asking to be removed from the queue. We love the Common project - it is the future and one day we will be able to participate - but at present our Flickr account is too broad in scope to be suitable for the Commons and we would be unable to manage separate accounts. Flickr for us has taken on a life of its own and our future plans, and the way in which content is acquired and added is incompatible with the Commons projects.

However, we we still be following updates and watching with keen interest as you guys help set the standard for this.

BTW - I STRONGLY urge Flickr to consider an institutional account format for Museums, Libraries, Archives etc. Maybe even at a slightly (!) higher rate to cover costs of modifying the basic account system a little. There are tiny tweaks that would really make life easier and usage clearer for libraries etc :
eg-
(1) a default standardised signature in each image description with contact details/rights statement/logo/branding (only needs to be minimal).
(2) free up the "date taken" so any historical image can be dated through the archive function, even if it is pre-photography.
(3)Modify terms of use wording as at present it is scaring some institutions (potential customers!) away. We certainly know a number who felt it would be against Flickr policy for them to sign up.
(4) (and this is the more difficult one!) some form of backup facility that can save and store not just the images but the descriptions/dates/geotags/tags/sets/collections structure too. The real power of flickr for us is making the archive, tagging, sets and searches work and it seems so vulnerable to losing data somehow (or are we worrying too much!).

Just a thought!

Anyway, keep up the excellent work!
SLSC
admin
zyrcster PRO 9 years ago
Hi there SLSC,

Thanks for all the info!

I'm interested in what part of the ToS is scary to institutions. Feel free to drop me a line if you don't want to get into here although here is good, too - whichever is more comfortable for you. :)

We'll take the rest into consideration for future tweaks, and I appreciate you leaving the info (although sorry that you won't be joining us!).
Jayel Aheram PRO 9 years ago
I really hope that what Zyrcster is saying is true and that this is just a big plan to make Flickr Commons even better. And not, you know, an attempt to spin bad news.

But if it is true, wow! Very excited! Looking forward to the new and better Commons.
Jayel Aheram PRO 9 years ago
If you guys are in need of more resources, George Oates is wondering if she can volunteer.
admin
Brenda Anderson PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Brenda Anderson (admin) 9 years ago
She is? How do you figure?
oh, I see a comment near the bottom of that page.
Jayel Aheram PRO 9 years ago
News about Flickr Commons stopping registrations is spreading.

From Library Journal, Tragedy of the (Flickr) Commons?:

The Flickr Commons team? Is this a joke? Flickr laid off George Oates over a year ago, who was at the very least the public face of the Flickr Commons. Since no one apparently replaced her in that role, the level of commitment Yahoo has for the project seems obvious.
admin
zyrcster PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by zyrcster (admin) 9 years ago
Jayel, sometimes it just seems that you like stirring the pot . If I had a dime for all the untrue rumors out there, I'd be happily wealthy and founding my own institution. :)

[edited to add: but you know, I'm glad you are a pot-stirrer!]

So, here are just some, hopefully, clear statements about Flickr and the Commons since the rumor mill got going anyway.



We are contacting institutions right now and getting contracts in their hands.

We hope to bring in as many institutions that have applied to date as soon as possible, but we also have other projects we each are working on. You'd be surprised how things come along and knock you off track for a week or so. That does not mean we 'don't have time for the Commons,' but it does mean we have to be flexible.

We turned off new registrations because they were interfering with our ability to bring institutions on-board. We will re-enable this tool as soon as we clear out the backlog.

We gave ourselves a year rather than a quarter at a time because, well, you know how bad it looks when you say "this'll be done at the end of Q1," then you have to push it back again. All this is, really, is a CYA for us, and we sincerely hope to open up for new registrations as soon as possible.

We are just as committed to the Commons as ever, however the responsibilities are split out over various teams (including ops, engineering, product and community) not all on one person's plate, but -- as with everything else we do at Flickr -- this is not an open, public process. I can't just give you the company's workflow, but we do have people working on this.

If anyone has specific questions, I'm happy to try to answer them. The project hasn't been tanked.

But in needing to get it back on track, we had to temporarily disable new registrations, which I think is better than letting them pile up and get it in the way of bringing new institutions on board, no?

:-)

If anyone wants to 'volunteer', they can! People can write for Indicommons, build new API applications around the Commons, promote the Commons on your blogs and tweets and walls and such, and interact with this group... or even help new institutions that come on board with tips or tricks that users especially like to see. Or informing us of terrific content that ought to get on the Flickr blog.

Thanks!
Jayel Aheram PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Jayel Aheram (member) 9 years ago
Jayel, sometimes it just seems that you like stirring the pot . If I had a dime for all the untrue rumors out there, I'd be happily wealthy and founding my own institution. :)

It is just love for the Commons. There are people out there, George, Anna, Stephanie Fysh, Daniel Bogan, Ryan Donahue, institution partners, and key members of the Flickr staff and even you, that worked too hard to keep the Commons alive despite Yahoo's attempts to kill it.

I stand by my previous statements that the Commons is Flickr's singularly most important and most significant cultural contribution to the world. Not the Magic Donkey, not the user-interface or the tags (though, they helped), but the Flickr Commons.

Anyway, good luck with this initiative. Like I said, anything to make the Commons work better.
Lú_ PRO 9 years ago
I've not seen any attempts to kill the Commons. If Yahoo really wanted to do that, they could do it easily. All I'm seeing is that scaling got tricky for a while.

The people who *really* keep it going are people like the Bain collection Friday crowd. Check Seb Chan's post for that kind of idea: www.powerhousemuseum.com/dmsblog/index.php/2010/01/25/why...
Thanks for the update "zyrcster".

We finally made it through our institutional bureaucracy and mailed the signed contract to Sarah. We were in email contact with Omar. Should we also be emailing someone else with updates on our progress?

I believe we have taken care of all "to-dos" for membership and just need the "go-ahead" after you receive the paper contract. I wasn't sure of what to expect after I saw that article in the Libraries Journal.
admin
zyrcster PRO 9 years ago
:)

Libraries Journal got it wrong. I'm not slamming them, but for those who blog, tweet or whatever, I just wanted to set the record straight.

Omar is the right person, although you can probably expect me to contact you, too, so that when we introduce you on the blog we can get from you a good sense of what aspect of your collection you'd like us to promote.

My name is Cris (Criz to friends), and Omar and I work together at Flickr (along with Dan and others) as the Commons' team. :-D
Eric Hunt. PRO 9 years ago
Jayel - Hear Hear a million times over!

Glad to hear all these updates from Flickr and here's hoping the workload winds blow favorably for Commons applicants!
Hi Chris -

Thanks so much for the quick response and the updated info. We really appreciate it!
ABC Archives 9 years ago
Thanks so much for the update zyrcster.

We think the Commons has a great network of organisations on it and a great vibe and are keen to join in soon

Monique at ABC
admin
zyrcster PRO 9 years ago
oh, here's some reading material, too.

www.indicommons.org/2010/01/28/the-commons-vital-virile-v...

;-)
Lú_ PRO 9 years ago
zyrcster posts in a blog comment:

all of that backlog will be joining The Commons this year, which will more than double its size


!!!
Jayel Aheram PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Jayel Aheram (member) 9 years ago
That is quite a good news.
Jayel Aheram PRO 9 years ago
BoingBoing posted my submission.
Hi Cris
Thanks for all the updates on the Commons this last couple of weeks, it's very much appreciated.
Following your advise, I set up a preview account for you to see what the Netherlands Architecture Institute has in store. It's a sample taken from the collection we are planning to post on The Commons. Hope this is okay for now, if there is anything else we can do, please let me know.
Best regards, Petra at NAi Collection
Lú_ PRO 9 years ago
<--- very happy architecture fan!
eefcee 9 years ago
Cris,

Just a note from another organization that has been on hold since 2008. First with George, then with Omar. We also were asked to contact again in Fall 2009, which we did. No word. Our collection is already on Flickr, has been public all since Fall 2009 (see www.flickr.com/photos/jhsum/sets/72157619115669385/), just waiting for Commons. The board of the organization has met and accepted the Flickr agreement, not that there is anyone we can tell about this.

I don't know from the messages above if we are part of the stream you are trying to catch up with or if we missed the boat. Please contact me for more details, or look in the Omar archives for messages from the Minnesota Digital Library and the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest.

Thanks!
...Eric
admin
zyrcster PRO 9 years ago
Hello Collectie Nederlands Architectuurinstituut and eefcee,

This week, I'll look into the big deep stack to see what's up with you both and will contact you both by this Friday.

:)
Hi Zyrcster - Can you check on us too? We initially contacted George and then Omar as well, and did also fill out the online registration form. We're ready to go as well.
Keene Public Library and Historical Society of Cheshire County
admin
zyrcster PRO 9 years ago
Hey there,

Thanks, I'll take a look!

Just an FYI, it will take us a while to get to everyone that is in our queue, so stay tuned. We appreciate your patience. :)
johnalexandercoburn 9 years ago
Hy Zyrcster,

I registered The Bowes Museum and Hartlepool Museum & Heritage Services to the Commons about 7 months ago. Heard nothing back from anyone.

I've just been alerted to this thread.

My question is, if these two organisations create a Flickr account now and start getting their content online is it guaranteed that we can still participate? Or are we too late?

I'm very keen to get involved but don't want to undertake a chunk of work if we've already missed the boat!

Thanks,

John.
admin
zyrcster PRO 9 years ago
Hi John,

There are no guarantees in life! I don't mean that in a stinging or flippant way, I just don't want to create an impression that this topic is a way to secure your place in The Commons. :)

Right now Bowes and Hartlepool are on the list to be contacted asking for intent ("still interested?").

We have been giving priority based on an institution already having a Flickr account populated with sample content (private content is fine) and that is not a 'blended' account; these institutions have already been contacted and we're finalizing stuff with them.

Once we get through the accounts that are 'ready to go', we can move into the other pile of institutions, and - again - priority is going to go to places that have content uploaded to Flickr with relevant descriptions, so that we can get a sense that an institution groks what hosting their content on Flickr is like and how to use Flickr, etc.

That's about all I can say at this time, but we'll be able to provide updates to the whole process soon. :)
johnalexandercoburn 9 years ago
Hi Zyrcster,

Thanks for the info.

I'll begin working with Hartlepool and Bowes to upload sample content. Any indication as to how many images would be representative of collections content? I'm 30-50 images each would be reasonable for now, in terms of staff time. More if possible.

Hopefully hear from you in the near-ish future!

John.
admin
zyrcster PRO 9 years ago
Hi John, 30-50 ought to be fine. Really, even 20 is fine, to get a sense of the type of content available, the type of descriptions you're able to add, that sort of thing. :)
johnalexandercoburn 9 years ago
OK, Zyrcster. We'll get onto it. Thanks!
johnalexandercoburn 9 years ago
Done and done (for Hartlepool, at least).
Lú_ PRO 9 years ago
Go Hartlepool!
ABC Archives 9 years ago
Hi,

Just wondering if there is any news for us on joining? We have our sample collection up at ABC Archives and are about to add a bunch more. www.flickr.com/photos/abcarchives/

I noticed we are now part of the Flickr Commons group but not sure if that means anything.

Not quite sure what to do next? Try emailing Omar again? If I had a sample contract I could start running it by legal as this can take a while.

Thanks

Monique at ABC
admin
zyrcster PRO 9 years ago
Hi Monique,

I'll contact you tomorrow. This info should be in your hands already, so I'll see what's going on (I'm not in the office today).
ABC Archives 9 years ago
Cheers zyrcster look forward to hearing from you
Hi Zyrcster - I posted above about 4 weeks ago and haven't heard back yet as to the status of our site's application. Original message was: "Can you check on us too? We initially contacted George (in 2008) and then Omar as well, and did also fill out the online registration form. We're ready to go as well."
Sorry to bother you through this forum, but I don't know of any other way to check on this.
Thanks very much!
admin
zyrcster PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by zyrcster (admin) 9 years ago
Hi there,

Unfortunately, we are still going through the backlog. You will be hearing from us, but I can't give a firm timeframe, but we're shooting for a late April date to get through the next bunch of emails.

Thanks for hanging in there!
admin
zyrcster PRO 8 years ago
Hi folks,

Just an FYI that we've been in contact with all of the institutions that have posted to this thread to date. :)

While this is by no means an official channel, just know that we are paying attention to this topic in the event other institutions come along to ask about their registrations.
geobdc 8 years ago
The U.S. Government Printing Office applied for membership in the Commons on November 23, 2009, and I last had any communication on December 15 saying "We have a backlog." We're still interested, but I fell ike we've been lost in the shuffle . Will we hear something sometime?

Thanks.
admin
zyrcster PRO 8 years ago
Hi geobdc,

I'll look into it, thanks. :)
Het Nieuwe Instituut - Architecture Collection Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Het Nieuwe Instituut - Architecture Collection (member) 6 years ago
Hi all,

After uploading our photos, sending a contract and rights statement, we are still waiting to be launched into the Commons, but it has been awfully quiet for the last couple of months. Sending emails just doesn't seem to work. Can anyone please contact me, I really need to know where we stand. Thanks!
Groups Beta