Flickr is many things to many people. Based on the discussions in Flickr Central, here is one attempt to summarize what members think and value most. Since many hold similar views I have not attempted to credit anyone in particular. I have also tried to read between the lines, therefore all errors and omissions are my own. Please feel free to correct, comment, add or subtract from this.
1. Flickr a great and interesting idea.
2. Most functionality is free.
3. The pricing structure is simple. What you pay for is clearly defined and easy to understand.
4. The implementation is great.
5. Execution is a miracle.
6. Great things are expected to happen yet.
7. Is unusually receptive and interested in member’s wishes.
8. Freely and informally participates in debates.
9. Consults the membership on most major initiatives and actively requests input from members.
10. Is not afraid of change.
11. They are not judgmental.
12. Treats the user base as partners, ask their input on software improvement and business issues, and responds quickly to bugs. This leads to the quick identification and fixing of problems.
13. The site and tools are easy to use.
14. Flickr has more uses than is initially apparent. As a result, members are happy.
15. Members have control over their images – who can see, comment on, and download them.
16. You can select favorites, place comments, add contacts, write notes, and view slideshows.
17. Tagging is intuitive and remarkably successful even though no standards exist.
18. The ability to form groups and to communicate via forums is highly treasured.
19. Large file sizes are allowed.
20. Images are automatically resized.
21. Users can choose to display their EXIF data.
22. Creative Commons licensing is available and much appreciated.
23. Your photos are hosted for free, and you can use RSS feeds, and display your photos on your blog.
24. There’s an open API that makes the technical gurus spill tears of joy.
25. Flickr is focused and is not trying to be everything for everyone. The mail system is minimalist, but this is an advantage since it can only be used inside Flickr and does not distract from the activities.
26. The system is evolutionary – that is why it’s always in Beta. Good!!
27. Members are the beta-testers. They are being treated as if they're a valuable resource, and they appreciate it.
28. New functionality is released rapidly and often, and member input on releases is asked for and valued.
29. Good ideas from users are actively invited, recognized and implemented where possible.
30. The tagging system works because of the redundancy. Even though not all photos are tagged correctly, enough results show up to make this method very effective.
31. The system breaks often, but this is good because it is an indication of rapid growth. It is expected to improve soon.
The Flickr Environment
32. The site is well designed.
33. It is rich and unstructured. Members supply the content and the structure.
34. Advertising is at a minimum.
35. It is great for individual purposes like saving and storage.
36. The site has great community tools for sharing ideas and photos.
37. The forums often contain quality discussions.
38. It is very accessible.
39. The content is diverse and intriguing, but always visually attractive.
40. Regulation is at a minimum, and a large part of that is left to the members themselves to administer.
41. The result: Flickr is full of nice surprises.
The Social Aspect
42. Flickr is open. Anyone can participate.
43. It’s has the feel of a flea market or a bazaar.
44. The place is humming with activity and there is plenty opportunity to meet others.
45. It is self-organizing. Members can start their own groups, invite others and manage their groups.
46. No hierarchy here. Flickr is self categorizing. Tagging images helps you organize your collection and makes it easier for others to find. Members and friends can add to your tags which add value to your work.
47. Tags also bring people together and channel their creativity.
48. Members can share as much or as little as they like and have control over whom they want to share with.
49. There is a great sense of Community.
50. All over the place people are documenting their lives and sharing it with their friends and family.
51. It is a great place to learn from others and discover new ideas and sights.
52. In Flickr country there is a world of diversity, variety, tastes, attitudes, and different ways of seeing trough the eyes, the minds and lives of others.
53. There is plenty opportunities to connect with others who share specific interests, to work with them and be part of group projects.
54. The social fabric is close-knit and people make real friends in Flickrtown.
55. This makes them feel less inhibited, and it has helped many to open up.
56. People are less lonely because of Flickr.
57. Flickr is a playful place and members like to have fun.
58. Commercial use is outlawed and this is valued highly.
59. It is not just a web site, but has a practical side to it – people shoot photos, edit their work, post and discuss their creations and debate issues.
60. Flickr is inspirational and allow everyone to become more creative.
61. The members are friendly and non critical. Most comments are positive. This makes Flickrtown a pleasant and inviting place, and it encourages participation.
62. Members display a lot of respect for each other. Some trolls exist, but are quickly dealt with.
63. There are many subcultures within Flickr, and no particular style or theme dominates.
64. Members are tolerant and altruistic, and given to share and help rather than take.
65. A warning though: It can become quite addictive.
66. There is a great deal of concern if someone falls ill, or suddenly disappears.
Self-Fulfillment & Learning
67. Flickr is a place where people find new ways to express themselves. It's like having your own personal art show.
68. A great deal of inspiration, creativity and innovation takes place around the clock. Not everyone gets enough sleep.
69. The fruit of their labor is quickly published and shared with others.
70. People love to contribute to this process by commenting upon the work of others and by selecting their favorite works from others.
71. We all learn and become aware of coincidences in space, where color and form collide in perfect harmony. This lifts our spirit and we tend to seek beauty in everything.
72. Many rediscover a dormant passion for photography that makes the blood run thicker and faster. They begin to see the world through the eyes of a lens, framing their perspectives and experiences. New dimensions are added to their perception.
73. Others see the world through a thousand lenses, directed by different people. This gives them a strong sense of proportion and a new awareness of what is possible.
74. Flickr turns everyone into an artist. It enables people to see the world around them in more depth and makes them aware of all the cool stuff they were missing.
75. Flickr is about contribution, about learning, about understanding. It's the opposite of work!
76. People connect and exchange art and information, and their time on Flickr act as a distraction from the daily grind.
77. The Flickrati are free. They are freed from photo albums, free to define their own terms of copyright, and free to exchange their gifts.
78. Flickr becomes their collective memory.
79. Out of this emerges not only a way of life, but a celebration to life.
80. Flickr is whatever you want it to be...
7:51AM, 20 May 2005 PDT