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Dear Flickr, you're dying.

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Extra Medium says:

I've been here for 7+ years. Without going into my own personal accolades, I can say I've been a very active member here. I've met dozens of people in person, contributed to several groups, commented on tens of thousands of photos, organized meetups, and been on Explore once or twice. But when it comes down to it, I'm just a guy with a camera who loves to share.

In 2005 Flickr had no other competition. There was Photobucket, which was a place to host images. Friendster, Myspace and then Facebook all were places to socialize and also show photos, but that wasn't the main focus. But now you have competition. Without going into names, just about every one of those sites have a younger, hipper, more dynamic group of enthusiastic people with cameras (I shy away from the over-use of the word Photographer) who are just looking for somewhere... anywhere to have that community feel again.

Explore used to be a place where you really could find the best of the best on Flickr. The most inspirational. The most unique. The most cutting-edge photos and people with cameras. Now, it's a joke. The algorithm has been over-tweaked and nothing good is on there. I used to like to wake up, and open Explore almost like the morning newspaper. Now all I see are photos of graffiti, snapshots from the middle east and those really freaky bug-eyed dolls.

My career in photography is 100% directly influenced by Flickr and the thousands of ordinary people who also shared that same passion. I've photographed A-list celebrities, been sent around the world photographing weddings, and had doors open to me that otherwise would be impossible. I owe it ALL to Flickr. I sincerely thank you. But now I'm visiting you in the hospital Flickr, laying on the bed with lots of tubes coming out of your nose, and that machine is beeping very slowly.

Flickr, you need to change and I don't know how. Maybe integrate more social media. Maybe allow people to tweak their page a little bit. Of all the websites around, yours has changed/progressed the least in the last 5 years. You would think with someone like Yahoo behind it, the goal of staying on top and being an innovator would be a priority. It hasn't been.

"Status quo" is the motto for extinct websites. Flickr, please.... Step-up your game. Change. You don't need me, but I need you. I want you to get better.
Originally posted at 10:50PM, 18 October 2012 PDT (permalink)
Extra Medium edited this topic 56 months ago.

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EnriqueMendez says:

completely agree

 by EnriqueMendez

Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
Brock (a group admin) edited this topic 56 months ago.

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EnriqueMendez says:

F****R
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
EnriqueMendez edited this topic 56 months ago.

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FlyButtafly is a group moderator FlyButtafly says:

Change. You don't need me, but I need you. I want you to get better.

To play devil's advocate for just a brief moment - you do know what happens every single time *anything* changes... ;) Remember when sets switched from the left to the right side of the page? :O

They *are* making changes... not necessarily *all* positive IMO... but for instance, the blocking of images hosted on outside websites - that's new. And something people have been (sort-of) asking for, for a long time. Who knows what else they may have coming? :)
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
FlyButtafly edited this topic 56 months ago.

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EnriqueMendez says:

Facebook has not pro accounts and does not have censorship as Flickr
56 months ago (permalink)

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Pacdog says:

I have also been a long time pro member going back to the summer of 2005..

Just wanted to say that..

Change? We don't need no stinking Change!
56 months ago (permalink)

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Pacdog says:

I was kidding.. To be point blank.. I'm not real happy with the Group changes, but I'll survive..
56 months ago (permalink)

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Extra Medium says:

Which group changes?
56 months ago (permalink)

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FlyButtafly is a group moderator FlyButtafly says:

Shhhhhh..... ;)

I have also been a long time pro member going back to the summer of 2005..

How DARE you lie about how long you've been here!!! You joined a whole MONTH (give or take) after the summer of '05!!! ;P

eta: I'll take change... anybody got a spare quarter?

Oh wait - that won't even buy you a Laffy Taffy anymore.

Anybody got a spare $5? ;) Then at least I can get an overpriced triple caramel macchiato...
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
FlyButtafly edited this topic 56 months ago.

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Patrick Costello says:

So here's a FC thread from five years ago proclaiming "Flickr is dying":
www.flickr.com/groups/central/discuss/72157603291125261/

I couldn't be bothered to search any further back, but I bet there was plenty of doom and gloom when Yahoo took over in March 2005.
56 months ago (permalink)

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trash-star says:

Flickr, you need to change and I don't know how.


Critique is easy. You're too fat/thin/lazy/determined/rude/quiet/smart/dumb/short/tall/smelly/plain, or whatever. If you can neither put your finger on exactly what you think is wrong, and offer practical ideas on how to fix it, you have nothing. Farting is more useful than that.
56 months ago (permalink)

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Dorsetdunk says:

well here is another door opening for you
the one reserved for waffling sad sacs

its followed by my boot up your backside to help you on your way back to those hip sites that appeal to you so much you needed to come here and dribble

the only things dead around here is those "A-list celebrities" you dug up and stuck wedding dresses on and now "those really freaky bug-eyed dolls".are stealing your limelight

green and gassy is no longer the in thing you got to keep your ears peeled and listen to the social Mafia
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
Dorsetdunk edited this topic 56 months ago.

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ⓅⒶⓎⓅⒶⓊⓁ says:

Mr Flickr gives you plenty of small change
56 months ago (permalink)

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Engineer J says:

Come to funeral in about 60 years.
56 months ago (permalink)

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amjamjazz says:

Extra Medium says:
My career in photography is 100% directly influenced by Flickr and the thousands of ordinary people who also shared that same passion.
Interesting. And I'm sure that many would admit that Flickr has extended and expanded their careers.
I'm not sure I agree with your prognosis of Flickr, but then, I don't pay to use it.
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
amjamjazz edited this topic 56 months ago.

kodiak xyza [deleted] says:

Patrick Costello said:

So here's a FC thread from five years ago proclaiming "Flickr is dying":
to paraphrase, or borrow, the phrase
« just because you are paranoid,
it does not mean that someone is not after you ».
there is merit in the OP.

yes, any little bit of changes brings a barrage of complaints —
though from a very vocal minority.
and, so we can dispense with that subverting any future changes.

unless Flickr's layout is the new Art Deco,
I doubt it is worth keeping.

the idea is not to find an indication of a "flickr is dying" pontification,
but to find an indication of the claims' severity/seriousness/frequency.
while the hyperbole of "dying" should be avoided,
there is a very noticeable change on here — 
in many of supported "great things about flickr" that people saw before.

in a way, the flickr universe was that of the "maybe the best
photosharing site" that turned into something bigger, which then is shrinking back into "still consistently maybe the best photosharing site" — the big bang theory, with the whimper compression.
56 months ago (permalink)

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NorthernLala says:

Yes! What's up with those those really freaky bug-eyed dolls?? ;D
I still love Flickr though. Don't know why- I just do :)
Member since '05
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
NorthernLala edited this topic 56 months ago.

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Patrick Costello says:


"The report of my death was an exaggeration" (Samuel Clemens)
56 months ago (permalink)

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tomdebiec says:

Article about flickr that relates to this topic.

gizmodo.com/5910223/how-yahoo-killed-flickr-and-lost-the-...
56 months ago (permalink)

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amjamjazz says:

More 'inherently inferior' images from Chicago Herald tribune photographer Scott Trazzante . You' ll hate them.
56 months ago (permalink)

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ⓅⒶⓎⓅⒶⓊⓁ says:

Flickr must be going into intensive care. I got a message while refreshing my stats page: "internal error - server connection terminated" Maybe Flickr is terminal?
56 months ago (permalink)

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Patrick Costello says:

Only five months and a couple of hundred posts too late ...
www.flickr.com/groups/central/discuss/72157629743606540/
56 months ago (permalink)

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BeccaG says:

I'm still here so it can't be that dead.
56 months ago (permalink)

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StevenM_61 says:

Another post that says that Flickr is dying because it is no longer a way cool website and that the hipsters have moved onto the latest fad photo websites. Plus Facebook, which does not compare to Flickr in any way, is brought up again.
Which means someone has to, once again, say "Flickr is a PHOTO SHARING website, NOT a SOCIAL MEDIA website."
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
StevenM_61 edited this topic 56 months ago.

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purplewon2000 says:

Better queue up the pipers.
56 months ago (permalink)

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JustForSneaks Ent. says:

Flickr fell off because:

1. Instagram became available to Android devices

2. They sold off Picnik to Google and replace it with Aviary which was a bad decision

3. Everyone's on Facebook.

That's all I can think of.
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
JustForSneaks Ent. edited this topic 56 months ago.

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falconn67 says:

People have been claiming this for years:

www.flickr.com/groups/central/discuss/72157624682212466/
56 months ago (permalink)

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personne.de.chandigarh says:

"..Facebook has not pro accounts.."
"..Everyone's on Facebook.."

So migrating there for good, are we? Do drop us a line from time to time.
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
personne.de.chandigarh edited this topic 56 months ago.

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Patrick Costello says:

Yahoo never owned Picnik, so they couldn't sell it to Google. Please do a little basic research before making false statements.
Oh and I'm not on Facebook. In fact, very few people I know will have anything to do with that site.
56 months ago (permalink)

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CallieDel Boa- in and out... says:

I love what I see here and all the new posts daily so I don't think you're dying either.
56 months ago (permalink)

kodiak xyza [deleted] says:

Patrick Costello
"It's not dead until it is dead" — Yogi Berra

adopted for the topic at hand,
or alternatively:

Westley: Why won't flickr servers move?
Fezzik: they have been mostly-dead all day.

or,

Miracle Max: Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your flickr here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.
Inigo Montoya: What's that?
Miracle Max: Go through their employees and look for loose change.
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
kodiak xyza edited this topic 56 months ago.

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korafotomorgana says:

I am here to shoot the decay. can someone just already finish it off ...
56 months ago (permalink)

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korafotomorgana says:

my snaps stopped showing up on explore exactly 1 year 4 months 2 weeks and 3 days ago... I stopped counting the hours last month... I am thinking of selling my camera and take up knitting.. flicker ruined my foto life... I can no longer enjoy the light and shadow I see.... some one kill the bastard already!
56 months ago (permalink)

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StevenM_61 says:

I am on Facebook only because my family and a few friends are on it. I have to post personal photos (those of me and of my family and friends) on Facebook because none of them will bother to go to my Flickr page even when I provide links to it. I hardly do anything on Facebook other than post personal photos for my family and friends.
56 months ago (permalink)

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Dorsetdunk says:

I highly recommend you take up knitting, the camera cosy is all the rage now

i can send you a pattern for a blue and pink one
with the flickr logo and the words
"i am proud that i have been vigorously explored "

the magic donkey only picks those snapped with a camera cosy on now
and this is the most successful pattern at present
56 months ago (permalink)

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purplewon2000 says:

--Please don't give up photography. You have some amazing urbex photos. I'm going to have to look at more.
56 months ago (permalink)

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Abhinav Singhai says:

you're one hell of photographer
56 months ago (permalink)

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Patrick Costello says:

Thank you.
56 months ago (permalink)

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Tom Holub says:

The "Flickr is still here" people really don't get it. Friendster is "still here." Myspace is "still here." Flickr is losing relevance as a photo sharing site, as there are better sites for high-end photography and better sites for people to share snapshots. Yes, the servers are still up, yes, you can still upload files and many people do, but it's hard to see what Flickr has done to address the challenges of 500px, Picasa, and Facebook. What's left here are some APIs which haven't been extended in years, and poorly-implemented forums for the Flickerati to snark at each other.
56 months ago (permalink)

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jasbond007 says:

Well, I still like it Tom, that's why I'm still here. The question is, why are you here? Trying to learn how to snark?
56 months ago (permalink)

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Grieve2011 says:

I posted my first picture on Flickr in June 2011. It was reportedly dead at that time too. I wonder if the excitement dies back over time for all users and then some of those who don't enjoy it as much declare it dead. Then the cycle repeats.

I still enjoy posting, the challenge groups, forum chit chat and the community we create. It is our community and if it is dying it is our fault. I don't see my particular Flickr community dying.

I wonder if some complaints are based upon a view that "this was mine and now it's too crowded". If so that is a bit elitist in my view.

Perhaps time for those who feel underappreciated by Explore or their fellow Flickrites to establish a new place to enjoy their photography in their own way.
56 months ago (permalink)

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Tom Holub says:

jasbond007: I'm here because I have a large investment in the 13,000 photos I've uploaded, organized and tagged, and I use the APIs to display them on other sites. But for new things I've already moved the photoblog aspect to Google+/Picasa, and unless some of the issues with the APIs and interface get fixed, I'm likely to migrate the rest of them.

Incidentally, that large investment is something a lot of people have, and it's why there are regularly annoyed posts from people who thought they were buying into "almost certainly the best" photo sharing service years ago, and have watched it become "almost certainly 2005's best" photo sharing service.
56 months ago (permalink)

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StevenM_61 says:

If you don't like Flickr anymore, leave. And be sure to change your Flickr name to reflect why you left as one I saw just earlier, which read gone_to_500px_flickr_obsolete [deleted].
56 months ago (permalink)

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photo208cam says:

Flickr ate too much bacon and cake and pie.

Burial is this Sunday

You can bring beer and donuts.
56 months ago (permalink)

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Doug McGr says:

I'm thinking Flickr is a bit like my interest in photography. I get to a certain level, get stuck, then interest starts to wane until I figure out how to move forward again. My interest in picking up again at the moment, as is my interest in Flickr.

But there is room for bigger and better. Some of it has to come from the groups (more structured learning for the intermediate level please!) and some of it has to come from Flickr. Sometimes 1/2 my views for a day come from an unknown source ... what the heck is with that?).
56 months ago (permalink)

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jasbond007 says:

"come from an unknown source"

Maybe it's Deep Throat.
56 months ago (permalink)

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personne.de.chandigarh says:

"....gone_to_500px..."
Well, good riddance.
RIP dearly deleted.
But Flickr thrives, flourishes and goes on.
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
personne.de.chandigarh edited this topic 56 months ago.

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Eric Hands says:

Things are certainly quiet on my account ( considering that I have a healthy number of contacts, most of them keen and regular posters and snappers ). Or maybe I smell ?
56 months ago (permalink)

kodiak xyza [deleted] says:

personne.de.chandigarh said:

But Flickr thrives, flourishes and goes on.
at this point,
the only certainty is that it "goes on."
all else can be argued as not really happening,
depending on the definitions for each term.
56 months ago (permalink)

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StevenM_61 says:

I was reading in the news of Fidel Castro coming out and putting to rest the latest death rumors about him. Like Castro, Flickr just keeps going on, and reports of its death are exaggerated.
56 months ago (permalink)

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pamelaadam says:

where there's upload there's hope been kicking about the place since 2004 and i'll be here till they kick me out
56 months ago (permalink)

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jasbond007 says:

Predicting the demise of anything is an inexact science.

Though technically everything will fail - it's just a question of when 500px, Picasa, Google+, CrackBook and others will come to an end too.
56 months ago (permalink)

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goneforawander says:

Lucky for the OP he's not Italian, he could end up in prison make inaccurate predictions like that.
56 months ago (permalink)

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personne.de.chandigarh says:

"..500px, Picasa, Google+, CrackBook.."
There we go again talking of the also-rans. Let's just focus on Flickr and remain convinced it's going to be here for a long long time.
56 months ago (permalink)

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jasbond007 says:

OP brought up the also-rans, I'm not endorsing them.

I was just saying that the alternatives were also going to come to an end. You can't believe that anything is going to last long in our brave new world of thousands of apps. The intervals between the release of new software and hardware is becoming shorter and shorter. Built-in obsolescence. Make more money.
56 months ago (permalink)

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Cornelius Snake says:

+1

Flickr seems lively enough judging by this and other conversations. I'm happy to stay. I don't see the need for it to come out with a wonderful new innovation every 6 months.
56 months ago (permalink)

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FlyButtafly is a group moderator FlyButtafly says:

If they came out with "wonderful new innovation[s]" that often, I think the Help Forum would implode.
56 months ago (permalink)

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Anacharsis Clootz says:

Judging from the inane indignities you suffered there during the last few days, I'd say it already has. ;p
56 months ago (permalink)

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FlyButtafly is a group moderator FlyButtafly says:

:)
56 months ago (permalink)

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Thomas Hawk says:

The problem with the concept that "flickr is dying" is that there will always be a very small group of people who insist that it is not. And in truth it never will die. It never will die like myspace never will die. It never will die like webshots never will die. www.webshots.com/ Remember when Flickr passed webshots in traffic for the first time? www.flickr.com/photos/51035555243@N01/66878684/ Flickr will always be here, just like Webshots will always be there. But what is happening is that less and less people are hanging out here.

For many this is just swell. There have always been a number of hardcore flickr users who detest the idea of flickr hitting the mass market of popularity anyways. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. These people like flickr just as it is. They don't want it to become facebook or Instagram or google+ or something for the masses. They want it to remain a niche little site for their club that retains some element of charm that they've grown accustomed to. Groups are social enough as they are and flickr does a good job at hosting my photos, we don't need any of that new fangled gadgetry -- we like it just like it is.

Embodied in this small group of flickr self perceived elites has been a denial that flickr needs to change and worse a culture of vitriol/snark/attack whatever you want to call it towards anyone who would suggest that flickr ought to change/adapt/evolve/whatever.

The thing is, flickr *is* getting smaller. Flickr *is* decreasing in relevancy. Activity on flickr is slowing down. traffic is declining. unique users are declining. Meanwhile the competitors are heating up and growing their user base.

EVERYBODY loves to hate Facebook. They love to bash Facebook -- especially the type of elites that consider themselves the most ardent defenders of Flickr. Not only do they detest facebook with passion, they consider their personal defense of flickr against the sort of Facebookerization of social networking as almost a religious calling.

Even when someone admits to being on Facebook it is always with some sort of disclaimer, like "I'm only on there because my dumb family is on there, I'd *never* be associated with such a horrible site by choice." And yet 1 billion people are on there and for many photographers facebook produces far more traction/engagement/etc. than Flickr. Same for Google+.

According to compete.com Flickr's unique users are down about 23% over the past year.

But that's not the real story.

Look at this view of Flickr Central from 2007. The front page is fresh. All of the links there have had activity in the past 29 hours. web.archive.org/web/20070202032932/https://www.flickr.com/...

Look at this view of Flickr Central from in December of 2008. The front page is fresh. All of the links have had activity in the past 26 hours. web.archive.org/web/20081220024850/https://www.flickr.com/...

Now look at Flickr Central today. www.flickr.com/groups/central/discuss/ The front page goes back 2 weeks. The rate of conversations have slowed down. Even a bastion of Flickr loyalists like Flickr Central has slowed down dramatically.

The bottom line is that this group is far less active than it was a number of years ago. And it's not just this group. It's many, many groups on Flickr. There are some groups that are still as active -- but growth is on the decline.

And so the question becomes should Flickr/Yahoo try to reach the heights of a Facebook? Or should it maintain the status quo and watch as more and more and more and more users peel off? Who cares about those stupid people anyways, right?

Rather than deride or mock the OP, those who really care about Flickr should be asking harder questions. Questions like how is flickr going to begin thriving beyond a small and declining little club of impassioned regulars? How can flickr get more social? What should flickr be doing to attract new blood? Can flickr adapt?

As far as people hating change, yes they do. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't change. So many people have hated change at Facebook over the years and yet the site is constantly evolving and somehow it keeps growing and growing and growing. Their moto/culture is the opposite of development/hacking on Flickr. Move fast and break things, stay focused and keep shipping, done is better than perfect. www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/7184819764/

Personally speaking I like Flickr's photo presentation and capability much more than Google+ or Facebook. But the audience is moving. It's changing. And as much as people would say that attention doesn't matter, it really is attention more than anything that was one of the core priniciples behind why Flickr was successful back in the day and why they grew in the first place.

“What is more pleasant than the benevolent notice other people take of us, what is more agreeable than their compassionate empathy? What inspires us more than addressing ears flushed with excitement, what captivates us more than exercising our own power of fascination? What is more thrilling than an entire hall of expectant eyes, what more overwhelming than applause surging up to us? What, lastly, equals the enchantment sparked off by the delighted attention we receive from those who profoundly delight ourselves? – Attention by other people is the most irresistible of drugs. To receive it outshines receiving any other kind of income. This is why glory surpasses power and why wealth is overshadowed by prominence.”

Caterina Fake, Co-founder of Flickr, 2005.
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
Thomas Hawk edited this topic 56 months ago.

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Nazra Zahri says:

Totally agree with you. I somewhat blame it on Instagram.
56 months ago (permalink)

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Tie(ler) says:

1. I really think 's writing was really good. He had some pretty good metaphors and evidence to back up his claim. So I can't really bash on what he's saying and why he's saying it. And plus, some of the stuff he said made me laugh.

2. And really made me laugh for what he said :)

3. I respect how flickr has stayed the same. It's easy to use and I don't think I would enjoy the constant change. And besides, you did say that you have gotten alot of success from flickr right? So if you've gotten alot of success, why should flickr change?
56 months ago (permalink)

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photo208cam says:

Actually the fun part is that people like Thomas want to make money.

Instagram was like totally sold for a billion dollars. It has nothing to do with photography, zoomr may have some content, but it has hardly any marquet value, what price would i go for on zommr about 1o% of flickr. Does something like Instagram make sense, not at all it was a bad short term move.

I know Thomas you want to make money
56 months ago (permalink)

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photo208cam says:

I must say it is not an new idea Thomas

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXIAEJuEhG8
56 months ago (permalink)

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Thomas Hawk says:

I don't care if flickr/yahoo make money or not. I'm not an owner of flickr/yahoo. What I do care about is photography on the web -- and personally I'd like to see Flickr succeed. The more flickr succeeds the more competition there is in the social photography space. The more competition, the more that photographers win.

Me personally, my primary interest these days is in seeing photography get better and better and better on the web. I've got no financial horse in this race.

Instagram pushed the envelope with social photography on mobile. You have to respect that. The number one thing I think they did was make faving a photo super easy. tap tap fave. Just like that. There are many ways that flickr could make it easier to fave photos too (social lubrication). More faves = more engagement = more attention.
56 months ago (permalink)

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photo208cam says:

Thomas you may be right to some extent, I do respect your opinion, making money was possibly not your intent.

It could be that Flickr is not the place to be for most people.

It is still the place for me as some of the best new photographers still show some work here

Like this from Québec (this guy works light)

www.flickr.com/photos/benoitpaille/

We are both rebels Thomas. Care more about images that talk, maybe we can leave cyber structures behind someday.
56 months ago (permalink)

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Thomas Hawk says:

"Over time I've noticed the community aspect of flickr, where all my photos live, had been dwindling. Outside of a few faithfuls, the number of comments I was getting and giving seem to be coming to a stand still. I post photos to flickr for a number of reasons:

unlimited storage and backup (with a $24 pro account)
Easily embed them into my blog and other spaces
Share them with others to use via Creative Commons
Groups
Community: the ability to connect with other users

The first four things are still in place and will continue to be important features but after scrolling throught instagram I realized I missed the community. "


ideasandthoughts.org/2012/10/25/i-finally-get-instagram/

How does flickr change this random individual's perception of community on flickr? This person that is totally unrelated to flickr central, or the flickr inside track or whatever. That's the question flickr should be asking.

I believe that one of the things Instagram got right was a certain social lubrication for photography. They built a mobile app that made it super super super simple to do one thing really really really fast. Fave photos.

Tap Tap = fave. So easy. So you can spend 10 minutes on Instagram while you're waiting in line at the bakery and you end up faving 50 photos. Meanwhile you can spend 10 minutes waiting in line at the bakery using a frustrating flickr mobile app and fave 2. Faving = engagement. Flickr's mobile app will get better. Most certainly. But Flickr needs to be thinking about how to apply a layer of social lubrication to flickr. The justified view is a start for web viewing. It allows me to hover and fave, but it could be far better. Flickr does not surface the most faveable photos for me to fave. It gives me my contact's photos by recency (the same way they did six years ago). This is not the most favable way to present them to me. Also, hovering over a photo and having to then move a mouse with precision to click isn't as fast as letting me hover over a photo and press a key. These things may sound stupid, but social lubrication can be so much more powerful than people realize.

I remember when Michael Ventri first told me about Instagram years ago. He was impressed that he could post a photograph and almost instantly it would begin racking up massive faves. I was late to the Instagram party being an Android guy. I've got 10% of the followers on Instagram as I've got on Flickr, but generally speaking every photo I post there gets over 100 faves. Something that is rare on Flickr these days (but was not as rare back in the day). This is not just a Thomas Hawk thing. Almost every active Instagram photographer I know who was/is also active on Flickr gets far more traction on their Instagram photos by number of faves.

Even more than Instagram though, for me, if I post something to Facebook or Google+ the engagement is so much greater than flickr by every metric. Views, faves, comments and the immediacy at which it happens is noteworthy.

A random photo of mine on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/5227298851/

353 views, 12 favorites, 0 comments

the exact same photo on Google+
plus.google.com/104987932455782713675/posts/J2Ctg57DXEo

69,678 views, 567 favorites/+1s, 60 comments

How do you replicate some of this on flickr? These are the sorts of questions that flickr should be asking.
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
Thomas Hawk edited this topic 56 months ago.

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Thomas Hawk says:

Some of the things that Google+ is doing right -- that flickr/yahoo could be doing right.

1. Spending 100x the amount of money on engineers and designers that Yahoo is on flickr.

2. All of the top executives at Google are on board. Vic Gundotra, Larry and Sergey, all of them, actively using the product. I'm not aware of any Yahoo CEO ever even having a flickr account. Terry, Jerry, Carol, Scott, now not even Marissa. What a pedigree of shame by Yahoo management. Not a single one of them will publicly associate themselves with their photo sharing site where they could publicly post. Why did Marissa Mayer have a Google+ account when she worked at Google but she won't have a flickr account now that she works at Yahoo, but will post on Instagram? What does this say about her perceived value of Flickr? *Everybody* who works for Google had damn well better be on board with a G+ account. What message does it send when your CEO won't use your product?

How many people who work for Yahoo have flickr accounts? You are constantly bumping into Googlers on G+. The only Yahoo staffers who are social on Flickr are the ones who actually work for Flickr, and even these not nearly as social as they could be. I remember the days when Stewart would post regularly and long and thoughtful posts in Flickr groups, even Flickr central, when was the last time someone from Yahoo posted something meaningful here?

3. Massive promotion of the product through other channels at Google. The product is pushed through the google.com homepage, through youtube, through android, through search (search plus your world). What is Yahoo doing to promote flickr? Last I heard they were removing it form the yahoo.com homepage to make room for an astrology module. Ouch.

4. Identification and promotion of successful and popular user community engagement campaigns through the network. Why was Chrysta Rae promoted by Google? Because in part she built a massively successful photo scavenger hunt on the site. She figured out how to leverage Google+ to make photos more fun for the community and Google staff embraced and promoted it. plus.google.com/113977984500465768287/posts/JWChgMTGa34

When you see these things you get the sense that Google cares more about their network than Yahoo cares about Flickr. How does Flickr/Yahoo change this perception?
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
Thomas Hawk edited this topic 56 months ago.

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amjamjazz says:

One thing holding flickr back is the rabid redneck culture of some groups, which actively encourage abuse and deter productive dialogue.
A simple solution would be a compulsory set of conduct rules for every Flickr group. The admins may not agree with them, but members would be able to cite them in cases of conflict. Especially since the only recourse for abuse and defamation in groups is to the admins of that group. And if they are too spineless to stand up to thugs, the level of participation is bound to fall. And a little bit of flickr dies.
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
amjamjazz edited this topic 56 months ago.

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Thomas Hawk says:

you are correct that this is a problem. An immediate way to deal with this problem is quite simple. Copy Facebook and Google+ and allow users to block each other. Today's block on Flickr is quite weak. When you block someone on Google+ they become entirely invisible. Completely and totally non-existant to you. Wiped entirely off the planet as far as that network goes.

Why Flickr wants to force two individuals who can't stand each other together is beyond me. Smart social networks should want to create as much positivity as possible and reduce/eliminate as much negativity as possible.

By allowing individuals the ability to filter out what they dislike in their flickr experience this goes a long way towards making it a more positive experience for group members.

*EVEN MORE IMPORTANT* however, is that the threat of being banished for anti-social behavior will encourage people to behave more civilly. People will be less likely to troll and be nasty and awful if they find that this can be swiftly dealt with by those whom you are trying to offend.

So many fantastic flickr community members have been driven away from groups on flickr due to this sort of nastiness that you speak of. Some of the ugliest real life harassment I've ever seen take place has taken place in flickr groups to some really good people who were at one time very important social assets to flickr's network.

Giving members a tool to protect themselves from this sort of thing is an absolute no brainer. Google recognized it early own (smartly) and it's why Google+ is such a nicer, more pleasant place for so many photographers. I wouldn't think it would be hard for Flickr to roll out a blocking tool, but there doesn't seem to be the staff will/desire to do so.

Another positive byproduct of a better blocking mechanism would be that flickr staff would get fewer complaints about offending members and would need to get less involved. Less time spent referring = more time that can spent on actual community development and management.
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
Thomas Hawk edited this topic 56 months ago.

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Photos europaeus says:

Thomas;
Info can make a difference.
In the 2 links (here & google) the google caption is extended.

ps, I've got pic-ass-a... hate it!
56 months ago (permalink)

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Thomas Hawk says:

the fact that I add the name of the location in the G+ photo example (the extension of the Google caption) vs. the flickr photo is not enough info to justify the extra engagement on G+. I started adding on the location of photos on G+ posts because I got tired of answering the question as to where a photo was taken.

Here though are two photos with the exact same caption for another comparison.

plus.google.com/104987932455782713675/posts/3ErAso2ShCa
Total views: 270,893
Total faves: 1,965
total comments: 493

www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/8059233251/
Total views: 539
total faves: 50
total comments: 20

Google+ is not Picasa. They are two entirely different things. Picasa is not social, Google+ is social -- huge difference.

This post is not about Google+ though. This post is about Flickr. What I'm suggesting is that Flickr may want to examine some of the practices of places like Facebook and Google+ to see what is working over there from a social standpoint and go ahead and appropriate their best ideas.
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
Thomas Hawk edited this topic 56 months ago.

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FlyButtafly is a group moderator FlyButtafly says:

The way to "keep Flickr alive" is *not* by copying aspects of other sites. Flickr was unique when it was conceived, and it needs to continue being unique. It's *ok* to have a niche market and not assimilate every conceivable/popular idea for how a photo/social site should be run. All of this trumpeting the concepts on other sites, instead of a desire to continue developing Flickr's own brand is what is going to kill it. We don't need a mashup of facebook/google+/etc. with a semblance of what was Flickr thrown in.

Flickr has been steady for quite a long time; even with people coming and going, it is still successful and there are still quite a few longtime members who have been here since the beginning, or close to. Were Flickr to lose sight of its vision, however that is defined, it would quickly go adrift amongst the other formerly-popular sites in a sea of mediocrity and irrelevancy.
56 months ago (permalink)

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Photos europaeus says:


What I was simply giving you a heads up on is that the comparisons don't match.
In these new examples, the captions match, photos don't.

My point being, drawing comparisons with examples that are supposed to be matching but don't, weakens the impact of your argument.

EDIT> I also see a difference in the Death Valley photos. On this site the image is richer and so lends it more depth. taken with your photographers eye, I'll guess. On google the same image is smaller, and it lacks depth... each site to their own. <<<

An other possible mismatch is this site to Google. It's like saying X more number of drivers see your billboard on the motorway than on one of the scenic lesser roads ... even though the information might well be better digested on the lesser road..; but I digress.

I merely mentioned picasa because it had been mentioned earlier. And for the same reason I'll now mention facebook. The software accompanying my new camera (image browser EX) provides only 4 options to "share" one by email, one to youtube and 2 to facebook.
Comparing flickr to an entity with tentacles like that simply doesn't add up. (but at least neither are recognised by my spell checker)

I'm not saying you don't have a point. I find this site a tad cumbersome to find stuff on. The apparent absence of an easy link to an entire groups list seems odd.

And one other point. I had expected you to come back and point out that I was wrong... because caption info does not work with flickr.
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
Photos europaeus edited this topic 56 months ago.

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Thomas Hawk says:

My point being, drawing comparisons with examples that are supposed to be matching but don't, weakens the impact of your argument.

The variance would be the same if the photo and captions matched identically, but yes your point is taken.

You are ABSOLUTELY correct on your observation about the quality of the photo on Flickr vs. Facebook and G+. Photos DO look better on Flickr because Flickr allows us to upload the full high res original. Facebook and G+ both downsize photos to 2048px. This can make a dramatic difference in the case of some photos and hardly any difference on others. And yet despite the fact that our photos look better here than on G+, still more activity is happening over there.

Comparing flickr to an entity with tentacles like that simply doesn't add up.

Ahhhh, but Yahoo has tentacles as well. They just aren't using them to promote Flickr as aggressively as G+ and Facebook are. The rumor is that Yahoo is removing their link to flickr on the home page in order to make room for an astrology module.

Think about this. Which one of these searches returns better images for Golden Gate Bridge:

This one: www.flickr.com/search/?q=goldengatebridge&ss=2&s=int

or this one: images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0oGdU.F0IpQcW...

If Yahoo wanted to they could massively seed their image search and web search both with flickr photos to drive more traffic to flickr. That is one huge tentacle. Yahoo could also leverage other properties. Yahoo sports, yahoo finance, yahoo news, all of these properties could be incentivized to try and work with flickr for images instead of non-flickr images.

Yahoo could easily come out with an opt in tentacle that said allow other Yahoo properties the use of my images. Then when someone is writing a news story for yahoo news on say the SF Giants, they could do a quick flickr search filtered by Creative Commons and those who chose to opt in to extending their photos and choose something from there instead of someplace else.

Yahoo buys stock photography. How much of it comes from Flickr? When it does come from Flickr could they promote that it came from Flickr more.

Yahoo has tentacles just like Facebook and Google. They just are not really using their tentacles to drive traffic back to Flickr in quite the same ways as some of these other sites are.
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
Thomas Hawk edited this topic 56 months ago.

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Thomas Hawk says:

Flickr has been steady for quite a long time;

no, flickr is in fact declining. This is in fact a problem. Flickr needs to evolve. Flickr's DNA is social. For the longest time they got away with not evolving because nobody was really competing in the area of social photography. Now there is serious competition for social photography as larger internet companies are beginning to understand the value it represents as content to a network. So flickr needs to fight like hell to become more and more social. Just peddling along like they've always done is not good enough.

Q. Why are there less active group conversations in most groups on flickr than there were 3 years ago?
56 months ago (permalink)

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Photos europaeus says:

You might well be right about yahoo. I'm not in a position to comment. What's more I don't really care because I'm not in the 'look-at-me' camp you touched on earlier with , to paraphrase, the oxygen of attention extract.

I quite like to post like no one is reading. It wouldn't bother me if flickr had only 10% of its membership... difficulties in navigation do irk and grind somewhat though.
56 months ago (permalink)

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Thomas Hawk says:

It wouldn't bother me if flickr had only 10% of its membership...

Flickr's long term survival is dependent on it's success in the eyes of it's owners. 10% of it's current membership and you'd see Flickr go the same way that delicious and upcoming went and you wouldn't really have much of a flickr anymore.
56 months ago (permalink)

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djwwestwood says:

Has google+ subject based comunities like we have on flickr
56 months ago (permalink)

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Thomas Hawk says:

not really. They do have "events" which sort of can act like that for a limited event and hashtags that are used to aggregate conversations and of course circles, but nothing as structured as flickr groups.
56 months ago (permalink)

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djwwestwood says:

So Google + is a bit more like facebook where you only associate with friends.

Comparing G+ and flickr is a bit like comparing chalk and cheese........

Flickr would benefit from a upgrade in some areas however turning flickr into another social networking is probably not the way forward.
56 months ago (permalink)

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korafotomorgana says:

djwwestwood said:

So Google + is a bit more like facebook where you only associate with friends.


google+ goes beyond that, you associate with people who hold common interests and/or whose work you admire... whatever that may be...
56 months ago (permalink)

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Thomas Hawk says:

actually, no. Most of the people I associate with on there are not friends. They are more of a photography based interest graph. Just a graph that interacts directly on photos of each other more than in the structure of a group.

Conversations just like this one happen over there, they just tend to happen on individual's posts instead of in group threads.

What I'm not suggesting is to "turn flickr into a social network." Flickr *already is* a social network. What I'm suggesting is that they should just become a more social network than they already are.
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
Thomas Hawk edited this topic 56 months ago.

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djwwestwood says:

Conversations just like this one happen over there, they just tend to happen on individual's posts instead of in group threads.

that must create problems when i want to find out what is the best tripod i should get next


56 months ago (permalink)

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Thomas Hawk says:

not really.

plus.google.com/s/tripod

plus.google.com/101145980349117737014/posts/ZjUfaT8DGqi
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
Thomas Hawk edited this topic 56 months ago.

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Muzzlehatch says:

<--also member since summer 2005, like apparently everbody else.

I have slowed down here not because of anything Flickr did or didn't do, or because other sites have lured me away.

I'm just a little tired of all this is all.
56 months ago (permalink)

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FlyButtafly is a group moderator FlyButtafly says:

It's just that ol' seven-year itch. Stick around, you'll be happy with Flickr again in a few years. ;)
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
FlyButtafly edited this topic 56 months ago.

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falconn67 says:

Do I still have 2 years left to enjoy Flickr, since I started in 2007?
56 months ago (permalink)

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Extra Medium says:

Thanks for chiming in Thomas. I'm passionate about Flickr because I believe in it. It turn me and a LOT of people on to the world of photography. It just feels like Yahoo has ignored it. Once in a while they update the Flickr Blog. But that's about it. Honestly for one of the top visited websites in the world, it just feels stale. Almost like they keep the servers running, but the engineers are all using Instagram on their phones at work.

I joined G+ as an invitee. I know Google has tried social media in the past and flunked a couple times. G+ just doesn't do it for me. What I like about Flickr is that it brings together people from all aspects of life, not just photographers. G+ just seems like a bunch of photographers all complementing each other without any real sincerity. Almost as bad as 500px where the goal is to make the main popularity board. But then... what does that get you?

My goal isn't to make money or be popular, but rather share, learn, improve, meet new people. I've seen some great people come and go. People just lose interest in photography, and thus, lost that friendship. Flickr doesn't really do much to advance those social relationships.

I can't tell Flickr what to do. I'm only one guy who pays my $24/year. But I feel that if I don't say something, then at least I can say I tried.
56 months ago (permalink)

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Photos europaeus says:

There's a public park here in West Flanders (Belgium) which I make a point of visiting from time to time. To me, it's nicer than anything I saw in London (UK) where I had lived for 15 years.
London parks are great. Londoners are right to be proud of them.

I could visualise what would happen if the park here were to be transplanted in its entirety to some other places. (not just London)

There are leafy areas in the Flanders park that can get a bit muddy... that'll be fixed, along with the path widened, straightened, and gravelled and all nearby undergrowth removed lest muggers or coupling couples might lurk there. All the bridges then changed , meaning flattened out, and fenced lest someone fall in to the watery bits. In short the park would be transformed into a place catering the highest wisp of security and for the lowest physically capable. Gone would be nature, mystery, adventure, intrigue, challenge, passion and fun. In would come the pretty bedding plants.

It doesn't always work to transplant things.

That said the biggest difference I see with Google+ and flickr is the search engine ; Type dog into the Google images search box and you'll get 9 other options. Type dog here and you're stuck with just your own idea.
56 months ago (permalink)

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Omsel says:

Extra i totally agree...

As a user with similar history as you, i disagree it's anything Flickr is doing wrong per se...no doubt it's the best photo site yet personally for me it's all getting old. With millions of views a few million more doesn't change much so theres really no incentive unless your chronically obsessed with posting.

Maybe it all comes down to investing thousands in equipment, endless hours of shooting....just to be told your pic is great. By now i know whats great or not and don't really need the opinion of others.

Whoever invented the term photo sharing must be rich by now but i'm certainly not, yet they sure are.

It's really a wonderful concept...post your pics on a site to get them stolen while you make some conglomerate richer and feed your ego with nice comments from those you have paid by reciprocating their pics, good or bad....yup,,,, i got better things to do.........

It's actually fun to note the Flickr is not dead robot posters in this thread then go and look at their boring snapshots. One wonders if these FC junkies are actually on the payroll and i wonder if their outspoken opinions will result in suicide once they objectively critique their own photo skills....
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
Omsel edited this topic 56 months ago.

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personne.de.chandigarh says:

"...actively encourage abuse..."
Why would anyone not in tune with redneck culture have anything to do with those groups?
There are plenty of other kinds.
56 months ago (permalink)

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Patrick Costello says:

You seem to have totally missed the point of Flickr. it is nothing to do with artistic masterpieces and everything to do with sharing boring snapshots.
56 months ago (permalink)

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Photos europaeus says:

There has, even in FC, being the odd display of a bully's mindset. Redneck?... I wouldn't care to comment.
56 months ago (permalink)

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Photos europaeus says:


Precisely.
(edit... & I even have a cheapie camera £67)
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
Photos europaeus edited this topic 56 months ago.

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Anacharsis Clootz says:

Indeed, there is nothing whatsoever about my insipid photography that could possible inspire me to suicide. If Governor Romney is actually elected President of the United States in the next few days, however, I may definitely and immediately follow Cato's grisly example.
56 months ago (permalink)

kodiak xyza [deleted] says:

Patrick Costello said:

it is nothing to do with artistic masterpieces and everything to do with sharing boring snapshots.
that is the by-the-book idea and measure,
and the fallacy of a comparison on views for a site's health and usefulness.
on the other hand,
the "artistic masterpieces" is part of that so-called flickr "social DNA."
while this has been a truly solipsistic assertion,
and one based from a technical side,
than an artistic side,
it is still a means for social interaction.

that flickr needs to be more like G+ and facebook...
well, that would be a terrible way to foster a sense of community.
generally, I have not seen where G+,
facebook or 500px inspire photography or photographers,
but more in tune with a social network:
one of people with cameras as a common interest.
(which is cool in of itself, people having fun,
albeit creating a funky bubble of what photography is.)
in some ways,
like SlipperSeeSlouch and Extra Medium mention,
if flickr wants to expand beyond the rudimentary role that Patrick says,
then it has to be actually go after a niche of photography by photographers,
for example — as in a passion for the art,
and not for its use as a currency for what G+, and 500px, offer.
I am not sure of the financial reward to sustain flickr,
by attracting users with a sustainable (and non-competitive) art slant.

I like the comment back in 2004 by someone in Livejournal,
where 500px was born,
and that is that flickr had tools that allowed photographers to exist,
while it was not its clear intent.
that got lost a while ago...
as flickr began to die. (couldn't resist)
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
kodiak xyza edited this topic 56 months ago.

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Omsel says:

"that is that flickr had tools that allowed photographers to exist,
while it was not its clear intent."

........i like that....

@Patrick ,,,, as a mere tourist to this planet taking snapshots occupies the time while waiting to leave. As i rarely look back on my own, why would i want to see someone elses? They would only delete my insulting comments anyway....
56 months ago (permalink)

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FlyButtafly is a group moderator FlyButtafly says:

If all you have to say are insults, why would you say anything? You are not God's gift to "wanna-be" photographers and this isn't a critique site as you well know.
Originally posted 56 months ago. (permalink)
FlyButtafly edited this topic 56 months ago.

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teh resa says:

Has Hitler been mentioned yet?
56 months ago (permalink)

kodiak xyza [deleted] says:


I think there should be a branching out to Mussolini,
or Stalin, for varying degrees of thread-killing.
or to "gulag this thread" — as it were.
56 months ago (permalink)

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