Flickr is still pretty much okay

Yesterday (via Plasticbag) I read about the group of people who had set up Flick Off in protest against Flickr selling out to Yahoo. Today I was invited into it.

I knew that people must have been angry, because the FlickrBlog has recently been filled less with lovely pictures and more with explanations about how the ceiling won’t fall in because Yahoo now own Flickr.

Years ago, when I was still getting the hang of the internet, I thought Yahoo was great. I used it quite a lot. The reason why my pseudonym is spelled ‘doctorvee’ is because it was the most suitable spelling for the monicker that I could get to be my Yahoo email address.

I also loved eGroups. I must’ve been a member of about twenty of the things. I never used message boards or anything else, I only read those eGroups. Then Yahoo bought it. And it would have been okay, except that Yahoo completely mangled it out of shape, by messily trying to merge it with Yahoo! Clubs (which I recall angered Yahoo! Clubs users aswell). URLs for everything changed which only succeeded in confusing everyone. Every eGroup (sorry, Yahoo! Group) that I was a member of effectively died, then the majority of messages were spam.

Then Yahoo! Mail made some stupid change which meant that I couldn’t check my email in Outlook Express without signing up to some spam mailing list of death.

I’ve not been too keen on Yahoo ever since then. I think their website is a horrible, ugly, incohesive, convoluted behemoth (contrast with Google’s clean-and-simple approach).

I’m quite a recent convert to Flickr. I’ve only been using since March. But I do love that website. But I didn’t think it was the end or anything when I heard that Yahoo had bought Flickr. It’s quite a normal thing for (comparatively) little, but innovative, sites to be bought by Google or Yahoo And Google have done good things with Picasa and Keyhole (Google Earth — amazing!), and I guess they’ve tried their best with Blogger aswell.

Yahoo! seem to have been buying up lots of stuff. Flickr is very good. But I could never get the hang of what the hell was supposed to be about. So what are Yahoo! going to do with it? Anyway, surely Yahoo! have learned their lesson given the mess-ups made with Geocities and eGroups. By the sounds of it, Flickr is going to be left well alone by Yahoo. Flickr will be left to Flickr, and the only noticeable change in the service so far has been the switch from Google ads to Yahoo! ads, which is understandable. Infact, they added that ‘interestingness’ thing recently aswell, which is pretty cool if you ask me.

The beef people seem to have, though, is having to sign up for a Yahoo ID. I foolishly merged my Flickr and Yahoo accounts, and I have to say I’m getting really fed up with having to enter my password every time I want to scratch my arse, even more often than usual with Yahoo! I used to be able to do what I wanted on Flickr without ever being asked for my password (pfrt, it’s not as if I keep any sensitive information of Flickr). But apparently that’s a bug that’ll be fixed soon enough. Okay!

I suppose most people would have been far happier if Google had bought Flickr. Flickr seems so much more like a Google product than a Yahoo one, but what do I know? Google already has Hello anyway. Google’s not infallible though.

So I’ll adopt a wait and see approach with this. Flickr is a great site, and it would be terrible if things went wrong. It could turn out all wrong, but it doesn’t look like it will — so far. But when it does go wrong is the time to start beating your chest about it, not when everything is pretty much still okay.


  1. I only recently discovered and was a fan instantly. When I noticed the yahoo buyout my immediate reaction was “oh no” but so far not much seems to have changed. Erm, what am I trying to say here……I guess that if I had written a post about the subject it would have been much the same as yours.

  2. I’ve np with Yahoo! owning Flickr – if nothing else it means flickr will always have cash for expansion if required.

    However I think people are being too hard on Yahoo all round. They’ve been getting their act together bit by bit the last 18 months or so and are starting to roll out some quite cool stuff.

    As you say if it breaks then people can complain – until then they are just mouthy windbags with nowt better to do. Probably. 😉

    I’m amazed someone hasn’t started Tech Off to whinge about Technorati – that’s been broken forever. It keeps going through pretty design iterations with lots of new functionality – shame they keep forgetting about the core bit of their service.

  3. I used to listen to Launch a hell of a lot before Yahoo! bought it, but when Yahoo! bought it it turned to shite. I no longer listen to it.

  4. I use flickr – a lot. but I never merged my id’s that would have been well silly ( for me). People get very picky and elitist about this stuff – oh we can’t use it because common non- geeks are using it.

    Flickr is flickr and if it changes then that might be time to move but only if it gets worse and not better,

  5. i think it was me invited you to FlickOff – the big issue for us in the UK is going to be because of BT-Yahoo! broadband. If you use your Yahoo! ID that you have with that, then happen to change your ISP, it’s goodbye to your Flickr account and all the photos. Unless you use 2 seperate Yahoo! accounts – one for the ISP, one for Flickr. Which I think is actually what Flickr are seriously suggesting as a workaround.

  6. Didn’t even know you had to use a Yahoo! ID for BT Yahoo. I use BT Yahoo, but it’s not my fault, it was my parents who made us! :O