February 18, 2006

an open letter to flickr

Dear flickr,
You may remember me. i have been on your service since before it decided just to be a photo sharing site.
In fact i think i was probably like in the first dozen or two users of your alpha-beta soup, when clicking on the "flickr" button meant you were launching a chat with other folks online and you had your little gutter area at the bottom of the screen where your pix lived and you could drag and drop them into chats and scare people with pictures of stewart's dogs.
and don't get me wrong because stewart and caterina are two of my favorite netizens i've never met, plus they are/were Canadian and i seem to be doing really well with the Canadians this year so i sure am not meaning any disrespect to them personally, BUT:
you can't write community guidelines like this -- maybe you thought you could because now you're part of a BigCo -- but oh dear someone should have told you this!
no no no. you can use humor to poke fun at yourself, but not to chastise your 'community' members--very very bad move. a public relations no-no.
dear flickr--stewart where were you when they sent this out, on a beach someplace? (maybe you have a diff job now i haven't been keeping up as well as i should.)
For example, you can never talk like this:
If you do we'll make your photostream private and remind you of this Guideline. If you don't heed our warning and continue to make similar content public, we'll terminate your account without warning. This applies to your Buddy Icon as well.
When you were small it was cute -- sort of -- to have an attitude. now you are yahoo and it doesn't fly to boss us around and talk about termination after you have built a business model on trust with mostly artists and people who care about pix.
AND i'll terminate your fucking buddy icon, buddy. that's what we say when a service that lured us into uploading ten million photos (okay, lured DOC into uploading 10,000,000 photos) decides to make lots of rules and talk about terminating you if you break one.
you don't do that shit online.
if you do it, you don't say it that way.
dear flickr, can we go back to alpha and look at funny stewart's-dog pictures and nose-picking pictures and pig-penis pictures? (BTW does that pig-penis pic constitute as the "genitalia" you refer to in the guidelines? i'm not sure as you didn't say anything about farm animals...)  
Remember we laughed about those pix just 2 yrs ago--guess what flickr, and now you grew up and it's not funny? still is funny to me.
Guess what flickr, most of my stuff on your service isn't my own or well it's pieced together because most of it was uploaded 1,000 years ago when the service was in beta then re-upped.
I would be honored if you would terminate me.
and before I go, one other thing you never say to your Valued Users is "report you to authorities" -- that is a sticky area for you I would think - and I am thinking reading this thinking that you hired an intern to write these  guidelines or that perhaps you have lost your fucking minds.
don't talk about my behavior and conduct - what am i like a 9-yr-old and you're my baby sitter, flickr?
now i will say, though I heart stewart and caterina, i am now helping bubbleshare spread the photo-sharing love. so you can think i'm biased, but i really don't think so because i was on flickr before most people were on, and i think flickr does different things than the BS I heart, like for one we make fun of ourselves, not the people who use BS, and number 2 we don't use words like "authorities" and "conduct" and "genitalia." At least i haven't. At least not outside of casual skype calls w/ other bloggers. ha ha.
We don't want these parameters to be a downer and we want everyone to have a good time. If you don't feel that you can abide by our Community Guidelines as outlined above, maybe Flickr isn't for you. Plainly speaking, if you don't want to abide by our TOS and these Guidelines, don't let the door hit you on your way out!
flickr that's just not funny.
terminate me.


misterorange said...

Channelling Tony from the busblog I see...

Jeneane Sessum said...

HAHA! YES the busblog-blog genre... mr. shakespierce... except, well, wuz i here first? or i'm older? or something.

Anonymous said...

Bubblrshare here I come. It's better, right? In every way? Can you draw those little squares on it? I have 1 photo on Flickr, it was fun, it was real. Thanks flickr, it was real.

Anonymous said...

Great letter - I agree. I've only been with Flickr for about a year... but this has come as a total shock to me. I guess I was fooled by the 'don't worry about us being bought by Yahoo, nothing's going to change' message... I really can't understand the reasoning behind this new move.