E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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The Flickr Gunners – Is It Time to Try Out Other Alternatives?

People who have been reading from my weblogs for some time now would probably know how fond I am of Flickr, the online Web 2.0 photo sharing service that got me hooked from the very first time I bumped into it. In May it would be one year since I signed up for a Pro account (Thanks James!) and while I am certainly going to renew the membership I just couldn’t help thinking what would be the options out there for potential alternatives. And wouldn’t you know it, Michael Arrington, from Techcrunch, just wrote a nice overview of some of the different alternatives out there in The Flickr Gunners.

By the looks of it, it seems that the only alternative from those mentioned over there that I would be interested in would be Zoomr, specially since it originates from the same group of folks behind Meetro, with Kristopher Tate. However, I wouldn’t want to leave my Flickr account behind. And while I think I would be able to populate both accounts with pictures I have been taking over the last couple of years I am not sure if it would be a good idea to split up the potential audience of folks looking into those pictures.

I mean, I have been sharing pictures stored in my Flickr account as an interesting exercise to encourage community building by sharing something more than just work related stuff. In fact, some of those pictures I have been sharing all along so far have been incredibly useful icebreakers whenever I got started working with different distributed teams or just simply adding some diversity on my contributions to the communities I belong to. Yes, indeed, constantly working on my social capital skills. And Flickr has been great so far at doing just that, causing me hardly any effort but bringing me lots of different benefits and a good number of new connections I have been able to make during the course of that year that I have been using it.

So when I got to read The Flickr Gunners I was wondering if at this point in time I was ready to try out something new or just stick with that Flickr‘s “specialness” that Michael mentions over there. I am not really sure. I may give it a try and start using Zoomr (I already got an account for it) but so far it looks like Flickr is the winner, at least, on this end. However, if other folks who I have been connecting with are flocking away into other offerings I may be forced as well to make the move. Either way, I better start getting ready with the alternatives and see if they would be any good enough or if they wouldn’t, in which case I would stick to Flickr for another year and see how it goes from there.

While I am thinking about all this I am just wondering what the level of disruption would be when trying to move to other alternatives. Would it be better to just migrate all the content over or just leave it behind and start again from scratch? What do you think? So far I feel very tempted to start from scratch with whatever the alternative, perhaps Zoomr, but if it doesn’t work out all right will I lose some of that social capital already invested ? Would I be able to recover ? Would things be the same again as before ? If not at what price? Ahhh … Choices! Choices!

(I will try to figure it out during the weekend and see what happens …)

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  1. Hi Luis, thanks for taking the time to mention Zooomr.

    Your arguments are fair, especially about your social capital.

    At this particular time, I don’t have a direct response to give you other than to be patient. I’ve almost locked-down a fair amount of money to host Zooomr in a better environment, in addition to building technologies that will allow you to import all of your photos from Flickr.

    I may be one person, but that won’t stop me from redefining how people communicate with photos, especially via the Web. As Zooomr starts to break away from Flickr’s feature-set (which is happening even now) you will be able to more acutely distinguish the two — I appreciate that you have decided to check-out Zooomr, as it means a lot.

    If you would like to test Zooomr Pro, just shoot me an email and I’d be happy to get you started.

    No matter who comes-out on top or if we all even remain standing, it’s going to be the consumers who’ve won. Flickr has been holding back for too long.

    Kristopher Tate
    cto & founder — bluebridge tech / zooomr

  2. Hello Kristopher and welcome to elsua! Thanks much for dropping by and for the feedback comments. Appreciated.

    At this particular time, I don’t have a direct response to give you other than to be patient. I’ve almost locked-down a fair amount of money to host Zooomr in a better environment, in addition to building technologies that will allow you to import all of your photos from Flickr

    Great ! I guess that is part of the reason why Zoomr has been down for most of the weekend. I tried to play around with it on Saturday and Sunday but both days it looked like the system was down. Perhaps due to those changes you have mentioned above. Thus I guess we will have to be a bit more patient till the changes are complete.

    At this point in time I am just looking forward to the changes and having Zoomr up and running before I would dive into a Pro account. Then after I may be able to compare them I would have a look into a bit more and see the main differences between a Pro account and a regular account. I guess they would be around the same kind of functionality as what Flickr may be providing already although somehow I feel that they may come with a twist we might enjoy a bit, too !

    Indeed, I agree with you that at the end of the day it would be the end-users themselves who would benefit from all this as part of bringing the best out of a whole bunch of options and then let the end-user community decide what they would want to do. So far, in my case, Flickr seems to be the winner from the whole lot. We shall see if that would be the same after I check out Zoomr the way it deserves.

    Thanks again for the feedback and look forward to hearing some more!

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