Archive for January 2007

Top 25 Sources of thomashawk.com Traffic

CrunchNotes � TechCrunch Referral Traffic A few weeks back Mike Arrington posted the top 11 sources of TechCrunch traffic and I thought it was an interesting post. Below are the top 25 sources of traffic for thomashawk.com for the month of January (per Google Analytics).

1. digg.com
2. valleywag.com
3. news.bbc.co.uk
4. images.google.com
5. del.icio.us
6. stumbleupon.com
7. fark.com
8. google.com
9. flickr.com
10. bloglines.com
11. apple.com
12. makezine.com
13. popurls.com
14. techmeme.com
15. downloadsquard.com
16. metafilter.com
17. linkswarm.com
18. scobleizer.com
19. digital-photography-school.com
20. netvibes.com
21. ggmania.com
22. images.google.co.uk
23. images.google.de
24. istockphoto.com
25. thomashawk.com

I’ve Removed Snap’s Previews As Well

I removed Snap’s previews from here � Scobleizer – Tech Geek Blogger Scoble says that he removed Snap’s previews from his blog and I removed them from my blog today as well. Although I really like the idea of Snap’s widgets and think that it gives people a much better view into sites that I link out to, I just got tired of what seemed like a lot of negative criticism about it.

If you really liked Snap on my blog feel free to chime in on the comments of this thread and maybe I’ll add it back. They do have a way to disable Snap previews, but most people don’t intuitively get this.

So vote in the comments. Put Snap back up or kill it for good.

There’s Some Mighty Pissed Off Flickr Members Right Now

Taken From the Flickr Blog Announcing the Yahoo Acquistion, March 2005
Taken from the Flickr Blog announcing Yahoo’s acquisition, March 2005

[I am CEO of Zooomr]

Update #1: I just tried to add The Searcher as a contact on Flickr. I’ve been impressed with some of his insights in forums in the past and got the following message from Flickr:

“”Add The Searcher as a contact?

Slow down there buddy…

You have reached the limit for the number of contacts a user can have. To add another contact, you must first get your total number of contacts under 3,000. Right now you have 5,082 contacts.

Return to The Searcher’s profile.”

Update #2: The SmugMug blog is offering a 50% special discount for Flickr users that want to migrate over there.

Limiting your most active users from further social networking on a social networking site is the most idiotic thing I’ve seen in a long time.

Flickr needs to reverse the asinine decisions made today to force people to merge their accounts with Yahoo and to place new limits on your contacts and tags.

Here are some of the more interesting comments pulled over the past few hours from two flickr forums where they are taking a beating over this right now.

People are pissed.

It looks like I’ll also be forced to drop about 2,000 of my contacts at Flickr. If I drop you and your are a Thomas Hawk reader please know that I’m sorry, that I was forced to do it and that it’s not personal.

On with the quotes (note, some of these contain offensive language):

hodgepodge:
“I’m sure that the Flickr staff love their creation. But they love the big fat check that Yahoo gave to them much more. They didn’t make Flickr as a labor of love, they made it hit the startup lottery (which they did, admirably I might add). That doesn’t mean that they don’t care about their creation, but don’t kid yourselves into thinking that because you helped build it by being early adopters and advocates that they really care about you. This is clearly about money; saving money on maintenance, and making money off of advertising.”

bkusler: “seriously. this wasn’t rocket science. you guys just fucked this up.

the early adopters are all “key influencers” — how many of the “nuskool” ppl do you think we signed up? duhh…”

justj: I think after being here all night, this is really close to how I’m feeling… The shift in ‘tone’ really hit home, that this will never again be the flickr we joined in the beginning

Troy McClure SF: “In short, I don’t want a Yahoo! account. I’ve been there, been burned, and I’m done with the company. Whether that rational of me or not, it’s the truth. I don’t want Yahoo, and that should be my choice.”

Vidiot: “I guess what I find jarring is the shift in tone, even if it is but an infinitesimal one. Today marks the first time that to me, Flickr has ever felt like something less than that community I bought into (literally), and more like a service I pay for. And that’s a sad realization.”

Striatic: “thomas hawk also makes a good point” Hi Stri, I couldn’t resist putting that one in there. 😉

Photojunky:
“I’m payed up till 2008 enjoy the rest of the money Flickr I will truly miss you. You were a fantastic photo shairing site. “

Ravages: “But suddenly – this merging thing. I am afraid that after the 15th, I might have to look out for other places to post photos to. I will be sad to lose my flickr friends and my flickr communities, but I don’t want to see them replaced by a Yahoo community.

Bad move, staff of flickr “

Quote: “I wonder if flickr were aware quite how tainted the brand is when they signed on the dotted line.”

Striatic: “i suspect that they were aware of this, but assumed that yahoo’s reputation would really improve in the following two years.

they were wrong.”

Shining Example:
“I find myself idly wondering whether yahoo are aware of this massive image problem they have, and if so, whether they care, and what they intend to do about it…”

astilly: “i’m more and more disappointed in flickr these days… i’m pretty sure i won’t be renewing my pro account this year.”

Eric in SF:
“I just don’t trust Yahoo! and do not want their marketing droids using my personal info.

Sorry, Stewart, but my love (platonic!) and admiration for you and the team is just not enough to compensate for my feelings towards Yahoo!”

Merkley: “how about making a reciprocation exclusion? in other words, spammers are all out there clicking their fingers off trying to build a database of potential victims while AWESOME HANDSOME TALENTED people like myself and thomas hawk are merely reciprocating — seems like the two things are miles apart and therefore should be considered as two different groups with completely different intentions.” (I had to put that one in there because Merkley called us handsome and talented).

bosquetango:
“hey, there is a slogan I can get behind: Mcflickr! It says so much to the corporatization of a once beautiful site. It is only because I, and many others, felt such kinship with the little boat that could float once known as flickr has sold its soul to a marketing mess that we bother to waste our time tilting at windmills hoping the tide can be reversed and we can return to the wonderful, truly great entity that was our flickr.”

pagis:
“I think this is one of the worst things you’ve done. Your job is to do everything in your power to make our life in flickr easier and more fun, even if it makes your job harder, this is way it’s a great site and why I’m willing to pay rather than just using one of the free services outhere.

Anyway, as I said I’m not so happy with flickr anymore, is there an option to download all my pictures in one go (as a zip or something) so I can migrate rather than merge?

It’s a shame that it turn to that by I guess most good things come to an end. I do think that if you force all these changes you should have the decency to allow your old skool members (the same people that made you attractive to yahoo in the first place, when this was st
ill an alfa and beta site) to download all the stuff they have and move on.”

greenteaphoto: “This is ridiculous…. a limit on the number of contacts to help performance of the site?? Why not cache results of certain queries once a day and rely on the cached results instead? I agree with other commenters… Flickr is ALL about networking… with a limit on that it makes no sense whatsoever… So what am I supposed to do if/when i reach the limit? Start deleting old contacts?

what’s gonna happen next? Google will say that we can open only 200 emails a day? MSN will tell us that we can’t do more than 1000 messages a day? Google allowing only 500 searches a day?

Come on… “

mr_phillip: I just want to put on record how utterly crap I think this forced merge is. I don’t care at all that I’m loosing some kind of old-skool-cool – I’m the only person who knew how I logged in so how is that cool anyway?

What really pisses me off is Yahoo’s God-awful ID setup. It took me over an hour this morning to set up an ID, mostly because every name I tried was taken – including random letters I got by hitting the keyboard in frustration. So now I’m stuck with a username I didn’t want, can’t change, don’t like, and won’t remember.

mkelley: “Because of this move I probably won’t re-up my Pro account. I’ve been with you guys since GNE days and the Move to Yahoo wasn’t exactly a fav. I try not to signup for Yahoo Microsoft “passport” type accounts and this is just one more move that has me saying “enough is enough”.

Thanks,
Mike Kelley”

RajParmer: “I do not like the way Yahoo impose in this manner. I am an old skool member (which I was in a way quite proud of) but when it becomes mandatory to sign up to Yahoo, I will have to delete all my pics and close my account down and join with one of the other similar services on the net. A shame really, I really liked Flickr (more so before it was disgraced by Yahoo).”

lloydj: “Many, many, many companies also block access to well known webmail clients, and this often extends to other services, hence Yahoo! Mail, Google Mail, Hotmail are *all* blocked. If the sign-on has to go through Yahoo! rather than via on the Flickr.com domain, then that’ll shut out a lot of people.”

mattg: “this sucks.”

the O-ster:
“my account (luckily) expires tomorrow :)HOORAY!”

pagis:
“bye bye flickr. kind of like saying goodbye to a first love girlfriend, it’s really tough, but from my experience relationships I know that the next one is always better”

Paul York: “I am so unhappy with this. Again I’ll be forced to sign up to a host of shitty services and no-doubt get spammed with “marketing” mail.

I’ll have to pick some random series of charaters and numbers just to get my “new shinny” id – I may be able to log in easily first time and save the session but in a few months time on a diffrent pc or if I delete my cookies I’ll be left thinking now what was I called “Y!ShitName12Z1XY3” Oh yes – just rolls of the tongue!

Sooooo un-happy. “

If you are disappointed in today’s news as well, feel free to digg it here.

Flickr’s News Today Sucks

[I am CEO of Zooomr Inc]

Flickr: News

Well, some pretty terrible news from Flickr today.

First Flickr is forcing “old skool” members to give up their email/password log on on March 15th and is forcing them to adopt a Yahoo ID in order to continue using Flickr. After March 15th you will be locked out of your old Flickr account unless you merge.

And second Flickr has added new limits that are bad for community.

Let me tell you more specifically why these changes are bad for me, one of those Flickr members who could be considered “old skool.”

First of all I have four Flickr accounts. I have one Flickr account for my fine art photos. One Flickr account for my personal family photos. One Flickr account for a non profit organization that I’m affiliated with and one Flickr account for blogging images.

Under the old system it was very simple. I could simply log in or out of these accounts with my various email addresses. But now I will no longer be able to do this. I will have to log in and out of four separate Yahoo accounts in order to do this. And so this means that things like stock portfolios, MyYahoo, yahoo mail, etc. will not work for me when I’m logged into 3 of my 4 flickr accounts unless I duplicate all of these services.

What’s more. I don’t want my stock portfolio that I’m tracking, my Yahoo calendar, etc. in any way associated with my Flickr account.

This sucks.

What’s worse is now Flickr will be becoming a place where I can take but not give. My interaction with my contacts will become a more selfish thing.

Let me explain. I make people contacts at Flickr for three reasons. The first reason is because I know the person in real life and want to follow their work. These pepole are typically coded as “friends”. The second reason is because while I don’t know them personally in my offline world, I do admire their photography and want to monitor it. And the third reason that will be impacted the most is that I add people as contacts in order to RECIPOCATE back for them adding me as a contact.

Today I have 5,034 contacts on Flickr. The vast majority of these contacts are people that have added me because they want to follow my photography. I’ve always believed that the polite thing to do was to add them back as contacts so that I could also periodically go through their photos and fave, comment, etc. But now I am going to have to drop about 40% of my contacts whose work that I monitor. So if you notice that I drop you as a contact at Flickr don’t take it personally. Blame Yahoo, they are the ones forcing me to do it. I enjoyed monitoring your work while I was allowed.

If you still want me to monitor your photos feel free to sign up for an account on Zooomr because I’ll do it there.

And before the Flickr brainswashed defenders say, c’mon, how can you really monitor that many people’s photographs, I will tell you that I have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours monitoring others photos on Flickr. I have personally favorited over 18,000 photographs from my contacts on Flickr because I love their work. And if they are checking out my stuff I should be able to check out theirs. Yes, the more contacts it gets the harder this is. But almost every day I take time to go through the most recent photos by my contacts and fave and comment on their pictures.

This move is bad for community. There is no need for this limit.

Flickr has also decided to limit tags on photos to 75 tags. While I can understand that in many cases there is no need for tagging a photo more than 75 times, other times there are. For instance. Take a look at this photo of mine called Where I’ve Been Lately. It’s a very popular photo on Flickr and it’s been favorited over 100 times! It was also featured on Boing Boing and many other blogs. It took me hours and hours and hours to build and it was a fun project where I took the last 320 websites I’d visited with favicons and made a photo out of them.

I spent hours building and tagging this photo and now Flickr is going to destroy my metadata and chop it off to 75. This is supposedly to “Make Flickr Better” that they offer up a TM on. I find it ironic that Yahoo decides to joke about trademarking “Making Flickr Better,” when in real life they are actively pursuing a patent on the concept of social rank with photography — a patent that shouldn’t belong to anyone at all.

What’s worse about today’s news is that it comes with a vague promise that all this is being done to “Make Flickr Better,” stating that they are doing this to make Flickr pages load faster.

Do you know what? Flickr is plenty fast for me today. Having to dump 1/3 of my contacts, erasing my metadata, forcing me into a system that will make me log in and out several times a day, these are much more painful.

It’s insulting that Yahoo would somehow try to sugarcoat today’s news.

Flickr should rethink these limits. The world of photosharing should not be about limits it should be about a wide open arena to share your work.

At Flickr in addition to a 200 photo limit for free accounts, we will now have a limit on how we can access the system, a limit on our tags, a limit on our contacts, what’s next? A limit on our photos?

Old skool Flickr members who are being dumped on today probably also remember another quote that came from Flickr once. It was printed on the Flickr Blog in March of 2005 when Flickr made the announcment that Yahoo was buying them. But those days are long gone. Let me reprint it though for people to remember:

“Don’t forget to breathe. It’s not the end, it’s the beginning! As the wise woman who taught us The One True Way of Flickr Massage says, the only thing permanent is change. But we’re going to stay true to our vision and to the people who made us what we are — that’s you, the Flickr pioneers. Thanks for making the first year of Flickr so wonderful.”

Unless you happen to be “old skool” I guess.

Update: Most Flickr users are hoping mad about this. Here are links to two forums on Flickr where this asinine decision is being bandied about.

Did Somebody Say Toys?

Portrait of BuzzPortrait of Buzz Hosted on Zooomr

Toys are some of my favorite things to photograph. I especially love shooting them with my EF 100mm macro lens. I started a SmartSet on Zooomr today of my toy shots. This is one set that I’m sure you will see growing quite a bit in the future.

To see the start of my toys set, click through here.

Getty Images’ Fourth Quarter Earinings Conference Call Update

Getty Images CEO, Jonathan KleinGetty Images CEO, Jonathan Klein Hosted on Zooomr

[I am CEO of Zooomr Inc., we are building a stock photography business in the social media space]

Getty Images Q4 2006 Earnings Call Transcript – SeekingAlpha:

“I was famously quoted in Wired magazine on the subject of cannibalization and I have not changed my view since then: do not get in the way of the market. Do not get in the way of customers. Don’t artificially make it harder for them.

With royalty-free when it first came on board, a number of people said to us, do you really need to keep the pictures to be of lower quality, and you need — don’t put it into foreign countries and don’t put it into your international operations because that will protect rights-managed longer. That was wrong-headed, and I think that if we were to artificially slow down the promotion of iStockphoto, that would also be wrong-headed.”

— Jonathan Klein on yesterday’s Getty Earnings Conference Call showing that he gets it.

Jonathan Klein, Getty Images’ CEO, Alan Pickerill, Getty Images’ Director of Investor Relations and Thomas W. Oberdorf, Getty Images’ CFO briefed Wall Street Analysts on Getty’s most recent quarter yesterday and for the most part the street liked what they heard.

Getty Images stock is up approx $3.83 this morning, which represents about an 8 percent increase in share price over yesterday’s close. The reason for the jump is most likely earnings related. Wall Street had expected earnings of $.57 per share for the most recent quarter and Getty returned $.66 before some items.

The earnings results were driven in part by some currency adjustments and also by stronger than expected success in their editorial images for sale.

Last year when Kristopher Tate and I visited with Getty I was particularly impressed with the scope of their editorial photos. Sports, news, and especially celebrities are hot in the stock photography world. Most recently Getty had done the Brad Pitt – Angelina Jolie baby shoot, which was one of the most lucrative shoots of all time (in that case all proceeds went to charity).

One of the more interesting things Getty has done, of course, was purchasing iStockphoto just about a year ago. Where some might see iStockphoto as a threat to cannibalize their business, Getty viewed iStockphoto as an opportunity to purchase the market leader in microstock sales.

Bruce LivingstoneiStockphoto CEO, Bruce Livingstone Hosted on Zooomr

Klein indicated that he was happy with iStockphoto’s recent performance stating that in the most recent quarter that 3 million images were downloaded vs. 2.5 million in the previous quarter, and more significantly stating that iStockphoto has doubled the number of new members added to the site each month. According to Klein, iStockphoto now has 1.2 million members. They also recently localized the site into French, German and Spanish.

The stock photography space will continue to be an interesting place in the next year. In addition to microstock sites like iStockphoto, or Jupitermedia’s StockXpert.com, companies like ours (Zooomr) are looking at ways to deliver some of the most amazing images in the world to marketers around the world. Social media stands to open up a whole new world of amazing fresh images to buyers around the globe. Flickr (YHOO) also recently indicated that they would be exploring ways to offer photography sales in recent comments made by Flickr Chief Stewart Butterfield on CNN.

Tucked Away

Tucked AwayTucked Away Hosted on Zooomr

Scene From a Gallery

Scene From a GalleryScene From a Gallery Hosted on Zooomr

Sigumund the Sea Monster and Johnny and Scott Are Friends

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmoYJogmieY]

When I was a kid my brother and I would get up Saturday morning at 4:30 a.m. and just watch the color bars on TV until at 5:00 a.m. the morning Farm Report would come on, and then after that “That’s Cat,” which was this kind of super weak show that would always try to confuse you. It had a character named “Me” on the show and the main character Alice would show you a photo that had her and the character “Me” both in the photo. Then Alice would ask, can you find “Me” in this picture. Half the time if you guessed the character “Me” you got it right, but the other half of the time you got it wrong because they would highlight Alice herself. People shouldn’t be allowed to screw with kids that way. “That’s Cat” was always off doing tours of cookie factories and things like that in between these confusing music and “can you find me in this picture” type of stuff.

Then after the lame Farm Report and That’s Cat, the real fun started. We could only get NBC (and poor quality at that) up in the mountains where we lived, but all the morning shows were so great. Sigmund the Sea Monster, Run Joe Run, Land of the Lost, Isis and Shazam.

A few years back on a Sigmund the Sea Monster marathon on TVLand I was super bummed because even though I TiVo’d them all they didn’t start with the song that had stuck in my head for the past 30 years. So just imagine my delight when I found the Sigmund the Sea Monster Season Two Theme on YouTube.

Upscoop, Stalk… er… Find Your Friends on Their Social Networks

Stalk Your Contact List with UpScoop Nick Gonzalez has a review out over at TechCrunch on Upscoop, a new service that will scour your Google, Yahoo, AOL or Hotmail account and then by using your friend’s email addresses show you which social networks they are on.

It’s kind of like Flickr Friends that I wrote about yesterday, expect that it finds people on Flickr as well as many more social networks. Social networks where it finds your friends include MySpace, Friendster, Flickr, Linked In, AIM, Classmates, Tribe, Yelp and a few others.

Networks that were notably missing to me were Zooomr, Facebook, and Twitter.

Basically you just go to your site, provide them your email id and password and in about 30 seconds they come back to you with a partial list of contacts. For contacts that the site has not scoured before they will need more time to search them and promise to send you back an email with the remaining names.

Whether or not you want to provide your email and password to them of course is your own business. Some people might not be willing to trust this kind of data to just anyone. And then again subjecting your friends email addresses to this service might be another consideration.

I had no idea that Davis Freeberg was on Friendster by the way — how embarrassing.

Assuming you trust Upscoop, they do say in their privacy statement that:

“1. Upscoop does not store your password.

2. Upscoop does not send unsolicited emails (spam).

3. Upscoop does not share email addresses with any other company.”

Sites like Upscoop do go to show though that privacy is increasingly becoming a thing of the past. Still, how cool is it that you can finally find all nine of your ex-girlfriend’s MySpace accounts and can finally comment on all those damn sexy self portraits they put up over there at Flickr. When you comment on the self portraits though remember to do it anonymously so that restraining order thing doesn’t kick back in again.