Flickr Localizes Into Seven Additional Languages

[I am CEO of Zooomr]

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Over at the Flickr Blog today they are announcing that Flickr has localized into seven additional languages beyond English only.

“This is one of our most requested features and one of our longest standing ambitions, so it is thrilling to see it actually happen. Flickr is global community of people and their pictures, and we hope to better support our non-English speaking members in their languages, as well as their networks of friends and family in the future.”

In addition to English, Flickr has now added French, German, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.

Similar to Zooomr, in order to change localization on Flickr you simply click on your language of choice at the bottom of the page.

When asked by The Register as to why Flickr is only getting around to localizing now, Flickr Chief Stewart Butterfield was quoted as saying “There are two answers. One: we are stupid. Two: that we are late.” Butterfield later clarified that quote as a misquote in a popular forum on Flickr stating, “Stupid and *lazy*. Totally misquoted.”

Central to our development at Zooomr has been a belief that the world is truly a global place and that localizaitons make sense to expand the true promise of photo sharing to the entire world. We are pleased to see Flickr following Zooomr and offering additional non English translations to the rest of the world.

At present Zooomr has been localized in 18 languages and we hope to add more languages online very soon. We are finishing our conversions for our language files to Zooomr Mark III and hope to add another 10 localizations in addition to our 18 online within the next six months bringing our total language goal up to 28.

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23 Comments

  1. John Swifty says:

    A quick look at the zooomr homepage currently shows 2 options after the Language Select line.

    Which makes a grand total of 3 translations.

    This is a temporary thing, the other languages will come back soon?

  2. Thomas Hawk says:

    Yes, John, part of our conversion to Mark III. We have been rolling out site functionality on a day by day basis now that our site is up, fast, and stable.

  3. Anonymous says:

    So the part where you say “At present Zooomr has been localized in 18 languages” is a lie then, eh? Since there’s only 2 (or 3) *currently*.

  4. Thomas Hawk says:

    So John, do you work for Yahoo directly, or OutcastPR on Yahoo’s behalf?

  5. Thomas Hawk says:

    Anonymous. Zooomr has been translated, we are just in process of getting the various translations along with other functionality of the site online. We are making daily progress though. 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    Clearly people who work for Yahoo should let Thomas get away with his fibs.

  7. Thomas Hawk says:

    @Anonymous and John Swifty. I’m not saying people at Yahoo should let me get away with anything. I’m just saying that I have the guts to start my post with [I’m CEO of Zooomr]

    Yet for others to not disclose their affiliation with Yahoo Corporate or OutcastPR on Yahoo’s behalf would seem to be a bit of a conflict of interest in my book.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with being anonymous. I allow anonymous comments on my blog. But I think that some disclosure might in order is all I’m saying.

    Between my post and 10:27am when “John Swifty” (who has been active on several other blogs about Zooomr, without adequate disclosure in my opinion) and his comment the only visitors I had to this post were from Yahoo Corporate or OutcastPR.

    So let me repeat my point about disclosure. Anybody here care to disclose who they work for? Seems fair and all. Or maybe we could just do a post about competitors commenting anonymously and I could publish my server log? That could be fun too.

    By the way, Kristopher will be pushing the localization files back live to the site for about 8 more languages in the next 15 minutes or so.

    What’s wrong Swifty, cat got your tongue?

  8. Thomas Hawk says:

    Ok Swifty, nine of our 18 localizations are back on line now. Will get more back online later. Cheerio.

  9. Anonymous says:

    So you have no problem with anonymous comments, yet you threaten to disclose your server logs to reveal information about the people who post anonymously. Hrmm. One of these things is not like the other.

  10. Thomas Hawk says:

    Anonymous. I don’t think it’s outing anyone to publish my server logs. It doesn’t identify anyone personally. They just show that the only visits to this post prior to Swifty’s comments either came for Yahoo Corporate or OutcastPR who works for Yahoo Corporate.

    What I’m saying is that when I go out and comment on blogs about something that I have a vested interest in I make sure and disclose that. I think it’s the proper thing to do.

    When someone is critical of a company it’s good to know that their criticism might be coming from a biased perspective of a competitor.

    Wouldn’t you agree that disclosure of these kinds of conflicts of interest are a good thing?

    I mean we can make this a bigger deal if we want. I mean I can already see interesting headlines about is Yahoo really so scarred of a little two man team Zooomr that they feel the need to post anonymously on their competitor’s blog without disclosing their affiliation?

    I think it would be nice if people who work for Yahoo or OutcastPR identify that affiliation is all am suggesting.

  11. Thomas Hawk says:

    I mean really. Are you all so fucking weak that you can’t say “I work for Yahoo” blah, blah, blah?

  12. Thomas Hawk says:

    Swifty, what happened. Usually you’re so swift to respond and all. Maybe when you are home later tonight posting from your own IP address we’ll hear from you.

    Anyways. We should have lunch at some point.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I personally agree that disclosure is a good thing. But if you allow anonymous comments, I don’t think you ought to be bitching about it.

    A question for you: wouldn’t you agree that asking your users in your ustream chat to “comment all over” blog posts that are critical of Zooomr is a bad thing? I’m thinking of the whole “blast ’em, guys” incident on Zoli’s blog.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Well _I_ don’t work for Yahoo! or a PR firm, but I presume people have a dig at you because of the obnoxious way you announce things like this translation business.

    Zooomr is to be applauded for trying to translate their site into different languages, but it takes some of the shine off when the translations are so poor and incomplete, yet the announcements are so smug.

    You can’t claim you’re available in 18 different languages when in some cases you only have a few words translated. Try being a little more honest and slightly less full of crap, and people wouldn’t have a problem with you.

    No-one wants Zooomr to fail, but quite a lot of people would like you, personally, to stop being such a cock and start being a nice, normal person. It’s hard to wish nice things for self-promoting, PR-spinning loud-mouths. It’s much easier to wish good things for a couple of guys struggling to produce a product they believe in (which I’m sure, at heart, you must be).

    Just my 2 cents. Hope your translation plan goes well.

    (p.s. I can’t believe that the _only_ people who visited your site came from yahoo. What kind of readership do you have in that case?)

  15. Thomas Hawk says:

    Anonymous number 5. I appreciate that you don’t actually work for Yahoo or OutcastPR. I’m not sure what you mean by the obnoxious way that I announce this translation business.

    I blogged the first story I saw on it at the Register. Pulled the only quote I saw from it there and then went to Flickr Central and pulled the only other quote.

    Not sure what you take offense to specifically.

    But this is not what is at issue for me. What is at issue for me is that a bunch of fucking cowards at Yahoo want to come here and attack Zooomr without disclosing their interest. In order to comment on this post you don’t just visit “thomashawk.com” you actually have to log into this post specifically. From the time that I blogged this to John Swifty’s quote timestamp, the only IP addresses accessing this post directly came from Yahoo Corporate and OutcastPR, which is a PR firm that works for Yahoo.

    All I’m saying is that when I talk about Flickr or Zooomr I do it with the open acknowledgement that I”m Zooomr’s CEO.

    But John Swifty on the other hand has been running around the internet blog after blog the past week posting crap without acknowledging his affiliation.

    To me it’s more sad really than anything that a competitor would stoop to tarnish another competitor without disclosing that fact. It’s kind of one of the basic tenants of open dialog in the blogosphere.

    So all of a sudden Swifty has quited down. He’s shut the fuck up. I wonder why.

    You see here’s the thing. Zooomr is a photo sharing site borne out of passion. Passion from a photographer and 19 year old kid who want to make the world a better place for photography.

    And even though we are just a small two man little photo sharing site, those who would work or represent a multibillion dollar corporation feel that they need to try to attack our company while hiding behind and not disclosing their conflict of interest.

    It’s no wonder Yahoo is so fucked up. Their senior execs are leaving. Their CEO is the highest paid CEO among the companies covered by AP. And their bitter employees think it’s better to run around trashing a small little startup all over the internet.

    The thing is this. People at Yahoo know who John Swifty is. He registered for a Flickr account in fact. But instead of someone from Yahoo admitting that this is right, instead of someone from Yahoo taking the personal responsibility that they ought to, they hide behind the same wall of impropriety. They become complicit in this as well.

    And maybe, just maybe this is why another little start up not so long ago decided to adopt an informal corporate motto of “Don’t be evil.”

    You see, Yahoo sits behind the largest personal pay package of any CEO covered by the Associated Press. They bear direct responsibility for jailing a dissident Chinese journalist. They post anonymous messages attacking startups without proper disclosure.

    In fact, Yahoo’s own, no should I say, Flickr’s own staff come on to Zooomr and try to find pornography to fave and label the site as a porn site which nothing could be further from the truth.

    And this is what they call corporate responsibility?

    At least I’m not (and thankfully for the past four horrendeous years have not been) a shareholder.

    We can still make more out of this. And maybe I will. Need to see how I feel about it tomorrow. But it would be nice to see a bunch of fucking cowards at Yahoo at least acknowledge publicly (even anonymously) their conflict of interest.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Thomas –

    It’s pretty telling when your own users’ response to your development priorities is, as follows, and I quote:

    “We really need the basic site functions to work, and at a minimum, have the features that worked in MK2 working in MK3 before adding new features. Adding more localization seem very low priority to my mind. jUploader is one feature that really needs to be fixed.”

    “I see no reason for added languages when many of the “new features” do not work. Smart sets need to be fixed, juploader needs to be fixed, send photos to groups doesnt work, invite people to groups doesnt work, add moderators and admins to groups doesnt work and a host of other things do not work. Im less concerned with people being able to pick their language then I am about having the rest of the site working as promised.”

    “Adding new languages is great and all, but how about spending some time fixing the broken feature in MK3 like Smart Sets, EXIF data, Track Backs, Favorites, etc. before adding new features and attracting more users that could potentially overload your system again.”

    Your own house is burning and you’re concerned with an empty, disingenuous grab for attention?

    You trade in smear, innuendo and opportunism, and I think it’s catching up with you. John and others busted you for making claims that while technically true (Zooomr apparently HAS been at least partially translated in to 18 languages), were clearly deceptive (9 are currently online and only 3 were actually available when you took this post live). And instead apologizing and correcting yourself, you fly off on a tangent about who’s busting you and what their motives are. Regardless of who’s making the criticisms, they’re perfectly valid criticisms.

    Who am I? Some anonymous user out in userland who has enough sense to see exactly what your MO is. You’ve more than earned your own time under the spotlight — the way you respond to the criticism you so happily dish out yourself is very telling.

  17. Myles says:

    Hey “Thomas”. Myles here. I work for Flickr — you added me as a contact today.

    Several of us from Flickr have read this post today, and multiple times it was asked around the office “Ok, who’s John Swifty?” Everyone denied it.

    Now, I think I know the Flickr team pretty well, and I feel confident that no one was lying. Take that for what it’s worth.

    I also seriously doubt that anyone from Yahoo!s PR firm would be posting under a pseudonym on your blog (or any blog).

  18. Anonymous says:

    “We are pleased to see Flickr following Zooomr…”

    That was good, really. Flickr following Zooomr…. hmmmm.

    I won’t say anything here about how Zooomr has been repeatedly accused of being the follower (read: copycat) but you should know better than to bring a topic like this up. You should also know better than to accuse them of introducing something because they want to emulate Zooomr.

    C’mon Thomas, I have my own reasons for rooting for you (for one I always like the underdog), but please cut that shit out. You’re always yapping, it that is why you attract negative attention from elsewhere. I thought maybe the upgrade experience would have helped tone your rhetoric down a bit but you’re right back to your old self.

    Here’s a challenge. Try and go just 3 weeks without mentioning Flickr. You might like it. Starting after this post okay? Ready?

    -Markus
    [disclosure: I am a nobody]

  19. Thomas Hawk says:

    Myles. See how easy that is. To just say, I work for Flickr. I bet it feels good to say that doesn’t it? Isn’t disclosure a nice thing?

    Several of us from Flickr have read this post today, and multiple times it was asked around the office “Ok, who’s John Swifty?” Everyone denied it.

    John Swifty was originally a Flickr account born about 8 days ago on Flickr to participate in a debate about Zooomr in which Swifty held a vested undisclosed interest in Flickr Central. I’m sure that you guys can check out the account on your end yourself. The account remains active on Flickr today. The account is a shell account created for no other reason than to engage in hidden debate and propaganda.

    Following this birth of Swifty, Swifty’s posted on several blogs around the internet disparaging Zooomr, all done without disclosing a conflict of interest.

    Today Swifty posted the first comment on my blog about Flickr’s localization.

    I have no problem with someone at Yahoo creating an account simply to disparage Zooomr. Yahoo Corporate’s IP address has already been documented using wikipedia to write disparaging comments about Zooomr.

    In part though it’s interesting to me how quickly I post something and Yahoo jumps. It’s like flies on shit. All the first visits to this post came directly from Yahoo. At least I can say that the OutcastPR folks (for what it’s worth) actually came to the post through a Google Blog Search.

    It’s funny. One of the IP addresses used today is actually embeded in Flickr code in a thread in Central. That was pretty weird to see. I hadn’t seen something like that before.

    And of course Myles, nobody’s going to cop to being Swifty. I can tell you though he probably uses a Mac if that helps at all. I’m not sure that any company would want it known that their employees are posting disparaging things about competitors without adequate disclosure.

    But of course thus far Swifty’s life seems pretty short lived. That’s how cowards are. They need to hide behind things. Posting in the shadows. Failing to disclose what ought to be disclosed. Challenge them to transparency and they quickly go scurrying away like a cockroach when the light’s turned on.

    You all sure do seem to be fascinated with Zooomr though. I suppose that’s a good thing.

    Anonymous #6. I’m well aware of what Zooomr’s deficiencies are at this point. Do you work for Yahoo too? Zooomr is a two man team with only one developer. We thought it was pretty important today to get some of our languages back online. We will also get SmartSets back online. For the time being we decided to put languages ahead of EXIF data. Maybe that’s the right move, maybe not. Probably depends if you speak Italian or Polish or Traditional or Simplified Chinese or not in part.

    But rest assured, Zooomr will all get put back together. We spent most of this week working on our stability and speed issues which were most important of all. And we think we have that down now. Zooomr has been stable now for about 3 days and has been wicked fast. Faster than Flickr actually.

    We do the best we can with one developer. How many work with you there now at Flickr Anonymous #7? What do you guys have now 30 or so on staff?

    So we do the best we can. Our users appreciate it. We’re trying to do important work for the field of photography mostly. Things that many of you who work on Flickr for Yahoo might not understand. This is more than just a job for us.

    So hide your conflicts of interest. Post your anonymous posts. The attention lets me know that we are doing something right. When a multi billion corporation finds time to engage some little two man startup in a propoganda war, well, at least we’re on somebody’s radar.

    Yeah if we had 2% of Terry Semel’s pay package from last year or even half a percent of the $400 million plus he’s fleeced Yahoo for over the past few years we could hire 30 people on Zooomr too. But we don’t. But then again we can also sleep with ourselves at night knowing that we just didn’t send some Chinese journalist to jail for 10 years. We’ll do ok Myles.

    Glad we’re finally friends on Flickr. But maybe someone there should code a special page for Thomas Hawk because I’m not buying the little “Flickr loves You” corporate speak that you all got running across my logo when I log into Flickr these days.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Thomas Hawk said:

    “Anonymous #6. I’m well aware of what Zooomr’s deficiencies are at this point. Do you work for Yahoo too?”

    Thomas, I’ll say this — you’re true to your MO, specifically innuendo.

    I’m “Anonymous #6,” which I’m sure you can verify by taking a look at the IP address associated with my previous post. It should be pretty clear that I’m posting from an .edu domain (thanks to a university affiliation). I have no connection with Yahoo other than as an occasional user of their products — I have no dog in this fight. The reason I’m interested, though, is my past experience in the industry (albeit on a modest scale). I’ve participated in site and software development projects in the past, and see in the Zooomr story an object lesson in what not to do.

    You (and I mean “Thomas Hawk” rather than the corporate “you”) continue to run your mouth about issues that are tangential at best and more often have nothing to do with your business. Rather than focusing your energy on communicating with your user base and restoring lost functionality to your site, you’re wasting time tilting at the Yahoo windmill and their anonymous “agents” who are out to get you. You’d do yourself and your business more good if you swore off the Flickr talk and the cheesy (and transparent) attention grabs for a while and instead focused on your product and making it the best it can be. You guys have made so many promises over the last weeks and months about how great your products is going to be — why not just attend to making good on those promises without indulging in your Flickr/Yahoo paranoia? Spend your energy on making your product great instead of just talking how great it’s going to be. That’s what your current user base deserves for their patience, and their unsolicited endorsements are worth more than anything you’ll ever do on the promotional and PR side.

    Again, I’m a nobody, just an interested observer. Of course it serves your persecution complex better if you imagine I’m part of a larger conspiracy… sorry to disappoint you.

  21. CJ says:

    Thomas – I stopped reading the comments as i got bored of teh bicker.

    How about a bit of professionalism. Than comments on the chin (you got caught in a wee porky) and dont swear.

    The fact taht people are hanging around Zooomr expecting it to be better than Flickr (dispite the relative size of its backers) should be enough.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I am anonymous #7 and like anonymous #6 do not work for Yahoo. But, you already know that since my IP address doesn’t even resolve back to anywhere with a Yahoo office/affiliate/partner/whatever.

    It doesn’t even resolve to the United States for that matter,

    But thanks for outright dismissing my comments and accusing me of being a liar. Nice touch, Mr CEO.

  23. Thomas Hawk says:

    Anonymous #7, My apologies for thinking that you might be with Yahoo or OutcastPR. It’s difficult for me to keep all the commenters straight between the ones that work for Yahoo and disclose their conflict, those that work for Yahoo but post anonymously and don’t disclose their conflict and everyone else.