Why Isn’t Carol Bartz, Yahoo’s New CEO, on Flickr?

Why Isn't Carol Bartz, Yahoo's New CEO, on Flickr?

I just got done listening to Yahoo’s quarterly analyst conference call. Carol Bartz, Yahoo’s new CEO, gave a rundown on what we should expect in the quarter ahead and took her first round of questions from Wall Street analysts. There will of course be plenty of financial analysis on the web about both their quarterly performance and her first analyst call as CEO, so I’m not going to get into much of that here except to say that I did think it was interesting that she mentioned “micro blogging” at one point in the call and that makes me wonder if Yahoo might be interested in buying Twitter or FriendFeed.

One of the things that I was struck by on today’s call though is that my favorite Yahoo property Flickr was not mentioned a single time, not once, nada, nilch, it’s like they didn’t even exist. Many of Yahoo’s other properties were mentioned of course, Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, etc. — she even mentioned Buzz. But the word Flickr was not uttered a single time on the entire call.

Analysts asked questions about Facebook and myspace and Bartz even mentioned at one point that one of her daughters wasn’t as interested in posting pictures to Facebook any more as she was now more interested in reading Yahoo Finance etc. Posting photos on Facebook? Why not Flickr? There were many points in the call that it would have been appropriate for Bartz to mention Flickr, but she didn’t. Which to me was a bit disappointing. Especially given that Alexa rates Flickr as the 23rd most visited English internet site in the world. Certainly well ahead of almost every other property that Yahoo owns.

But then I got to thinking more. Maybe Bartz just doesn’t know about Flickr. Maybe she’s just not familiar with it. So I did a search for her on Flickr to see if I could find an account for her to add her as a friend, maybe she just needs me as her friend on Flickr. The closest thing I could come up with on Flickr for Bartz was this account. Unfortunately, if this account (screenshot above) is actually Carol’s account, well, then it’s no wonder she’s not familiar with Flickr, she doesn’t seem to use the account at all. The account has no avatar, is sharing no public photos, has no testimonials, has no contacts — heck, the account isn’t even a paid Pro account.

Now there is a chance of course that this account is not Carol’s. That it belongs to some other Carol Bartz and that she has some other sort of handle on flickr like hotmama28787, but then again maybe not.

Now I’m not suggesting that every CEO needs to “dogfood” their own company products. But as one of the most trafficked and highest profile Yahoo property, I certainly think it makes some amount of sense for her to use Flickr, or at least to have a halfway presentable account on the site. Everybody has photos right? Even if she didn’t want to share photos of her kids or her dog or things like that, she could at least share a few photos that she’s snapped of flowers or sunsets, no?

On the analyst call she talked a bit about how Yahoo’s traffic had spiked during the inauguration. What a great opportunity for her to have plugged Flickr and mention that some of the best photos of the entire event came from Flickr, Yahoo’s users. Instead she didn’t, and I think that’s too bad.

By the way, one thing that Bartz did say over and over again on today’s earnings call was that she hoped to make Yahoo successful by having a “maniacal focus on our users and their experience.” She used the words maniacal many times and it seemed to be a focus of hers. In the spirit of this maniacal focus on my own experience, I’d like to offer my own comment as a very heavy user of one of Yahoo’s top properties, Flickr (which I hope she and her daughters join and are active on the future).

Carol, if you want to focus on *my* user experience on Flickr, the best thing that you could do is to have Flickr stop censoring my images. Oh, and it would be nice if Yahoo would agree to notify users if their photos on Flickr are censored in the future. That’s all for now. Carry on with the new job as CEO and dropkicking friggin’ ass.

Be Sociable, Share!
Loading Facebook Comments ...

22 Comments

  1. Jeff says:

    Dudes! Give her a break! She’s only been CEO for a couple of weeks and Yahoo! has ALOT of content and services to get through. And if she’s not an photography enthusiast, she wouldn’t really have a previous reason to use Flickr. Give her a couple of months, and they you can start complaining.

  2. striatic says:

    “if she’s not an photography enthusiast, she wouldn’t really have a previous reason to use Flickr.”

    if that’s true, that’s a problem.

  3. wizum says:

    Carol Bartz used to be CEO of Autodesk (worlds largest software provider of engineering and architectural products – they own Autocad). Anyhow, if Yahoo goes way of Autodesk… sheesh!!! watchout… very bullish and almost predatory towards it’s competition. some in the architectural/engineering industry would say that Autodesk has helped stifle technology and innovation.

  4. Thomas Hawk says:

    I actually like Bartz and think she was an interesting choice for CEO. I don’t know much about her, but I did meet her a few years back when she shared a 49ers skybox with my old boss. Admittedly, Flickr is probably not the most profitable business unit at Yahoo, but it is an enormously important cultural resource and asset at this point and I think she’d do well to use it, familiarize herself with it, and promote it when and where she can, including even dropping a reference to it here and there inside of an analyst conference call. I think it would be a good thing for her to do as Yahoo’s CEO.

  5. Peter Dark says:

    Maybe there’s more important business than flickr. Maybe you should shift your focus as well…. And stop whining about censorship when it comes to those ridiculous pictures that were removed from your stream.

  6. Jeff says:

    @striatic: the point I was trying to make is that Flickr’s best use (IMHO) is for people who enjoy photography to share their photos with the like minded individuals. Personally, I don’t care for people putting their party snaps on there and, frankly, there are better sites to share these kind of photos with a smaller community (friends and family) who actually do care. That’s why I don’t put art photos on Facebook and I don’t put posed snaps in front of the GG Bridge on Flickr. Carol was hired to run Yahoo! – all of it, not just Flickr, and I wouldn’t expect her to have any proclivity toward photography. I think that’s fine. Now, if Kakul (the Flickr product manager) wasn’t into photography, THAT would be a problem, but luckily that’s not the case.

    Now, I think Carol should use Flickr to familiarize herself with how it works and what the community is all about. But if she’s never taken a photo for the beauty of the image (i.e. only takes holiday snaps), then even if she tries it out, she may not really understand how the community makes it come alive.

  7. striatic says:

    “That’s why I don’t put art photos on Facebook and I don’t put posed snaps in front of the GG Bridge on Flickr.”

    that’s a problem. people should be hosting their “snaps” on sites like flickr rather than sites like facebook because hosting the photos on facebook has serious data portability implications.

    part of the reason why flickr isn’t “the most profitable business unit at Yahoo”, as TH suggests, is that it has ceded so much ground to facebook when it comes to personal photosharing.

    you have a skewed perception of flickr, inventing a false dichotomy based on the types of photos you choose to take and view. the truth is best articulated by flickr staff:

    “if there is a primary type of Flickr member, it is still (despite the large number of talented artists that grace us with their photography) the kind of member we first envisioned the site attracting: people sharing their personal photos with friends and family.”

    flickr cannot thrive without its primary member base, and its primary member base is the kind of member that you seem to think should buzz off. you’re also neglecting that the iPhone is becoming flickr’s second most popular camera. if flickr is to grow instead of rest on its laurels, it needs to advance this trend – not step away from it.

    which brings us back to:

    “if she’s not an photography enthusiast, she wouldn’t really have a previous reason to use Flickr.”

    this is a troubling statement to be made in regards to a company whose primary membership is “people sharing their personal photos with friends and family”.

  8. […] conference call that her daughter used Facebook to share photos. Like today’s appointment Bartz also was not active on Flickr. There is also a lone Bartz account on Flickr, like the Steele account also completely dead and […]

  9. […] conference call that her daughter used Facebook to share photos. Like today’s appointment Bartz also was not active on Flickr. There is also a lone Bartz account on Flickr, like the Steele account also completely dead and […]

  10. […] conference call that her daughter used Facebook to share photos. Like today’s appointment Bartz also was not active on Flickr. There is also a lone Bartz account on Flickr, like the Steele account also completely dead and […]

  11. […] conference call that her daughter used Facebook to share photos. Like today’s appointment Bartz also was not active on Flickr. There is also a lone Bartz account on Flickr, like the Steele account also completely dead and […]

  12. […] conference call that her daughter used Facebook to share photos. Like today’s appointment Bartz also was not active on Flickr. There is also a lone Bartz account on Flickr, like the Steele account also completely dead and […]

  13. […] conference call that her daughter used Facebook to share photos. Like today’s appointment Bartz also was not active on Flickr. There is also a lone Bartz account on Flickr, like the Steele account also completely dead and […]

  14. […] h&#1077r daughter used Facebook t&#959 share photos. L&#1110k&#1077 today’s appointment Bartz &#1072l&#1109&#959 w&#1072&#1109 n&#959t active &#959n Flickr. Th&#1077r&#1077 &#1110&#1109 &#1072l&#1109&#959 a lone Bartz account &#959n Flickr, l&#1110k&#1077 […]

  15. […] conference call that her daughter used Facebook to share photos. Like today’s appointment Bartz also was not active on Flickr. There is also a lone Bartz account on Flickr, like the Steele account also completely dead and […]

  16. […] conference call that her daughter used Facebook to share photos. Like today’s appointment Bartz also was not active on Flickr. There is also a lone Bartz account on Flickr, like the Steele account also completely dead and […]

  17. […] conference call that her daughter used Facebook to share photos. Like today’s appointment Bartz also was not active on Flickr. There is also a lone Bartz account on Flickr, like the Steele account also completely dead and […]

  18. […] discussion call which her daughter used Facebook to share photos. Like today’s appointment Bartz additionally was not active upon Flickr. There is additionally a sole Bartz criticism upon Flickr, identical to a Steele criticism […]

  19. […] conference call that her daughter used Facebook to share photos. Like today’s appointment Bartz also was not energetic on Flickr. There is also a lone Bartz account on Flickr, like the Steele account also completely dead and […]

  20. […] discussion call which her daughter used Facebook to share photos. Like today’s appointment Bartz additionally was not active upon Flickr. There is additionally a sole Bartz criticism upon Flickr, similar to a Steele criticism […]

  21. […] conference call that her daughter used Facebook to share photos. Like today’s appointment Bartz also was not active on Flickr. There is also a lone Bartz account on Flickr, like the Steele account also completely dead and […]

  22. […] discussion call which her daughter used Facebook to share photos. Like today’s appointment Bartz additionally was not active upon Flickr. There is additionally a sole Bartz criticism upon Flickr, identical to a Steele criticism […]