Happy 8th Birthday to Flickr

Happy Birthday Flickr

“Yay! The gates are open and welcome Flickr testers. We are now in what is considered our preview release 1 of public beta. We’ll be fixing bugs, monitoring scaling issues on the back end, and adding a few features before going into preview release 2. Then we’ll go into preview release 3 and then when that’s good to go the beta period will be officially over.” February 10, 2004.

Today is Flickr’s 8th Birthday. Whatever you may or may not think of the service today, without a doubt Flickr pioneered social photography.

I joined Flickr during year one in August of 2004, shortly after it was launched to the public. What I found there was more than just a place to host my photos, I found a vibrant community full of great photographers who were willing and eager to engage with each other through the site. I found an audience that appreciated creativity and the ability for us to come together and share art in mostly a non-commercial setting.

The photo above was taken at Flickr’s 2nd Birthday party in San Francisco. Since Flickr’s launch, social photography has flourished on the web in so many different ways and in so many different places. I’ve been fortunate to have benefited tremendously from that over the years.

Happy Birthday to Flickr.

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  1. Bob says:

    I still kinda love the community aspect to Flickr.

    Unfortunately, Flickr doesn’t look it’s age. In fact, you could say it doesn’t look a day over 1. 😉

  2. Len says:

    Well one thing that hasn’t changed is the unfair account deletions.

    A friend of mine from one of the DMU groups, (he’s in Sweden), just had his account deleted without explanation, (one that makes any sense that is).

    Last week he received a vague warning about posting images in group discussion threads, he responded to the warning by asking them what the offense was, and by the time he received an answer, the account was deleted.

    So even with the departure of (IMO) the three worst and most unfair staff members at flickr, it seems that it’s still business as usual.

    These are not isolated incidents as some would suggest, this happens all the time on flickr, and I’ve noticed a trend…people who had pro-accounts for many years are not pro anymore, in other words, they aren’t paying Yahoo $25.00 a year anymore.

    And why should they?

    This mistreatment of flickr customers, combined with other stupid business decisions, has been going on for a long time, it took them a few years, but I think they’ve finally gotten close to killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    I know if I am an example of flickr customers, they are in big trouble.

    I started with a pro-account in 2004, renewed every year, and purchased several gift accounts. I also recommended flickr highly to friends and brought in several people who’s accounts became so big, many flickrites would recognize them immediately.

    Then I joined a political discussion forum on flickr, and that’s when the trouble began, I began receiving threatening emails from members who disagreed with my opinions, some of the debates were fueled by trolls, something I should have considered doing, but at the time I was just interested in the discussions.

    Then one day I got a warning from flickr about “being nice to people” as a stipulation in my TOS ageement, I responded to the warning with a query as to what the offense was, the response was a vague and rude response from HC. Fearing for the safety of my very large account, I went to the help forum (a big mistake) to ask advice on whether or not political debates were within the TOS of flickr. Several people thought the question was an interesting one, and then HC caught the discussion and closed it down, saying something to the effect of “this forum isn’t a place to promote political opinions” … which had not happened at all.

    The next day, my account was completely gone, all my comments were gone, everything wiped out. I was devastated, having comments that went back a few years, and many faves, several of my images linked around the world, etc.

    But I came back and rebuilt, only to have the Terrible Terror (who just recently got sacked from what I understand), attack my account as violating TOS because my vintage and antique photos were not my own….this went on for some time, and then that account was wiped out.

    I will never trust flickr again…EVER….and I think this is a prevailing sentiment that has been growing for a long time, thanks to the terrible treatment flickr staff often shower on their paying customers.

  3. Mr. Hawk,

    Following up on Len’s remarks, I guess, I have a discussion in the Help Forum that you might find interesting, that raises a related issue – unfair group deletions. I know that you can’t post there, any more, but you can still read that forum, I assume. One gets to see the ruling clique on Flickr at its best, and get some sense of where policy is likely to be headed. And where it’s not.