Ain't no skool like an old skool

I’m surprised at myself, wanting to contribute to the fuss about flickr insisting on our using Yahoo! IDs to sign in. Still, I am upset, I’m not happy about using my Yahoo ID, even though I believe it’ll be pretty straightforward. It’s not so much that I resent having the myth of flickr as a groovy startup finally laid to rest, it’s that I actively work hard to avoid the kind of online experience Yahoo offer. And I’m amazed that flickr don’t seem to have been able to take time off from spouting about user-centred business practices at conferences around the world to manage the whole thing a bit more sympathetically.

I was pleased when they sold to someone: the extra money they made is, I believe, what means the site still works. And I don’t have any doubt that it’ll be easier to manage a single sign-on system rather than two. And I can’t really get annoyed about a lot of these complaints, even though I’ve got some sympathy with them. I just don’t like the tone of the place anymore. God knows, the cutesy ironic knitting-circle wholegrain birkenstock liberal insular literate me-too middle-class self-righteousness of the place annoyed me royally, but at least it was genuine, and at least it seemed pretty consistent across the site. I don’t understand the way people comment, any more: I used to know what the forums were for, and trust that everyone else did too. Now, although it’s hardly on the scale of an endless September, there are more people around who don’t seem to think about it the same way, and that stops me wanting to play. Not even going to talk about the nauseating “People who use Flickr rock!” rubbish spawned by the marketing droids, either.

Mind you, anything that reminds me to take a backup of my pictures has to be a good thing.

[Some more comment: the usually perceptive Anil Dash loyally claims not to understand why the “old skool” are upset; /. commentors sneer at the crying crybabies; Suw Charman puts it better than I could;Andre Torrez points out that 5% of your earliest adopters is still a lot of important people.]

2 thoughts on “Ain't no skool like an old skool

  1. Excellent post. I have blogged about it here:

    http://digitalmavericks.blogspot.com/2007/01/opal-fruits-marathon-jif-now-flickr.html

    My Blog post also includes reference to the more worrying exploitation of ‘all rights reserved’ Flickr photos by Yahoo in their http://wii.yahoo.com mini portal (apparently it is the frst of 100 planned mini-portals). A case of mass complaints (throughte Flickr Forum) and civil disobedience got this matter dealt with very quickly (indeed it was very exciting to be posting to the Forum at the very moment this story was taking shape), but the fact Yahoo did it at all shows their contempt for the social community they are attempting to cultivate.

  2. That screenshot is fantastic =] – fine work!

    I keep picturing a scene at Yahoo! with execs wide-eyed with panic, repeating, “but…what did we do wrong? It was user-generated content! I thought we had to use user-generated content now we’re Web Two? How come they changed the rules?” to themselves.

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