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Monday, March 21, 2005

FLICKR. At Yahoo!

Earlier today (or, rather, yesterday, since it's now 2 AM), I was planning to write an entry about Flickr. In fact, I've been meaning to for some time, as I keep running into more and more neat Flickr things. But one thing led to another and before you know it, it was time to get ready for work. Well, I thought, it can wait until tomorrow.

I didn't write the entry but kept thinking about it. Some of what I was thinking ran along the lines of, "I sure hope Yahoo! buys Flickr. If they don't, Google probably will. Flickr would - or could - add so much to Yahoo!'s offerings - they could tie it into the upcoming Yahoo360. And do God knows what else with it. I just hope, if they do buy it, that they don't fill it up with ads and ruin the interface."

I come home from work tonight, check on the status of this blog at Statcounter, follow a referrer link to Tagsurf, and see this.

So, Yahoo! buys Flickr. Now this should be interesting. I love everything about Flickr. Even - especially - the name of its co-founder: Caterina Fake. (If she didn't make that up, she maybe should have. I would love to write a movie - maybe a latter day spy thriller - something with an artful edge - and give its protagonist that name. See her post about the acquisition here.)

According to Jeremy Zawodny, a great deal of Yahoo! is going to be Flickrized. Good. The more the better. I could see a Flickrized Yahoo! really cutting a unique, dramatic profile in the Web world. While a case could be made for characterizing Google as, say, Web 1.20, a Flickrized Yahoo! could define Web 2.0 for portals.

I can also see that it will take months, if not years, to fully realize the potential of this. How will Yahoo! implement Flickr? I imagine the first thing they'll do is integrate it into Yahoo360. And hopefully both will be integrated into Yahoo groups. I could see a Yahoo Group having a PHP bulletin board, and Flickr functionality for its pictures, all of it with moderator selectible colors and so on. (And, by the way, if you'd like to sign up to be a beta user of Yahoo360, you can do that here.)

I liked what Jeremy had to say about Flickr:
Flickr has the potential to set the new standard for on-line photo sharing, management, etc. Why? Because Flickr...
  • does one thing and does it well
  • provides a clean and simple UI
  • has clear and helpful documentation
  • exposes core functionality with a documented API
  • account sign up is brain-dead simple
  • makes extensive and intuitive use of RSS
  • like del.icio.us, uses tags to help organize
  • doesn't spam me with graphical/animated/flash ads or try to unexpectedly pop up any sort of window
In other words, it's developer friendly, user friendly, and is a web site as well as a "service" or "platform" (in the Web 2.0 sense) all at the same time.

Everything, in other words, Yahoo needs to be. (I especially like - as you may have noticed - the part about "doesn't spam me with graphical/animated/flash ads".)

Anyway, it's late. Haven't gotten to the "fun with Flickr" part of this post yet. I'll see about that tomorrow. We'll call it Part II.

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