Posts Tagged ‘Yahoo’

Captain Rick: Having loved photography my entire life, an awarded Webshots photographer in the early 2000s, I became a Flickr PRO member shortly after its acquisition by Yahoo in 2005.

Flickr grew to become the one of the largest and best quality photo sites on the internet with over 12 billion photos and 100 million dedicated users.

The telecommunications giant Verizon announced that it will spend $4.8 billion to acquire Yahoo’s operating business, including popular online content such as Yahoo, Flickr and Tumblr.

FlickrVerizon

Verizon hopes that by pairing Yahoo with AOL, which Verizon bought in May 2015 for $4.4 billion, that the result will be a digital media unit that could compete with Google and Facebook. Having followed so many of these wild internet company purchases during the past decade or so, I have serious doubts that Verizon will be able to make that happen.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, a former Google exec, was hired in 2012 to turn things around at financially struggling Yahoo. Flickr’s core users were hopeful that it might get the attention it deserved. She allowed Yahoo to loose focus on Flickr, allowing the top site for photographers to slip in quality and innovation. Yahoo was desperately trying to appeal to the Instagram generation, and in doing so started to alienate Flickr’s core users, many of whom were professional photographers. As a Flickr Pro member, I often gave feedback … but it felt like no one was listening. Things would break and it would take eight to 10 months before someone would respond. We were members paying money for a service that wasn’t working. It was insulting to me and other photographers who had been using Flickr so actively for so many years. We were clearly not the target audience any more.

Marissa Mayer generated controversy in 2013 for saying “there’s really no such thing as professional photographers anymore,” when explaining why Flickr was phasing out its Pro membership at the time. As a Flickr Pro member for a decade, I protested loudly as did millions of other Pro members. She quickly apologized for the statement. Us Flickr Pro members saw it as extreme ignorance on her part. Flickr drew more flack the following year by putting 50 million Creative Commons licensed photos by users up for sale through its new Wall Art service. Although it was within its rights to do based on the licensing, the move left a bad taste in photographers’ mouths, and Flickr pulled the plug on the arrangement the next month.

Amid dwindling share of only 1.3% of a growing $187 billion global digital market, the best she was able to do is put Yahoo up for sale. Mayer will help in the transition, but it is not known if she will remain as a Verizon employee. I think that in view of her high salary and lack-luster performance of Yahoo and neglect of Flickr, it would be in Verizon’s best interest to let her go.

Yahoo, Flickr and Tumblr are set to officially become Verizon properties when the deal closes in early 2017, assuming anticipated government approvals occur.

My fear is that Verizon, being a giant in the mobile phone market, cares little about quality photography and photographers. I think Verizon will sell Flickr or perhaps just let it die as an expense it can write off. As a Flickr Pro member who has invested many hundreds of hours into building and supporting my Flickr Photostream and several high quality photo groups, I am deeply saddened by that thought. On the other hand, it is my hope that Verizon will realize the great photographic jewel that it will possess in Flickr and find a way to breathe new life back into it. If executed with excellence, Flickr will remain the top site for quality among serious photographers … like me.

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Captain Rick: Flickr, the world’s top photo site with 6 billion photos and 50 million members, has an awesome new look.

A glimpse of my Flickr Photostream with the awesome new look appears below. I present all of my photos in HDTV Widescreen format. They are are available for viewing in Blu-ray quality for my Flickr Friends.

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Yahoo purchased Flickr in 2005, when Webshots was the king of photography on the internet. I was a Webshots member in those days with views of my photos surpassing 1 million. Webshots ranked me as the top photographer in the ‘Arizona category.’ My photography also achieved a top 10 spot in the categories of Oregon, Washington, Montana and Utah.

In 2006 I began to see lots of problems surfacing with Webshots and brought it to the attention of their management with no avail. I launched intensive research to find a new site to post my photography. I discovered Flickr when it was ‘still in diapers’…before most of the world had even heard of it. I liked what I saw. My thought was that one day Flickr will become the new world leader in photography. I joined Flickr in early 2007. A week later, I was so impressed that I became a paying ‘PRO’ member and have been ever since. To me, no other photo site on planet earth comes close to the excellence projected by Flickr. This enhancement helps ensure continued success for years to come. I made a wise choice back in 2007 and remain a proud Flickr PRO member today.

Webshots continued its decline and ultimately executed its remaining membership by deleting all member photos unless they signed up for what they called ‘Smile’. I called it ‘dead on arrival’, as did most of the other members.  All of my photos were deleted. Lots of hard work to end in such a death. I convinced many of my Webshots friends to ‘come on over’ to the ‘brighter side’ and post their photos on Flickr.

I created several Flickr photo groups, all of which are very unique in that I personally scan every photo of a members photostream in search of ‘photos of excellence,’ which I then invite to be added to the groups photo pool.

Captain Rick’s Flickr Photostream and Photo Groups:

Captain Rick’s Photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/atridim/

A Virtual Journey: http://www.flickr.com/groups/virtualjourney/

16×9 Widescreen (Flickr’s Top Group for HDTV quality photos): http://www.flickr.com/groups/16x9widescreen/

A Virtual Journey – Level 2 (photos receiving sufficient awards from members): http://www.flickr.com/groups/virtualjourney2/