Recently, you may have heard through the numerous blogs and articles on the web that the CEO of Flickr made a desperate plea to its members to help them keep the site alive. If you haven’t Click here and read all about it.
I have thought a lot about this issue because I really do like Flickr and have been a member since 2006. This issue actually mirrors what I went through/ still going through, when I took over the beloved website, Ulsan Online a number of years ago.
We Need Something New
It never really occurred to me until I saw some of the comments that were left under the articles breaking the news about the email that Flickr’s CEO Don MacAskill sent out. These were the snarky type comments that you’d expect from people who spend most of their time trying to one-up each other in internet battles over how much they know about some random camera or technique that seemingly validates their existence.
It was the same thing that I experienced taking over the website. It had been used and abused and I had big plans for it. I added email lists and revamped the site to make adding articles easier. There was more space for advertising and a greater emphasis on articles. Yet, that didn’t impress many people.
People want something new. It is sad because it feels like you are trying to negotiate with a 5 year old, but something that needs to be done. Give them something shiny and new so that people can brag about it and win those internet battles about how they’ve been on Flickr before anyone else and how they stuck with them through thick and thin.
While Flickr is adding 6k resolution and also partnering with Pixsy to help limit photo theft, people are expecting something more. I am not sure what but something has to change before people start digging into their wallets.
Everyone Wants Something for Nothing
The biggest challenge is the fact that people are cheap. There is no way around this. Instagram and facebook are free. Instagram has made people a lot of money. People like free money.
For my website, I faced the fact that people wanted free advertising. Advertisers wanted thousands of dollars back for a tiny investment. They were willing to watch the website die in order to either make a buck or prove themselves right.
This is what I fear is going to happen with Flickr. You are going to have a large group of people who are not willing to support the community bitching and moaning about the fee and whatnot. They are going to be vocal and convince people about the negative aspects of the platform and smile when Flickr has to shut down. Then they are going to start bitching and moaning again because there is not a platform dedicated to photography that has 6k resolution and can upload directly from Lightroom and has added to security to stop people from stealing their photos.
My advice is for flickr to be the leading site for pure photography. Instagram is all about your brand image and young people selling themselves to become an influencer. Flickr could be what 500px was initially; a powerhouse of all things photography.
Flickr needs to become the be all and end all of photography. How they can do that, I am not sure but that is what needs to be done. It needs to be a place that is inclusive so that older photographers won’t feel alienated and that it is not dominated by younger photographers. Flickr needs to be dominated by ALL photographers.
It is going to be a long and up hill battle for flickr but it is one that I am going to do my best to help them. Starting with this. You can get 25% off your Pro membership here.
The bottom line here is that we need sites like this around. Ones that people can count on for all things photography related. We don’t need another photo/social media site. Flickr does not have to compete with Instagram, Facebook, or Youtube. The site just need to be Flickr and the best version of Flickr that it can be.
**The photos are not as random as they appear. One of the benefits of Flickr is that you can easily add images from there in your wordpress blog without uploading them to your server**