Look what happens when I go to Whistler for 3 days (stayed at a friends' timeshare for free, can't afford to stay there on our own dime!). Maybe I should go more often to Whistler so cool things will happen to Vancouver companies :-) ! Congrats to the entire Flickr team on the Yahoo acquisition.

Random thoughts:

  • FlickrTime is my new expression for a company rapidly developing a Web 2.0 app in the open and in real time. Has it really only been just over a year?

    Seems like yesterday that I got a sneak peek at Flickr in early February just before it went public. I only posted 9 photos in February 2004 and now I have 9700 photos on flickr!

    I really didn't get Flickr at first (real time photo chat via FlickrLive! who needs that was my first reaction!) I had previously met Caterina and Stewart and read their blogs forever and even tried out GNE but I am not a gamer! Therefore I knew that they had "brains the size of planets" and that there was potential in Flickr but I had no idea!

    But then I met Boris on February 11 and flickr was and is one of our favourite topics of conversation (back then we could email Stewart our feature ideas and he could even reply since he wasn't on the Vancouver/Silicon Valley shuttle daily like he was until the acquisition).

    Sometime around May of 2004, Boris told me about the post via email feature and that was when I started posting lots of photos using iPhoto's email feature. 836 photos in June (all done in groups of 30 since email can't handle more than 5MB of photos)!

    Still, I didn't use tags because I had no way to easily tag lots of photos. Again, Boris pointed out Fraser Speirs' most excellent plugin for iPhoto, FlickrExport which I started using in late September 2004. Using tags has connected me with the broad Flickr community and by following certain tags, I have seen (and still see) some amazing photos and I have learned alot about photography.

  • My first instinct as a capitalist is to applaud the Flickr team for taking the money but also to simultaneously worry about Yahoo. Historically Yahoo hasn't been the most enlightened company from a Web enthusiast's point of view. However their recent hiring of Russell Beattie and the ongoing amazing blogging of Jeremy Zawodony and the RSSification and Atomization of Yahoo points to the fact that for a BigCo, Yahoo! seems to get it more than Google. In other words I am optimistic that Yahoo won't do e*il to Flickr but perhaps that is naive.
  • Lessons learned from Flickr that others can learn: Give the people what they want. Give the geeks clean APIs and interfaces and RSS for everything! Give the "humans" something that is useful for them. And listen to what the people want and give them to them with some thought and some taste!
  • Speaking of what the people want: I still want (and am still willing to pay for!): printing, DVD backup, unlimited downloaduploads (I need about 3 GB/month now, more when I buy my digital SLR this Christmas), secure RSS feeds using basic auth over SSL for private photos (I have 2000+ of private photos of our child) .
  • Yahoo! don't break our URLs. I repeat. Yahoo! don't break our URLs!!!!!!
  • After the acquisition has run its course (a year or so from now I figure), Flickr dream team please start another company and do Flickr for audio and video. Thanks in advance!
  • Another lesson learned: Cross Platform zero install apps like Flickr and Organizr rule! There is really no excuse for having Windoze only (or Mac only) web apps in 2005. Macs, Linux and Windows happily co-exist and can use Flickr without paying a penalty and there are cool native apps (as well as the zero install, cross platform ones supplied by Ludicorp) available for all 3 platforms due to Flickr's clean APIs and interfaces!