2008.04.12

I Fear Change - Appease Me!

02.48.46 - Mark

Earlier this week Flickr added the ability to post short (90 seconds or less) videos to the site for it's pro users (people that fork over $25 a year for the service) and now a while bunch of people are up in arms saying that by adding video the site is going to turn into youtube, which is complete crock, and are boycotting groups that allow video, block people that post video, and some claim they'll be defecting from the site or otherwise demanding the new feature be taken offline and thrown into a deep dark dungeon and never be allowed to see the light of day again.

They may as well be chanting "I fear change - appease me!", which would be preferable since it would 1) do just as much for their "cause" 2) would tell you more about how far along they are in terms of mental and emotional development and 3) would simply be more entertaining.

For one thing Flickr is a business. Sure it's a business that makes you feel like it's all warm and soft and friendly and that it's totally hip to it's friends customers interests, and to be fair it does to a lot to be customer friendly (it is a community site after all) but it's still a business, and this is a business move.

Videos uploads are only open to those with pro accounts, so to upload video you have to pay. New pro membership benefit == more members == more money. Then there's the fact that yahoo (which owns flickr) doesn't exactly have a strong video presence, and flickr is a closer fit than a lot of things it could have tried.

Second, comparing Flickr to YouTube is pretty silly when you look at it. YouTube is free to all, and after a few family friendly parental type controls the site is pretty much a free for all. YouTube also isn't exactly interested in quality. Flickr seems to be sort of the opposite. The video clip I uploaded to flickr looks almost as good there as it does when I play it locally, and the player interface isn't bloated or bland. So you don't have the total dreck we've all come to expect from youtube clips.

The third thing is since you have to pay to use the service, you're setting a good barrier to entry. Everyone has seen a myspace page that made you want to suck your own eyes out with a drinking straw, and look at all the number of craptacular free blogs and websites out there. Now how many sites have you seen with a registered domain name (and I'm not talking a .tk or some other free domain) and real paid hosting? Nowhere near as many. Pay walls keep a certain level of junk out, so again, none of the youtube free for all.

Should flickr added a "Don't show me video" option? Probably, and it would surprise me if they don't (or if someone fails to come up with a no video hack) but I'm finding it a useful feature. I've got a bunch of short clips that are neat, and worth sharing, but nothing I really care to piece together into a video. So while things like youtube and blip (another video service) fail, flickr video works, and gives me more of a reason to keep up my pro account.

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2006.02.10

Oooh Oooh, I'm a Podfader, give me some attention!

01.10.26 - Mark

The idea of "podfading" is freaking ridiculous, and the article Wired cooked up for the term just adds to some insane notion that you can add "pod" as a prefix to any other word and start making money from it. Its iNaming all over again.

I mean I could probably claim that I'm a "podfader" since I did a podcast or two and dropped out. Of course now that I'm titling myself a podfader I'm sure someone will probably go digging around my archives trying to find it. Please don't, as its a horribly uncompelling audio file where I was doing a really bad job of mimicking Adam Curry.

The idea that podcasters stopping (gasp) their shows is to be expected. Its not even that big a deal since a number of shows I liked dropped off the web, Speechless is one (still worth checking out his archives, regardless of the potential for new shows). Besides with 50 gazillion podcasters out there I can always find something similar, or I could move onto some thing else entirely. Its not the end of the world, it's just a prefix.

Podcasting, Podjacking, Podcatching, Podfading, Podwhatever. I still think that podcasting is something that should be recognized as something entirely different from traditional media, I'm starting to agree with the said that says we don't need to rework the entire English language to do so, because frankly, we don't.

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