FLICKR – It’s a free resource for digital camera owners to use to share and organize their photos and promote their portfolios far beyond the reach of friends if they choose. Flickr began by mistake when Ludicorp employees, charged with designing a video game as the company’s debut project, developed a rudimentary system for sharing images and photos with co-workers.
Caterina Fake, co-owner of Ludicorp with her husband, Stewart Butterfield, took note that the game developers saw photo sharing as more fun than the video game they were supposed to create. Rather than fire the mutinous lot, she and her husband took a swing at making the first photo-sharing site to successful allow users to upload images simultaneously to Flickr and their blogs.
At the time, adding words to an upload to help sort it during searches were the new rage. This is called tagging. Flickr not only allowed tagging, but let viewers add notes to images they liked and form communities which fit perfectly into the Social Network trend which was already in full swing. Just as no one needs a Mercedes or BMW, no one needs Flickr, but to Flickr users, not taking advantage of the feature-ladden photo-sharing site would be a lot like giving up a free Euro luxury car.
At a time when Google was snatching start-up companies at a rate of almost one per week, Yahoo! did the unthinkable. They bought Flickr for an undisclosed amount, rolled all of Flickr members into their communities and added limitations to the free accounts that had not been in place before. Flickr die-hards jumped ship. The brand teetered on the news of falling membership and it looked as though Ludicorp’s initial offering might have sold out to its death.
After agile public relations moves and Caterina’s own very public defense of the brand, her cute face and Yahoo’s Flickr integration brought a steady boom to Flickr locking its position to this day in to being one of the most useful and used photo-sharing sites in the World. From DEC04 to DEC05, Flickr’s traffic grew 448% to 3.4 MILLION brand new die-hard fans who accepted the limitations and knew Flickr no other way.
Today, Flickr can help publish your photos freely to a variety of other online tools and Social Networks and remains easier than ever. Uploading photos to a free Flickr account can be done at the site itself of through the use of a downloadable upload program free to Windows and Mac users. Dinarius shares BryanA’s digital portfolio at his profile.