With the horrible destruction in Oklahoma yesterday I was leaning towards just skipping blogging about the Yahoo announcement that it would be increasing Flickr storage to 1 Terabyte (can anyone say that without using a Dr. Evil voice and lifting a pinkie?) for each user at no charge. I mean, Flickr is hugely popular and that’s a lot of storage but with the insanely high rate of image theft on Flickr I just don’t even consider them a viable sharing option for ANYONE who cares about their photos. And as I said to start with, Oklahoma is far more important than a photo sharing site upgrade.
So why blog today after all that? Well, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer stuck her foot in her mouth again today. You may remember she shot to the media’s attention when the blogging world, specifically bloggers who are parents and familiar with working from home, took loud exception to Mayer’s drastic reduction in telecommuting for Yahoo employees. Now she seems to want to add professional photographers to the list of people who don’t like her very much.
Mayer was quoted as saying “There’s no such thing as Flickr Pro today because [with so many people taking photographs] there’s really no such thing as professional photographers anymore.” Now, if this wasn’t coming from the CEO of the largest photo sharing site out there (in terms of sheer volume) I would snort and move on. However, that this CEO has absolutely no clue who her customers are and how to project a positive public image just boggles the mind to the point where I have to do a double take.
I want to believe that she meant pros aren’t using Flickr (unfortunately many do – why I can not comprehend) but I fear she honestly has bought into the current media and corporate believe that any photo is good enough and any photo can be free if you look a few minutes for someone willing to give it away (on purpose or by not clearly marking a photo as copyrighted). I see more and more fuzzy and poorly composed images in ads/magazines/newspapers. I see more and more photos being stolen and posted “for free” on photo sharing sites under false pretenses. It is incredibly frustrating from not just the standpoint of a professional photographer but someone who loves photography and dislikes seeing it marginalized as a bunch of filtered snapshots.
If you are still using Flickr I plead with you to find another option for photo sharing. Please!