How Fragile We Are: The Life and Death of Social Networks

Flickr, a social network fueled by photo sharing has made some changes, and has some members of its community jumping ship. Some changes to Flickr:

  • Limiting the maximum number of contacts, or ‘friends’ in your Flickr network.
  • Each photo can have a maximum of 75 tags.
  • They will be discontinuing their email-based Flickr sign in system, forcing people to use a Yahoo! ID. Yahoo! bought Flickr a while back.

Photographer Thomas Hawk is outraged, and summarizes the feelings of others as well:

  • Limiting your most active users from further social networking on a social networking site is the most idiotic thing I’ve seen in a long time.
  • In short, I don’t want a Yahoo! account. I’ve been there, been burned… I don’t want Yahoo, and that should be my choice.
  • Today marks the first time that to me, Flickr has ever felt like something less than that community I bought into (literally), and more like a service I pay for. And that’s a sad realization.
  • I will be sad to lose my flickr friends and my flickr communities, but I don’t want to see them replaced by a Yahoo community.
  • I, and many others, felt such kinship with the little boat that could float once known as flickr has sold its soul to a marketing mess that we bother to waste our time tilting at windmills hoping the tide can be reversed and we can return to the wonderful, truly great entity that was our flickr.
  • Your job is to do everything in your power to make our life in flickr easier and more fun.

It goes on an on, and is an interesting look at who holds the true power in social networking relationships. The Wall Street Journal has two articles this week about the profilferation of social networks online:

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