Yesterday’s Thoughts

May 15, 2012

“To Yahoo, It Was Just a Fucking Database”

Gizmodo on how Yahoo killed Flickr, “The first community problems became evident when Yahoo decided all existing Flickr users would need a Yahoo account to log in. That switchover occurred in 2007, and was part of the CorpDev integration process to establish a single sign on. Flickr set it to go live on the Ides of March.”

The single sign on never worked, for either Flickr or Upcoming. I had accounts on both, and a Yahoo mail account. Once the single sign on began rolling out, I could no longer access either my Flickr or Upcoming accounts.

Flickr was one of the most beautiful spaces ever created on the internet. Yahoo killed it with ugly and stupid.

It wasn’t just companies that Yahoo bought that they crippled. The had Yahoo Groups. Yahoo Groups was, around 2004 or so, really the killer app of the Internet. Email had become ubiquitous, but sharing among more than a couple of people was problematic and Usenet groups required too much investment for most people and were starting to fade. Yahoo Groups solved these problems. There was a huge market for sharing.

Yahoo was trying to compete in search, but they never searched their own public groups, and the search in private groups was (still is?) atrocious. Plus they cluelessly took away web access unless you had an Yahoo email.

This is not a case of business over art either. If it were business, you make it easier for your customers to use your product, not harder.

(Apparently, you no longer need to sign on to Flickr with your Yahoo email address. I wonder about Yahoo groups? It’s too late for Upcoming? Is del.icio.us dead too? )

via How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet.

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