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Links for 2007-05-22

7 replies on “Links for 2007-05-22”

I was confused about the Yahoo/Flickr story as well — how is this relevant/important to the general population? I doubt anyone beyond a very small circle of bloggers and photographers really cares.

Sometimes I wish I was a cartoonist. You could call this one “What Scientists Mean And What People Hear”, or something.
The risks may be greater than previously thought translates as
“the possibility that some correlation between wifi and ill-health of some sort may emerge at some point can’t be ruled out in advance”
“we’ll all die of wifi cancer!”
And the health fears are unproven:
“no evidence of any such correlation has been produced to date”
“we may all die of wifi cancer!”

The Gaydar group has launched a bursary in memory of its co-founder, Gary Frisch, to reward innovation in radio technology.
Gaydar’s parent company QSoft said the ¬£4,000 bursary will be awarded annually to an individual entrepreneur or technologist developing tools such as audio software, playout systems, playlist selection or podcasting.,,2085620,00.html

i actually think flickr did a great job of fixing the issue. in large communities it is sometimes easier to delete first and ask questions later. and there are bound to be things that get deleted that cause an outcry. and it’s what the moderators/companies do with that outcry that determines how things move forward and how the community feels in the future. stewart butterfield did the right thing by addressing it straight on and making amends where he could.

The problem of big business (or just business in general) doing their “job”, which in effect is an homogenization of culture to the lowest common denominator, is insidious.
This event clarified something swirling around in my mind for several years: The future holds a change where corporate censorship (yes, censorship, the act of removing or suppressing material considered morally, politically or otherwise objectionable), will become as disreputable as that performed by government.
Corporations have been living in a bubble where they can take the safe route every time. In fact, it would appear that more and more its *only* acceptable to take the safe route. But the bottom line is that polite society is as stupid today as it was in Victorian times.
Regardless how much I like you, simplifying this story down to a sound bite, and ignoring the significant “mistakes” that Flickr regularly makes, is not helping. It just so happened that they trod on a the toes of a particularly popular photographer (again), and this time they didn’t get away with it.
I canceled my Flickr earlier this year when it was clear they take far too long between meaningful and very needed improvements to their service, and that they thought it was *them* that was so great. It’s not. It’s the community. It just so happens they has the right amount of white space in their design at the right time to attract the right amount of people. And like with most things, once you’re established, the foothold is fairly secure.
(P.S., isn’t it generally preferable to mention conflicts of interest on the page or article where such things occur?)

Tom, I think you’re making a mistake when you say that the “only reason anyone knows about it is because Flickr are so transparent and open”. Beyond notifying the user that her content had been deleted(it’s not like she wouldn’t have noticed), Flickr wasn’t open until the very end of the situation when they fixed it. And they fixed it because people were talking about it, since they had found out about it first from the user who had had her content deleted, and then from each other… not from Flickr.
I agree that the news story is over the top, but mainly because it’s mis-focusing on what is actually a very important issue. Community sites like Flickr should never hinder users who have had their content stolen. I won’t go as far as saying they should help them in every case, because it’s not clear how or what kind of resources that would take. But it is very clear that community sites who want to have a high quality of users need to make certain they’re perceived as a safe place to be a user.

I think you’re missing the point here a bit. I don’t doubt that an error was made in this case, andif you’ll notewhen exposed to the error they worked hard to fix it. The thing I think is massively over the top here is the reaction to the story. The truth is that communities require a lot of management and there are a lot of dubious users out there doing a lot of foul things. I don’t think there’s a single community site that I’ve ever worked on where we didn’t end up pretty regularly banning or blocking people from the site by one mechanism or another. And occasionally, you over-react or misread a situation and you ban the wrong person. Thissimplywill just happen however much we fight against and try and stop it happening. On those occasions all a company like Flickr can do is redress the situation and fix things. They did so.
Can you imagine how many people are banned from MySpace every day? And I think we can say without any further thought that some of those will be banned by accident. All of these companies assert the rights to do that kind of thing. They have to, because mistakes are made and they have to be careful thatas a resultthey’re not accidentally libelling the person concerned. But you won’t hear much about banned members on MySpace, nor will you hear much about them changing their minds or letting them back on, because it’s not the kind of environment where such conversations bubble to the surface. The Flickr community is particularly open and vocal, and people who use it have a short-cut to the blogosphere and to larger debating environments. As such these things get heard about more. Flickr users are almost certainly more able to be heard and express themselves to the people who run the site than the users of almost any other social site. And Flickr themselves will act to try and redress any wrongs when they’re exposed. I don’t see the problem.

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