Google+ blah blah – a little rant.

Google+500px _ HomeWelcome to Flickr!

 

I am really sick of hearing this nonsense again and again…

First of all, I don’t get how you ever could compare Google+ to Flickr, but ok…

It’s an absolute puzzle to me how every photographer on the Internet is now dependent on Google+, thinking they’ve found the next best thing to their cameras.

“Google+ is so engaging, blah, blah blah, it’s a must for photographers, blah, blah, blah,   it’s the best for photosharing.” I really can’t stand to hear it anymore.

When 500px came out everyone who was bored and sick of Flickr jumped over ASAP and never looked back. Photographers and bloggers like Thomas Hawk and Robert Scoble, of course, praised and loved every single bit of 500px.

I grant you that 500px is new and shiny and very nice for photographers who are looking for a great place to share some of their best work, but it’s nothing more than that. I don’t want to look at a limited portfolio. I want something more: I want groups, collections, galleries and be able to upload 300 photos of one event without destroying my whole page. That doesn’t work with 500px.

Still, I do not see how Flickr and 500px are in direct competition at the moment. When 500px launched it already seemed to me that it was to Flickr what Vimeo is to YouTube.

Flickr to me still is a wonderful and amazing place to discover great photos and photographers. Also it is so much more powerful than either 500px and (I can’t believe I am mentioning it) Google+. You can search for photos specifically and you have a huge community that can be at times annoying, but also very helpful and useful. Communities are the same all over in my opinion anyway, so why not be part of the biggest you can reach? As a photographer I want to spread my photos around as much as I can. So, of course I use 500px, but differently than I use Flickr. Everything else feels somehow limited to me. I might be wrong, who knows?

The Flickr Groups are great, as is the way you can catalog and sort your photos and so on. This really isn’t meant to be a huge post; I understand how people are tired of Flickr, plus Flickr really needs to step up their game a little as not a lot has changed or improved in the past few years. I just think that there are no alternatives out there right now, and I am hoping that Flickr will at some point in the near future catch up by adding a few things we are still missing these days.

As I am writing this, Thomas Hawk just posted “five reasons why Google is winning the war in photosharing.”

Really? Deluxe linkbait is all that comes to my mind… and Google “fanboy” maybe…

Let’s check his five points of why he thinks Google is winning this so called war:

1. Images look great.

Oh wow, really? This is such a relief after so many years of ugly photos! Yhm wait, what?! He talks about gorgeous thumbnails and the Google+ lightbox. C’mon Mr. Hawk, thumbnails in Flickr can be changed to different sizes, and that’s been around for some time now. In my opinion, the Flickr lightbox looks much better, but it really doesn’t make any difference as it is JUST a lightbox! I don’t see the big speed difference that Thomas Hawk mentions he notices with the clunky Flickr version. Besides, Flickr does have to deal with a lot more photos.

And I don’t even begin to discuss Facebook…

 

2. The Google Photos team, well hell, everyone at Google is really excited, enthused and involved in the Google+ product — all day long!

Sure, I give you that, at least in comparison to Flickr it seems that way. (Though they always were the more silent types.) It’s also true that your contact with Flickr might have been disrupted by your constant aggressions against Flickr a little, no? And what happened to 500px in this whole post of yours?!

The engagement just can’t be beat.

Oh, c’mon!!! Google+ is still closed to the public and all “celebrities” who came to G+ brought a lot of fans with them that wanna play on the new playing field. There is engagement on Flickr if you really are looking for it, but the problem, or the broken link is not to be looked for on Flickr, but on the internet itself… look at 500px… same comments, same type of comments and people… it seems it really doesn’t make a difference.

 

4. The culture is positive.

Same point as in 3 still counts here… for now.

5. Photographers promoting other photographers.

Group linkbaiting… or call it whatever… in a closed environment like this with some many new users of course you try to produce as much traffic as possible. What else could you do?!

Please just quit Flickr completely–and 500px also–as you don’t mention them in this post at all… and don’t get me wrong, I like Thomas Hawk, as far as I know him from only his online presence, but this is just bulls**t.

Google Plus does not have the infrastructure and maybe will never have it… as a photographer or anyone who actually wants to look at photos, I don’t want to bother with Google+’s cluttered interface. I want something dedicated, like Flickr, and I want something with the huge catalog like Flickr, even with all the nonsense and “crap” in there… if I want to look at more artsy stuff only there are places like 500px and so on.

Instead of throwing punches at Flickr all the time, I would try to engage more with their community. People like Thomas Hawk, with his reach and followers could, if they wanted, really wanted, do that.

I don’t see how G+ will become a great photosharing site… nor will Facebook. Heck no one even mentioned Instagram. I really don’t like Instagram, but they are huge and growing amazingly fast. What about them?!

NYC May 2011

Ah well, I needed to vent… so that’s it I guess… I would love to hear your opinions on this subject though.

 

Have a good one,

Teymur.

 

3 Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more. I still gladly pay for my Pro flickr account, and I barely use the extremely overhyped G+.

  2. It is interesting To Read this right now. I am wondering for a quite Long time now Why everybody Lobes google+ that much. I also have an Account but i just don’t Feel it if you Know what i mean.
    So i am quite thankful for your clear words… 😉

  3. Hey there Heike, thank you for your comment. Yeah I really still don’t get it and I have stopped using Google plus for now… we’ll see how it goes, but Googles success rate in the past with stuff like that hasn’t been all that good.

    Ah well. And as you are from Cologne too maybe we’ll meet somewhere sometime for a little chat or so.

    Take care.

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