She’s Leaving

Yes, “on a jet plane” — but there’s no need to sing the song. We had a marvelous visit, and enjoyed keeping track of Pippa’s adventures in Maine, working on common academic interests, and generally sinking our teeth into a weekend together alone. We’ll connect up again next weekend when we go to see Si in Angels in America at Marlboro.

Pointing to Flickr reminds me of the changes in their terms of service. Much as I like the people behind Flickr, I don’t in the least like the direction their application has taken in the past few months. While they justifiably need to protect their service against abuse (it’s not a bandwidth sink for banners or other page design elements, and they have to abide by others’ copyright laws), the ludic t-shirt phase of Flickr has passed, and the serious button-down shirt phase has arrived — pretty soon, Flickr will be wearing a power tie and fancy suit, and its early enthusiasts will have migrated elsewhere. I don’t assent to the premise that “sharing digitized photos” and “sharing other digitized images” constitutes a fundamental distinction in the value of the service (and if it were that important, it would not be overwhelmingly difficult to implement a “photo” on/off switch to guide searches). I don’t agree that Flickr needs to forbid “photos that include frontal nudity, genitalia or anything else that your bathing suit should cover” (that’s what their sensible “this might be offensive” button was meant to deal with). I don’t think that the recipe for enduring business success involves abandoning the spirit that made you popular.

I wish everyone well, and I may keep on using Flickr out of inertia (even though I regularly upload non-photo images, the horror!). But is this what Web 2.0 is about? I don’t think so.

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