Sniff… No More Old Skool Koolness

What a sad day it is when us old skool flickrites now have to wear the official uniform — just got my note from the principal:

letter from flickr

What this is referring to is those with flickr accounts had previously, on signing in to flickr, had to follow the extra “Psssss…” link to get to the 5% club’s entrance. I felt so special, so unique, wearing my tattered old skool jeans:

old skool link

I am making a bit light of this, as I had a yahoo account used for almost nothing, not even mail, with the same name as my gmail account. So the transfer was easy. And if there are improvements on the way… okay.

But in a way, it really feels sad, to loose that special, old skool feeling. I set up my flickr account in March 2004 (that is about 3 internet centuries ago), when I was looking at photosharing sites– featured in a presentation I did for the TCC 2004 Conference called Publish and Build Communities Around Digital Images. Ironically, at this time I was playing a bit more with Buzznet, a site I’ve not been back to in maybe 2 years. But I had peeked at flickr, and it did have a palpable different web feel, at that time via a Flash interface, that just seemed different- a snapshot from the presentation above (hey, it is a canned Breeze show, and it still works!):

old flickr screen (small sized)

Ahhhh, nostalgia.. the wine of old fogies. Old skool ones, that is.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. I just opened a second flickr account, one for work, and unfortunately when I went to add my gmail address it wants me to combine/join my 2 accounts, which I definitely do not want to do. Any thoughts on that? I’ll try using the + in my gmail addy and see if flickr thinks it’s a separate account, maybe that’ll work. I just don’t like having to check another email account. :(

  2. I had a similar problem to Todd; I had created a 2nd flickr account in the last year which they forced me to join to my Yahoo account. Now I get this ‘old skool’ message but it won’t let me join my main account to my existing flickr account because, as they say, it has already been joined to an account. I sent them a snarky letter about this. Is this enough for me to drop flickr. No; I have too many images up there now and too much time invested in it, it would take more than this. But it certainly dropped their credibility for me. Just more evidence of the fight to the death of the silo’d account providers that we will see more of in 2007.

  3. In addition to my own flickr account, I’ve ended up creating 3 additional ones for NMC projects… the need for 3 is a long, but true story.

    One was done for SL images, and that one is knocked out of public view because of their notion of it being “screenshots”. The other is for our NMC real photos so we can syndicate to our new web site, and a third one came neceaary for our Virtual Worlds project, could have rolled it into account #1.. there was a good reason why I chose not to, but I forget (I tried to edge around by NIPSAd by seeding the account with dog photos, not sure if I won).

    I guess the issue is trying to use an email already associated with another flickr account? For the 3 I set up, I created 3 different Yahoo accounts. I shuffle around between 3 different web browsers to keep ’em logged in, though the flickr Uploadr works okay with a selectable set of accounts.

    Yes, gone with old skool might be the fun, human, quirky personality of flickr? As I wrote elsewhere today, free is rarely totally free, so there is a cost somewhere for free web stuff (though all our accounts are Pro, there goes the cute quote)

  4. I was sad about this too – and yeah, I have a pro account too, and leavign Flickr would be terrible now I got all my friends and family on it – but I hate having use the yahoo account. I never wanted a yahoo account in the first place – and it has a stupid name, whereas on Flickr, my login was “Jill” – hooray for being old-skool and the first Jill on Flickr!

    Fortunately Flickr still tells me “hei Jill!” when I log in. Phew.

  5. have you seen the Mass Suicide group on flickr – flick off. There is a revolt afoot. Many of the “old skool” members are planning to migrate elsewhere. See Thomas Hawk’s blog.

  6. @Jill: don’t you still keep your nick when you convert? The good news is you don’t have to use yahoo mail, just sign in with your yahoo id.

    @Alan: to avoid the forced merge issue, I used the stupid gmail trick of the “+”. So, email for my primary flickr account is me@gmail.com, for my secondary flickr account it’s me+flickr@gmail.com, for a third it might be me+flickr2@gmail.com.

  7. Todd’s spot on– on all 3 of my Yahoo mail accounts, I have no mail, no other services enabled, o all they know are my flickr habits.

    Clever approach of the gmail accounts. I don’t have the same issue– only my personal flickr goes to my gmaila count. The other three flickr accounts each have a domain email I created that all point to my same NMC mail addres (same result as what you are doing- but a great reminder how to use Gmail cleverly)

  8. Hi Alan,
    I think we should make a big deal out of this. I’m considering exporting everything out of flickr and taking myself elsewhere. I loath Yahoo. I hated it when they took over Flickr. It made using it in a classroom pretty much impossible because creating a yahoo account is a bloody nightmare! It would have to be the worst of them all! Now I can’t get the username I have managed to get everywhere else. The username I want isn’t being used in Yahoo – it just isn’t available. (?) go figure! I mailed them about a week ago to ask if I could have the username, but so far no reply. Even Google replies quicker than that.

    Recentlt I dumped Blogger. Migrated everything over to WordPress. I’m not sure that I think wordpress is any better, but at the time Blogger’s Beta was a heap of sh*t, and was creating real hassles for me showing newbies how to blog. So I felt it was important for me to know another system well. I’m thinking more and more like this with regard to Flickr.

    Also, I don’t like this lock in marketing behaviour that both Google and Yahoo are beginning to use. I thought we were free from that. Maybe we are – which is why I/we should look into the best way of exporting our content quickly and easily into ther systems.

    Sorry for the long rant. Jeez, I hate Yahoo. Next it will be Del.icio.us that they ruin.

  9. I hear your pain, Leigh. I’ve not defending them, but what hurdles do creating Yahoo accounts create? I made mine a while ago, so maybe it is a long lost memory.

    That’s too bad about blogger- it was long my first recommend to nube bloggers, though I would send them now to WordPress.com or edublogs.org (is that still thriving, James??).

    Fame seems to be a tricky path for web success stories; a little of it generates a lot of good, a lot of fame and a buyout pushes them down the road of losing their initial motif. I too have my worries about del.icio.us, which up to know does not seem to be stamped with the big “Y”–

    But my weary sigh is that nothing free is really free these days, but fortunately there are new kids on the block. Maybe we need to start mapping put the alts, though I would rather jump into a vat of 3 year old warm vegemite than export my flickr photos.

  10. Todd: Thanks for the multiple account solution! I’ve been struggling with that one for a month now.

    Alan: I feel you, man. My heart sunk when I opened the email. Thanks for giving us a place to vent.

    If you haven’t had a chance to view Dick Hardt’s presentation on Identity 2.0, I imagine it will resonate during this dark time.

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