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TMCNet:  Flickr feels online community's anger ; Website of the week Why do people get upset when websites they love suddenly look different? Perhaps because... [Bristol Evening Post (England)]

[April 11, 2014]

Flickr feels online community's anger ; Website of the week Why do people get upset when websites they love suddenly look different? Perhaps because... [Bristol Evening Post (England)]

(Bristol Evening Post (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Flickr feels online community's anger ; Website of the week Why do people get upset when websites they love suddenly look different? Perhaps because those websites feel like home.GADGETS "Ihate it! Switch it back!" So said thousands of Flickr customers, minutes after the photo sharing site switched to a new page design. Flickr users didn't like what they saw, even though it had been tested on a small subset of users for months.


The redesign, officially and officiously called the "New Photo Experience" puts the photo on the left, and the metadata - all the extra stuff associated with it - on the right. Previously, that stuff was both to one side and below.

Before, you had to scroll a bit to see it all. Now there's no scrolling, but a bit more clicking. You win some, you lose some.

Looked at a little more dispassionately, the new look is as functional as the design it replaced. When you sit and go through it feature by feature, it's not as radical (or as bad) as people think.

People reacted strongly because it was a sudden and dramatic change.

They felt like they should have been consulted (In fact they were, during those months of testing, but only a few of them).

This is one way that the web is different from other media, especially when digital communities form.

When online community works, it feels like a real-world community. The people who are part of it feel like it belongs to them. That's why there's so much resentment and upset when big changes happen. It feels like an intrusion. Like someone's been messing with your stuff, uninvited.

Flickr's community has always been one of its greatest assets. If you're a long-time Flickr user, my advice is: don't rush to judge the latest changes. Give them a chance - in time, they might turn out to be better than what came before.

(c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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