Shedding light on Flickr

Co-founder says Flickr users have built and expanded the photo-sharing service, becoming its ultimate arbiters.

After buying the British Columbia-based Flickr in March, Yahoo moved the photo-sharing company's operations to Silicon Valley. Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake explains to ZDNet Editor in Chief Dan Farber how Flickr users have built and expanded the online service, becoming its ultimate arbiters. Here are portions of the conversation between Fake and Farber on Dec. 14, 2005, at the Syndicate conference in San Francisco.

ZDNet Editor in Chief Dan Farber spoke with Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flicker, on Dec. 13 at the Syndicate 2005 conference in San Francisco. Here's the whole interview.

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Sharing and tagging

Fake describes how the company got started and why Flickr is different from earlier photo-sharing sites. It seems it was only meant to be a game.

The free API (application program interface) has led to an explosion of creativity and utility among Flickr users, Fake said, and there's more to come.

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Going global

A global gallery was not what the Flickr founders intended, but Fake sees how events like Hurricane Katrina can lead to instant photo collections that are visible worldwide.

Fake talks about Flickr's revenue and how its users sell their pictures.

Since Yahoo bought Flicker earlier this year, the service has five times the photos and 10 times the members it had before. Regardless, Fake said you don't make unilateral decisions in a community.

Web 2.0 features will grow across most consumer sites, including Flickr's, Fake said.

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'Brute force'

Google uses "brute force computation," said Fake, adding that Flickr recognizes that its members own their personal data.

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Coming soon to Flickr?

Is video next? Hear Fake's terse answer.

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