Monday, September 24, 2007

Elite or Mainstream?

Flickr is as de regueur as you get when it comes to Web 2.0 technologies. At this point, if you're in the blogging world it's assumed that you have an active Flickr account, or at least understand how to use one.

So during a recent conversation with the CEO of a Web 2.0 property aimed at a local audience, I was pretty surprised when he mentioned that he didn't have immediate plans to work directly with Flickr. He pointed out that most of his target audience used more mainstream services, like Shutterfly. After thinking about it for a minute, this made complete sense. When my friends send me pictures of their kids, it's NEVER through Flickr, but it's always through Kodak or something like that. Though, I really wish they'd use Tabblo, it's so much easier to view 30 slightly different pictures of a kid in a single frame than having to page through them one-by-one.

Being a boastful dad as well as a bit of a shutterbug, you'd think that I'd be a regular Flickr user. I have an account, but don't really dabble too much. Though, I have been known to use Tabblo to share with smaller audiences. Tabblo used to be a client and I continue to use the service because it's easier to share with controlled audiences, like my parents or my son's baseball team.

In fact, many times I have tried to get readers of to post pictures from around the city on Flickr or Tabblo and have never received much of a response. I talk with these people on the soccer sidelines and at school events. These are people who already read blogs, they're lawyers, doctors, financial executives, technology experts and VCs. They all have digital cameras, many have DSLRs and nearly every one has a Blackberry and/or cameraphone. Yet, they're not about to share those photos on Flickr.

Back to the CEO from above, he noted that Flickr tends to be a young, urban crowd when he's going for the parental, suburban crowd. I guess it's possible that as the urbanites age and move out to places like Newton, they'll take their Flickr accounts. Or maybe those accounts will end up collecting dust once the kids come.

So when people ask about Web 3.0, they're a little ahead of themselves. We still have a lot of work to do in order to make Web 2.0 a reality with mainstream America.

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