Flickr's fourth birthday "adults only"

Interesting, next week Stewart Butterfield will return to his post at Yahoo as founder of photosharing site Flickr after taking several weeks off for maternity leave.

But, if he were to try to bring his family to Flickr’s fourth birthday celebration tonight he would have gotten turned away at the door like we were.

The official Flickr invite email didn’t mention this. Hmm, at least I got a T-shirt out of it.

Anyway, competitor SmugMug invites families to its parties (and even holds camping trips for families). When we interviewed SmugMug there were even babies in their workplace (along with dogs). Both of which I thought were very cool. I guess Yahoo doesn’t allow the integration of family and work life at this level.

Competitor Zooomr is run by a 20-year-old (who was 18 when he started the company).

Some of my favorite photographers, Matt Roe being one, are even younger.

Oh, well, this motivated me to copy all my photos to SmugMug finally (which started a while back when I got a good interview with the CEO). Now I understand why thousands of people pay SmugMug to host their photos.

UPDATE: I’m not dumping Flickr, just copying my photos over to SmugMug so I can talk about SmugMug more often.

Being family supportive is important in this world, particularly with photography.

The team from Flickr blamed the venue, saying that they have insurance that only allows adults.

That’s OK, next time Flickr asks me to come and cover a new feature or something I’ll say the same thing: my venue only allows family-friendly sites.

So, what do we do when we’re kicked out of parties? We eat sushi (which we hear was a lot better than what they were serving at the Flickr party anyway).

Heheh, I did get some news from Gabe Rivera, the guy who runs TechMeme.

Why I said "mugnormous" the other day

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TechCrunch has the skinny behind the new SmugMug. I’ll have a video up soon (hopefully today, although since I’m in London might be next week sometime) that shows off this new UI. It’s stunning and puts SmugMug squarely at the front of the photo sharing sites.

Actually, I got it wrong. SmugMug calls it “SmugMungous.” Wait until you see the demo going across two 30-inch monitors. The UI here BLOWS AWAY all the other photo sharing sites. Hopefully more Web 2.0 companies will follow their lead and build scalable UI’s.

Oh, and they have a new iPhone version out too.

UPDATE: Here’s the video, which is a tour of SmugMug where we see a bunch of stuff. The demo of the new SmugMug starts at about 11:42.

Does your founder do THIS?

Chris MacAskill, co-founder of SmugMug, tells me the story behind his famous almost-naked motorcycle ride.

You gotta love a corporate leader who takes dares from his employees like that.

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SmugMug gave me a preview of its new photosharing site that’ll turn on on Friday. They swore me to secrecy. But one thing they did to me is brand a new term into my head: mugnormous. You’ll see what that means when you hear about their new site, but wow. For my cameras they compared their site to a bunch of others and all I can think about is “I’m switching my images to Smugmug.”

Oh, and they have a little fun party on Friday at their headquarters to celebrate their fifth anniversary.

One last thing. This is a weird company. First of all, they are profitable. Second of all they don’t accept advertising. Third of all, they let dogs hang out. Fourth of all they’ve never taken (or needed) any investment. Fifth of all they are growing at a good clip (getting mugnormous, even). Sixth they charge their customers to use their service. Seventh, there’s a photo of one of the founders riding a motorcycle almost naked.

Who let this company survive in Silicon Valley? Heh! Certainly an antidote to that bubble video — here’s Smugmug’s co-founder Don MacAskill as he, and his team watch that video for the first time.

It’s always great meeting companies that break the rules and succeed. Mugnormous indeed.

Oh, and they have a little tool that lets you quickly move your images from other photo sharing sites onto SmugMug. What do they call it? Smugglr. This company has a mugnormous sense of humor, so refreshing to see.

Going to SmugMug

I’m getting a tour of SmugMug today. I can’t wait, cause I keep hearing that this is a better place for photographers to put their work than Flickr. They were the first company to tell me about Amazon’s S3 service so it’ll be interesting to hear how that’s going for them.

Yesterday I visited Radar Networks, who showed me its Twine service. That rocked. Can’t wait to show you the video.