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Flickr, Pinterest, and Instagram: my strong feels, as both a user and a publisher

I have some strong feels about photo hosting online, my friends. Over the last decade, I've watched the landscape of photo hosting websites shift, from a time when there was nothing decent, to a time when there was something amazingly awesome (Flickr!), to a time when there were tons of options, to time when there are a few front-runners (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram) none of which work as well as the tools we used back when I got married in 2004.

This post is long. This post is probably overly emotional considering we're talking about web apps and photo hosting. But man… photos are my memories, and as a publisher, photos are part of my business model. So let's get out our hankies and our rallying fists in the air and talk this shit over.

115

Clicks don't lie: people gravitate toward drama (and who am I to deny them?)

I wrote yesterday about the process of realizing that a community management tool I'd established in 2008 for the Offbeat Bride Tribe was no longer relevant to my community's 2012 needs. In a nutshell: my current community doesn't need high-drama posts filtered. But more importantly, they don't WANT them filtered out.

You know why? Because on a certain level, we all gravitate toward difficult emotions. As one Offbeat Bride Tribe member said…

37

Changing your tools to meet your online community's needs

If I've learned anything from a decade of online community management, it's that you cannot teach people how to use your community "correctly." Your members will use the tools you make available the ways that suit them, and time spent trying to convince them to use them differently is just a waste of moderator energy. Your tools MUST match the needs of your community — if your members are not using the tools the way you intended, then you need to reassess the tool.

This situation gets even more complex because the needs of a community shift as it matures. A tool that might have been awesome at one era of a community's development might be completely pointless during another era. You can't get attached to your tools, because if your members aren't using them, they're useless.

Ok, ok. Less vague-blogging. Let me give you a very specific recent example from the Offbeat Bride Tribe: the killing of the Primal Scream Therapy section.