Friday, September 14, 2007Home

Yahoo Photos to shut down September 20, Smugmug moves in

Yahoo Photos users will find themselves adrift when the company will discard its photo-sharing feature in favor of Flickr, which was bought by Yahoo in March 2005. Yahoo has acknowledged the differences between the two programs, and has offered the alternatives of Shutterfly and Kodak Gallery services. Smugmug, the “anti-establishment” photo site, has weighed in with a unique offer for Yahoo Photos customers.

A discount of 50% will be applied to new Smugmug subscriptions made by Yahoo customers. Emphasizing a low number of pop-ups or banner ads, Smugmug offers many features to the professional photographer, such as a user rating system that makes images increasingly visible on Smugmug’s site-wide search engine, shopping cart options for prints, and options for customization.

Having worked with both Flickr and Smugmug, I have to give the gold star to the latter. Smugmug is also pushing the envelope in uploading options, and functionality with Adobe programs.

From Smugmug’s press release:

“While sites like Flickr and Shutterfly have design limitations due to built-in editing applications, SmugMug unleashes a file uploader for Adobe PhotoShop Elements 6. Adobe Photoshop files can now be manipulated/edited and uploaded for display on a SmugMug user’s site, with the best and brightest picture clarity.”

Senior Vice President of Yahoo Brad Garlinghouse has expressed a wish to focus on clear-set goals, rather than trying to be everything to everyone. This is outlined in his memo, “The Peanut Butter Manifesto,” in which worries are expressed that Yahoo is being spread too thin.

On the other hand, Smugmug’s customer service is truly enviable. With the profusion of websites and online services, customer service is usually the first thing that is left by the wayside by companies struggling to keep ahead and adapt. It’s good to see that a well-specified service can keep going, and meet success in doing so.

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