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.

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Bad news hits tech industry

First, this week I learned that Tom LeVine, CEO of the wonderful Pop!Tech conferences for many years, has brain cancer. Tom is someone I’ve met many times and was always inspired by. He welcomed me in his home and I counted him as a friend in the industry. I don’t know the extent of the cancer, but anything that goes on in your brain like that is damn serious. If I were a praying kind of guy, this is one opportunity I’d do just that. My mother-in-law had a brain tumor, which greatly affected her for about a month or two (in really weird ways, too, she couldn’t recognize anything to the right of her) but she’s made a full recovery. This gives me hope and I’m really hoping that the news turns out well for Tom. But the news I’m getting isn’t that good. UPDATE: Tom’s blog has been getting updates about his condition.

But, tonight, news started spreading that Russell Shaw was dead. Oh, my, this one hit me hard. I’ve known Russell for a few years. He always had a kind word for me, was one of the hardest working bloggers around (had blogs on all sorts of different things, from politics over on Huffington Post, to VoIP on ZDNet, among others). Was a fountain of information on all sorts of topics and I really enjoyed hanging out with him. I agree with Dan Farber, I’ll miss him.

It’s a somber mood here, and yet another lesson that we aren’t here very long in the overall scheme of things, so might as well try to do as well as we can while we are.

I’ll remember both of these guys, and, along with Marc Orchant, who died last year, make me wonder if nice guys do, indeed, die first…

News: Qik videos coming to YouTube

I should just call Mike Arrington at TechCrunch and let him post this one (I want to focus on innovative people, not so much on news), but what the heck. Qik’s engineers just told me that they turned on their YouTube integration.

I’ll test this out tonight at the Flickr party and let you know how well it works. Well, actually, you’ll be able to see the results! They will show up on YouTube here.

Some notes from the engineers:

– YouTube is slow at processing uploads (I’m sure you’re aware…)
– this is using a newly-available format for Qik videos: .3gp files. I wonder what other device might be able to play these .3gp files….
– the quality of the upload is dependent on the quality of the source; a 640*480 Qik file will be sent to YouTube at that resolution (although it will be transcoded down by them). Given the way YouTube handles video quality, I’d try to produce videos at a higher than usual quality setting in order to get good YouTube quality out of it.
– there’s a 10-minute limit on video length. longer ones won’t go.

Looks like it might not be completely ready for everyone to test yet. I’ll bring you more on this as it happens.