Friday, July 20, 2012

The Internet sounded the alarm and, so it appears for now, Flickr has answered the call. The photo-sharing site responded on Thursday to a campaign crying out for a revitalization of the once-great service.

On Tuesday, the website published eight simple words its creator hoped would catch fire “Dear Marissa Mayer, please make Flickr awesome again.”

The target in question, of course, is new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who takes office amid hopeful buzz that she can turn around the ailing Internet giant.

Her background at Google  and as a developer seems to be giving the masses hope for Yahoo’s survival. Flickr users, in particular, seem to be crying out the loudest for change.

The website and matching Twitter hashtag were started by Sean Bonner, a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and global director of Safecast, a nonprofit that currently monitors radiation levels in Japan. Bonner also runs a “hackerspace” in L.A., is a contributor to BoingBoing, and is involved with several other startups.

Bonner, however, wasn’t positive that the website would be a success. “It was kind of like a litmus test. If I made the website and no one reblogged it, then its a dumb request. But if other people responded and passed it on? Then it must be worthwhile.”

Flickr was once considered the go-to place to share photographs on the web. The service launched in February 2004, the same month that Facebook, the current photo-sharing go-to, was launched. A year later, the website was acquired by Yahoo. It thrived for several years, but has been in decline as of late.