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17 Year Old Creates Flickr Competitor 224

An anonymous reader writes "Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch has an article up on a new Flickr competitor called Zooomr. The interesting thing about all of this that it was developed in only three months by a 17 year old and to top it all off, the site is currently localized in 16 languages."
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17 Year Old Creates Flickr Competitor

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  • by Nomihn0 ( 739701 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @01:30AM (#14913634)
    Competition is nice, but innovation is far more impressive.
  • Zooomr (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fanblade ( 863089 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @01:38AM (#14913665) Journal
    Aside from being a Flickr knockoff (and being slashdotted), zooomr sounds like it has some serious potential. If and when their servers get back online I'm definitely going to try it out. I'm salivating over GPS data within pictures, associating pictures from different users based on time and place.

    Linking users to faces in a picture sounds like the perfect blend of Facebook and Flickr, hopefully without the obsessive/compulsive behavior found on the Facebook social network. I wonder how long before Flickr turns up the heat??
  • by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @01:48AM (#14913697) Homepage

    It would be hard to truly compete against Flickr, since it offers a great deal of power that the user can find behind the simplistic interface. O'Reilly has already released Flickr Hacks [] . I doubt that this kid's creation is half as hackable.

    The only thing that I don't like about Flickr is that it allows one to upload an enormous amount of photos each month, but limits the free account to three albums.

  • by Mikey-San ( 582838 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @01:57AM (#14913725) Homepage Journal
    I doubt that this kid's creation is half as hackable.

    When you were 17, what did you have to show for yourself?

    Stop being a prick and give the kid a compliment or two. At least he produces something instead of just bitching about others' creations.
  • by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @02:15AM (#14913785) Homepage
    More likely: he sells to Google, which lost the buying-war for Flickr to Yahoo and is probably looking for a Flickr-competitor to work with Picasa, Hello, and Blogger. This thing has "acquire me" written all over it.
  • by Xzzy ( 111297 ) <> on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @02:21AM (#14913804) Homepage
    It's not the software google wanted to buy, but the name and the userbase. I mean really, it's a website that lets you post pictures and make comments about them. A blog with pictures.

    The company that makes one of the most advanced search engines in the world could surely duplicate such software, and get it done quickly.

    Brand recognition though, you can't whip that out whenever you want.
  • by finnif ( 945981 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @02:29AM (#14913831)
    I like how about half of the comments respond how easy it is for the kid to have created the site, or that there's not much innovation going on there.

    I often agree with both of these statements, including for Google, Y!, MSN sites mentioned in Slashdot stories. They're all a bunch of Javascript. Wowee. That's a pain in the butt, but it's not innovative. There's some server technology that's pretty cool behind Gmail and the like, but as time goes on, those bottlenecks will be solved in a more commoditized way.

    So my question to you all is, why would you own Google or Yahoo stock for more than five minutes, to ride up the next big push? It seems like there's virtually no long term value in any website's technology. Surely someone else will take the idea and improve on it at some point -- it's already happened several times over in the last 10 years. We're already seeing the fast decline in the quality of Google's results, and here come a new wave of search engine rivals knocking on the door. Impossible? Ask AltaVista.

    Or do we just live in a world where brand name is all we're investing in anymore? It's has to be branding we buy because no one actually creates products for the ages. When someone creates a "one click ordering" button, that's what they get patented. Owning the rights to a button on a computer screen like inventors once owned the phonograph, or film emulsion... that's what buying stock is about.

    I remember when a Coke used to be a nickel, dammit.
  • by rm999 ( 775449 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @02:51AM (#14913914)
    This reminds me so much of the internet landscape from 7-8 years ago. Add a 2.0 to the end of the internet, and people forget all the hard lessons they should have learned from before.

    My main complaint, a similar complaint from the first bubble, is a huge waterfall of sites that implement only a few unique ideas. Back then it was internet stores and advertising, today it is tagging, blogs, and letting the user interact with the website.
  • by Atrus5 ( 537814 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @02:55AM (#14913928) Homepage
    Unfortunately, OpenID is very weak for an authentication system; it has no authentication or integrity checking. I'll tolerate it for blog comments, because it is better than trusting anything, but there's no way on earth I want to use it where money or real privleges are involved.
  • by spagetti_code ( 773137 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @02:56AM (#14913931)
    Great ideas are obvious - once you are told them.
    The ability to recognise a great idea and take it
    from idea to reality is a tremendous skill. Its harder
    than you think. Or to put it another way - just
    how many million dollar concepts have you turned into
    reality recently? Hmmmm???

    You may be as good a coder as this guy - but he took
    some great ideas (that you didn't have by the way)
    and developed them to reality. Interface with OpenID -
    of course! Sound bites, google maps, etc etc.
    Obvious now we know.

  • by xenocide2 ( 231786 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @03:33AM (#14914048) Homepage
    Because Google's got a solid reputation with the important half of the equation: making money. Getting money for Advertising is the hard part. Google's automated system nets them a lot of cash, and their reputation brings them enough customers that they automate the process. And it's not like Google isn't busy acquiring and building out new stuff. They rolled out pay per download content in what, less than a year? Their ability to move through internet technologies like a fish moves through water is why they're highly valued. Sure, plenty of people can hack up a flickr clone in five minutes that stands up to testing by their five friends. But making highly available, widely distributed systems involves something more than a couple javascripts. Google's got that part down pat. There aren't that many people out there that are talented in maintaining a cluster of the kind you need to really compete with Google. And you have to recognize, people will always be part of this equation. With hundreds of computers, at least one will fail permentently per day. If you bought quality stuff. If you didn't, oops. Yes, the hardware is being commoditized []. But we're a long ways from open source easily maintained cluster computing.

    Long term, there's no value in any single investment in an open market. Returns diminish, and profits approach zero. The only way you stay ahead of the curve is to keep investing in newer stuff. Google appears to have a solid group behind them capable of doing exactly that, and doing it well enough, repeatedly. How valuable is a computer from five years ago? Or a car from ten years ago? Or a printing press from 100 years ago? How valuable is an ad campaign from 15 years ago?
  • by GlassHeart ( 579618 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @03:46AM (#14914081) Journal
    Internationalization/localization is more than just translating strings. At a minimum, you have to deal with local laws, such as the lower volume cap that the iPod had to add for France. Next you need to deal with local sensibilities, such as Taiwan not liking being listed as a part of China (and China not liking Taiwan listed separately), or Pakistan not liking Kashmir listed as a part of India (and vice versa). Finally, you deal with things like icons, because some symbols might be offensive or confusing. Right-to-left languages will also throw all sorts of code into disarray. Beyond merely understandable, you also want to distinguish between UK, US, Australian, and whatever other versions of English you have to deal with.

    Good i18n and l10n is quite difficult and expensive.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @06:50AM (#14914561)
    Excuse my ignorance for US law, but he has ripped off flickr, used a similar name, and wants to profit from this.

    Won't he be sued by Yahoo?
  • by humina ( 603463 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @07:20AM (#14914622)
    Yeah google would be stupid to acquire this site. Look what you would get: young, talented programmer with a drive to create good software. If I were google I wouldn't touch that with a 10 foot pole.
  • by nagora ( 177841 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @07:34AM (#14914661)
    I like how about half of the comments respond how easy it is for the kid to have created the site, or that there's not much innovation going on there.

    It's easy AND pointless, that's the real issue. Who cares? Sharing pictures online is not hard nor is it worthwhile.

    Google serves an actual purpose. Increasinly badly, I'd admit, but it's still useful. Flickr and this thing are just visual blogs and as such just a waste of virtual paper.


  • by Nurgled ( 63197 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @08:18AM (#14914773)

    The problem with complicated data models is that they require effort on the part of the user to understand the model and use it effectively. Tags work because they're simple: a user can get the concept in a few seconds and then, for every item, tag it just as quickly by typing a few words into a box. You can't beat tags for simplicity. The more complicated you make the model, the higher the barrier to entry and thus the less input you will recieve. Since most of these "folksonomy"-like systems rely on a high number of submissions to filter out junk, this could greatly impact the quality of your data.

    Of course, if you've got some clever trick up your sleeve to make your data model intuitive and quick to use then I'm all for it. Anything has to be better than keywords as a data model.

  • by thesandtiger ( 819476 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @09:53AM (#14915165)
    ... is that he followed through on a project.

    Lots of people have ideas for things, but not many have the ability to follow through on things. Especially younger folks!

    When I was about 12, I wrote about half of a BBS on my Apple II - it'd answer the phone, let a user log in, and I made maybe 5 or 6 very primitive discussion boards and a hangman game. Not a single bit of it was "innovative" in the large sense of the word, but I made it all from scratch and learned a hell of a lot from it. I stopped working on the project when my dad, thinking it would help inspire me, got me some commercial BBS product. I wound up getting demoralized - "Someone else already did it, and better than I could." (I wound up trying to write games - there were no worries about someone else "doing it first" since I wanted to "fix" Ultima III to add features [never succeeded, but I did manage to make a tile-based display that would let me move a guy around a map, make characters for a party, and sort-of fight])

    Anyway - lots of people have ideas for really great stuff, but not a lot of them do anything about it. The fact that he made it work, did some pretty nice localization - that's good stuff even if it isn't entirely original/innovative.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @10:08AM (#14915256)
    What about trust?

    This is not a trust system. Trust requires identity first.

    -- Quoted from

    So, the trust layer is still up to him, or livejournal, or your bank, or one of those patches to mediawiki... OpenID is more like a drivers license. Just because someone shows you a drivers license, you don't trust them with your house keys, do you?
  • by snowwrestler ( 896305 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @10:47AM (#14915558)
    Your post was modded troll because it's self-aggrandizing, impossible to verify, and falsely humble. You must know that your single anecdote proves no substantial point about the effect of mass media on children in general, so it could be inferred that the only reason you posted it was to talk about yourself.

    If you had rigorously collected and analyzed data comparing TV to non-TV kids, that would be an insightful or informative post.
  • by Dr. Evil ( 3501 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @12:30PM (#14916530) father got me that job and he handled it all...

    ...You just have to use your time and energy more wisely....

    I think you're totally unqualified to talk about opportunities for underage professionals without connections. Connections are more valuable than experience, education or even skill.

    People get bitter when they hear stories like yours because they're the guys and girls with the CS degree who wind up working in tech support while some bigwig's kid causes them grief with buggy software. When they were that age, they were lucky to get a job at Burger King... and it's not because they didn't use their time more wisely.

    Take all the advantages your parents give you, and never be ashamed of that, but never look down on people because they didn't succeed at jobs you didn't even get on your own.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972