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新たなFlickr競合サイトの登場? それも日本語対応 March 13, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in IT, Japanese, TechCrunch.
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TechCrunchから:http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/03/11/flickr-has-some-catching-up-to-do/

TechCrunchのMichael ArringtonはKristopher Tateが開発した zooomr のデモを先週の meetro のパーティーで体験したと書いている。 Krisは若干17歳!で、meetroの社員でありながら(誤)zoomr(正)Zooomrを仕事時間外に一人で開発したとのこと。3月1日サービスインしたばかりのサービスですが、わずか3ヶ月程度の開発期間を要したそうです。Flickrに様々な機能が添付されています。

Zooomrはflickrと似た(一見酷似した?)ユーザインタフェースを使用していますが、機能面ではより充実している。Zooomrアカウントを作成することも出来るが、(現時点では)他の5種類のアカウントで使用できるとのこと(Level9, OpenID, LiveJournal, Google (Gmail) or Meetro)。機能面ではどのIDを利用して登録しても、同じ。Zooomrは既に日本語を含む16言語に対応。17言語目となるハンガリー語は現在QA中とのこと。

Zooomrの最大の特徴は、多彩なメタデータを写真に添付できる事。すべての写真に音声ファイルを関連付け出来る(現在ではまだサイト内には録音機能は無いので独自に録音したファイルをアップロードしなければならないが)。音声ファイル再生用のFlashプレーヤーがサイトに内蔵されている。写真と人物の関連付けも行える(Flickrでは人の名前をタグとして添付できるのみ)。GoogleMapsとの連動性も考慮されており、Geotagging及びその可視化を容易にしている。また、多数の写真が同地点及び同じ時間帯のメタデータを有している場合、異なるユーザの写真であってもなんらかの同一イベントの写真であると判断し、自動的に関連付ける機能もある。

写真の拡大版を表示する機能にはLightbox.js(またはその改良版)を利用している模様です。

機能の詳細に関しては “learn more”まで。気になるサイト利用のコストですが、月間50Mbまでのアップロードは無料、月間2Gbまでのアップロードは年間$20(Flickrと似たコスト体系だが、Flickrより$5安い)

[個人的には写真への音声解説やGeotaggingは今後この手のサイトでは必須になるのではないかと思う。音声解説の録音を簡単に出来る機能があれば面白いかな。携帯や普通の電話、IP電話を利用したサービスとか(音声をファイル変換するこの手のサービス実はもうありそうだけ、ないのかな)。Geotaggingは2007には国内の携帯電話はGPSが搭載必須になることを考えると、携帯電話メーカーには携帯内臓カメラのメタデータの充実化を図ってもらえればと思う。音声ファイルの添付も携帯で自己完結できるし。パケ代が増えるからキャリアとしてはメリットがあると思われますが・・・]

注1:TechCrunchやDiggなどで取り上げられてからサイトへのアクセスが殺到したため、現在サービス停止中のようです。ハード増強及びデータセンターの契約を見直し近日中に再開する予定だそうです。

注2:この記事はTechCrunchの記事を翻訳・編集した物です。追加情報はOfficial Zooomr Blogから収集しました。

TechCrunchの記事の利用はCreative Commonsライセンスに則った形で編集・再配信させて頂いています。

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Comments»

1. Gen Kanai - March 16, 2006

I think it’s easy to get caught up in Arrington’s hype – he’s a very good salesman of hype. However Flickr has a big lead- you can’t discount the headstart they have. Plus Flickr has the funding from Yahoo! in order to add whatever functionality they might be missing.

Building a great app is very hard. Scaling that to support millions is as hard if not harder.

I guess my point is to beware of the hype 🙂 Let’s see 2-3-4 years from now, if Flickr or Zoomr is still with us.

2. fukumimi - March 16, 2006

It would be very difficult for new start-ups to take on established players and win, but it has happened before. (Google, anyone?)

However, Flickr/Yahoo are not stupid and I’m sure they will do fine. Doesn’t mean to say that several players cannot coexist in a given space. I think Flickr and Photobucket are likely to still be around for a while…..

Agreed on your comments about scalability, both technically and motivationally. Maintenance and Ops (not to mention the business side of things like finance, HR, legal, etc) don’t exactly thrill programmers in the way that development does. Building the technical and operational/organisational infrastructure is indeed hard and a brilliant technical guy/gal may not have it in him/her (or even want) to lead such an effort.

The thought that made me write this post:

1. Whilst technology development requires a high level of skill, there are a lot of skillful people out there. Fast followers abound, especially in the consumer Web2.0 space. Fast followers can build clones of existing services in a few man months. Follower companies who are requiring much more in terms of development resources are at the risk of not competitive in terms of speed of development (and service evolution in the Web2.0 age of permanent beta).

In this space, technological differentiation means little, and browser based functional differentiation is extremely difficult as features are easily replicable as these systems do not have much in terms of sophisticated backend workflow which requires specialised domain expertise to implement – contrast this with the business apps space. Any “Web2.0” company with a primarily browser based access model who advertises their core strengths as being in either of these areas is in trouble, as technology becomes commoditised at a “good enough” level for the applications being developed.

The core strengths that become required when competing in this space are the non-technical skills which are required to build relationships with users and partners. The technical skills that become critical are the less glamorous but vitally important skills of keeping systems up and running, minimising downtime.

2. Regarding 1. above, this seems especially relevant in the still small Japanese community of aspiring web entrepreneurs. Further, given the relative lack of M&A activity in this sector and therefore the lack of “build to flip” opportunities (which is partly due to the domestic outlook of most Japanese ventures which means they just don’t show up on large US organisations’ radar screens), a sustainable revenue model becomes necessary. This might explain the relative lack of one-feature website companies.

As for Mr Arrington, I admire what he is trying to do, but do wonder lately if he has become a victim of his own success. The slamming he got for his TrustedID article was warranted, in my opinion. His response to critical comments leaves something to be desired (at least as far as not addressing the valid points raised)

Regardless, new ventures (Web2.0 or otherwise) do need vocal cheerleaders, and as long as the cheerleading is based on genuine enthusiasm rather than some undisclosed interest, I see no problem.

(I also see no problem with cheerleading of disclosed interests – otherwise many VC bloggers will have little to write about, or the various bloggers who are employees of certain companies and who write about their companies or the areas in which the companies operate, people like Scoble, for example)

3. tek - March 17, 2006

This may be a bit irrelevant, but have you seen PICS (http://pics.livedoor.com/), the service offered by Livedoor? I was surprised at how much of the Flickr-ness it has acquired. It’s still in Beta, I believe, but after signing up for an account, I can see that something like this could be as popular as Flickr for Japan residents if it offered unlimited space (they allow the ability to upload videos from your cellphone, which is always great).
I found Zooomr to be ugly, and somehow less community oriented than Flickr.

4. fukumimi - March 17, 2006

tek, this link is interesting:
http://bb.watch.impress.co.jp/blog/archives/2006/02/post_21.html

PICS is a Flickr UI clone, but they have some catching up to do in terms of real functionality.

I think it is pretty pathetic that a listed company (soon to be delisted, of course) has so little pride that it is comfortable with copying others.

Now, this is not to say that companies should not learn from its competitors, and integrate good features and usability into their own product. However I think there is a distinction between benchmarking against competitors and creating a clone.

If they are going to clone, at least clone the functionality which makes Flickr popular.

And don’t modify tags created by users….. (http://marienbad.jp/blogs/2005/12/livedoorpics.html)

To top it all off…..
To use Livedoor’s service, you need to sign up for a LivedoorID.

Clause 18 of the user agreement:

第18条 (電子メールおよびアップロードされたウェブ・コンテンツ)
[…「livedoorIDユーザ」は、ライブドア及びライブドアが指定する者に対し、自らアップロードしたウェブ・コンテンツについての著作権を行使しないことに同意します。]

Same kind of language in the Livedoor Blog user agreement:

「第8条」
利用者が著作したウェブログとそれに付随するコメント及びトラックバックは当該ウェブログを著作した利用者に著作権が発生するものとします。但し、宣伝、利用促進、出版、マーケティング等を目的としウェブログサービスの著作物を使用する場合、利用者は弊社に対し、当該著作物を著作権法の規定に基づき無償利用することを期間無制限で非独占的に許諾し、かつ弊社及び弊社の指定する者に対し著作者人格権を行使しないものとします。

With similar services out there, do you really want to use a service where you sign away your rights regarding Livedoor’s potential exploitation of your material for free?

I certainly wouldn’t.


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