I was going through the Help Forum of Flickr and guess what? They have removed the previous thread with nearly 30 000 responses between 20 and 29 May 2013, replacing it with a cleaner version unimaginatively titled [Official topic, cont.] Feedback on recent site changes.
The are a lot of updates subheaders written in the new version - fifteen of them altogether. But if you think that Flickr has been having real updates, you will be utterly disappointed. These fifteen "updates" were nothing more than the forum moderators trying to summarise the "proper" concerns users have flagged up and passed them on to the designing team.
Nothing has really changed on Flickr since the day Flickr gone downhill. And the feedback team ain't helping at all. Choosing to ignore the vocal population and cherry picking "useful" feedback really does nothing to ease anyone there.
This was apparent from the first update subtitle:
"It is hard to see my responses and hard for me to see actual questions that need answering because of the bickering and non-feedback that takes up space in this thread. That is why we closed the previous thread, not to hide negative reactions to last week's changes, which have not gone unnoticed."
Errr... hello! Why should anyone care about how a moderator lost track of his/her own response on a system he/she is supposed to be moderating? If Flickr can't even come up with a proper support system to gather real concerns, why should they start pointing the fingers at the responding public/users, while making them seem totally blameless? Why aren't the moderators, who are employed solely for public relations/community building (NOT actual coding/design) make even more enemies with people who are already displeased?
Reducing people's voices as "bickering and non-feedback"? How judgemental and arrogant is that!! It sounded almost like he/she is saying, if you are not happy with the services, go elsewhere.
So, what did I gather from the way Flickr is handling the situation? It's plainly written in the eighth "update" subtitle:
"To put an end to speculation, and to hopefully give some people closure, the old site is not coming back. However, we will continue to improve upon the new pages, from their usability to their overall performance. These changes will be made according to a balance of qualitative feedback and data, both of which we are monitoring closely."
In the nutshell, Flickr is taking the Facebook approach - get used to the changes we throw at you, there's absolutely no way we are reversing changes that we have spend time and effort on. We value your minute concerns to iron up the performance of the new format and system, but don't question the strategic advancement of the site. Don't like it, don't use it.
p.s. here's the whole content for the first "update" subheader:
"Hey all. Abuse of other members in these forums, or of staff, will not be tolerated. It is hard to see my responses and hard for me to see actual questions that need answering because of the bickering and non-feedback that takes up space in this thread. That is why we closed the previous thread, not to hide negative reactions to last week's changes, which have not gone unnoticed.
Drowning out user's feedback with repetitive posts makes it less likely that they'll be answered in a timely manner.
For the rest of you, I am hearing the following:
- you want the option to see Flickr in a "classic" view
- textual information around your photos (and sets in particular) is too hidden in the new design
- user's organizational choices are limited and not surfaced enough, particularly with the Collections, Set, Photo hierarchy
- loading the justified, infinite scroll views are cumbersome and expensive for many with slower network connections
- you want more customizability of content and layout in your photostream and home page
These are points of feedback I've passed along. I cant guarantee that I can directly address any of these concerns just now, but know that we are very steadily passing along your feedback and will update you whenever possible. "