I recall when the photo sharing site, flickr, first appeared on the Internet. It was a small organization, based in Vancover, B.C., Canada. Back then, they were a group of people that actually listened to the folks using their service. But, now that they're owned by Yahoo!, what happens when you think of a feature that would work well on flickr and would like to see it implemented?
Before being bought by Yahoo!, you could send an e-mail off to the development team and actually have a pretty good shot at getting a reply. Good luck getting the same service these days.
However, let's take a look at our good friends at ipernity.
I've started taking advantage of the ability I have to post to my blog via e-mail. It works really well. However, when blogging via e-mail, I could never set an "introduction" to the post. I would always have to log in to my account later on and create the article introduction manually... that is, until I sent a message to Lea, our ipernity client relations person.
Not more than 24 hours later, I received a response from her, telling me that I could now assign an introduction to my blog posts I e-mail in to my account.
Twenty four hours and ipernity gets a new feature added to it, which I requested. You will not get that kind of response from Yahoo! / flickr. Why? Because Yahoo! is so large that they don't need to worry about or put any effort into satisfying individual users. The voice of a single client has no pull.
Yet, ipernity is (lucky for us) an organization that still has the motivation to listen to their clients... be it a large group of them or even a single person. They still want to please us, their client, when ever possible.
Lucky for me, the feature I desired was easy enough to code, which I sure helped. But it goes to show you that, from the perspective of the individual, smaller is always better.
Banks, department stores, on-line auction companies, and Internet community sites (just to name a few).... the smaller they are the better service you're always going to get.
Special thanks to Tristan for addressing my recent request for added ipernity functionality.