Home > business, smugmug, web 2.0 > TechCrunch says we're not 'Web 2.0'

TechCrunch says we're not 'Web 2.0'

April 7, 2006

UPDATED: Michael just got back to me and has removed our mention in the article. We’re scheduling a time for us to do a more in-depth look at SmugMug, which I appreciate. It was obvious from his entry on it (which was mostly positive) that he liked what he saw – and it’s probably our fault for not making it obvious that we have all of these so-called ‘web 2.0’ features. In general, we don’t really feel they’re all that special – every site should just have them – so we may miss out on a lot of press compared to sites that do buzz about those things. Oh well.

Michael Arrington at TechCrunch has some nice things to say about us – except he’s ‘urging them to add the obvious web 2.0 features to round this out, starting with RSS feeds for photos and tagging’ because we’re not ‘very web 2.0’. Right. Here’s the comment I posted, in its entirety, in reply:

As the CEO at SmugMug, I feel compelled to comment.

SmugMug has had RSS, Atom, and even Google Earth feeds since before any of these other companies were even announced. Ditto for tagging. And do any of them have a public API? We do.

How about completely democratic, friction free, no login required ranking of popular photos? Look what’s bubbling to the top already.

I could go on and on about our AJAX’d interface for much of the UI, robust search engine, Google Maps integration, etc…

But maybe I just don’t get this ‘Web 2.0′ term. Maybe it’s that we’re a bootstrapped, self-funded, profitable-for-three years company, so we don’t qualify for the name. Does it only apply to those companies without business models?

75% of our customers are refugees from other sites. Flickr is easily our largest “switcher” demographic, followed by most of the other big boys: Kodak, Shutterfly, Yahoo Photos, and Snapfish. We must be doing something right – even if it isn’t ‘Web 2.0′.


Categories: business, smugmug, web 2.0
  1. April 7, 2006 at 1:21 pm

    Yeah I have to agree with you- the ajaxy things you have work pretty well for me, such as when I add tags, etc. It’s not super often than I have to jump pages. And while I’m not a Flickr refugee per se, I definately had to choose this service over them for lack of obvious things like categorization (tags aren’t enough by themselves!!!)

    Hehe- though as to your open API, I’ve been waiting for approval on my API Key since March 3rd, and have emailed tech support about it twice now…

    I suppose the only non-2.0 thing smugmug really does is close itself off from public/anonymous use. Flickr lets anyone use the service, contribute comments/tags/etc, and even have a limited quantity of pictures for free. Even though you can technically have a short trial (with credit card) with smugmug, it’s not really the same thing as a service that allows the community to grow and contribute meta-information without being actual customers.

  2. April 10, 2006 at 5:10 am

    Correction to my previous comment- SmugMug has indeed approved my request and followed up personally to make sure it was so. Thanks for the service 😉

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