Is it reliable?

I wrote yesterday on the Friends in Tech blog, about why I don’t rely on on-line Office Suites, but here’s a similar thought. Even for something as unimportant in the grand scheme of things as photo-sharing, or Twitter, I still get mighty aggravated when a service doesn’t work correctly and I cant do the thing I signed up with them to do in the first place.

So when Zoomr goes “off-line” for what has been more than 24 hours, to do an upgrade, is it really any wonder I’ve stuck with Flickr instead? Listen, I know Zoomr is beta and is run by a couple of guys working out of their basement, or whatever, and we can’t expect the same level of service, yadda, yadda. But if I have some photos I want to upload to share with family and friends, or have a photo stored on their site that I want to browse to in order to show it to someone, I’m not going to be real happy that I can’t do that, possibly for days. (BTW, even though I’m not a Zoomr user, I am waiting for their service to come up so I can get RSS feed addresses for a project I’m working on with some of their users. Hence, my frustration.)

For me, the bottom line is being able to use the service for what I signed up for. The more often I can’t use it, the more likely I am to look for an alternative.

I’m also somewhat puzzled because if this was another service, like Gmail, Flickr or Bloglines, people would be writing all sorts of complaints about the service being down for this long, but Zoomr seems to fit in that small group of “hip” services that no one will ever complain about. It doesn’t say much for the blogosphere when some companies can get that sort of treatment.

Tags: Zoomr, Flickr

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  1. Just to be fair they are doing a full site upgrade, and reading through about 1,000,000 pictures for data. That is what the downtime is for…that said, you have a valid concern. I was frustrated with twitter for that half a week they were having trouble. (and continued trouble from time to time)

  2. 24 hours? hah – thats nothing – the past two upgrades have taken 3 days before they rolled back to the previous version. Like you, it makes me wonder how they get away with it, and why their test runs of the upgrade procedure don’t give an accurate timescale of how long it is going to take to do the whole thing (or maybe it does but they don’t want to admit it upfront).
    I think people are more lenient because it is free and has much better data storage capabilities than flickr, but I don’t think paying customers (i guess there must be some) will be very happy.

  3. In the interest of being fair, like you say, I don’t know how their site is setup or what technical challenges they face in doing an upgrade. I’m not really criticizing that as much as wondering why they don’t get the grief other places do. I’ve seen quite the holy crusade against web services, even free ones, for much less than this, but nary a peep from Zoomr users, some of who are the same folks who left Flickr for much, much less than this. (Yahoo login, anyone?)

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