Should Google Buy Zooomr? Maybe Zoho Too!

One could use a decent photo sharing site. The other needs more resources. They both want to make information available. Sound like a recipe for marriage?

Google needs no introduction but clearly needs a proper photo sharing site to pick up where Picassa leaves off. To plug their vacant video group they purchased YouTube which, so far at least, appears to be good buy. Just needs to make some money now.

Zooomr you might have heard of. For those who haven’t here’s the lowdown.

Think Flickr. You’re 3/4s there. Zooomr is privately owned, majority of shares between Thomas Hawk and Kristopher Tate the co-founders. Thomas is a recognised photographer and technology blogger who’s personal missions include building the largest collection of photographs of neon in the world. Kris is a web scripter who doubles as a photographer in his own right, and who’s desire to share his photographs with his friends (including non-English speakers) drove him to write Zooomr v1.

Earlier this year a new version of Zooomr went public and pretty immediately crashed their servers causing Kris directly and Thomas more indirectly a great deal of stress. Damned Dell RAID systems. Anyway, in steps Zoho offering data center space and additional technical resources. Others including Dell also realised getting Zooomr back on-line would be a PR-bonus and leant a hand or two.

Now, Zoho, who are prominently featured across Zooomr for their support, happens to be building web applications such as a word processor and spreadsheet. And Thomas reckons it’s faster than Google’s suite.

So we have Google with enormous resources and a phenomenal income but without a photo sharing web site (unlink Yahoo! who bought Flickr) plus a web application suite. Then there’s Zooomr and Zoho. Do I see options? Yes I do.

One of Zooomr’s guiding principals is that images should be free to be shared. They use Google advertising to raise cash. Slip them $20 and you’ll be a Pro user with ads disabled. They don’t want to censor you and document this matter clearly, unlike many other companies who shy away from sweeping public statements. Google are known to want to make the world’s information easy to find and access. There could be conflict here, between Google’s lawyers and Zooomr’s founders. Can it be overcome? Flickr for instance began censoring some images particularly with local laws affecting what people can see in their native country, which ended up including some of Thomas’s photos; as a result Thomas left the Flickr side completely.

Just me rambling on what is probably obvious to everyone else.


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