You are the CEO of an online service, say in the media sharing space. One of your competitors is completing the final stages of merging into the larger company that purchased them over a year ago. Some customers (many of whom receive the service for free) are complaining about new limitations placed on the service. These limitations do not significantly impact the service provided, although the one the does was detailed long ago. This limitation is that users must use the existing, easy to obtain, authentication system of the acquiring company. Opting into this authentication system has been available for over a year and was detailed as eventually becoming the only method for signing into the service.
Now, all this said, if you’re the CEO of the competitor, what’s the best way to exploit this situation? That’s right, make it seem far, far worse than it is. Thomas Hawk, CEO of Zoomr, has done a brilliant job of generating a ton of traffic to his blog by detailign the woes of a small subset of Flickr users as they complete the integration into Yahoo. I’m not linking to his post because, frankly, he’s link baiting. Yes, some Flickr users are upset over the changes. But, with a major move like this, there are going to be some upset people. I personnally integrated my account into my existing Yahoo account (which I use for nothing but Flickr and a couple Yahoo groups) and it was dead easy; took under a minute.
Hawk’s getting more press because Scoble linked to him, further stirring the tempest in this teapot. The digg thread on this swings in both directions, but the fact that this is being driven by a direct competitor isn’t getting very much attention. The submission is at least questionable, possibly spam.