User Controlled Pages (aka What I Need From Flickr)

Scott Karp doesn’t like my use of the word "user" in my post about The End Of Page Views. Scott argues that when someone controls a page, they are not users, they are publishers and we should recognize that in our terminology. Well Scott is probably right about that. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the things I want to do with my Flickr page, my LinkedIn page, my last.fm page, my Facebook page, etc, etc.

Scott is right that I want to act like a publisher with all of these pages. I’ve been using my Flickr page a lot lately as we travel around Italy. I am publishing some, but not nearly all, of the photos I am taking. I am blogging directly from Flickr to create the blog entries on our trip. And I am paying greater attention to the comments, favorites, and views I am getting on my photos.

One of the things about being an active blogger is you get used to a certain kind of behavior. I am used to being able to track visits and page views on a daily basis. I am used getting comments emailed to me. I am used to being able to see who is linking to me. I am used to adding functionality via widgets to my page, which include the ability to see who has visited it recently. The way I do most of this is by adding code to my page.

So here is my suggestion. If you want to allow users to truly control a page, if you want them to treat the page like it is their own page, you must let them put code onto their page. If you don’t, eventually sophisticated leading edge users are going to move on. I know I will.