Raining on my Picnik

Do you know Picnik?

I’ve been using it for years. It is directly connected to Flickr, where I store all my photos, and I edit whenever I want. I love it so much, I upgraded to the premium version years ago. I actually pay money to have more features. Worth every single penny.

It’s how I can go from a photo like this:
photo

to a photo like this:

photo

The differences are subtle, I’ll give you that, but the second one is a terrific photograph.

In addition to editing, Picnik gives the option of creating.

That means I can take a photo like this:
photo

and edit into something more visible, like this:
photo

or even turn it into artwork, like this:
photo

I’ll even use it to create artwork for my home by taking an original photograph, like this:
photo

and playing with it until it becomes something like this:
photo

All of these were done by me. Given my familiarity with Picnik, by now, it only took me a few minutes to create each of these. For the uninitiated, maybe a minute more.

But, I’m not trying to sell you on Picnik. In fact, just recently I got an email from them that they are permanently closing their doors on April 19, 2012. Closing. Going out of business. No more Picnik. There has, so far, been no plan to replace it with anything on Flickr. That sincerely sucks. That means downloading photos from Flickr onto my computer to upload them to a different free site, then back again, just to edit a picture.

That. Sucks.

Then, I found out that Picnik is not really closing. Turns out, Google, who owns Picnik, has decided to move it from an independent (and Flickr related) website to serving Google+ only. Google+, if you don’t know, is Google’s social networking behemoth. Some say they’re trying to compete with Facebook. I don’t care. I don’t use FB and had no interest in trying Google+. Still, I really love Picnik, so I signed up. I tried it out, I gave it a fair shake. I hated it.

It was huge and overwhelming and confusing and not at all intuitive. I’m a very smart girl, but I couldn’t figure out a way to make it work for me. I figure if their main site is that bad, what are they going to do to Picnik? Plus, I am not moving the nearly 10,000 photos stored on Flickr over to Google+, I’m not. And I will not suddenly start storing any new photos on Google+, why would I want them stored separately?

So, I’m unhappy. I read about an online petition to stop Google from closing Picnik and I went over and signed. I’m not a huge fan of online petitions (btw, click the link to sign it yourself) mostly because I think they don’t really work and they are WAY overused. A petition to stop the canceling of a tv show? Come on.

But, this seems worthwhile to try, because it makes no sense. If you want Picnik services on Google+, just put them there. There is no reason to shut down Picnik commercial. Why can’t it be open to everyone AND Google+ users? The two terms are not mutually exclusive. Speculation is that Google is trying to force more Google+ users by herding us loyal Picnikers over there. Well, I tried and I’m out.

Besides, now that I have suspicion planted in my brain, I don’t wish to be a part of it. I’ll live without it or find something else to replace it. That’s the beauty of the vastness of the world wide web. There is always something else to take its place. Google should remember that. I paid $25 a year to use Picnik. But because of this shabby treatment and poor decision making I won’t use the exact same product, for free, on a different site.

There is a lesson in there. It’s pretty simple. Do the right thing. Since when did that stop being the rule, rather than the exception?

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6 thoughts on “Raining on my Picnik

    • Did you get your refund? And I’m very upset. I checked out alternatives, but it is so much more work. I’ll find something (and let you know) but I’m really mad that they’re screwing over loyal customers.

  1. Did you receive your refund? Mine posted to my account yesterday. Is the artwork of your note on Flickr? I would like a copy of it:) P.S. Love the Jenga photo!

    • Yes, I got my refund a couple days ago. Even with the refunds, it still isn’t right what they’re doing. And, yes, the note artwork is up on Flickr. Pretty cool, right?

  2. Hi Olivia,

    My name’s Jenn. I work with a team of former Picnikers. Thanks for spreading the Picnik love! I just wanted to give you a heads up about PicMonkey, it’s an exciting new photo editor that’s sure to fill the void Picnik is leaving. And, it’s being built by ex-Picnikers, so it’s going to feel just like home. We’re not off the ground yet, but will be soon! Sign up at http://www.PicMonkey.com and we’ll keep you posted on launching. Feel free to shoot me an email if you have questions!

    Cheers,
    Jenn

    • Hi, Jenn,

      Thanks for dropping me a line. I did sign up and I’ll be excited to see what PicMonkey has to offer. Let me know if you need any beta testers! Is it going to be Flickr compatible?

      Glad you dropped by,

      Olivia

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