The (JPG) Break-Up.

I’ve followed the fallout of JPG Magazine quite closely over the past few days. (My friend Al has a nice write of what’s going on, as well as an exclusive scoop.) While the whole situation is a total disaster for both parties, what’s struck me most about this has been seeing the power of the community around JPG and Flickr rise up to respond. JPG is no doubt going to suffer, at least in the short term, from this dirty laundry being aired in public. Users are canceling their accounts, and someone even started a flickr group for those who deleted their accounts. A lot of startups can learn a lot from this. Admitting when your wrong and knowing how to appropriately handle controversy is crucial to fostering a community. I believe Derek put it best:

I’ve always said that JPG doesn’t own its community - it rents. And that rent is paid by treating the community members with honesty, integrity, and respect.

On a similar note, the Break-Up is attracting major attention. 14,000 views in the first 40 hours. Could it be that this just strikes a cord with most of us? Adam Richardson really nailed it when he compared the video to the message from the Cluetrain Manifesto. I’ve always been a fan of Cluetrain and definitely felt that it was ahead of it’s time when it was published. Has it really been 8 years? And major advertisers are using it as a gimmick now? In a way, it’s kind of disappointing when you think about it. But I guess there’s reason for hope. Now we’ll just have to see if they can follow through on it.