Picnik killed by Google

I woke this morning to the news that Google was killing off another superb tool in another (forlorn?) effort to get folks onto Google+

Picnik will now go the way of Jaiku, Etherpad etc. on April 19th 2012.

They wrote:

Since joining Google in 2010, we have been creating editing magic in Google products while continuing to keep Picnik awesome. But now we get to focus on even awesomer things. Picnik will be closing on April 19, 2012.

Picnik is (soon to be ‘was’) one of the better online productivity tools available for free. I know that ‘free’ is a dirty word in the corporate world but there is always an ‘upgrade’ facility if users want to get their hands really dirty. The site allowed users to upload photographs and to carry out basic edits such as cropping, ‘red-eye’ and recolouring. It wasn’t ‘Photoshop’ and it never set out to be, but those using Picnik could do just enough to make their images usable without needing a degree in media editing.

Google have killed off other promising tools in their effort to catch up with Facebook and Twitter – Jaiku (before its time) and Etherpad to name just two.

Just how many social networking tools do I need? Google+ hasn’t set my world alight and I seem to be managing quite well with Facebook (despite my intense dislike) and Twitter. And Flickr, and so on.

For alternative photo editing sites try:

http://www.fotoflexer.com

http://www.pixlr.com to name just two.


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It’s easy to forget

It’s been a while since I chose to employ any Microsoft OS for my own use. However, most of the places I visit or work with have now moved up to Windows 7 and furthermore, I have been retained to give someone a report on certain aspects of Win 7’s potential. I have therefore bought a copy of Windows 7 and have installed it on my Aldi-Medion (formerly Vista) laptop. Well, number one son Ben has installed it for me – I may well have asked the laptop AND the software to pick a window (through which I would the throw it!)

I have brought the very same laptop on holiday with me, to a) put Win 7 through some easy paces and b) to upload my pics to Flickr and to keep up to my holiday blog. Internetting has been OK but drafting blogs became a tad tricky as I have not yet invested in Office 2010 – which is the plan. I tried the already installed MS Works and (as I have done many times before and many years ago) wondered what its purpose in life was. I then downloaded Open Office 3.0 and I was ready to go.

I missed Microsoft Picture Manager big-time too, I’d thought that was part of Win 7 but it seems it isn’t. On the ‘net, Fotoflexer wouldn’t work for me because it thought I was French and threw me out; Picnik tried to do the same, but I found the button that said ‘hey – I’m English and need English titles etc.’ so was able to crop/edit some pictures for use later.

So, tonight I tried combining all elements in a holiday blog post: Open Office 3.0 draft words, Picnik’d Flickr photos and WordPress. What a disaster!

My lack of recent familiarity with Windows and the ubiquitous Internet Explorer is to blame I think. I know I could use other browsers like Firefox (which is my default on the Mac), Chrome (which is my default on Parallels) or Safari (Which I use now and again) but for the same reasons detailed above – I need to reacquaint myself with it.

I did all the usual things like importing the words into WordPress via the ‘Paste as Plain Text’ facility and importing the picture ‘from URL’ but things just didn’t go right. I could see that I’d lost half of my text after inserting the picture – I wasn’t sure why that happened – and I pasted it right back in. Then, later in the evening I noticed that an complete paragraph had been missed. I’d deleted my original by now too!

I’m not blaming Windows or IE25 (or whatever version it is this week), it was definitely operator error, but it’s amazing how soon you become unfamiliar with a tool, when it’s been updated. Sorry to anyone who read that post and wondered what I was talking about 😦