Here was my message to the dunces running things over at Flickr this week.
"So can I get a list of the 300 people over 3k so I can start adding more of them as contacts as my own little way of protest?
I follow Thomas's photos from his blog (I only favorited him today since that wasnt really a flickr feature I use much, thomas I understand you cant reciprocate!) but I've started adding more from this thread.
Despite all the engineering hogwash above, none of you have addressed why you cant go with Merkel and Thomas's suggestion of limiting non reciprocation. There are MANY ways to limit such links, for example on Xbox live every 'Friend' HAS TO BE a 2 way street. The limit friends obviously for this reason. But you've got smart people that can figure this out without snubbing your biggest users. Here's one clue: Why not figure out what the largest number of contacts for a single user is, remove the number of reciprocal contacts they have, and use THAT as your starting point?
But the truth is that the contacting process on Flickr needs work and if you dont all take the time to get it right, someone else will. The ONLY thing you have going for you is that you are doing all of this the least worst of any of the competing solutions. And if you let stupid decisions like this continue to guide you, Google or Microsoft or even an improbable like Zooomr will get it right and beat you BECAUSE they are the small guy again. I LIKED that about Flickr when I sighed up and it was exactly these issues that I worried about.
So think about this from your user's perspective and not your pocketbook. You can't buy back the good will that you are burning, and your unapologetic insistance on being 'right' because you say so isn't going to mean anything when it affects real users.