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PeAcE WiTh GuNs

Thursday, March 15, 2007

All photos...GONE. Zoto.com cheats its users

The photo-sharing site www.zoto.com CHEATED most of its free users by deciding to suddenly go paid and removing all free accounts altogether. Free users either upgrade to paid or get lost. A move which cost email-service provider netaddress.com (USA.NET) dearly a few years ago.

They claim they gave everyone an advance notice (a month prior to this) and as a consolation, they allow the users to download all their photos in a convenient zip file. They justify this as a business strategy necessary to stay alive in the market.

Thanks for the lip-service guys but what about this? All the photos on my blog need to be uploaded to another photo-sharing site and I need to update all the links in each post of mine.

I don't think its fair. I wrote them an email saying so. They never replied. Typical of people who do not have good enough answers to a question.

Please bear with me while I upload all photos to some other site. Meanwhile if you are a new visitor and you need photos from a particular post, drop a line in the comments section and I shall mail them to you. I tried a fleeting look at Flikr and Picasa but none seem to offer linking as easy as Zoto did.

Any suggestions, folks?


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  • Hey,
    I didn't even know Zoto till I read your post. It is a stupid thing to do (of them), and I hate being the pesimist - but did they state anything about this in their initial terms & conditions?

    Anyhow, I use www.tinypic.com - works really great, but their site is sometimes down - http://photobucket.com isn't bad either, you just gotta register with them (which you DON'T have to do on tinypic)

    Good luck in anycase ;) Hope you manage to get your photo's moved over quicker than what you thought!

    By Anonymous danette, at 1:38 pm  

  • Thanks Dan.

    I wont face a lot of problem in uploading the photos. Its the linking that I am worried about. With Zoto, I could copy-paste their URLs and create custom sizes of the photos in my album and a lot of other things like that. I might still be able to do it with the others but will take a long time to comprehend [:(]

    Keep visiting.


    By Blogger GuNs, at 1:48 pm  

  • Guns,

    Well i haven't any idea. I post them from blogger itself.

    By Blogger alex, at 1:49 pm  

  • Even I didn't know about Zoto till I read your post. I can understand your problem.

    Well, for blogging purpose I post them thru blogger though I have Web picasa & flickr also but I don't mix up those with blogging.

    By Blogger Cuckoo, at 2:18 pm  

  • Sounds like Zoto was a pretty cool host up till now.

    With tinypic you'll get a URL too, but you'll have to specify the image's size in the post itself, as tinypic doesn't give you an option to change this :P

    By Anonymous danette, at 2:34 pm  

  • :D This is what happens when you don't listen to me. Picassa is good.


    By Blogger FlyingHigh, at 3:01 pm  

  • Alex, Cuckoo: Blogger doesnt offer any albums nor does it offer any way to upload photos without actually posting them on the blog. I mean, if you have 50 photos and you want to put up just one thumbnail to link to an album of the 50 others, there is no way you can do it. [:-(]

    Dan :Well maybe I CAN try tinypic then !! Thanks a ton.

    Shradha :YOU !! Where are you commenting from? You have access in office? By the way I thought you said you are overburdened with work.


    By Blogger GuNs, at 3:48 pm  

  • Guns,

    Picassa is good and easy, i hear.

    By Blogger alex, at 4:19 pm  

  • @Guns,

    Sorry to hear about this but probably just coz Zoto never was a favourite amongst people, it never too off and hence, no big company has bought them :D

    You can try zooomr...


    By Blogger HP, at 5:08 am  

  • hmmm that happened to me for a poetry website...thankfully i had backed up my 'creative property', but lost a few poems that wer written on the spur of the moment...hmmm i jus hope flickr n picasa don decide to bcome a paid service cos i hav all my pics on them...

    By Anonymous tia, at 5:16 am  

  • Yourr posts are a treat to read. With or without pictures.

    Keep smiling !

    By Blogger Kavi, at 2:46 pm  

  • umm, sorry, but I beg to differ here guns. If Zoto did actualy gave the users a months prior notice and allowed them to download the pics conveniently, then I dont think they cheated them AT ALL. If they ever provided a free service ever, they r not obliged to do this forever. If they wish to make a business move,they have all the right to do so. And all the users ought to respect the decision, after all they served for a long while, dint they? anyways, to each their own..:)

    By Anonymous soulitary reaper, at 5:10 am  

  • Actually the most simple way to handle such stuff is to actually get your own domain and host photos over there (it is not expensive, but of course is not free)
    I show photos at http://ashisha.com/photoblog, and these photos are hosted internally at http://ashisha.com/gallery

    By Anonymous Ashish, at 7:09 pm  

  • That really is frustrating isn't it?! I can imagine these sites all lure ppl in with free accounts and then decide to make some money by charging ppl knowing fully well that they probably dont have the time/energy to transfer their stuff onto a free site. So either u pay or u loose out. Or you can't go forward from there. I've uploaded a lotta photos onto flikr but am not sure abt the linking aspect. Hope you manage to sort this out, but I can understand ure frustrations, they'll never reply to ure email unless ure paying for an account with them.

    By Blogger Venkat, at 12:00 pm  

  • Hey guns try photobucket!

    It is still not a good bussiness move on their part as there are plenty of sites which raise money through ads and offer services for free...

    By Blogger claytonia vices, at 1:55 pm  

  • Thanks for the suggestions all you guys. I really appreciate it.

    Ashish, have any ideas how I can support the linking functionalities provided by Zoto if I have my own domain? I'd be glad to try that option too.

    Venkat, so THATS your name eh? Anyhow, what you say is right. They act like bloody thieves to earn money the crooked way. If they were REALLY concerned about their users, they'd find a way to allow users to move to another free site at the click of a button if they wanted to. All we can do is spread the news on our blogs and hope that others dont get swindled after reading it.

    Reaper, nobody reads the fine print, I'm sure and yes, they are LEGALLY allowed to do that. We are NOT talking about legal issues here. We are talking in ETHICAL terms. What happens if you move into a house on rent and you pay 3 grand a month and after you've moved in, the rent is suddenly increased to 30 grand? Maybe there was some fine print which legally allowed it but then, is it ETHICAL?

    By Blogger GuNs, at 9:23 pm  

  • i don't think the analogy is right guns, in any sense. i dont see why it is not ethical, especially when they did give you a notice period... lemme draw another analogy...one moves in a rented house, but the landlord now wants it for his own use. he gives the tenant a months notice to move out...is that unethical by any standards? may be for a hard core socialist...but for a democrat?

    ps. i hope you dont mind this.I m just speaking my mind:)

    By Anonymous soulitary reaper, at 3:46 am  

  • AAAAHHHHH now I'm a socialist !

    LOL, no I dont mind your opinions, Kavita but I just dont think its fair. In a democracy, I am entitled to protest against what I think is unfair, am I not?



    By Blogger GuNs, at 10:39 am  

  • Bad of them.. but i suppose they are a dying company. Always better to stick with the big guns when it comes to this. So Picassa or flickr would be my first choice.

    Of course now you can upload pics directly in blogger so that solves ur post problem.


    By Anonymous Jedi, at 9:02 am  

  • Jedi : There are some advantages of using non-hot shot service providers sometimes. e.g. I use a service called www.fastmail.fm which is a great email service provider coz they have absolutely NO IMAGES anywhere on their website or emails. That means super fast loading speed. Thankfully they are still free.

    The problem with pics in blogger is that you have to POST pics in order to upload them. I mean, you cannot link to photos without having them displayed in some post or the other. Am I wrong?


    By Blogger GuNs, at 1:21 pm  

  • I still think your analogy of the house is flawed. A better example is this: You moved into a house, lived there RENT FREE for 3 years, and then your landlord decided he needed you to pay rent.

    By Anonymous daprime, at 7:10 pm  

  • Daprime : Thanks for the comment, daprime.

    How about this. There are hundred people on the street who invite you to come and live for free in their house. You decide to stay with one. Gradually after you are assured of their trustworthiness and you move your entire furniture, office, postal address, billing addresses...he comes and asks you to pay rent or get out.

    You still think its ok?

    Well, I dont. Simple. Thats what is called an "opinion" and everyone has the right to one.

    Thanks for taking time to comment.


    P.S.: Did you read the part here where I said I downloaded the zip file which they put up for download and I found that it was CORRUPT? Naah, I dont think you did. Anyhow, it was 48MB containing hundreds of photos carefully and painfully tagged and organized in albums.

    By Blogger GuNs, at 10:13 pm  

  • It would seem to me that simply paying for the service would be the best way to proceed. Given they provided a free service for you for all this time, and gave you advanced warning, I don't think it's asking to much to give them something back.

    You can dress it up however you like it, and are definately entiltled to your opinion, but seriously you are whining about something that was FREE - you realize that, right? These guys didn't owe you anything as a FREE user - even if you did spend lots of time doing things to your images. If anything, YOU owe them for providing the infrastructure for doing all that stuff.

    Instead of spending the hours it took to write this post, answering these replies, and basically wasting your valuable time venting about it, you could have paid them $10 bucks and been done with it.

    $10 bucks - that's like nothing nowdays. 3 gallons of gas, a couple of hamburgers, 2 drinks at starbucks... You get the idea.

    By Anonymous Holy Smokes, at 2:44 pm  

  • Holy Smokes: Howdy pardner. Thanks for spending time to offer your opinion.

    10 bucks is nothing, I agree. I spend more than that on lunch everyday. Theres another word which bugs me though. "Morals". Hmm...can't do much about it, can I?

    Re. wasting energy on posting etc., I dont think its a waste really. I write posts on my blogs when I feel like writing and I enjoy doing them. Its not a JOB that someone forces me to do.

    In this case, maybe it will just serve as a reminder for people that you CANNOT trust a website on staying free after it has ENTICED you into subscribing to it. Maybe you get a free plane ticket offered to fly you to Hawaii and mid-flight you are asked to pay a hundred dollars (which is affordable of course) or jump out of the plane ! You SHOULD of course owe them for taking you on the first flight, right?

    LOL, not I am not wasting any energy. Just having fun discussing this !


    By Blogger GuNs, at 7:58 pm  

  • Hello, i am also a zoto user. when i discovered it i just new it was too good to be true- in that the layout wasnt tacky/crowded like photobucket, and you could choose a simplistic layout. I didnt use it for linking however, which in your case kinda sucks. BUT i post this to ask-- how do you download the zip file?

    Because i did not recieve the email and therefore had NO clue about all my photos dissapearing.

    thanks ! and good luck to you on finding another service

    By Blogger Mary, at 5:25 am  

  • Mary :When they turned off my account, I was asked a question after logging into my account. They asked what option I would want from upgrading to paid, downloading in a zip file or forgetting all about my photos. I selected the zip file option.

    The thing to note is that the ZIP file which they sent me was CORRUPTED !! They never responded to my complaint about the zip file. So basically...all my photos really are...LOST FOREVER.


    By Blogger GuNs, at 9:44 pm  

  • Are you ok now ...or still MAD at this whole incident...hmmm probably still mad..thats why don't see any update on my email from you for past 1 month or so....

    Are you having good time in UK..????I hope so...~
    Tk care~

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:47 pm  

  • Wow. I use Zoto. They sent like 2 freakin emails about this. The upgrade price is dirt cheap. Also, you can still go to download your photos. They aren't gone.

    I also had problem with my zip. I just contacted support and they fixed it for me.

    Man, are you just stupid???

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:08 pm  

  • Anon :ROTFL, man !! Dont you KNOW I'm stupid? I guess you havent read my blog enough. Oh and if you DID read it enough (especially this post), you'd know that I tried contacting their customer support many times asking them to replace the zip file but they never responded.

    AS for the dirt cheap card, I've already explained my stand on that. If you start paying today because its dirt cheap, next year, they will hike their rate two times and "intelligent" folks will continue to pay because its still dirt cheap. Then 4 times next year and so on until the intelligent people realize they have been taken for a ride.


    By Blogger GuNs, at 12:18 pm  

  • By Blogger 張曼玉Lynn, at 2:41 am  

  • By Blogger 文章, at 9:21 am  

  • By Blogger 日月神教-向左使, at 6:10 am  

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