Flickring out?
August 18, 2011 12:09 PM   Subscribe


 
That graph says that Flickr tagging is dying.
posted by Nelson at 12:11 PM on August 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


First postmodernism, now Flickr. Is nothing scared!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:13 PM on August 18, 2011 [10 favorites]


...sacred. I'm VERY scared, especially of my inability to type.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:14 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I stopped tagging because they improved the search engine...in about 2008.
posted by vacapinta at 12:14 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


But what of Shaq's Petite Girlfriend?
posted by gc at 12:17 PM on August 18, 2011


Also, its easy to chart the actual uploads, since each photo is sequentially numbered.

Here's a plot of data up to last year. I'm sure someone can extend it. But it looks like growth to me!
posted by vacapinta at 12:18 PM on August 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


I loved flickr for a long, long time, but I decided not to renew my proaccount recently. I never used the community aspects very much (and like those on picasa/google+ better), I'd always forget to tag stuff and have to go back and do it later, it was kinda hard to search through . . . we had a good few years, but I really couldn't justify paying for it anymore.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:19 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh wait, here's data up to 2 weeks ago.
posted by vacapinta at 12:19 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I had a Pro Account on Flickr. When it came up for renewal I realized I had about 10 comments on my photos over the course of the year. So I moved to PicasaWeb, because I didn't see any reason to pay for the privilege of having my photos ignored when Google would enable the ignoring for free.
posted by COD at 12:22 PM on August 18, 2011 [18 favorites]


Yahoo? Run a business into the ground? Inconceivable!
posted by mullingitover at 12:22 PM on August 18, 2011 [37 favorites]


If only there were some other way to share photos on the internet.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:23 PM on August 18, 2011


So what's the method for searching for all public photos on Google+ tagged with "lego"? Because I'm subscribed to a Flickr RSS feed that does that.
posted by Legomancer at 12:23 PM on August 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Flickr is still where we keep all our photos for our theater company - we should arguably back them up (I mean, they are, mostly, but there are more than a few one-offs and so forth up there that probably need backing up). The sets/collections thing is really the best for what we use it for - here is a show - here are sets of photos showing the rehearsals, here are sets of photos showing the actual show, here is our photocall, also possibly here are all the headshots for everyone in the show, etc.

I think we'll keep using it until it gets to be a problem. I mean, I don't know, Flickr at least doesn't do unpredictable stuff with our data. I can never tell wtf is going to show up on Google+ next, for example.
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:23 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mr. Hawk has been a vocal critic of Flickr for years. He's all over Google+ now, which I'm sure will fail to meet his criteria at some future point.

But. Flickr is owned by Yahoo, so they've got that going for against them.
posted by tommasz at 12:24 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm usually skeptical about relying on IDs, but Flickr has sort of confirmed they are sequential photo numbers. In which case, vacapinta's graph find is perfect.

Flickr sure feels like it's aging. The site has all sorts of little bugs in it and not much progress, the site seems to be standing still. Meanwhile Instagram, Color, Mlkshk, even Google are innovating. Geez, last I checked there's still no simple way to integrate Flickr and Twitter; I manage it with a third party service hack.

Even so I still love Flickr and use it regularly. The Lightroom integration is great.
posted by Nelson at 12:24 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thomas Hawk says that Thomas Hawk shaky conclusion Thomas Hawk techcrunch Flickr Google. What about the Arrington HackerNews Zooomr?

This changes everything sheeple.

Plate of beans
posted by foggy out there now at 12:25 PM on August 18, 2011 [13 favorites]


I came in here to say what COD said, except I haven't yet dumped the account (likely will in October). The only reason to "pay to be ignored instead of being ignored for free" is that I didn't get on the Plus train before it left the station.
posted by notsnot at 12:25 PM on August 18, 2011


I think what's happened is that Flickr early adopters and power users have moved on, with new ones not signing up.

I was on Flickr prior to the Yahoo acquisition, and my personal experience is that, at some point post-acquisition, Flickr employees and community seemed less engaged (Stewart and Caterina left). I think Yahoo requiring a Yahoo email to sign in was a misstep, as it alienated experienced and engaged users who would never otherwise sign up for Yahoo anything.

It's not so much that Flickr is no longer new. For me, it's that the site is: less social among people who love to take photos (now almost entirely in more static and isolated communities of friends and family), less whimsical, and less personal.

I don't know of a better service, though. Picasa still feels like an engineer's idea of an ftp-server based photo sharing service. And most of the other sites seem to focus on BUY PRINTZZ OF YOUR COUSINS BABY / PUPPY than the online experience.
posted by zippy at 12:30 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


MUSN'T...MENTION...NETCRAFT...
posted by cortex at 12:30 PM on August 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


Thank goodness Thomas Hawk is out there shedding light into the darkness. I can't wait until he discovers analog photography so he can tell us all that digital is dead.
posted by photoslob at 12:32 PM on August 18, 2011


cortex: MUSN'T...MENTION...NETCRAFT...

Netcraft confirms: the 'Netcraft confirms' joke is (finally) dying!
posted by gilrain at 12:33 PM on August 18, 2011


The most remarkable thing about the Slacktory story is that it served me an ad for Zombocom.
posted by Mister_A at 12:33 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mr. Hawk has been a vocal critic of Flickr for years

Starting in 2005 I think. Didn't he run a competing photo sharing service? My memory is of him complaining way back about Flickr not allowing him to add n thousand friends.
posted by zippy at 12:34 PM on August 18, 2011


Kids are moving past their hatred of vowels.
posted by Babblesort at 12:34 PM on August 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


oh wait, here's data up to 2 weeks ago

If I saw a graph of growth this straight in a revenue chart, I'd think someone was cooking the books.

That said, I think someone is cooking the books.
posted by zippy at 12:36 PM on August 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Not renewing my Pro Account when it expires either.

The most important page on Flickr.

zippy: you are thinking of zoomr.
posted by entropicamericana at 12:37 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yahoo? Run a business into the ground? Inconceivable!

"But now the Senior Vice President for Bad Decisions at Yahoo had decided to give us a little help"
posted by zippy at 12:38 PM on August 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


RIP The Age of Over Saturationism
posted by nathancaswell at 12:39 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Opened thread, Ctrl+F'ed "netcraft", left satisfied
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 12:39 PM on August 18, 2011


Forget Google+, the real threat to Flickr for years now has been Facebook. Didn't Flickr add the ability to tag a Flickr user in a photo *long* after Facebook had that (pretty basic) function?
posted by mattbucher at 12:40 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Flikr charges. I don't want to have to pay for stuff I can do frr. The upload process takes a long time as well. It actually works just as well to put stuff up on Evernote, and use it when I want, or e-mail it to myself.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:43 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like flickr because I can search for a word/phrase (like "Los Angeles" or "beach" or "Christmas"), get a slideshow, expand the window up to full-screen, and enjoy a long-running display of images on one theme or another gracefully dissolving from pic-to-pic on the TV in the living room.

I usually do this when people are over, or during the holidays.

Do other image sites allow this, without even signing in?
posted by mmrtnt at 12:45 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, all you in-the-knows, what *is* the best photo site for a mostly-hermit (self-banned from FB) to put up pictures in a craven attempt for *just a little* attention?
posted by notsnot at 12:46 PM on August 18, 2011


For me at least, there are two types of photos, personal and public. Flickr used to be the best choice for both. But Facebook kicks its ass for personal ones. Is it worth it for me to have a pro account just to upload the public ones?
posted by smackfu at 12:50 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thomas Hawk is easily the worst writer about photography on the internet.
He has hated Flickr ever since he tried to start The New Flickr, called something like Zoooomr. I forgot how many o's were in it so I never got to start using it very much. Plus it only had OpenID as a login process and was also horrible once I was able to finally log in.

In the past, I remember him writing an article about how he's taking back his iPhone (when they first came out) and that iPhones will fail after his got bad service in the bathroom of a train station or something that his other phone get better reception in. Not to mention that one time where he tried to buy a multi-thousand dollar camera that was much cheaper than everybody else that was being sold by a prima facie scammer store out of Coney Island.

But anyway, flickr has also sucked ever since they made a game out of "interestingness."
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:51 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do other image sites allow this, without even signing in?

Picasa does: tag=beach, although I can't figure out how to search for a tag without editing the URL.
posted by smackfu at 12:54 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I use flickr and have done so since 2005. Always liked it. Found it easy and I like the constancy. I'm not in favor of porting gigs of data all around the cloud to the latest new service, so something that takes on a conservative, reliable and useful stability is welcome. Hopefully Yahoo doesn't screw it up. My wish is that, if they choose to compete with Google plus, they do so with new products and not jam together all of their existing properties into a big sticky glue.
posted by salishsea at 12:55 PM on August 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


Mr. Hawk has been a vocal critic of Flickr for years
Starting in 2005 I think. Didn't he run a competing photo sharing service?
Hawk was employed as the "Chief Evangelist" of Flickr competitor Zooomr, says Wikipedia. So we've all had the chance to read his rants about the evils of Flickr before.

Maybe I'm biased too (I have a Pro Flickr account) but I think perhaps on-line photo sharing is a mostly solved problem. Flickr does nearly everything I want it to; I don't really want it to change much. I think I actually like Flickr's new-ish simple lightbox view better than the busy all-singing-all-dancing equivalent in Google+.

I wonder if "infinite scroll," once adopted as the default browsing interface everywhere, will reveal new annoyances of its own.
posted by Western Infidels at 12:55 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Flickr does exactly what I want it to do:

+ I can upload photos from my phone, and easily embed them in my blog or LJ
+ I can upload photos for my mom to see without giving my mom access to my FB account
+ I can do the set/groups thing
+ I can tag photos so *I* can find them again

The only thing that comes close is Picassa, but I'm slightly annoyed to discover that everything I've put on my blogger blog is gathered together in a public picassa album tied to my (locked down tight) G+ account. I've tried to make sure my G+ and my Blogger blog were separate, but I guess that was too much to ask.
posted by anastasiav at 12:58 PM on August 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


When we'll know Picasa has taken over completely from Flickr is when all the photo apps like Instagram connect to it.
posted by immlass at 1:02 PM on August 18, 2011


That said, I think someone is cooking the books.
posted by zippy


Ok...the data is all public.

To look at any numbered photo, just type:
http://www.flickr.com/photo.gne?id=6000000000
into your browser, substituting any number for the photo number. You'll be able to see the date the photo is uploaded.
posted by vacapinta at 1:06 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


February is so 2009.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:06 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like Flickr mainly because it gives me a simple one-stop place to look at cool and amazing photos other people have taken, and it's searchable (not the greatest search in the world, but it's searchable). Maybe I need to clue myself in on other services that do the same thing, but it doesn't seem to me that Tumblr or Google+ or anything else I've come across does that, and I'm not going to use Facebook for that purpose (not that it lends itself to that, anyway). Maybe I need to take a closer look at Picasa.

Another service that Yahoo! ruined or will eventually ruin, Delicious, has been replaced for me by the much better pinboard. Until there's a pinboard equivalent for Flickr, or until Flickr suddenly vanishes, I'll gladly ignore the "Flickr is dead" meme.
posted by blucevalo at 1:15 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Western Infidels: "I wonder if "infinite scroll," once adopted as the default browsing interface everywhere, will reveal new annoyances of its own."

Well for starters, if you're on an iPad with its paltry 512 MB of RAM, when you're a few miles into an infinite scroll page and you go to a new tab, that infinite scroll page is nuked from memory. It causes me all kinds of grief on Tumblr.
posted by mullingitover at 1:18 PM on August 18, 2011


vacapinta: "But it looks like growth to me!"

The time to go from 4b to 5b seems to be about the same as it was to go from 5b to 6b so it looks like plateau to me.

Which is far from dying.
posted by Bonzai at 1:21 PM on August 18, 2011


I signed up for Picassa (as Joan Arkham, natch), but I'm afraid to move everything over there since Google started nuking "non legal name" accounts.
posted by JoanArkham at 1:21 PM on August 18, 2011


Well for me Flickr doesn't get the corporate security block while EVERYTHING Google minus search and analytics does.

So to me, if it doens't get the red screen of death, then it's not dead.
posted by stormpooper at 1:23 PM on August 18, 2011


Seconding what salishsea is saying about reliability - as long as Flickr does what it does and there isn't a smash bang alternative around, I am not taking my 12,000+ photos elsewhere.

For tweeting (and lots of other automation) I recommend http://ifttt.com/
posted by muckster at 1:24 PM on August 18, 2011


I signed up for Picassa (as Joan Arkham, natch), but I'm afraid to move everything over there since Google started nuking "non legal name" accounts.

Try dropping "natch"
posted by hal9k at 1:30 PM on August 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


vacapinta: "But it looks like growth to me!"

The time to go from 4b to 5b seems to be about the same as it was to go from 5b to 6b so it looks like plateau to me.

Which is far from dying.


It's similar to the issues Facebook is running up against. Once you've signed up everyone on Earth with a camera and a computer of some sort the birthrate becomes the limiting factor.
posted by tommasz at 1:33 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


He seems to criticize Flickr an awful lot for someone who's photographic style is basically a distillation of the totally boring "Interestingness", complete with titles straight out of a mid-90s emo song. I guess his popularity kind of baffles me, but he seems to be good at the social media game despite writing articles like this so what do I know.

The problem with Flickr (or any other social media photography oriented site) is that it creates incentive for these single-serving photographs that are all about the surface. Comments, favorites, views, etc. it's all about making an image that will look good in that tiny ass little thumbnail so you can get more followers and more clicks. Why bother exploring an idea in depth or making an image that's interesting on more than a "SLIDERS TO THE RIGHT!!!" level when you can take yet another over-saturated photo of a building or a someone standing on a subway platform?

Basically the gamification element of these sites makes for really, really fucking boring photography and G+ doesn't solve that.
posted by bradbane at 1:52 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Try dropping "natch"

This advice is valid for life as well as Google +.
posted by nathancaswell at 1:56 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks for all the discussion! I'm the author of the Slacktory piece. I added an update to the end, pointing to the graph that shows steadily rising uploads.

But I should point out: That's steadily rising total uploads. That constant slope since '09 means that monthly uploads have stayed pretty constant for two years. That is, it's plateaued.

But that graph does make me suspect secondary causes for the shrinking tags: First, people might be tagging less than before. Second, maybe I just chose an odd set of tags. Someone could run this with a hundred other tags and get a more accurate picture.

Thomas Hawk is a tool.
posted by NickDouglas at 2:01 PM on August 18, 2011 [11 favorites]


Flickr allows naked titties. Facebook doesn't. You tell me who's going to win the pic contest.
posted by eoden at 2:02 PM on August 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's interesting that the beginning of the end corresponds exactly with the site overhaul that made Flickr uglier and harder to use.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:34 PM on August 18, 2011


it's all about making an image that will look good in that tiny ass little thumbnail so you can get more followers and more clicks.

I will take thousands of pictures during an event, and am always amused at the images that end up most popular during that first day where everyone is searching by event-name. One of the three days I took pictures of the Blue Angels flying around Seattle, the top picture from my photostream for the day was a blurry shot of blue sky, that only got uploaded because I upload everything, and then start editing out bad shots. I can't understand why so many people would click on it in thumbnail form.

Count me in the I-have-too-much-to-move-on-a-whim crowd, though that G+ page did look interesting.
posted by nomisxid at 2:42 PM on August 18, 2011


First, people might be tagging less than before. Second, maybe I just chose an odd set of tags.

My photos are public, but I tag for me, so I (or my family or friends) can find things. Tagging for 'the public' is secondary. I bet there are tens of thousands family-oriented users like me on Flickr, who use it as a way to simply share with the folks they want to share with.
posted by anastasiav at 2:48 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm amused by this kind of thing. I use Flickr as a backup and a simple way to organize photos online. I'd bet that most users of sites like these are pretty casual like I am.

It works for me. Just because there's some new shiny that comes along doesn't mean that users like me are going to be somehow behind, or no longer happy with Flickr.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 3:01 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this where I ask, how i can get my photos off of flickr, because i am leaning to not renewing.
posted by PinkMoose at 3:02 PM on August 18, 2011


I stopped using Flickr when they "improved" the UI into oblivion. It's barely navigable for me now.
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:05 PM on August 18, 2011


Am I the only one without a Google+ invite these days?
posted by MikeWarot at 3:06 PM on August 18, 2011


How can you compare Flickr to facebook when fb doesn't share photos with non-members? That isn't photos on the web, that's a walled garden!

My dad is (finally) on facebook, but at some kind of background-radiation level, so he's never logged in & my mother still doesn't have an account. I can upload full-resolution photos, suitable for printing, of their grandkid to flickr and a link in an email will always work (photos as enclosures doesn't, nevermind the size problem).
posted by morganw at 3:22 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Inevitably losing market share to a glut of competitors is *still* not the same thing as dead.

Really, if Flickr is dead, perhaps the question should be... what besides Facebook is actually alive?!
posted by markkraft at 4:03 PM on August 18, 2011


What's the resolution limit on Facebook? It seems like it's got to be pretty low. I usually do 3000 px. +/- on Flickr, since that's the resolution of my 6 megapixel digital, and just slightly below the resolution of my slide scanner. I frequently want to zoom in on people's Facebook pictures, but have never seen a way to get beyond a large-ish thumbnail, like 800 px or so. 1280 for G+ sounds better, but still low-ish.

Can you build "sets" (albums?) on G+ and add/delete photos to/from multiple different sets and show a whole page of sets, like Flickr? Just curious. I have photos on Flickr that overlap sets, say like belonging in both the "County Courthouses" and the "Kodachrome" sets, which works well for me.

There are some annoyances with the contacts page I'd love to see fixed, As the blog that entropicamericana linked points out. I agree with that list pretty entirely.

I guess plateaued is the new dead, since growth is everything in the world of web property. That's kind of a sad way of looking at things.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:31 PM on August 18, 2011


morganw: "How can you compare Flickr to facebook when fb doesn't share photos with non-members?"

It's a walled garden, but it's a fucking gigantic one.
posted by mullingitover at 5:01 PM on August 18, 2011


*shrugs*

I like flickr. It works for me. It does what I want it to do. I don't need a whole bunch of cutting-edge doodads or anything like that. Just pictures, that's all.
posted by jason's_planet at 6:16 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


A constant slope does not mean that the use of the service has plateaued; just that it's growing at a linear rate (the value of the first derivative is 0). Which, for Flickr, who have already signed up "everyone with a camera and a computer" already, is probably just fine. It's Plus and other competitors that need to worry about exponential growth because they're playing catch-up.
posted by Aizkolari at 6:34 PM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like flickr. It works for me.

I use flickr, but I don't like it. I don't know if it's dying or not but it's certainly been abandoned by its designers, if not its users. Look at this nonsense right here, if you're signed in. The single most important page on flickr, full stop, and it's nothing more than a tiled slideshow. Navigation's a mess, no way to point one of your friends to another friend's photos, no way to see comments on pictures, blocky and antiquated as a PHP gallery from the nineties and just not at all any fun, on a page that should be nothing but.

I only use flickr to host stuff I link to other places, these days.
posted by mhoye at 6:36 PM on August 18, 2011


Yahoo? Run a business into the ground? Inconceivable! Yes.

We had a FlickrPro account. Our non-tech savy family pushed us to Picassa because it has a system to send e-mails out when an album is created. It was that simple for us to stop paying for the FlickrPro account.

We keep and have kept our pictures locked up from others because we don't like to share.
posted by BuffaloChickenWing at 6:39 PM on August 18, 2011


A constant slope does not mean that the use of the service has plateaued

It seems that constant slope shows that the overall number of pictures added per day/week/year is pretty static. Overall growth in the number of pictures stored on flickr will continue to increase, even if the number of pictures added per time period remains static or decreases.

Whatever, though. It's a handy tool, which is certainly not my only backup, but the site is... "mature," let's say. I would expect a flurry of new features and a hockey-stick user ramp from a site like G+, which basically had no features or users whatsoever a few months ago, and less from a site that's been built out and saturated for a good 6 years.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:43 PM on August 18, 2011


Flickr has one unforgivable sin for me: it changes the names of my photos.

If I upload a photo I named
110802 Sally, Bob, & 4wo Brendan - Beach house.jpg
to Picasa, that remains its name. It is archived on Picasa, in its original size and with all original attributes, for me.

If I upload the same picture to Flickr, it becomes
q1342u7zcvxnkwerqewiuoy.jpg.
If I forget to tag/comment the photo at that time, that information is suddenly much harder to find.

May not bother anyone else, but it is a deal-breaker for me.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:36 PM on August 18, 2011


That chart is a load of bullshit.
posted by mike3k at 8:04 PM on August 18, 2011


Flickr lost me when I bought a Pro account for..a year, i think? And at the end of that year the Pro cut off whilst I was on holiday and had no net access. Which was fine.

What wasn't fine was that this is the message I found when I returned and logged back in to my account:
Hey *******! About your photostream...
You've run into one of the limits of a free account. Your free account only displays the most recent 200 things you've uploaded.

Anything beyond 200 will remain hidden from view until you either delete newer items, or upgrade to a Pro account. Nothing has been deleted, and if you upgrade, you'll be able to see all of the photos you've uploaded.
Since my back-up portable drive had died during the holiday, that Flickr account was the only place some of those photos existed anymore. And as Flickr doesn't have a bulk-download tool, I would have had to go through and download each photo individually before I could delete it and thus access any older ones.

I was so pissed about what felt like extortion ('Pay for Pro, or spend days downloading and deleting thousands of photos individually! Suckaaaaa!') i've never wanted anything to do with them again.
posted by pseudonymph at 10:42 PM on August 18, 2011


...that Flickr account was the only place some of those photos existed anymore.

This is the part of this "extortion" argument that baffles me. So those photos that only existed on Flickr, they weren't worth anything to you? It seems like they were worth something to you since you felt like you were being extorted.

Lets say you rent some storage to keep your classic car safe. You pay rent there for a few years and then, well, you decide you want to stop paying for whatever reason. Then you come back a month or a year later and expect your car to still be there? And you expect them to give it to you for free? Is it an outrage that they try to charge you to get your car back? No, of course not. You'd be lucky, frankly, if they hadn't sold your car and kept the money. Flickr isn't some shady storage business, either. They clearly print the terms of both free and pro account on their site, and you have to pass right by those terms in order to upgrade to a pro account. Whether you pay or not, Flickr doesn't compress or in any way screw with your original files unless you delete them. That's a lot better than just about anyplace else I can think of.

Folks making the extortion argument, including the blowhards on TechCrunch, simply want something for nothing. Whining that they don't like the terms is simply a foolish reaction to not understanding the simple terms, or a lame way of expressing their own regret that they didn't do something before their subscription lapsed.
posted by pkingdesign at 11:14 PM on August 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Flickr does seem to be dying a slow death. Over the past 2 years the comments and content from friends (and strangers) have dwindled to nothing. Right now it's just a place to stick photos.

The reason I haven't moved because I haven't bothered. 8,000+ plus photos, many of which were edited on an older machine and may or may not be sitting on a portable hard drive around here somewhere, maybe. There's no way I'm doing that manually.

If there was a easy way to port EVERYTHING to Picasa/Google+ Photos I'd do it. And by everything I mean tags and sets along with the normal metadata.

...

I just checked and my Flickr Pro account expires in 29 days. Now might be a perfect time to look into moving the bulk of my pics to Picasa and maybe the "good stuff" to 500px or something similar. I really don't want to pay again for what has become a shoebox under the bed of old photos.
posted by thecjm at 11:21 PM on August 18, 2011


"Thomas Hawk" is a pseudonym used by Andrew Peterson, a stockbroker at a San Francisco investment company, Stone & Youngberg, and he's on Google+ under this fake name, so I wouldn't worry too much about the whole "real name" thing. As for his anti-flickr stuff: He should worry about improving his photography before getting all hot and bothered about where he sticks it.
posted by Poagao at 1:02 AM on August 19, 2011


I joined Flickr way back, in 2005, before I had a proper camera even. Joining the site is what prompted me to buy my first digicam and for three years, Flickr was where I spent most of my time on the interwebz. In fact, it's the reason I got married.

It pains me to say it, but I have very definitely fallen out of love with the site. The community feel that made it my go-to place has largely died, activity among my contacts has fallen off a cliff and, when my camera broke two years back, I had no compulsion to get it fixed or buy a new one. Aside from the odd upload from my phone, it's pretty much just storage at this point. For better or worse, a lot of the surfing and commenting I do now is here on Mefi, where I don't have to sign in through goddamn Yahoo.

In many ways, I feel like the neighbourhood bar or favourite hangout that I used to has been bought over by some clueless bozo, quadrupled in size and covered in stupid plastic logos. It makes me sad because I have such strong memories and associations with it, but since I got married and my wife moved to the UK with me, I have much less of an urge to share any aspect of my life with the wider internet. My wife and I used Flickr as a way to see into each other's lives for a long time. Now that we live together, it feels a lot less necessary and I feel a lot more protective of my privacy and personal space. Plus, frankly, I'm not a single guy with no friends but work friends in London anymore. Old friends, family and the beautiful city I live in now come before my wish to show the internet things.

At some point when I get around to getting a big enough hard drive I will download all of my pictures in their Flickr sets (pretty sure this will do that, but I'd welcome recommendations) and let my subscription lapse, change my profile to reflect my withdrawal and delete all the desktop and phone apps that plug me into the site. But I will be sad to do so. Six years ago Flickr felt like it would go on for ever. Now I'll be surprised if it makes it six more years.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:21 AM on August 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Clearly, this thread is a cry for MeFi Photos. Matt, can you get on that?

//not really
posted by COD at 5:11 AM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's the resolution limit on Facebook? It seems like it's got to be pretty low.

The display photos are cropped to 720x720, but they do store the originals now and you can download them with a "download" link. You just need to make sure that your client is uploading the full size photos instead of resizing them first.
posted by smackfu at 5:53 AM on August 19, 2011


A few years ago people active in the doll community cancelled accounts in protest when Flickr banned any references to 'sales' on photographs. I wonder if that's happened with other hobbyists who trade items online?
posted by mippy at 9:48 AM on August 19, 2011


I really wish the tagging system did not let you tag an entire album all at once. I have an RSS feed for photos tagged with "peacock" on Flickr. This means I want to see actual peacocks, peacock art, peacock crafts and yes, I'll even accept peacock butterflies and bad glamour shots of overly made-up chicks holding peacock feathers around their face while making what I presume are supposed to be provacative expressions. But if you go to the zoo, and take one peacock photo and a whole bunch of photos of other animals, don't tag the entire freakin' album with "peacock"!

[/end Flickr tagging rant]

This alone is making my Flickr use less than it was.
posted by Kurichina at 10:05 AM on August 19, 2011


OTOH, it would be a pain in the ass to manually tag all those photos as "zoo", eh?
posted by smackfu at 10:19 AM on August 19, 2011


Smackfu, I want the internet to cure people of stupidity: is this too much to ask?
posted by Kurichina at 11:16 AM on August 19, 2011


mattbucher: "the real threat to Flickr for years now has been Facebook"

Anyone who values his or her personal control over photos shouldn't post them to Facebook. Anyone who claims to be a "pro photographer" and is exclusively using Facebook for photos is an idiot. The second you upload it, you have given them ownership of the image. No EXIF data, either, FB strips that out. That pisses me off. I like to look at it, to see how other people got the shot.

Don't forget that FB albums require a logged-in user to view them. Casual visitors? Forget it. If they aren't logged in to FB they can't see your photos.

I post cell phone snaps to FB. I post photos I care about to Flickr. I hate paying Yahoo money, but I keep doing it, because the features Flickr has still outshine PicasaWeb. The Lightroom plugins alone make dealing with the site a lot simpler, nobody needs to log in anywhere to see my stuff, I can add any licensing I want, so on and so forth. I don't really care whether anyone comments on the images. I'm not posting them to drum up business or for attention whoring. I post them for friends and family mostly, generally under a CC Share Alike-Non Commercial-Attribution license so anyone in my family can freely download and save or print any of my shots they like. I'm not trying to sell anything or make any money, just sharing. So long as no one else is making money off of my shots, I'm fine with it. I like taking photos but am not conceited enough to think that I am a good enough photographer to have anyone I'm not related to give a crap about my photos. Unless you want to see seventy-billion shots of my (super-cute) son, look at someone else's photo page.

The very few photos I post to FB that are actually shots I like are uploaded at low-resolution, generally cropped, and always with a watermark burned in. If I want FB friends to see my shots, I post a link to the set on my Flickr page. The sooner FB dies in a fire, the better as far as I care.

Yahoo can go burn with them, too. Just so long as they spin off Flickr first, rather than taking it down with them when they go belly-up; and hopefully to someone who will invest in improving it, because just shutting it down would be a shame.

Side rant: Who uses an online service as a permanent backup of images anyway? Do people actually delete the originals after uploading? WTF. If you have to pay ransom to get them back, that's your fault, not the fault of the service you used. Offline backup is pretty damn cheap.

MikeWarot: "Am I the only one without a Google+ invite these days?"

Do you need one? Pretty sure a lot of people here (myself included) could send you one.
posted by caution live frogs at 12:56 PM on August 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, someone hates Facebook.
posted by smackfu at 1:05 PM on August 19, 2011


Wow, someone hates Facebook.

His points about how Facebook handles photos are germane.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:23 PM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's interesting that the beginning of the end corresponds exactly with the site overhaul that made Flickr uglier and harder to use. ....

I stopped using Flickr when they "improved" the UI into oblivion. It's barely navigable for me now.

I still use Flickr, but totally agree with the crappiness of the UI 'improvement'. I sure wish Flickr would notice that correlation! The thing I always liked about Flickr was how light and intuitive it had been. It was really a joy to use for the first couple of years. It's less so now, but there is nothing better to take its place.

I'm with those who have 10,000+ photos over at Flickr, and it'll remain my number one photo site until it stops supporting the aspects of the site that I depend on and the stability that newer sites don't have (Twitter and Tumblr being down every other day, for one). Flickr has its drawbacks (those 'improvements' made in the past 2 years), but when all you want is to upload your photos, control who can see them, and be able to organize them easily the way YOU want to (sets! collections! tags! putting photos in order!).. Flickr can't be bettered by any service out there. Some of the sites that looked like they might give Flickr a run for its money have disappeared off the internet in the meantime (another reason NOT to move all your photos to the New Thing).

My photos are public, but I tag for me, so I (or my family or friends) can find things. Tagging for 'the public' is secondary. I bet there are tens of thousands family-oriented users like me on Flickr, who use it as a way to simply share with the folks they want to share with.

Exactly! I once had someone add a tag on one of MY photos. Nerve! I stopped that trend as soon as that happened.

MikeWarot, I don't have Google+ either. I've tried to get invites but no one wants to share, apparently. Reading some of the comments here, though, isn't making G+ sound that great, though?

Facebook is alive?! Is it just not working right for me then? It seems like a festering corpse to me.. It's just been spitting out irrelevent news for months, and I can't seem to tweak it to make it less bloated and useful again.
posted by Mael Oui at 8:37 PM on August 19, 2011


Malcolm gladwell talked about why you want to do things third at this years Cannes advertising conference. He said that first there was friendster then myspace then Facebook nailed it. Same with photo sharing, no?
posted by broohem at 4:42 AM on August 22, 2011


His points about how Facebook handles photos are germane.

With a lot of spittle added on. It doesn't work for him as a pro photog... does it really need to "die in a fire"?
posted by smackfu at 6:52 AM on August 22, 2011


It can die peacefully in its sleep, I suppose.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:52 AM on August 22, 2011


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