How I use (or don't use) Flickr
Nicole Lee took a deeper look at Flickr earlier today in her post "Flickr struggles to capture the selfie generation." (Read more here: www.engadget.com/2014/05/08/flickr-3-0-app/?ncid=r...) She shares her own early experiences with Flickr and examines its struggles as mobile photography (and services designed to specifically cater to it) has gained in popularity.
For me personally, Flickr was an incredible tool when I joined way back in 2005. It provided a central location for me to store and upload photos, and allowed me to share them with my parents and extended family. I used it heavily, eventually uploading over 13,000 photos to the service.
A few years ago, I just sort of stopped using it. I know for a fact that it coincided with my increased use of taking photos with my phone -- these photos were going to websites and services that I had more friends on: Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter.
Now I have some IFTTT scripts that automatically post whatever I upload on Instagram to Flickr -- in essence, it's just become a mirror of my Instagram feed. The new Flickr app *is* pretty nice -- especially with the auto-uploading and backup features, but now it's a case of my attention being spread too thin.
Sure, I can upload, manage, and tag photos on Flickr, but ultimately, why? If I want people to see them, or comment on them, I use something like Facebook nowadays. I do like using Flickr as a kind of photo backup service, but Google+ is doing a better job -- I can auto upload and sync my entire library that's stored on my NAS drives (albeit at lower resolution). If this changed, I would probably use Flickr a bit more (rather than paying $150 - $300 per year to backup my entire photo library to something like PictureLife).
Don't get me wrong, Flickr and I have had a lot of good times when it was the premiere photo sharing service. I've even made a bit of money off it, selling some photos and getting a few gigs. A crappy photo I took on a class geology trip in 2002 (and later uploaded to Flickr in 2005) was purchased by a text book publisher to use on the cover of geology book. Hahaha, what?!
Anyway, I've always rooted for Flickr and have fond memories of the service. But lately, I just don't have much extra desire to use it. Maybe I can be convinced otherwise, though.
Is anyone else using Flickr, as well as enjoying it?
I got my first digital camera in 2002, and that was around the same time an old acquaintance from high school had built a site for our social group to share photos. You could upload photos of any size, tag them with people and places, and even comment. It was a decent little social network we had going there. I used to upload all my photos there to share with my friends, and after a party everyone eagerly awaited the photos from that party getting uploaded. (We also used to compete to see who could be tagged in the most pictures.) When Flickr came around, some of us checked it out to see how it stacked up, and while it had a few slick features, it lacked others and most of all, it lacked the community that we cherished.
Eventually that site went away and there was a period of time when I did use Flickr somewhat regularly, as I lacked any other outlet for my pictures. The features on Flickr had improved by then, they made it really easy to embed on other sites (like LiveJournal), and of course, Flickr does have pretty decent ways to organize your photos. So I was enjoying having the account. Then I made a Facebook account.
At first, I still uploaded pictures to Flickr and just linked to them, but two things happened. One was that Facebook stopped downgrading the quality of uploaded photos, keeping them at their original size and resolution. The second thing was that the community there reached a critical mass, where if I wanted people to see my photos, I had to post on Facebook.
Now, I still take a lot of photos, but where they end up depends on what I need them to do. When it's just a quick shot and I want to share a moment or make a snarky comment, it goes on Twitter. Pictures of vacations and social gatherings go on Facebook to be shared with friends and family. I even used G+ for a while, mostly for sharing work-related stuff. Flickr... Flickr ended up as the place for the stuff I didn't really want to share-share. Not that it gets the bad photos or the "junk," but that it gets the photos that I can't make a snarky comment on, and the photos that my mother wouldn't give a flying fig about -- like for example, when I go for a walk in my neighborhood and I take pictures of the beautiful houses I walk by, I end up putting them on Flickr. Because I don't want to bore my social group, but I still want a record of them, and maybe I want to share them with strangers who might be interested.
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