I did something stupid. But only because flickr did something even more stupid.
Many, but probably not all of you, know that for a long time I’ve had a flickr account that I’ve kept pretty active. I started putting pictures on flickr in 2005. It became a great community for me. A great reason to take pictures even. I think that in many ways I owe a lot of my development as a photographer to that community, and the desire to share images with its members. When I began building bikes, I already had an audience. Because of flickr, I have never had to advertise, and I have never been without work. When I got sick, I had a ready-made group of supporters willing to help in any way that they could.
Over the years flickr has changed a lot. Many of those changes made necessary by the growing popularity of the site.. Its higher visibility. It has gotten more puritanical. Some of you may remember my run in with them over a public art piece that involved a man peeing. It has also changed its look a number of times, and in my mind usually not for the better. I’ve hung in there, though, because that’s where the people were. That’s where the community had developed.
Yesterday they rolled out a set of changes that are simply beyond the pail to me. The best thing about flickr, visually, has always been that it is a fairly clean environment for displaying photographs.. Not all jumbled up with the social media side of things, or plastered with ads. Yesterday that all changed. The site has become hideous. There are some other changes that I hate too, involving membership and what you get for your money.. but the biggest thing is the fact that I just don’t like looking at photos on the site anymore. It’s all junked up.. jumbled and crowded and noisy. It has none of the class that it once had. It’s not a place that I care to look at photos anymore, and it’s not a place that I particularly care to have other people look at mine! Please please forgive me if that sounds precious. I’m not alone in this. The change has sparked general outrage, and there are petitions going around with thousands of signatures begging them to change it back.
In protest and disgust yesterday, I made all my photos private. That is to say, I didn’t take them off of flickr, I simply made them invisible to anyone but me. And I put up a single image lamenting.. mourning.. the death of flickr. When I made this massive batch change to my stream of over 3000 photos it didn’t occur to me (and I wasn’t warned), that this would change those photos’ URLs and that any links to those photos (including the links on this blog) would go dead. It also didn’t occur to me (and I wasn’t warned) that these photos would loose all the favorites that they had accumulated on flickr over the years, and be removed from my friends’ and contacts’ favorites collections. When I realized that this had happened I conceded and made the photos public again so that the blog and my website would still have images, but decided that I would no longer post to flickr.. that I’d find some other way to share photography.
Sadly, making the images public again did NOT restore the URLs nor did it restore the favorites. All of that has simply vanished into the ether. (My fast boy cycles website works a little differently – not by individual URL, but by more dynamic links to sets on flickr – and those have been restored). Because the URLs are different now, it’ll be a real chore to even figure out WHAT image went with what post. Restoring images to this blog will be several days of work (individually figuring out what image went with what post.. 5 years worth.. locating the image and making a version of it in photoshop that is appropriate for upload directly to the wordpress blog so that further changes at flickr don’t mess it all up again). I haven’t decided whether or not I have what it takes to do it.
I apologize gang. My mistake. I know that this blog is not the same without images.
Hey flickr – before allowing people to change the permissions on thousands of photos, how about warning them about the consequences.. Oh.. and while you’re at it.. Make the site look nice again. It looks like crap right now, and I’m not going to use it anymore. I’m so sad.. we’ve had a bunch of good years. But it’s not me.. it’s you.
I had a doc appointment yesterday. Nothing to report. He IS ordering a ct scan so we’ll have some notion of how the tumors have grown. I will meet with the head of “supportive care” on Friday.
Fast Boy out.
Thank you all so much for your offers of help. Hold that thought for a moment, though. It seems as though a friend may have managed to write a little script to plug into my blog that will go find the correct URL and plug it in. We’re testing it out now. We might be back up and running with images before to long. Thank you thank you… and please stand by!
FIXED!!!! Cosmo C. fixed it. Unbelievable. Thank you Cosmo. The rest of you can thank Cosmo too since I was going to take you all up on those offers of time tediously cutting and pasting. Not necessary. Cosmo built a robot that took care of the whole thing in a flash and is now looking for other ways to be useful.. (currently cleaning up the kitchen after tonight’s sardine pasta..) Cosmo. Thank you.