To Flickr?

I just got the following from my friends at flickr …

Turns out it is time to re-up for another year of flickr pro. But it might not be. I have been a member since February 21, 2004 and used to absolutely love it, but with the rise of instagram, tumblr, and (yes, even) Facebook my use of flickr has really dropped. It used to be a vibrant community where I enjoyed sharing images and connecting with my friends all over the planet. Then that community moved and the web changed. The rise of really good cameras in phones coupled with apps that let you transform ordinary shots into compelling images has challenged what flickr has stood for. At least for me … one thing about bailing is that I still find flickr an amazing place to consume creative commons images for use in my work — I hate the idea of not giving back.

The question I have is if it is important to keep photos in a place like that anymore? I like the workflow of an app like instagram where I can shoot, edit, transform, and share quickly across a host of networks — none that I really own or control however. At the end of the day I don’t really have real control of my photos at flickr or the service, but perhaps I’ve been fooled by the fact I’ve been paying $25.00 a year since 2004. It could go poof tomorrow just like any of the others. If I had time to really make this happen I would figure out how to get my photos out and into this space, but that isn’t going to happen in the next 14 days. Any advice from the Internet?

11 thoughts on “To Flickr?

  1. … or not to Flickr. That is the question.

    It’s a good one. I’ll face the same thing this Spring. I don’t really take advantage of the social elements of Flickr anymore. Everyone I know wants to see my photos on Facebook. So now that you ask, I probably won’t renew. On the other hand, I did have someone recently ask to use a photo of my dog for a non-commercial purposes, which was permitted with the explicit Creative Commons licensing. But I’m sure there are other paths to Creative Commons.

  2. I know Bryan Alexander ponders this tough decision each year at renewal as I have. I think Audrey Watters, D’Arcy Norman are considering or have moved all content off. Pretty sure D’Arcy has. I’ll be renewing again. I’ve got nearly 6,000 images and, at times, upload lots of video for family/friend consumption. I’m a huge fan of the Awesome flickr gallery WordPress plugin. I can share easily from my Motorola Android Razzr. I guess when Alan Levine decides to pull the plug, if and ever he does, I might follow him as he would certainly write up a convincing blog post about his decision.

  3. I haven’t posted a photo to Flickr in over a year and a half, and deleted my account outright in April. I haven’t missed it one bit. All of my photos are still online, on my own server. It’s definitely cut down on the casual reuse of my photos, but they’re all still available under the Creative Commons license…

    but, everyone is different. I couldn’t justify paying the annual fee basically as protection to Yahoo to keep my photo archive online. At some point, I decided I needed to rip off the bandaid and just move my stuff to someplace I control.

    • D’Arcy, I followed your departure from flickr with interest. One of my primary challenges is one of a technical nature — to be blunt, I don’t have your chops to do much of a custom nature. I am going to look into how all of these images could be downloaded and republished to this blog in a specific category. I am actually returning to the idea that I may need to use this space more like I am tumblr and let more of what I create in the moment show up here. I guess this is just the annual alarm bell.

  4. You can go your own way and trollop round with the current photo fad of the day, I still maintain a strong public display of flickr affection

    It seems so hip to dump flickr. I am so not hip.

    It really depends a lot on your relationship to photos- if its all about the easy sharing from mobile, shore instragram, tumblr, facebook do that easily.

    Do they let you organize your own photos? Can you even find them easily? Can you do things with RSS feeds from those places? Can you create apps and web sites that hit up the APIs?

    You do have control over your flickr photos, I back them up regularly to other services (backupify), I have downloaded them in the past in batches (some of the old apps may not work) and every now and then I have ordered the DVD copy.

    The whether the service manages your photos well is a non-starter for me, I manage all my own as originals. That is on me.

    I do not judge your decision; in fact, I care less where you put your photos and more that you just take and share them.

    Me and flickr have been sweethearts since 2004, and the love still shines.

  5. This has nothing to do with the hip kids — even though the comment thread on this post looks like 2002 … just throw Brian Lamb in here and it would be an old fashioned ed tech geek reunion! I think I’ll ante up one more time and take the year to figure out the best course of action. In a lot of ways I am looking for the cleanest path to sharing photos — instagram or not, I like taking and sharing. The art is in the ease to my various embedded social spaces and flickr just hasn’t kept up. It is a good online repository — and I mean that. I keep all my photos locally as well, flickr is a sharing ground and in reality it has become more of a dumping ground. I don’t organize there like I used to — heck forget groups, I don’t even tag like I used to.

    I am, however, enjoying writing a little bit more again! And the comments are as intoxicating as ever!

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