Sad about Flickr

Dawn sky as seen from Winfield Village

In a couple of months the new owners of Flickr are going to delete most of my pictures there, if I don’t pay up for a pro account.

That makes me sad. I’ve used Flickr as my main photo-sharing site since 2004. It was arguably the first social media site, and even though its various owners managed to waste its potential over and over again, it was the best photo-sharing site around—better in every way than Instagram, for example.

I haven’t decided what to do yet.

I could share my photos elsewhere.

I’ve been using the Flickr app to auto-upload my photos to Flickr, which has been very convenient—when a photo doesn’t need much editing, I could just share the photo straight from that auto-upload.

There are two other places that already get my photos auto-uploaded: Google Photo, and (via Syncthing) my home server. Neither of those is a perfect choice.

I’m already more dependent on Google than I’m entirely happy about. (I quit trusting them after they broke Google Reader’s sharing functionality, even before they eliminated the tool completely. Even before that I tried to make sure that I’d be ready to go Google-free at any time if necessary.)

My home server is currently behind some overly restrictive firewall rules that keep it from being useful as a sharing site, although that’s supposed to get fixed. Even then it’ll be a single point of failure, rather under-powered machine with the photos on a single consumer-grade hard drive. It’s just not ready to serve as a production photo-sharing machine, even for a single user.

The most obvious place to share photos from is here at philipbrewer.net, because it’s where I share everything else. The downside is that my photos don’t get auto-uploaded here, and I probably don’t want them to be auto-uploaded here. I can manually upload each picture that I want to share and share it, but it’s not nearly as quick or easy a process as sharing something that’s been auto-uploaded to Flickr.

It works okay, though. Here’s a picture I did that with:


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4 thoughts on “Sad about Flickr”

  1. I never got into Flickr, having been a loyal Picasa user since its pre-Google days. Throughout the years, Picasa did everything I wanted, and worked mostly the way I wanted (or at least could figure out and understand), so there was never any reason to look elsewhere.

    If I were invested in Flickr, with years of stuff there, I’d probably pay for unlimited pro. The new owners already run a pretty decent photo hosting/sharing site (SmugMug), and if I were a Flickr user, I’d be optimistic about the direction in which they’re moving things.

    But as a non-user, and in limbo now with Google Plus (and therefore, the only native way to hack my own Google Photos album gallery) being discontinued, I’m facing the same issue re: where to host my galleries. ALL my photos are in Google Photos (in addition to local storage of course), so that’s the easiest place for me to create my online albums. And, my family uses Google Photos, so it’s the perfect place to share with specific people. But, it’s a crappy place to make photos PUBLIC. So I’m stuck waiting for developers to start making cool things with the brand new Photos API and hope someone has public galleries on their radar. Or, I start using my personal blog entries as links to my shared albums, which doesnt really have a nice flow to it.

    Flickr Pro and SmugMug basic plan are essentially the same price for unlimited photo storage, and both would give me a public “photo” presence. I’d actually thought about trying Flickr Pro after the announcement, but maybe the more niche, long-standing, paid-only service without Flickr’s baggage (and user base to cater to) makes a more stable long-term choice. I have no photos currently in either location, so it’s not about losing anything but rather about making and displaying public albums.

    Anyway, I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts as you work through this for yourself. It’s certainly been weighing on my mind. Though, I have too many current photos to process first, before I can even *think* about showing them anywhere!

  2. Thank you! Lychee does look like just the thing. Of course, now I have to decide if I want to run it on Dreamhost or on my home server…

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