I remember when Yahoo first purchased Flickr and there was some discontent amongst regular users of the service, the feeling was that over time Yahoo would kill Flickr. Well it’s been very slow, but it’s happening alright.
The latest “improvements” are a big kick in the teeth, design wise it’s just horrible. But it’s the business model that is kicking me while I’m on the floor. Now they are offering 1TB of storage for free users (with advertising), you can pay to double that storage for a stupid amount of $500 a year – What The Duck!? Also an account that does nothing but hide adverts for $50. Please read this great article by Derek Powazek [Full Disclosure: Derek Powazek has been a Flickr member since before it was called Flickr, is a friend of the founders, and the husband of Heather Champ, who was Flickr’s Director of Community from 2005-2010.]
I think this could be the final nail in the coffin for Flickr. In my opinion Flickr needed improving but not in the way Yahoo have gone with it.
This also leads me in to some concerns about social media and sharing photography in general. A lot of these sites have dubious terms and conditions when it comes to copyright and even myself I am to date unsure which ones are worse than others and whether to recommend to my photography students to post or not to post, it really shouldn’t be that difficult. I don’t think it’s much to ask to NOT strip out the metadata that contains details about the copyright and ownership of a photograph. How about a service that you pay for and is straight down the line and honest!??
I’m seriously considering leaving Flickr, but I have been involved in a photographic community of some sort for over 10 years. In fact it was Photoblogging that really inspired me to get in to photography in the first place.
Photoblogging was good, you had your own site and you blogged images. A journal or diary of photographs really seem to strike a chord with a lot of people and before you knew it there was this whole community, people visiting each others blogs to leave comments or help each other improve.
I was lucky enough to attend the European Photoblogger meet up in London back in September 2005. I met some really great people some of whom I am still in touch with now and some whom I count as very good friends. What could be more wonderful than that?
But after a while Flickr arrived and everyone slowly moved over there and for sometime it was really good. I felt it did loose some of the personal touch that the Photoblogs community had, but it was still good.
So what now? Is it time to go back to Photoblogging?
Well Brandon Stone has some ideas up his sleeve for Photoblogs.org – a website set up to act as a directory of photoblogs and people could check out other photographers etc.
So I wanted to put some ideas down in writing and I’d like to encourage others to comment below with their ideas.
- Firstly you need a photoblog
I’m not good with coding, I know design and what looks good but setting something up can be a little tricky. So I’d like to see a resource section on Photoblogs.org that will help people set something up. Maybe the sharing of templates for people to create their own photoblogs.
- A directory of Photoblogs
This should still be at the heart of it. A listing of any photoblog submitted and keep the functionality that allowed people to tag, keyword or describe blogs, so people knew what to expect when visiting. I’ll always remember someone commenting on my listing “Drab British weather” – that always made me laugh and is so true.
- Interviews & Features
I’d like to see a magazine/blog format of interviews and features.
- Featured images & Photographers
It would be great if photos and photographers could get featured on the Photoblogs site. I don’t know whether it is possible but I’m thinking of a Facebook type button on all photoblogs for liking an image or liking a blog. This then feeds back to Photoblogs.org where images and blogs are featured.
- Community community community!
This is where Flickr really came in to it’s own, the ability to create groups for sharing photos of a certain nature but not just photos, the ability to create discussions. I would so love to see something like this on Photoblogs.org – I could set up a group, choose whether to make that group private or public, invite people by email etc. Allow people to post images, engage in conversation etc. These groups serve lots of purposes, from a group for people to post sunsets or still life images, to one dedicated to hardcore street photography or meet ups around the world. The ability to create discussions, for people to join in, for people to ‘like’ comments and get notifications when people reply to a discussion.
I think we/photographers need to take back a slice of the internet and create our own community. Brandon Stone in my opinion is the man to make this happen, perhaps with some help of Lorissa and Gordon??