Flickr was 8 years young yesterday. I love Flickr. Sure, I have a few gripes. I’d like them to permit hosted domain names. I’d like a little more customisation over the look. Most of all I’d like – need – to see more of an effort on data liberation. Stop being such a silo, Mr Flickr, and let me get my photos out when I want to! Many people (myself included, from time to time) bemoan the lack of innovation in recent years.
That’s a bit unkind though. Because Flickr is already the most versatile and dynamic photo sharing site on the web. Bar none. Smug Mug is pretty smart, but falls short here and there – and is far too expensive to boot. Google is trying, but falls short in a whole bunch of areas. And there was Zooomr. Wtf happened to Zooomr? That was quite a promising venture. That was innovative, and exciting, at the time. It still exists, but seems rather neglected. To put it mildly.
I like the Organizer on Flickr. I can sort my photos, albums, collection as I want them. I like the Gallery feature, although I use it sparingly. I love the vast collection of easily searchable photos – the ability to locate shots by camera type is great if you’re researching a camera. I love the community. Most of all, I love the fact that for $25 a year, I can store all 8,000 plus of my photos online, trouble free, shared with the world.
I first joined Flickr in 2005 sometime, about a year into its life. I went Pro in October of 2006, after a hard drive catastrophe caused me to lose about several months worth of photos. I realised I needed a back up, and Flickr was the answer. I’ve spent more than half my photographic life on Flickr, having bought my first digicam (a very humble 1.3mp Sanyo) in late 1999. I’ve uploaded 8615 photos to date, sorted into 477 albums.
The stats page goes on to tell me that 8058 of them have been viewed at least once. Which means I have 557 photos which have never, ever been looked at. A total of 516 have comments, which means 8099 have not yet merited a scribble in the comment box. Flickr users have taken the time to favourite 411 of them. My most viewed photo, by a huge margin, is Saxy Girl. I can’t imagine why….
My number one photo though? Measured by Flickr’s mysterious ‘Interestingness’ meter, it is the shot below. I imagine it takes account of how many times it’s been viewed (it’s number 38 in the list with 300 views), by how many times it’s been ‘favourited’ (equal first place with 7) and how many comments it’s attracted (top place again with 38). It was even deemed worthy enough to go to the (legendary, now defunct) DMU Lightbox. Hence all the comments…
I like this photo. A lot. It’s one of my favourites. I took it in early 2010. I don’t entirely remember where now, other than it was in Mexico. The camera responsible was my trusty of Panasonic TZ5, which is now a positively outdated, old fashioned relic. And yet it is still in service and still producing great shots. Admittedly, I did do a bit of work in Photoshop with this one though…
Anyway. Thank you Flickr, for everything. The service, the storage, the value, the memories. Here’s to another 8 great years.