I suppose I’ve seen this coming for a while now – but an online service I have for 13 nows year seems to finally be pushing me away for good. Flickr, acquired then abandoned by Yahoo, has new owners now, who are ending the free service as we know it. If you don’t pay a subscription fee, all but 1000 of your photos will be deleted. I have more than 1000 photos stored there, but I do not see the point of paying for the site.
I don’t upload every photo I take to Flickr. I don’t even upload my nicest ones. I haven’t really used Flickr as my primary photo storage or sharing site for a while now – partly because I’ve been concerned about the viability of the company and partly because I have been reluctant at times to put photos (full of very personal metadata) online and partly because there are other photo sharing sites I prefer.
Even if I’m not posting photos to Flickr, I use others’ photos from the site regularly in my work. Flickr has been a wonderful trove of openly licensed photos, and I use these photos in my slide-decks and in my articles.
Part of me thinks I need to come up with an alternative plan for which photos (photos from which site, that is) I use, particularly as the new Flickr is poised to delete so many of the images I’ve used and linked to for years now. (So many pigeon photos, which thankfully I have kept local copies of each time I’ve used one.) Or perhaps I’ll just use Alan Levine’s photos exclusively from here on out – he’s sticking with Flickr. Or maybe I’ll redesign my website so there aren’t photos. Or maybe I’ll stop blogging altogether. I’m getting so sick of the Internet, and the ways in which Internet companies disrespect our data and our memories. I don’t know.