2013 — The Year I Forgot About Flickr

Let’s summarize 2013 in one word: Hectic.

For those of you who don’t have a year available to read this post but who have some opinion on Flickr, just skip to the last bolded sub-header. The rest of you, I apologize, for this is more of a journal entry than an entertaining post.

Surprisingly, one of the shortest non-introductory blocks of text involves the most stressful aspects of the past year.

Between unexpectedly taking on a (very energetic) new puppy, planning a wedding comprised mostly of DIY projects (most of which Miklos and I did ourselves), actually having the wedding, honeymooning, uh, becoming a pregnant couple, trying to get that puppy trained (… the actual puppy), there has been little time to enjoy photography as a hobby.

I know that makes no sense to people who really love taking pictures.

But I’m one of those people! And at one stage in the game, unbelievably, it became true this year.

Chapter 17: A laptop too dead.

OK, a more in-depth explanation is that my beloved laptop died, and though I did have my files, I couldn’t move them over to my own computer. OK, I could. I could move them to Miklos’s old desktop, but that just felt wrong. I didn’t want to take his desktop. Also, Junior eats everything in sight each second he isn’t supervised or in his crate. He’s getting better but remains in puppy mode.

buddy comedy dogs

Yeah, the brown one of these guys.

My laptop wasn’t that old, and hadn’t died until we installed Windows 8 after a recent formatting. A thunderstorm had knocked the power out months before; laptop became rife with restart issues.

When we found a new laptop, Miklos happened to be called upon by a colleague to fix the very problem that happened with mine. And wouldn’t you know it, after many gruelling hours, he did. Because he rules. That solution also worked for my ‘dead’ laptop, after some struggle.

I use my old hard drive as an external now, and back up my new stuff to it accordingly like a real grown-up.

That’s the laptop story. Now let’s move on to the pregnancy story.

Oh right, I’m having a baby, as I’ve mentioned 100 times already.

For the men reading: “Wah wah wah wah wah wah wah.” That’s all you’re probably going to make of this part, unless you’re the sympathetic type, which few of my male friends are, so why would my readers be? I’m not a particularly sensitive woman, that explains my friends, and that’s the way I like them — usually.

For the women and sweet, sweet men out there — I never knew the reality of it, but being pregnant is ridiculously hard.

I mean, sometimes it’s pretty cool in all its weirdness (someone I haven’t met lives inside my body!), but when it’s bad, it’s very bad. Shouldn’t we have evolved by now? Do our immune systems have the same bias about having children that I used to, and therefore lower themselves to extremes to see just how much you are willing to take to bring this little potential trouble-maker into a world already so full of them? But no. No evolution. Our pregnant immune systems lower so that we don’t reject the baby like we would one of those bull-nose piercings (and by the way, your body was right to do that).

Now the important thing was, I had an onion on my belt. Which was the style at the time…

Carrying this little guy unexpectedly drained me of all my energy — something I am not used to. Sitting still doesn’t come naturally to me.

Plus the dogs.

Not to mention being pregnant also gave me heartburn to die from for months. The less fun part about harbouring a child within you is that you can’t take anything to treat even the simplest problem (which makes simple problems significantly less so), and even if you can, you’re consumed with worry 100% of the time about whether or not that treatment will harm your strange little traveller. I was very lucky not to have much nausea.

My old friend Pepto Bismol sits dried up and crusty, awaiting my return. Maybe I’ll throw that out actually.

Well, anyway, so many photo runs just didn’t happen because of all of that this year.

I don’t feel up to things most of the time, and the cold I mentioned the other day is — due to my lowered immune system and inability to even take an Advil — destroying me from the inside out.

OK, we’re getting to the point here!

When I stopped taking pictures for fun, I stopped posting to a site that I have loved for years: Flickr.

Earlier this year, it seemed Flickr was about to fall apart anyway. They began offering nearly unlimited space for everybody — something many of us had been paying $25 a year for before. This lowered expectations, made a lot of members scared that it’d become the next Instagram, filled with crappily-filtered phone-ography.

Those of us who had supported the site for years (and those of us who had just gotten a renewed 2 year subscription… grr) were slighted.

And maybe on some parts of the site, it has become that. But I’ve been back to using Flickr since a few days ago, and I’ve noticed absolutely no decline in my contacts’ photos, as well as on Explore — the site’s Best Of, as it were. I have yet to delve back into Groups, but I am sure I won’t be disappointed.

It’s the same great site, except now it’s more powerful, and everyone can post without the prior limit to 200 photos viewable. And the layout is pretty cool, something I feel they stole from Miklos’s photo site. But he stole that bit from Steve Allen anyway. (I’m coming up short with a video clip of that Simpsons quote. Sorry.)

The reach of Flickr is insane. Here’s an example:

flickr viewer stats

Now, I’ve chopped this up a little, but just because I didn’t care to show you how bad my views were for the past month before I started posting again. Hint: They were exactly like that first one — which actually is about 200-300 hits per day, which actually isn’t terrible considering I had not interacted with anyone for months.

But this morning at 5AM EST, I woke up (still sick) and I had 3115 views already. My last photo was posted yesterday afternoon. I remember why I love this site again. There is so much interest in other people’s work, so much passion, so many talented photographers, many of whom constantly communicate with each other and create tight-knit, supportive communities on such an enormous site.

Man! itoulin Island

Whatever Flickr did, they did it right. And I like taking pictures again.

I’m making it a habit to post as often as I can again. It’s nice to feel like there is an online community that doesn’t encourage whining and boasting. Don’t get me wrong, I like those sites, but there are more than enough of them.

Flickr’s communities continue to watch each other and flourish, even after the site made what some once considered to be a monumental error. So it’s nice, yeah.

That’s all I had to say, but I really wanted to bore you for an hour.

So, how’s your Saturday? Good?

About Nik

Writer, occasional photographer, common street juggler. I enjoy cooking, crafting, a clean house, animals, and senses of humour. Oh yeah and being the mom of my boy John.
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