Flickr Flounder

Letting Flickr Flounder

My Pro subscription to Flickr expired and I opted not to renew it. Oh, I had plenty of warning so it’s not like it slipped my mind or something. It was a conscious choice I made. I had considered it for some time. I was posting fewer photos to Flickr and at the same time realizing that for me, there was no value in the pro account. Flickr is where I started sharing my photos online and I met some great people through Flickr, however, I no longer perceive any value in it. At least not any value I can attach hard-earned dollars to.

When I first bought the pro subscription I was excited by the stats I hadn’t previously seen. It was fascinating to see where my photos were being used and what incoming traffic was generating visits. Then, over time, I began really paying attention to the stats provided by Flickr and realized they were mostly useless, unless I wanted to know what Flickr group was directing traffic to my photos. So over the past several weeks I began compiling stats on my Flickr stats. It was astonishing to see that over 60% of the traffic visiting my photos on Flickr comes from an “unknown” source. I hadn’t previously paid enough attention to realize the consistently high number of visits from “unknown” sources.

Pineapple anyone?

What really drove this home was when, out of curiosity, I used Google’s reverse image search on some of my most visited photos and discovered where they were being used. And no, this isn’t about copyright, the majority of my images on Flickr are Creative Commons licensed. This is about knowledge. This is about knowing who is using my photos and where visitors to my photo stream were coming from. Something Flickr couldn’t provide me. It was quite surprising to find my photos being used on sites as popular as Gizmodo, and yet not a single mention of traffic from Gizmodo in my Flickr stats. Surely some traffic was being directed to my Flickr stream from Gizmodo, the particular photo in question was my highest viewed photo. Disappointing. Very disappointing.

Then came Google+. I’m not really sure what that means yet as I’ve only posted a couple of cell phone pics to it so far (and one so bad I’m embarrassed to admit it’s mine) but it is different. If you’ve read any of my stuff in the past you know I’m not a social butterfly online. However, Google+ gave me something Flickr did not. Quality information I can easily sort and the ability to easily interact (with photos!). No “Yea, you’re a winner!” banners cluttering up the comments stream, no invitations to join a dozen groups I have little interest in, no one wondering why my images hadn’t made it to “Explore” (something I knew would never happen {nor did I care} since I lack the online social interaction to meet Flickr’s “interestingness” formula). Whether I’ll stick with Google+ or not is hard to say. But for now it is my chosen method of online social interaction. As for my photos I will continue to post here as well as to my Google+ galleries (that is, if I ever stop driving the Jeep and actually pick up the camera for anything other than a snapshot – photos from the camera phone will have to do for now).

My Flickr photo stream is no longer a part of the same RSS feed as the blog, so if you want to continue following anything I post on Flickr you can subscribe to that RSS here or follow me on Google+.


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