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June 7, 2013

So Long, Flickr!

A few weeks ago, out of the blue, I got an email from Flickr notifying me that their site had been "improved."  There is a new user interface (which is horrible), but that only represents changes on the surface of the site.  With this planned update Flickr has fundamentally changed the underlying structure of their site.

It used to operate with a "freemium" model in which casual users could use the site for free, and a smaller group of people who wanted to use the site professionally paid a fee for more space and more control over their settings.  I have paid for this service since 2006.  Never again.

Flickr will now operate on an advertising model, in which ads will appear next to all Flickr photos.  To maximize the number of images on the site, they are now giving away a terabyte of free space to all users, thus making "pro" accounts redundant.

I bring this all up because a few years ago I went to a lot of trouble to synch up all the images on this site with my Flickr account.  Up until now, when you clicked on one of my illustrations on this site, it took you to that same image in my Flickr account so that people could easily comment on the images, share them, favorite them, etc.  It was also a great way to keep groups of images organized.

Last week I replaced all of my illustrations on Flickr with this image:

I did this for a few reasons: 1) I am mad at Flickr and the poor way they handled this transition (no advanced warning, no options provided) 2) My illustrations generate hundreds of thousands of views per year on Flickr and as an illustrator, I am not okay with my copyrighted intellectual property being used to generate advertising income for Yahoo (without my permission!)  3) This site is one giant advertisement - for ME!  Because of that, I intentionally keep this site ad-free for my readers and I do not want ads surrounding my work on other sites either.

I have moved all of the images back over to this blog.  It was kind of a pain, but it also gave me an opportunity to put copyright notices on all of my images, which is something I've been meaning to do for a long time.

So now if you want to find one of my old images, I suggest you use the "CATEGORIES" links on the righthand side of this blog.  You can also use the search bar at the very top of this page to track down anything you're looking for.  If any of you have images favorited or bookmarked from my Flickr, I have also provided links from Flickr back to this blog.

There were a few images in my Flickr account that were never posted on this blog, so I will begin posting those here next week.  Get ready for a tour of illustrations-gone-by!


Unknown said...

Haven't there (almost) always been ads on flickr pages if you either weren't logged in or weren't a pro member (one or the other, or both, I'm not sure)? Like, I think ads have been present next to your images for a long while now, depending on the status of the visitor.

Anyway, interesting post. It makes me reconsider using (and paying for) flickr. I barely use it these days, and so the update didn't register very strongly to me. I have a lot of images on there, dating back many years. They don't get a lot of visits or anything. But it's nice to have the archive, and a central, visible place for visitors to happen across it (as opposed to the netherland of my personal site).

I'll look into the details of this update..

On a somewhat related note: when commenting on your site I HAVE to choose a profile to post from. I prefer simply using name/email (as I'm able to do on the drop target blog).

Alec Longstreth said...

Hey Ryan, thanks for the comment. I've never known Flickr to use ads before, but maybe I'm wrong about that? Has anyone else ever experienced this?

I'll look into the commenting settings for this site - thanks for the info!

Ryan G said...

According to this old thread - - it looks a Pro account would remove ads both from the Pro user's viewing experience, and also from other user's (be they Pro or free) who are visiting the Pro user's page. So, you're right. Users, free or Pro, were never seeing ads next to your images.

And now I can choose name/url for my comment. You either changed the setting, or my options were limited when I was viewing the site mobily (not sure how to spell that).

Alec Longstreth said...

Hey Ryan, thanks for that link! It's good to know that Pro users may NOT have ads next to their content. I still stand by my decision to remove all my illustrations however - I'm done with Flickr!

I changed the comment settings to match the ones on the Drop Target site, since you said that was more convenient! ;)