When I first built my website things where different, the web was still very much a media to look at and navigate, rather than to interact with like it is now. Initially I hand built HTML pages to show my photos and organised the various albums into a file structure, to save on server space and download times I compressed all the images down to 30k. Laughable when you think about what we can do now, but it served a purpose. They were my photos on my website and I thought that was a million miles away from having them sit in dusty Truprint envelopes under the bed.
From flat pages I moved to an open source CMS, Plogger, that I hosted and adapted to my own needs, and whilst it wasn’t great it made the process of publishing photos less painfull. But as with most things in life, the novelty wears off. As much as one would like to, there isn’t time to get stuck in and develop functionality and improved scripting because there’s too much of that to do at work. When this happens things don’t get used and stagnate, it becomes a corner of the web that sits redundant. I don’t update my photos because there’s no technological incentive, and I still have to work everything through Photoshop. More importantly, it’s not a scalable solution both in terms of time and space.
Also, there’s privacy to consider and this is going to be a big deal over the next few years. My brother has always said that he doesn’t want pictures of himself on the web, a little paranoid maybe, but its also his right and I should respect that. My other brother has kids and pictures of them is a whole different ball game. I don’t have the time to develop permissions on my own site so that only family or friends can see them, so why not let flickr do it for me?
I’d always thought of flickr as a site for people who didn’t have their own site, which is of course, ridiculous. For a few quid a month I get to upload an unlimited amount of images at whatever resolution comes off my camera, that’s really good. Not only that, the application interface works better than a desktop operating system, who could have predicted that we would be at this point so soon?
To a certain extent I’m admitting defeat, my photo folder cant possibly keep up with what the people at Yahoo can offer, and to not embrace it would be as pointless as it is unpractical. I know this isn’t in keeping with the pioneering spirit of open source development, but that spirit is based on ideal scenarios of intelligence and time, both of which I don’t have an endless supply of.
So what if the photos aren’t on my site, the web is changing, and that was always going to happen.