Thursday, October 17, 2013

Elegy for Flickr

OK.  So this isn't a poem.  I don't really feel up to composing poetry today.  But the word "elegy" certainly reflects the intent of this post.

I really love swapping.  Making something for someone else - especially someone I've never met -  really pushes me out of my comfort zone and makes me try things I might not always feel confident about.  Maybe I would have tried the face on the Girl On A Swing that I mentioned in my last post if one of my quilt partners had requested it.  Who knows?

One of my first-ever swap projects

I have to say that I am more than a little disappointed that the Flickr platform has become so difficult and unpleasant to use since they made the changes this summer.  I have noticed that the participation on Flickr just isn't what it used to be.  There are fewer swaps and fewer participants in the swaps that do happen.  Discussions and conversations that used to go on just don't happen.

A Swap Package - Craft Apron, FQs, and an embroidered hoop
I've heard from some former Flickr participants that it takes so lng for the pictures to load and uses up so much bandwidth that they just can't afford to use Flickr any more.  Or, they can't get Flickr to load at all on their iPad or other device.  And where I used to be able to use Flickr on my phone, not only does it take forever for the app to load, the new mobile site just won't take me where I need to go.  I use Flickr Mail and Groups the most, but since Flickr is pushing random pictures on its mobile site, those are the places I have the hardest time getting to.

My "Ugly Quilt" has become one of my favorite quilts - Totally inspired by a Flickr challenge

And while I love Instagram, it just can't take the place of Flickr.  Because IG is so linear, unless you're looking for something in particular (and you know what people have used as the hashtag), you're likely to miss the good stuff.  It's not like you can just spend an hour on IG looking at pictures and adding things you like to your favorites like you could on Flickr.  Or make a mosaic or gallery of the ones you want to try.

And I love that the "Ugly Quilt" has blocks on the back - the challenge was to use ALL of the ugly fabric

The personal result of this is that I don't seem to feel nearly as creative as I did just a few months ago.  I have trouble getting excited about projects, and I don't seem as likely to say, "I love that!  I'm going to try it!" And actually do it.

The challenge here was words that start with "M"

And the people on Flickr were so helpful.  If you had a question or were having difficulty with a project, there were kind folks there who would offer help and advice.  And have you noticed that they're not "contacts" any more?   As of yesterday, they are "followers" now. What's in a name? I kind of liked that we were more like friends and equals than hangers-on and gawkers (although maybe we were those as well).

Hexies?  NEVER thought I would love hexies until I found Flickr.
Even more, the comments and feedback helped keep me excited and enthusiastic.  And it's the enthusiasm, I think, that I miss the most.  On IG, you can "Like" something and just keep moving.  The comments on Flickr were much more interactive and meaningful, I think. Not that you can't comment on IG, but it seems that few people do.

Wonky?  I never thought wonky was my style - until I saw all the fun wonky quilting on Flickr

So, alas!  Goodbye, Flickr.  I would gladly exchange the sharp, clear photos for the ease of use and community spirit Flickr used to have.

So, as much as I hate to say this...  Flickr,

How have the Flickr changes impacted you?


  1. I is hard to know what the heck is going on with Flickr anymore............but I enjoyed your little trip through "old Flickrland".....and I agree..........I love swapping and am much more likely to make something special for a swap partner just because of that warm fuzzy feeling it brings..........I enjoyed your post but please don't stop being are one in a million.........

  2. Flickr is so difficult to use now! And you are right about Instagram. There just isn't the interaction. I wonder if there are people outside the quilting world who like the "new" flickr.

  3. I agree with what you says totally. The new flickr is just not good. Even on a very fast Ethernet connection the pictures take forever to load.

  4. Agreed. I liked Flickr the way it was, but they clearly have another audience in mind - one with a much shorter attention span. Lots of folks have just stopped posting like they used to.... :(

  5. I totally agree with everything you said here! I really miss the community spirit and swaps that Flickr used to be perfect for. There is a new crafty type site that I'm going to give a go to see if it turns into something like the old Flickr, Kollabora. If not maybe we need to set up our own swap and encouragement site :) please don't stop creating!

    1. I had been talking to my husband about this and said that there was talk about setting up a site to "replace" flickr. He said that would be very difficult unless you had lots of servers to handle the traffic it would need to handle. I am so sad we are at this place with flickr. I miss the old one too and the friends there. So many have just stopped posting. Hard to do a bee there now.

  6. If you like to swap there are other platforms for swapping.

    Check out Swap-Bot. It's not a picture hosting site but rather a site just for swapping. I've been there just about a year and have been creatively inspired. It's where I learned about Dotee dolls, which I make an swap all the time now. I'm a beginner quilter and I've joined swaps for different quilt blocks that have helped me up my skills (wacky 9 patches and polaroid blocks). I've also started making art dolls and swapped handmade stuffed toys.

    You can join public swaps, join group swaps (where you have to join a separate group to be part of the swap) or find folks to do one on one private swaps.

    It's fun and FREE.

    (thus ends my pimping of swap bot. . .I don't work for them or anything but I really like them and thought you might enjoy checking out a place that's all about swapping)

  7. I hate you will give up Flickr! I have adapted to most of the changes, perhaps because I don't IG or Facebook or tweet or anything, so it would be very hard for me to give it up. Perhaps also because I'm a relatively new user (2 years).

    The main change that frustrates me is that the large pics (I guess) make using Flickr pretty much impossible on the iPad. Even on the computer it's slow loading, I miss the sets, and I miss being able to scan someone's photostream quickly, even if they have many, many pics. So I feel you, but I'm not ready to bow out yet, especially with no backup.

  8. Not having been a longtime flickr user, I hear you loud and clear. Using it from an iPhone is futile. I hope you're not giving it up. I hope you're not giving up swaps either.

  9. I found flickr just to user unfriendly so I wont go there. I hope that the swaps will continue outside of flickr. They are fun and inspiring. Thanks for sharing your creativity and thoughts as well.


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