2008.04.28

Truancy

16.43.10 - Mark

Put simply, this month has simply been weird and a little confusing, and decently busy. I've been online less, and between photos on flickr and messages on twitter posting stuff here has just fallen off on the side. It's not lack of content, it's a simple lack of time. Other things have fallen off to the side as well, like watching movies (I've had the same Netflix rentals for a month), random web surfing and reading books all of which provides occasional add ons to the site. Why? Several reasons.

Part of it has been traveling. In the last two weeks I've been out and about far more than I've been in. Three days for Savannah GA, a day or two futzing around Surry County with camera in tow, a weekend in and around Brevard, NC, three days in Morganton, NC, and another day going to and from Lexington and Winston Salem, NC. Travel adds up quickly

Another thing has been photography related, well above and beyond the traveling with camera. I've taken tons of photos and didn't exactly stay on top of the processing, so that's added up. I've also been working on a photo printing comparison (20 some sets of the same 15 photos) which ordering and organizing alone ate up a working week faster than I expected. I'm also working on entering a couple prints into a judged photography competition and those prints needed ordered, and framed (which looks like it eats up time tomorrow.) Then there's some small attempts at shooting non "art" photos for profit.

Some of it's just life. Why bother with the website where there's stuff to hear/see/do/experiance. I like having this site, I like posting content, I even feel a little "bad" when I don't post in a while, so the sites not going away. Hopefully I'll get back in the habbit and post some more stuff as I start clearing out the backlog of content, or start finishing projects worth writing about. Until then...

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2008.04.12

I Fear Change - Appease Me!

02.48.46 - Mark

Earlier this week Flickr added the ability to post short (90 seconds or less) videos to the site for it's pro users (people that fork over $25 a year for the service) and now a while bunch of people are up in arms saying that by adding video the site is going to turn into youtube, which is complete crock, and are boycotting groups that allow video, block people that post video, and some claim they'll be defecting from the site or otherwise demanding the new feature be taken offline and thrown into a deep dark dungeon and never be allowed to see the light of day again.

They may as well be chanting "I fear change - appease me!", which would be preferable since it would 1) do just as much for their "cause" 2) would tell you more about how far along they are in terms of mental and emotional development and 3) would simply be more entertaining.

For one thing Flickr is a business. Sure it's a business that makes you feel like it's all warm and soft and friendly and that it's totally hip to it's friends customers interests, and to be fair it does to a lot to be customer friendly (it is a community site after all) but it's still a business, and this is a business move.

Videos uploads are only open to those with pro accounts, so to upload video you have to pay. New pro membership benefit == more members == more money. Then there's the fact that yahoo (which owns flickr) doesn't exactly have a strong video presence, and flickr is a closer fit than a lot of things it could have tried.

Second, comparing Flickr to YouTube is pretty silly when you look at it. YouTube is free to all, and after a few family friendly parental type controls the site is pretty much a free for all. YouTube also isn't exactly interested in quality. Flickr seems to be sort of the opposite. The video clip I uploaded to flickr looks almost as good there as it does when I play it locally, and the player interface isn't bloated or bland. So you don't have the total dreck we've all come to expect from youtube clips.

The third thing is since you have to pay to use the service, you're setting a good barrier to entry. Everyone has seen a myspace page that made you want to suck your own eyes out with a drinking straw, and look at all the number of craptacular free blogs and websites out there. Now how many sites have you seen with a registered domain name (and I'm not talking a .tk or some other free domain) and real paid hosting? Nowhere near as many. Pay walls keep a certain level of junk out, so again, none of the youtube free for all.

Should flickr added a "Don't show me video" option? Probably, and it would surprise me if they don't (or if someone fails to come up with a no video hack) but I'm finding it a useful feature. I've got a bunch of short clips that are neat, and worth sharing, but nothing I really care to piece together into a video. So while things like youtube and blip (another video service) fail, flickr video works, and gives me more of a reason to keep up my pro account.

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