I joined flickr in February 2005. That was one year after it saw the light of the internet and shortly before it was bought by Yahoo. At this time, flickr became the synonyme for online photo-sharing for the upcoming years. It was fresh and sexy, a vivid community, people were engaged; the community groups were created and the social aspect became even more important. Flickr was one of the first websites ever where I was happy to pay for a service; I became a Pro member after a while.
I don’t know when the decline started. The reasons are well known I guess. Several bad business decisions, like the censorship “scandal”, sale of CC-licensed photos, unwelcome re-designs and completely missing out the smartphone trend. The thing which bothered me the most though, was the decline in the overall social interaction between people on flickr. Discussion groups went into wastelands, image comments became places for automated spam and favs were not used any more to show appreciation of one’s work, but to generate more followers for others.
People, you who auto-generate comments, favs and follows, I feel nothing but contempt for you.
After the recent change of the account structure I did not renew my pro account.
So what are the alternatives for flickr out there. Honestly, I don’t see any which attract me. Facebook? Certainly not. Google Plus – might be, but it seems that it’s just not taking off. Instagram – sure, but it’s not really comparable. Self-Hosting? For the moment, yes. That’s what I’ll increasingly try to do here.
And flickr? Honestly, I’m just waiting that the Yahoo mothership will be sold and flickr will be shut down. Until then I’ll delete more and more of my content there. My contributions have anyway been on hold for a while.