Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Flickr Antics

Joonie Jatho just sent me a mail asking if I will ever blog again. Thank you Joonie. Of course I will. I know it's been a while. I guess I have been spending way too much time in photoshop and on Flickr. As a result I have used up my 200 pictures that come with a free account and I'm rather proud of most of them so I don't really want to delete any. I'm left wondering if I should go for a pro account but something is holding me back. I'll get to that later.

It's a funny world, the SL community on Flickr, and rather addictive. I have wondered why people, myself included, would spend so much time making, processing and posting pictures that will most likely be forgotten the next day. Is it the calling to produce true art, to express ourselves in a creative manner or is it the stream of views, comments and favourites we hope to get and with it the appreciation or even adoration we gain from our fellow flickerites? Maybe after all it's just an ego thing. Or part of it is anyway.

It would explain the extensive commenting and the virtual pats on the back that are constantly exchanged. It is a given that the more you comment on others the more comments you get back. The more comments you get the more you are loved, no? I guess it's like with every other community site whether it be Flickr, MySpace, SLProfiles even SL itself, we want to belong, be part of it. This does introduce some strange phenomenons though.

It's rare to get a "real" comment on a picture. What do I mean by that? A real comment in my opinion is just what it says it is, something a person wants to say about your work, good or bad. Not that I think all the "Gorgeous picture" or "Stunning work" compliments are not real but in all the comments made on my pictures there is just one in which the author states how she thinks the picture could be improved. Thank you Luna! That took courage because it's "just not done". In a way it is sad since we could all learn from each other if we had Luna's courage.

I know, there are groups you can add your pictures to just for that specific purpose, but that's not what I mean. I'm not saying every picture should be thoroughly dissected and evaluated, I'm just looking for some honesty. Usually the honesty is translated into "I don't like it so I will not comment".

Another strange phenomenon I've noticed is the tactics people use to get their pictures noticed. Adding it to a bizillion groups for example or adding a thousand tags or making sure you post it at a certain time for higest visibility. I caught myself doing it. I'm just as guilty of it as the next guy. All of that so I could belong and that brings me back to the pro account. I could easily get one. The cost isn't exactly a problem but why would I need to add hundreds more pictures? Why would I need to get my fix of comments on a neverending stream of pictures? Maybe I should stick to my 200 picture limit and only add pictures I think are really worth it, replacing an existing one. By doing so I would protect myself from the temptation to enter the rat race for pats on the back and I can go back to work on the pictures that really matter to me regardless of the comments.

But that's just a thought because if I started replacing older pictures I would lose the evolution in my work. It is most certainly there and it would be a shame to erase it. After all it is very nice to see how people's work progresses and changes or takes new turns. The endless creative possiblities was what sucked me into it and is what I still enjoy. I suppose I will just have to grow a spine and resist the temptation of picture vomiting and underhand tactics to get them noticed. The comments that matter will probably be there regardless and and I'll remind myself it's not supposed to be a popularity contest when I see 20 favourites appear on the next mediocre picture.