As a part of my spring cleaning this year, I’ve been editing the contents of my hard drives, the heaps of stuff in my studio, the mounds of excess children’s clothing, the almost embarrassing boxes of wine bottles, the t-shirts with more holes than cloth and my Flickr contacts.

Over the past few months, I’ve not been keeping up with Flickr. At first I thought I’d just lost interest. Then I assumed that I had insufficient time. Then I surmised that I was tired of the game of commenting on things that were sometimes only marginally interesting. Then I realised that all of these were true and I needed to rethink my approach to Flickr.

Flickr has grown in leaps and bounds over the past couple of years. Gradually and almost imperceptibly, I accumulated over a hundred contacts. At one time, when I had more free time, I kept up with most of them. The more time it took, the more it became like work (especially when time became more precious) and I stopped enjoying making the comments and forming the ties with people. Finally I stopped even commenting on the photos of friends on a regular basis (even though I looked at them regularly) because it was simply an overwhelming display of “things you haven’t yet done you horrid person” every time I went to my main Flickr contacts page.

To that end, I’ve cut out from my list all the contacts who are not:

  • related to me
  • friends in real life
  • friends on-line, but of some substance
  • Newfoundland photographers
  • people who regularly post photos that I want to see (may also be in the previous groups)

I’ve stopped using the contact mechanism as a virtual bookmark for “people whose photos look interesting and maybe I’ll come back again and have a better look”. I now use actual bookmarks in Firefox for those (filed in a Flickr directory and dumped monthly).I’ve enjoyed Flickr very much in the past and want to keep it manageable. Hopefully at some point the Flickr powers that be will institute “collections” for contacts and favourites (I’m not editing this scary heap), the way they have for sets.

Addendum: The collections feature for sets? Very nice indeed! Makes things much tidier!


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