Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Flickr Addiction

It starts innocently enough. You use Flickr.com a few times to hunt down photos of things you want to draw or translate into fabric... and then you pop into the Flickr photostreams of friends who link you there, to see their photos. And then you figure it'd be fun to put up some of your photos to share with family and friends.

And (sort of like blogging) it develops a life of its own. Someone you don't even know sees your picture, and makes a comment telling you that your picture is terrific. Someone posts a flashy award icon (a blue ribbon! a golden award! a sparkly star!) to your photo saying that your photo is amazing. And c'mon, who wouldn't want a pretty gold star on their picture?

You are invited to add this exceptional image to
GOLD STAR AWARD (invite needed)

please add the tag GoldStarAward

This Great Photographic Art was made by a Diamond Class Photographer!
Please add your photo to Flickr Diamond

And you feel flattered and happy and then you go look at their pictures, and make a comment or two., because really, it's only polite. And then you get comments inviting you to add your photo to invitation-only groups of the most discerning photographs, and how can you refuse? You're honored that someone noticed budding photographic brilliance and you have fun poking around those photograhs, too. You realize that the more groups you post your photograph in, the more people will see it... so you start joining groups and adding your pictures and getting more comments.

Then, while exploring someone else's photos, you stumble on a link to the Photo Face-Off Challenge. It's a fast-moving group where the group administrators post themes, people put up pictures on the theme, and group members vote on the best of three photos. Hey, look! There's a theme where you have a photo that fits... you add it, nervously, and sit back to watch. Wow! You win a gold ribbon!

You start voting in other challenges, and scanning the themes to see what else you can enter.

Next thing you know, you're checking Flickr every few minutes to see if anyone has commented on your photos. You're popping into the Photo Face-Off to see how many votes your picture has gotten. You check your home page to see if your favorite photographers have added anything new. And even though you've been at your computer for an hour, you haven't done a lick of work.

Um, not that I'd know all of this from experience. No, sirree. I'm just talking, you know, hypothetically.

But maybe I'll go check Flickr now.


  1. How absolutely funny! I can see you're having fun with your Flickr photos.

  2. Dear Ms Hock,
    Please treat this as a letter before action. It is my case that you were negligent in making this post in that you owe a duty of care to fellow quilters and that it was reasonably foreseeable that a user of the internet with no less than three blogs and who is undertaking a design course would take up your invitation to explore flikr.com. It is clear from your post that it was also forseeable that addiction would result. As a consequence of your post I anticpate losing whole days of productive work time and thus may have to sue for loss of wages,the breakdown of my marriage, the runiation of my eyesight from too much time on line and scurvy from lack of time to shop for fresh food. I would be willing to settle without formal issue of proceedings if you would be prepared (without admission of liabity) to nominate me for lots of those sparky gold star things. Please.
    Yours faithfully,
    Helen L. Conway

  3. Anonymous1:13 AM

    So far I haven't succumbed to Flickritis but thanks for the warning!

  4. Oh my, I'd better stay away. It looks like way too much fun.

  5. I absolulely LOVE Flickr! And whole heartedly agree with your "hypothetical" explanation of how one could possible get addicted. Now, if I were to be nominated for one of those cool golden stars, I may be come addicted myself. I didn't know you could get them, so.. now off to see what groups and contests to join.... see what you've done!

  6. Dear Ms. Conway,

    Having received your "letter before action," I must refer you to my original post. Please note that the primary message of the post provides specific warning regarding the time-consuming and addictive nature of the activities described therein. If you choose to ignore those warnings, the consequences must be said to be to be due to your own negligence.

    Nevertheless, an amicable resolution may be in our mutual interests. Please advise as to your photographic entries in the referenced online photographic site, and sparkly stars, flashing diamonds, and cute throbbing pink hearts will be forthcoming.

    D.P. Hock

  7. Hello, My name is Lyric, and I'm a Flickrholic. Yes, addictive. Yes, fun! An absolutely fantastic place to get inspired for good design ideas. My favorites are saved at Lyricsart.

    Toooo much fun.
    and yes, "Faster than Kudzu" is one of the funnest blogs I've come across in quite a while. I've pu ther books on my list to read the minute I have time. Which I would have if I stopped reading blogs and exploring flickr.