Monday, 11 May 2015

What is wrong with flickr?

The last time flickr updated its User Interface many complained. Flickr did not listen, and quite a few of my contacts abandoned the site. Some of us moved to other sites like Ipernity that looked the same - but it is not the technical issues that make a site, it is the sense of community. And somehow Ipernity fails to do that for me, and I notice some of my contacts try to keep a presence in both camps.

Having just returned from a trip to New Orleans, I have over 300 pictures. Not all of them need to be uploaded - and anyway there is a lot to be done as each one goes on to the site. The image may need some tweaking: I do not make a great deal of use of enhancements but straight from the camera is frequently not optimal. Sharing means posting to groups: adding tags, geolocation among them. Not just the file number in the title but something meaningful and preferably some commentary below it.

So there is a process of selection and curation involved, not just uploading. flickr is also touting its new uploader app for Mac. But what does is scour my hard drive for every single image which is then put into the cloud as my "camera roll". That is so time consuming that I still have no real idea if I have the ability to restrict what it uploads after that "collection" process starts. What I have found is that there are already many images - which show up when in "date posted" mode - that I had never intended to be on flickr. They also get in the way when trying to find images to upload when using flickr's other uploaders - there are at least two distinct ways to do that on their webpage. At one time there was a good deal of integration between Apple's iPhotos and flickr: that seems to have been lost. Perhaps not such a bad thing as it had more than once caused me to lose images completely. Once deleted from flickr they were also gone from both my hard drive and the back up - no idea how that happened but flickr blamed my use of "too many apps using the API".

This morning - as yesterday - attempts to upload from Apple Photo app timed out. No matter how much or how little I tried to upload. In case the fault lay in my wifi connection I even tried it over a wire, with no change. I have also tried both flickr's current uploadr and the earlier one both still active through their web portal. No joy there either. The site itself is still functional in other respects, not just for the MacBook but also the tablets and the phone. Just the uploads are screwy.

When things went wrong with Shaw, Telus, Air Canada and United I was able to get some help by simply tweeting. That doesn't work with flickr either.


Stephen Rees said...

Thanks to a Twitter user pointing me to the flickr "help forum" I now have a better understanding. Their statement is

"Hi all,
We’re sorry for the upload issues you’ve encountered this weekend. The sources of the issues are varied, but they have to do with a massive increase in uploads with the new Mac and Windows Uploadrs and Auto-upload in the mobile apps. We’ve seen consecutive days of new upload records for Flickr, smashing previous maximum upload days, and we’ve been working around the clock to make sure our infrastructure keeps up with demand. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused many of you and we hope to have all issues resolved as soon as possible.

Matthew Roth
Flickr Community team "

and you can read the users replies at

Anonymous said...

It classic Flickr, Print a glib apology and a vague promise that something will / might be done. And then go off for a coffee while people (rightly) complain.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephen,

Same problem here (The Netherlands). Saturday everything worked OK, now not a single picture can be uploaded.

Cornelius Koelewijn (CKLX).