Posting photos on Instagram vs Tumblr vs Blogger vs Flickr, 2017 edition
February 28, 2017 10:00 PM   Subscribe

I have a few ideas for posting (and sorting) my photos online. I'm not looking to set up a brand or get a ton of likes/ upvotes, but at the same time, I want my "collections" to be cohesive, partially for personal reasons of browsing my own older photos. What's the best: Instagram, Tumblr, Blogger, or Flicker? POSSE (Post [on your] Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere) or IFTTT?

My current adventures are stalled projects: two Tumblr accounts (landscape/sky photography focused on clouds, and weird/ goofy nonsense), a book revisit, and a domain I love but don't utilize, plus a few more ideas. The latest, and my "completable" idea is to post background art from Samurai Jack, akin to Scenic Simpsons and other efforts for other series/ movies/ artists.

Crazy (?) idea: dump everything somewhere, tag appropriately, and use ... something ... to autopopulate "curated" accounts on other platforms. IFTTT seemed like the way to go, but that's only from casual review, and I'm still hesitant about sharing all my account passwords like that. I desktop-based local processing solution would be fine by me, as I'm not trying to push things out in real time.

If the answer is "pick something and start posting," I have one final related question: what should I do about image size? In posting my own landscape photos to Tumblr, I realized that I was just dumping my full-sized images, which might be an internet faux pas, or just rude to mobile browsers who don't really want to download multi-MB images on casual review of my photo feed.
posted by filthy light thief to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Tumblr and Flickr are both in the process of being acquired by Verizon as part of the Yahoo deal. As such, I'd be hesitant to put too much heart and soul into well curated collections on either. I suspect both will continue for at least a few years but Flickr especially has been on a downwards curve and I could see it being sold off and completely ruined by some company attempting an Instagram competitor.
posted by Candleman at 10:09 PM on February 28, 2017 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Ah, good to know, thanks!

Final thought: my big idea was to upload everything to my own site, Flickr, or maybe Google Photo, then re-post on Tumblr in the separate accounts, depending on the content, and then post my favorites to Instagram. But after thinking on it further, that sounds silly, because my fleeting dreams of an internet presence are quickly tampered by the realization that I'm not really that focused on all this, given how my various projects tend to go stagnant.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:12 PM on February 28, 2017

Yeah, unfortunately Flickr is dying and there's no replacement. There's 500px, but it's definitely not for projects like yours. There's SmugMug, but it's a sales floor. There's Google Photos, but your space and resolution are limited. There's Tumblr, but same as Flickr. There's Instagram, but it's not going to host pictures for you to use elsewhere and it's more for a stream-of-life vibe - pictures of clouds yes; Samurai Jack… maybe. Might get dinged for copyright.

Hosting on your own site is the best method but requires a stronger investment of time and money from you.

Entrepreneurs take note: there is a HUGE space in the market right now for someone to shove both Flickr and Tumblr over the cliff. More so for Flickr.
posted by Nyx at 10:14 PM on February 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure what Nyx means by calling SmugMug "a sales floor." I've been using it for many years both for private galleries and ones I share with friends and family. It's not perfect, but I like it a lot, their customer service is great, and they are independent of any of the big tech companies so hopefully less likely to get killed off or drastically changed.
posted by primethyme at 10:21 PM on February 28, 2017

If you have Amazon Prime, Amazon Photos offers unlimited backup/storage space.
posted by helloimjennsco at 7:20 AM on March 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: "From your Photos library, you can view any photos imported or transferred to your device, email photos from your Kindle Fire, or post photos to a connected social network account."

The photo storage looks like a nice service, but I don't want to pair my Amazon account with any social networks.

Back to making my own site, which isn't the worst thing in the world.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:39 AM on March 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I'm not sure if that is only for sharing photos from a Kindle Fire or also Amazon photo storage.

And linking photos from an Amazon Cloud account doesn't seem to be a long-lasting solution.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:45 AM on March 1, 2017

IFTTT seemed like the way to go, but that's only from casual review, and I'm still hesitant about sharing all my account passwords like that
IFTTT does not get your passwords. You tell the app (Flickr or Tumblr) that you give IFTTT permission to post to your account the first time you connect the app to IFTTT. If you want to turn the IFTTT permission off, you could do it from inside Flickr or Tumblr. When I change my Tumblr password, for example, I do not have to tell IFTTT that it changed because they are not using it.

Image size can be an issue, but you can usually set that in your account options. Depending on the app, the people viewing your stuff will also be able to set their own size limits.

I have heard that "Flickr is dying" for years and years now. I use it and also use Google and Amazon for my personal backups. To share things, I use Tumblr and make extensive use of IFTTT to post to Tumblr from Flickr. It only works on new public pictures, so don't upload everything to Flickr and plan to automate to Tumblr later. For older stuff, I use Dropbox to load 15 pictures at a time into my Tumblr drafts, also via IFTTT.
posted by soelo at 8:16 AM on March 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

I use a combination of my own personal site (to sell me as an artist), flickr (as a back up for my favorite work), Instagram (as a social networking tool and semi-visual diary) and a couple external hard drives (because the only perspn I really trust is me).
posted by WalkerWestridge at 8:31 AM on March 1, 2017

My 2 cents: any internet photo hosting service could disappear out from under you--that doesn't just apply to Flickr, whose impending demise has been constantly predicted ever since it was born. If Flickr goes down, don't you want to be in good company with NASA, the Library of Congress, and innumerable other institutions that will get burned too?

My sense is that Flickr will provide superior tools for organizing your photos with tags and/or albums, and makes it easy to share the photos with others to whatever degree you choose (including keeping them private). You can upload full size images, and Flickr will present other viewers with the resolution that's right for their screen. Also, you can configure Flickr to prevent others from having access to the full resolution (while allowing them to see lower resolution) if that's what you'd like.

One thing I don't think Flickr provides is the customized look of "being your own blog", like your Tumblr examples do. On Flickr, you can choose whatever background you want for the title at the top of the page, but everything else will look like everybody else's Flickr page.

Instagram is all about sharing *today's* photo. If that's what you want, then it might be the best tool for you, but it appears to me that it is pretty weak at doing anything else. For example, I don't think there is any way to search for a photo except by one hashtag (not two, not three...), and Google doesn't index it.

Unless rolling your own website is something you just love to do (and great for you if it is), I would say don't waste your time on it.

I think that Google, SmugMug, yadda yadda hosting services probably provide organizing tools that are good, but Flickr probably provides the best overall experience if both organizing and sharing your photos is what you want.
posted by polecat at 10:56 AM on March 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

I can’t answer the first part of your question but I can take a shot the second. Any decent photo editing tool will have a “Save for web” option that will convert your larger photos to a smaller .jpg file without much loss in quality. You can also set what size and resolution you want, usually no bigger than 1000 px on the longest side at 72 - 95 ppi. If you are sending a pic by email, choose an even smaller size (maybe 640 px). Printing is a different matter all together.

As far as organizing goes, every day I take pictures, I make a folder for them. A different folder for each event (ex. MtHike2_28_17). I also group types of photos into folders (Sunsets, Clouds etc.) for those I tend to concentrate on. I store them in a folder for the quarter of the year (1_17-4_17) that is nested in a folder for the year and then in one grand folder to bind them all!

I take gazillions of photos and my biggest problem is culling out average photos and only keeping the best. All of it is backed up with a service and also on 2 separate hard drives. I don’t use iPhoto or any photo organizing that uses tags. I don’t really trust the cloud services but I understand how that might be simpler for storing and finding your photos.

Looking at your projects, I would heartily recommend “pick something and start posting”. I tend to wander off on my multiple interests but I’ve come to realize that taking pictures is one of my favorite things to do. So now I work on taking better pictures and; like you, finding a way to utilize them in a way that I like.

Creativity can be a pain in the ass… but it’s a great feeling when you make something that really makes you happy. Good luck!
posted by jabo at 11:41 AM on March 1, 2017

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