How I Waste My Time (#238)

I like Flickr. There is lots of good stuff on Flickr, and I’m not just talking about the photos. There are interesting discussions, cool tools, fun mapping toys, and of course lots and lots of images.

Flickr is one of the original “social networking” sites that came about before “social networking” became “a thing” (a thing which some of us have HAD IT UP TO HERE hearing about, by the way). It works because it is well thought out, nicely designed, and has a lot of interesting people on both the front end (the users) and the back end (the people who make Flickr). What it doesn’t have is a big stupid “hey everybody! I’m social goddamn networking!” flag flying over it. But I digress…

One of the great things about Flickr is that the Flickr experience is made by the users. For example, pretty much anyone can start a “group” (a collection of contributed images by people who share an interest). Unfortunately, by now there are far too many groups to even comprehend, so they don’t have the kind of cohesive sense of groupiness that they used to have. (For example, if you like pictures of black cats, there are dozens of cat photo groups that you can belong to.) But still, it’s a nice aspect of the Flickr package.

Overall that “of the people, by the people” is pretty cool, and it is reflective of the way social networking used to be before it went corporate and start-upy. But it also means you have to put up with a lot of dopiness and stupidity, because “the people” are, by and large, pretty dopey and stupid.

Your best photo’s what?

Tonight I found a Flickr group called “My Best Photo’s” (sic). As some of you might know, the plural (photos) does not take an apostrophe. “Photo’s” is the possessive; it means something belongs to a photo. So “My Best Photo’s” is incomplete. Your best photo’s what?

  • My Best Photo’s history?
  • My Best Photo’s asking price?
  • My Best Photo’s pet rat?

I fully acknowledge that anyone can make a mistake. Loyal readers know that this blog is peppered with more typos than a blood bank. But when I see them, or other people point them out, I correct them.

But “My Best Photo’s” has been running for at least 15 months. It has 3629 members and 28,533 photos in its group pool. Did none of those people think to correct the grammatical error in the group’s name?

So I sit here contemplating joining the group for the sole reason of pointing out the error. However, I’ve been around the Web’s blocks a few times, so I know how ultimately futile that would be. Instead I will simply bitch about it here, on my blog.

An award I could do without

I should also note that many of the images in the group are really outstanding. There are some great photographers on Flickr. However, even if I wanted to put an image forward as “my best,” I simply could not bear to do so in this group. It is so fundamentally wrong to have something that you consider your best defaced by such a glaringly obvious grammatical error; especially one that no one will step up and fix.

So I remain unacknowledged. My best photos end up on my photo blog, thank you very much, and my photos on Flickr continue to limp along, as they should, since they are not my best. They’re just there, happy to be looked at, but possessive of nothing.