For many years, Flickr was my go to site for sharing photography. I posted regularly, completing a 365 project in 2011. Each day, I logged in and interacted with other artists. Sometimes this was by private Flickrmail and other times it was through comments and group pages. The purpose of sharing on Flickr and interacting with other artists was to build a community where expression reigned high.
When Flickr drastically redesigned their website in 2013, many artists abandoned the site. I did. The changes were frustrating and difficult to adjust to. Flickr was my home but I naturally migrated to Facebook with most of my friends.
The experience was exciting. On Facebook I got to see artists as whole people. Rather than only viewing their work on Flickr occasionally, I got to see their normal (non-conceptual) images on Facebook. Like going out with friends, who they interacted with regularly. It was cool getting to know these people in a different way.
Today I went back on Flickr to look at some of my favorite artists. Most of them still post their work each day on Flickr. I started scrolling through comments and there’s a divide I’ve noticed. In the past, artists interacted heavily with those who commented on their work. Now days, it looks like a barren wasteland. People comment and leave their remarks but there’s no conversation. That personal stuff is on Facebook.
But Facebook isn’t as personal as you think. I see these wonderful photographers on my friendslist and NewsFeed but they’re in their own little world. The “high end” photographers interact almost exclusively with other top notch artists. While this isn’t horrible, it feels like some of the love has left the community. Where did it all go?
Flickr is barren, Facebook is divided, how can we create an environment which focuses on fostering community and supporting other artists. I’m not sure yet but it’s worth spending time figuring out. Content creators seem so far from their viewers these days. Hopefully we can change that and build something great again.
BLOGtober day twenty one!