Flickr is Back!

I had a shitty website day on Friday. But an awesome Flickr day today.

It was my anniversary and I wanted to post an anniversary tribute to Amy. I ended up writing a post titled Happy 20th Anniversary Amy. I dug up a bunch of old pictures (hosted in our very large photo archive on Dropbox), crafted a WordPress blog, uploaded the photos in the media center on WordPress, and published the blog.

I brought it up, admired my work, and send Amy an email with the link.

She responded five minutes later saying “I can’t get to the link – something is wrong with your blog.”

I took a look. My blog was down. This happens every now and then when I post something and I get a burst of traffic. Usually all it takes to fix it is a server reboot. This time we couldn’t even get in to the website to reboot. No ssh for me. No chance to sudo su -; reboot. The server needed a hard reboot. We finally got our hosting provider to do this, it came up for a few seconds, and immediately fell back over.

My partner Ryan (who was helping me remotely) concluded that the issue was that I had uploaded 4MB files and every time the website came up there was a 40MB burst of traffic. When 10 people hit it at the same time my poor little webserver just fell over.


I trimmed down the photos to 600k. I rebooted and sat waiting for the site to come back up. I somehow managed to get into WordPress, turn the post into a draft, and change the photos to the 600k ones. I published and held my breath, while having a meeting with a very indulgent friend.

It worked fine.

But then I was mad at my site. Amused that my webserver couldn’t handle whatever traffic it got. Annoyed with myself for uploading giant pictures. Aggravated that I had interrupted Ryan’s time on vacation at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival because I needed Unix help. And I was busy so I didn’t get to revisit it until this morning.

As sat down to write a new post, I decided to try uploading the photos to Flickr and using embeds. I hadn’t used Flickr in a long time. Sure – I knew it was the new and improved Marissa Mayer endorsed Flickr, but I still hadn’t played around with it.

So I did. I logged in using my Facebook account. My old Flickr photos were there with the pretty note saying I had ONE FREE GIANT TERABYTE OF STORAGE. I easily uploaded my files. I easily embedded them into the post. I published. Happiness.

I looked at my old Flickr photos and realized I really missed Flickr. I guess I’ll be using it again!

  • Totally agree! I’ve been loving flickr lately (mostly following my friend Tom who is building me a custom cargo bike), and feel like it’s definitely poised for a comeback.

  • Ain’t nothing wrong with Flickr. It always put photos first. There is a whole generation’s worth of high fidelity moments that will be lost to faddish filters and low web resolutions.

  • Would a CDN help alleviate this?

    • Maybe but I don’t want to deal with that at this point.

  • Chris Chaten

    I thought you had just jumped the gun! It came through my RSS intact, but it didn’t appear on the site on clickthrough. Very sweet post.

    • Thx! I sort of jumped the gun by crashing my server!

  • You guys keep pushing Flickr.

    I made a shaky argument for Flickr’s rise in music marketing, similar to Instagram’s, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

    • What do you mean by “you guys keep pushing Flickr?” I think this is the first time I’ve ever mentioned it!

      • lol, I meant it as encouragement.

        As in “please keep sharing the news about Flickr.” See what I’m saying?

        Future not past.

  • Dave Shevett

    I’ve been a flickr die hard for… huh, *checks order history* something like 8 years now, with almost 6,000 pictures. It has been rock solid steady for that entire time, even through the Dark Times at Yahoo. I’m glad that Yahoo has remembered that it has a gem in it’s pocket and is putting some development effort into ‘nicing it up’ again. I’ve toyed with the idea of Smugmug, Picassa, etc – but always come back to what has always worked, will continue to work, and I”m comfortable with. Flickr.

  • I’m thrilled. I signed up for Pro in late 2005 and I’ve loved it since. Like many others, I wrote to Mayer about Flickr immediately upon hearing of her new position.

    I don’t really like the new look, but I was glad for a sign that they are going to invest in the product.

  • I’m really enjoying the new flickr apps …and very happy that yahoo is paying attn to it again.