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Is it Flickr? Users? or Is it Me? - Views & Comments vastly reduced.

Orbmiser says:

Have renewal coming up in Nov. for Pro. And now considering not reupping after 12 yrs. As over the last year have seen a significant drop in image views and comments. And part of my motivations on Flickr have been to share and have my images seen. And always appreciated the views and comments left. Felt a part of something bigger then myself.

Now last year seen a drastic reduction in images seen after posting. Years prior not posting images to groups. I would see a couple of dozen views a fav or two within 1st hour or two. Now when I post an image and 3-4hrs. later and still struggle getting a dozen or two views. With zero fav's and comments.

Haven't change the frequency or numbers of images posted over the years. So wondering if it's something Flickr did? Or Changing behaviors of viewers? Also serious decline in group interactions. Is affecting my decision whether to renew or let it lapse and loose all my 29K images I posted over the years.

Any insights or personal experiences or knowledge sharing on the issue would be greatly appreciated.
Posted at 11:57AM, 12 September 2021 PST ( permalink )

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albyn.davis says:

Orbmiser:

Interesting issue. Hope you get some constructive replies. I have a similar experience occasionally with Instagram.
I've been here for 6 years and wonder from time to time. Sometimes I think my photography has run out of gas. Then a "good" picture brings folks out of the woodwork. I see low levels and spikes in my stats over time (which I view rarely).
Maybe my "followers" moved on to greener pastures.
For me, the lulls could be due to a number of factors. The pandemic?
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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Orbmiser says:

albyn.davis:

Yep the Pandemic is one factor that may affect views. But with everyone stuck at home would think an increase would be more likely?
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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conall.. says:

Orbmiser: are you doing less commenting recently maybe? If you are reconsidering not renewing maybe you are less engaged than you were previously?

I am sure social activity on flickr is the main determinant of views and comments.

If i cant comment for a few days then my views and comments fall dramatically. Once i re-engage they pop back up.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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Orbmiser says:

conall..:

Nope my behaviors haven't changed same as always.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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edlp2k says:

Not directly answering your question (which is for a long view), but I am wondering if comments are falling off recently because of the removal of the mute button from the legacy Recent Activity drop down menu,

I am thinking twice about making comments on other's pictures because I find it annoying when the commented pictures keep popping up in my Recent Activity tab.

Likewise, I am thinking about un-commenting myself from others photos. This seems unfair to other photographers who have photos I like.

On the other hand - TA DA, sound of trumpets -- I have found the "Turn Off Others Comments" toggle switch. hidden under the gear icon under the Notification Bell. Works fine for the Bell, but does not stop the legacy RA.

Maybe this goes away when the old RA drop down goes away.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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John Frattura says:

Orbmiser:

Also serious decline in group interactions.
Some groups fizzle out over time. Maybe look for, and post in some currently popular groups that are relevant to your images. I'll bet you'll see at least a slight uptick in views, comments and faves.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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Orbmiser says:

John Frattura:

Yep there is that but I like how it use to be a thriving energetic active group discussions. Now seeing even in larger groups can post a question about photography or gear and can sit there for a day or two before there is even one response. And getting comments or fav's wasn't the aim discussion was. There was great discussions about photography with great advice and direction.

Use to be in an hour of posting a thread you would have 3 to a dozen comments for great interaction among members. Sadly that has disappeared.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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albyn.davis says:

Orbmiser:

If you are referring to discussions in a photo's comments ("thread"?), I would have discussions when I started here. Especially when I was first learning and asking "How'd you do that?" I have less need for that now and have settled into my own thing.
Was also doing Viewbug and had interesting early conversations. That dried up, and I stopped posting there two years ago. Also, I got fed up with Vb's childish approach and it's boorish promotion of Lightroom.
Maybe, folks are using this Help Forum more for human contact.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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Orbmiser says:

albyn.davis:

Was referring to Group threads. That was were all the action was happening. From discussions about camera,lenses to howto's from experienced on flash,portraiture,wildlife,etc... I learned quite a bit from fellow Flickrnites that I am grateful for.

I spent hours everyday in discussions on wide ranging subjects. Now not even 10mins. a week. I tried many times promoting discussion in a group I admin of. But lack luster responses in discussions only being responded to by a few of long standing regular members of the group. And zilch in the way of new blood. Finally gave up trying anymore.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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mag3737 says:

Orbmiser:

I spent hours everyday in discussions on wide ranging subjects. Now not even 10mins. a week.

Being honest with yourself, do you really, truly believe that dwindling engagement from others is the ONLY reason that you interact less?

I, for one, don't feel that way at all. I used to participate in many groups a lot more than I do now, but it's also true that my entire lifestyle has not remained perfectly static over the past 15 years.

Who am I to claim cause vs. effect here?
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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Orbmiser says:

mag3737:

I did if I didn't have a question. Then I was answering them and helping others new to photography. There were always new things to discuss from new gear to new photographers new areas of subjects to talk about.

And I still have the same desire for daily interaction in group threads. There are still desire on my part to discuss from recent gear I have purchased to new gear considering to purchase. From learning new techniques of subjects I haven't tried before.

Yes I can learn these things from an array of other sources. It just seemed more personal in group threads here.

Barring that just look at the past group threads frequency from years ago compared to frequency now. And you would see the drastic reduction of interaction. So no I don't think it is me.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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Яick Harris says:

Orbmiser:

As over the last year have seen a significant drop in image views and comments.

Is that why you're here?
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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Orbmiser says:

Яick Harris:

?? You mean here this thread or here as on flickr? And no not here in this thread to garner views or comments. I'm serious abut trying to understand what has been happening last few years on Flickr.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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Яick Harris says:

Orbmiser:

On flickr, why are views and comments so important? Serious question
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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Orbmiser says:

Яick Harris:

Simple it is part of the sharing community culture. If not important then simply saving them to personal cloud is all that is required. This is a sharing site for us to share and view each others images.

And views and comments are one way of determining others are indeed seeing your images. if not then why even bother posting images on flickr?
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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mag3737 says:

Orbmiser:

Since the day I joined Flickr (2006) the primary reason I put my photos here is for specific people (family and IRL friends) to see them. I don't care whether anyone else looks at them or comments on them, even though of course it's interesting and fun when people do.

"Personal cloud" in the sense that you probably mean it does not address the use-case above in anything remotely like the way that Flickr does with its expansive abilities for curation and display of my photo collection.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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photondj2 says:

Orbmiser:

Some while back I decided not to renew my Pro subscription. I have been finding the same as you. Most groups seem to be moribund now, as witnessed by the very old discussions on so many.

I still enjoy taking photos but have now decided that I will keep them to myself. The effort of trying to caption, add descriptions, geolocation etc seems utterly pointless now.

I may just delete all my Flickr content soon. I used to think that if someone had faved one of my pics then I’d keep it on Flickr, but now see that many users “fave” hundreds of shots a day, and the likelihood of them wanting to revisit one of my shots is pretty much zero.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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Thomas Hawk says:

“Attention by other people is the most irresistible of drugs. To receive it outshines receiving any other kind of income. This is why glory surpasses power and why wealth is overshadowed by prominence.”

“What is more pleasant than the benevolent notice other people take of us, what is more agreeable than their compassionate empathy? What inspires us more than addressing ears flushed with excitement, what captivates us more than exercising our own power of fascination? What is more thrilling than an entire hall of expectant eyes, what more overwhelming than applause surging up to us?”

Caterina Fake, Co-Founder of Flickr
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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mcnod says:

Thomas Hawk:

Elegant words. Thing is, many of our views are hollow, and many of our favs are a plea for reciprocal attention. Some members seem to need this attention and that's fine really, as far as I can see. What amuses and confuses me is when they don't get it, it must be flickr's fault.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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Orbmiser says:

Guess I can't ask a really specific questioning of if Flickr has changed or User behaviors have. Without a personal analysis of my motives. Like I garnering fav's and comments is my real motivations. Not only questioning my motivations but the honesty of my question.

Which is never been true. I do not tit for tat comments back and forth. My comments and fav's are few and sparse. And I do not go out on a faving spree or belong to those C5 P1 groups or rewards groups. But do enjoying checking out their streams and enjoying their images.

I do like to think that a social group that people are seeing my images and I am bring them some pleasure in doing so. That is my motivations. It seems some have motivations in putting down or trying to question someone's secret agenda and exposing them in a public forum. And not accepting their questions as legitimate and at face value.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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Яick Harris says:

Thomas Hawk:

“Attention by other people is the most irresistible of drugs. To receive it outshines receiving any other kind of income. This is why glory surpasses power and why wealth is overshadowed by prominence.”


I agree Thomas. However, when the "Post One -- Comment/Fave X" crowd came along, genuine interaction and engagment ceased on flickr.

It would be nice to see the site change to improve engagement and increase "compassionate empathy." I'm not slagging flickr, I think the latest changes are a step in the right direction. It would be nice to recapture the genuine, creative repartee that once defined flickr.

(edit: spelling)
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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MabelAmber️***Pluto5339***MysteryGuest says:


“Attention by other people is the most irresistible of drugs. To receive it outshines receiving any other kind of income.

Psychological insight... hmm...

Anyway, personally I have always found that crying all the way to the bank so to speak when my work started to trigger donations (of more than one digit preceding the comma/full stop), outshone all the non-monetary "attention".

But maybe that's just me.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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Orbmiser says:

+1 to that MabelAmber️***Pluto5339***MysteryGuest:

Yep Flickt is how Getty found me. Have been interviewed for a UK photo magazine that found me on Flickr. And paid to use images in various other local and national magazines found on Flickr. Those always trumped views & fav's. And help pay for some of my gear.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )
Orbmiser edited this topic 3 months ago.

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conall.. says:

Orbmiser:

Nope my behaviors haven't changed same as always.


Orbmiser:
I spent hours everyday in discussions on wide ranging subjects. Now not even 10mins. a week.



those 2 statements dont tally.

I am sure that if you interact with others you get views as part of that process. If you interact less , they fall off.

I dont really think views are actually important to me (i do look at them so maybe I am kidding myself) but I do enjoy the social aspect of flickr and know that my views rise and fall with my cyclical levels of engagement - no other factor seems significant to me.



Thomas Hawk:
“Attention by other people is the most irresistible of drugs. To receive it outshines receiving any other kind of income. This is why glory surpasses power and why wealth is overshadowed by prominence.”
That is brilliant - great Fake Quote!
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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Orbmiser says:

conall..:

Those two statements are for two different things. As my posting of images viewing of images and fav and comment behaviour hasn't change over the years.

The second is about group discussions that I tried and tried again to stimulate interaction over last couple of years. And just gave up due to the lack of responses to threads. The decline or lack of wasn't on my part of trying.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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conall.. says:

Orbmiser:

but social behaviour in group discussion will generate views of your photos for sure.

if you cease that behaviour then views will drop.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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mag3737 says:

Orbmiser:

Without a personal analysis of my motives.

No one is really analyzing you personally here. The commenters are all extremely experienced long-time observers of general behaviour on Flickr. You just happen to be the person who at the moment is stirring up such general observations.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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Orbmiser says:

mag3737:

Thanks but felt like others where questioning my motivations and intentions of trying to garner views and attention. When that never entered into my mind as was wanting to understand the perceived changes of decline being Flickr or Users or both?

If I was reading comments wrong. Then apologize for that.
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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Glenn Losack M.D. says:

just getting back to the original comment/thread
Flickr says they are aware of the problem
and are looking into it.
Views are abysmally low
ive written to support too

all comments above are terrific
GL
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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ManxieB- prefer comments! says:

interesting thread
Posted 3 months ago. ( permalink )

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sdttds says:

Yes, very low again today. At one point they actually went down compared to several hours earlier. This seems quite unlikely.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Walkuere123 says:

Orbmiser: and

sdttds: Same observation here over the past months: Activity has diminished considerably on several fronts: On some days, there are only a few uploads from my contacts or no new uploads for hours in a row; group activity levels have diminished noticeably; sometimes, the activity on my own upload is so slow that I delete the photo again because the lack of activity makes me think that the photo is embarrassingly boring; ... and yes: yesterday the view count on my latest upload had gone down and then moved up again marginally several hours later. Very strange and ... discouraging!
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Robin Shepperson Photography says:

Orbmiser:

Just to say that I too have noticed a steady decline in activity, faves especially, seems the behaviour is changing. Possibly the constant changing of hands and changing of things that never needed changing has turned a lot of people off. Flickr has been and still is the best photo sharing platform on the web today, but yes, activity is definitely declining. I am just hoping this is a phase and things will pick up again.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Das Boot 160 says:

I Hardly get any views as it is without worry about what is happening with the stats. Is it really that important to have a high amount of numbers.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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albyn.davis says:

Das Boot 160:

They are useful measures for many of us. Obviously the millions of Flickr members are quite varied.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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stephencurtin says:

Interesting thread. When I started with Flickr in 2007 digital imaging was new. Cameras, software, lens were all being developed. Great conversations in groups about software altering images, was that real photograph. Also Flickr was new. Group administrators were writing code to manage groups "Flickr Hacks" is an example. Other groups like "The Pinnacle" ran contests and members developed tutorials on software usage. It was cooperative, invigorating and led to great photography. Groups also encourage members to try a variety of subject matter.
That was in the past. Now you can download tutorials from a variety of social media, there is a flood of photographs on every subject you can find, the field is saturated with social media sites, and everyone it seems has figured out how to manipulate their images to draw attention. As albyn.davis stated this is a varied group on Flickr. Phones in every setting outnumber cameras. Image apps outnumber desktop software, selfies outnumber other formats in social media. I miss the past and the community on Flickr, but now I only admin one group and that is because I have known the members for a long time and the handful of us still left like to see each other's images.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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viktor_viktor says:

I've cancelled my PRO subscription since SmugMug took Flickr. We were a group of around 50 people, organized in the local photo club and we all cancelled pro subscriptions, but maybe two.
I downloaded all my images and am keeping them on the private server (around 6000).
Since then I barely visit Flickr and I donť make any comments. Maybe others are slowly starting to behave the same?
I have been considering getting back a few times, it was great to have feedback and interaction in the old days, but either I am getting old or Flickr is losing visitors.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Thomas Hawk says:

A couple of things.

First, there is significantly more competition for people's attention today than when Flickr started. Back when Flickr started we didn't really have Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Trump and all that. Now people's attention is much more fragmented. Not just social networks, news sites, youtube, whatever. So there's that.

But really the main complaint hasn't changed much at all over all these years. Everybody wants attention. Everybody wants AUTHENTIC attention even MORE. But nobody seems to want to GIVE attention, AUTHENTIC attention even more. They say they do but they don't do it.

People talk about how great groups and group interaction used to be on Flickr but what are YOU doing to engage with others in groups?

People have this idea that if they just upload their photos to Flickr and sit back the views, likes, comments, relationships will just magically appear. Almost like they deserve these views for paying a Pro fee or something.

The fact of the matter is photography is more invasive than it's ever been. Our whole world is inundated with photography, and better and better photography. Really great photographs. Posting really great photographs is not enough.

If you are on Flickr just to try and get views/faves/comments on your photos you will likely be disappointed. It's an empty bottomless pit.

My advice is this:

1. take, make, produce every photograph for an audience of one. You. And you alone. Think of Flickr first and foremost as a place for you to organize your photographs for you, your own personal archive.

2. Engage. Engage meaningfully. If you don't want empty favorites +1/comment 1 etc, or comments like "nice photo" then leave more meaningful feedback for others.

Even though you're busy, even though you don't have time, think more about GIVING authentic feedback than GETTING authentic feedback. You'll end up with much more, I promise. People talk about getting more views, favorites, comments but rarely do they talk about GIVING more views, favorites, comments, authentic interaction most of all.

Find some groups with people whose work you are interested in and ENGAGE in the group. YOU engage. If you run a group engage with your members. Get to know them. Engagement takes time. Friendships and relationships take time. Ask questions. Start and contribute to conversations. Spend the time. Build relationships and friendships (here's my promotion for my own group American Photographer).

One final point. As a platform Flickr's ad-free, privacy focused platform is far superior to the other ad supported privacy sucking rage filed social networks. If you care about Flickr, don't use those networks -- or spend a lot less time there. Help support and promote something better. Flickr.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Richard Harvey UK says:

Thomas Hawk:

⬆️⬆️ Well said Mr Hawk ⬆️⬆️
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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mag3737 says:

Thomas Hawk:

Brilliant. The pervasive demandy entitlement is so tiresome.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Bencito the Traveller says:

Thomas Hawk:

Thanks for the great insight!
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Omygodtom says:

Just a thought.Wondering if the low views may be the lack of quality of the pics being posted.The lack of maybe a different Perspective.Making a Bla pic pop,giving the pis some depth,changing your Subjects.
I have been with Flickr sense 2010,during that time,I have seen Flickr go through ups and downs,when it comes to Views.It always gets its self back to normal.Just have some Patience people.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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beverleyplaya says:

Maybe so many are on social media sites . . where just a fave, even a quick look is all that is done . . some interact and many do not . . flickr is a photo sharing site and its good to get feedback . . there seems to be a tendency for this to be in decline . . perhaps Covid is playing it's part and there is a need to switch off and try and get a breath of fresh air when possible . . more so now maybe. Lets hope all returns to normal as soon as possible !
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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fabiola.burbrink says:

I've found most of my activity is from friends. I spend most of my time finding new friends, and this gets some amazing responses. If your friends aren't active any more, then maybe that could be a reason.

Hope you stay and find a way forward.

FB
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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beverleyplaya says:

Orbmiser:

I don't think it can be you . . I think many are experiencing the same issues . . I hope it resolves and gets back to normal again, perhaps the staff are working of changing or modifying things and this puts things on hold sometimes . . lets hope :)
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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conall.. says:

Thomas Hawk:

spot on commentary - every word.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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teh resa says:

Thomas Hawk:

mostly true, except not really *everybody* wants attention. I've stopped uploading, even shooting but I still like to look at pictures of contacts on flickr and fave stuff. Also to look at faves. Don't really look at group pools just try to maintain the connections formed in the before times but most of all I just like to look at the kind of images I like. I shut off photos on twitter, try to avoid auto play of videos on news sites, even try to find the "lite" sites so I don't see pictures (pictures I haven't chosen to see) at all. With instagram its very easy to scroll and save/like but then that somehow causes me to be shown photos from accounts I'm not interested in. I know how to find accounts I'm interested in without the help of an algorithm thank you. I stopped sharing my own photos here for awhile because stats were showing that nobody was looking except some bot that was crawling my whole stream with one view every once in awhile so I made everything private or semi-private.

Just putting my two words in to let people know that there are still people like me just looking at pictures to give their eyes a rest from imagery that is forced on them from other media.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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Thomas Hawk says:

teh resa:

mostly true, except not really *everybody* wants attention


Sure, yes, of course, everybody being too big an absolute -- mostly everybody. ;)

People like you make Flickr a more interesting place.
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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teh resa says:

Interesting.
I've been called worse :-D
Posted 2 months ago. ( permalink )

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