Apologies to my regular readers for yet another post on the new Reblog, but this is my current bugaboo and with good reason.
It’s all well and good to discuss reblogging netiquette and karma, but the nuts and bolts of reblogging are broken and we community members cannot fix this. Besides the written content in a reblog still being overly long, the current iteration of reblogging a post with visual content pulls every image in that post into the reblogger’s Media Library whether it’s used in the reblog or not. I’ve discussed this on this site and at length on WPcomMaven.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been on WPcom now close to 8 years and continue to recommend it to my colleagues and clients. However the new Reblog needs some tough love that only Staff can give.
Secondly, we are announcing that we are deprecating the support for our built-in sharing options for WordPress [Ed: spelled in the original with a small "p"], Blogger and LiveJournal on 3/25. Deprecating features is never an easy decision, but we have seen that all of these services combined are now adding up to less than one percent of daily share volume from Flickr.
If you’ve spent any time on my site, you know that I seriously love the Gallery feature. It’s an elegant and easy way to make photos look good on any site and just about with any theme. Combined with the Photo Carousel, the Gallery really makes your photo displays stand out.
However, due to the way the new Reblog currently works, reblogging a post that contains multiple images has an unexpected and decidedly unwelcome side effect if copyright is a concern. Right now all the images in your post are copied and transferred to the reblogger’s Media Library, regardless of how many images are used in the actual Reblog itself. In spite of a Staff reply in the forums to the contrary, I very much hope this is a bug and will be addressed. You can read more about it and some additional complications in the comments on wpcommaven The New Reblog, Part 2-Images Gone Awry.
What does the new Reblog function mean for me personally? For a short moment, I considered watermarking my images, but wholeheartedly dislike them. So the only real recourse I have is to upload fewer images at lower resolution. I want to believe that people will be honest and abide by my CC License if they choose to use my images, but also know that I tend to wear rose-colored glasses.
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electricia1 posted in the Community support forums that flickr has changed the way images can be embedded. At the moment this is done with an iframe, which of course is a “no-go” for WordPress.com users.
However, there are other ways you can embed your flickr photos in your WordPress.com site, the easiest is still just copying the URL of the photo’s page from your browser’s address bar and pasting that on it’s own line, unlinked in your blog post. For more info here’s WordPress.com’s Support document on using flickr. Just be aware that if you are using the new Beta version of flickr, you may not be able to blog your photos directly from flickr to your WordPress.com site. In my photostream, that link is no longer active to me, although it was set up and working correctly in the previous version of flickr.
(And the irony is not lost on me that the flickr blog is hosted on WordPress.com. See the bottom of the blog. It may say “Powered by WordPress,” but the link reads http://www.wordpress.com. LOL)
Update: 20 December – It seems that either from the flickr or WPcom end things have changed. Yesterday the above oembed image was just an image. Today if you mouseover the image, the flickr watermark and my name show up, along with the ability to browse the other images in my flickr photostream directly from this image. I’m going to be doing some more experimenting in the coming days.
In the meantime, insert image by URL continues to work and unfortunately, my flickr sets which were previously visible as an embed, are no longer so. (sigh)
Update 2: 20 December – We can’t get our pants on fast enough with the changes going on. For me the above image is back to what it was yesterday, i.e. a simple image with no watermark or arrows on mouseover. If you are seeing it differently, please let me know in the comments.
This article started life as a note on why anyone would steal your photo given the number of free or low-cost resources available to bloggers today. As I was writing it, the universe kept tripping me up by throwing articles at me on letting your digital images go, some with very compelling arguments/viewpoints. For example:
If you were to take an informal survey of everyone in your morning train/bus/subway/tram car commute whether they would license their photos in such a manner so as to let other people use them freely, without knowing what the end-product was, I suspect that there would be a split along age lines, with those having grown up from day one in the Digital Age being more likely to let their photos go. Before you jump on me for being ageist, stop and think about how the overall attitude towards online privacy has tipped over the last 5-10 years and what demographic has joined the online community in that time.
As a photographer who has encountered her photos used both with and without permission, I still tend to cling to the idea that it couldn’t hurt to ask beforehand, even if my Creative Commons licensed photos both here and on flickr don’t really require it. It’s the human thing to do.