You And Me We Go Wayback

The Archive Team are doing the lord's work downloading all Tumblr content before it goes away. I wish them every success.

I've long used the wayback machine to look at old sites of yore so wondered how far down the rabbit hole of my own storied past I could go? All the way it seems. For many moons and domain names ago I started what was known as "updating your website frequently".

The very first ever "blog post" I did was on a long defunct site on October 31st 2001. The wayback machine has it. I'm not linking to it. Interesting from a personal growth angle, my head was in a different place 17 years ago. The cringe factor is high.

I wonder how all this will sound 17 years from now?

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Walking Videos

Friday's JWZ mixtape post got me thinking about compiling my own list of favorite music videos. As I'm trying to figure out which ones make the short list I'm surprised at how much I like walking videos. You know, where the protagonist just takes a bit of a stroll. Be it down the street, across a field, wherever.

The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony
Depeche Mode – Enjoy The Silence
Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy
Bruce Springsteen – Streets Of Philadelphia

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jwz's Mixtapes

For as long as I can remember I've been a fan of Jamie Zawinski's mixtapes. He initially started with streaming mp3s and in recent years switched to compiling videos on YouTube. I've discovered a lot of new bands this way over the years.

This week marked a milestone as he hit the 200th mixtape. This one a little different as it's a 3 hour ride of what he considers the best videos ever made. There is some good stuff here.

I wanted to do something to commemorate the bicentennial (bicentapial?) so here's a double-length mixtape (a pair of C90s) comprising The Greatest Music Videos Of All Time.

Ok, it's not really that, because there are two fundamental problems with that concept:

• First: How is a mixtape of The Greatest Music Videos Of All Time not merely Duran Duran's "The Wild Boys" playing on infinite repeat?

Because really, that's it, you can stop there, that's the one.

There's a rule about recording a cover song: "Never remind the audience that they could be listening to a better band than yours." So let's say you sit down to make a music video. How do you even do that, knowing that The Wild Boys exists, out there, in the world? How do you top that?

• But Second: I am paralysed by choice. My first draft of this mixtape was seven hours long, and it still felt woefully incomplete.

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On Flickr

A few weeks ago I lamented on Twitter:

Remember back in April when Smugmug acquired Flickr? Good times they were. Six months on, Flickr still tied to Yahoo's auth platform and no real mention of anything new feature wise. Slow and steady wins the race?

This week we finally got some news. One of the announcements, a change to free accounts, has had a mixed reaction online. But I don't think the change is a bad thing.

When I joined Flickr in 2004 free accounts were only allowed 100 photos, if you wanted more you paid a yearly fee for that. Clearly 100 wasn't enough for me and I've been a paid user for well over a decade. In 2013 Flickr announced a whopping 1TB of storage for free accounts. Which sounded wonderful at first. But in reality it meant a few things. (1) Yahoo were clearly interested in ads and data mining for revenue. (2) Yahoo were spending a lot of money on infrastructure (3) Folks started using Flickr as a dumping ground for all the shots from their SD card.

Fast forward to 2018 and Smugmug's announcement of (a) return to free account limits (b) a focus on paid accounts and sustainable revenue model. As I understand it, of the 100M Flickr users, 3% of those with a free account have more than 1000 photos. Those folks will be encouraged to upgrade. Seems worth it to me? Paying less than $5 a month for unlimited high res photos is a bargain.

So I'm encouraged and excited for the future of Flickr. A sustainable business model, no ads for me or anyone browsing my page, no algorithmic timeline, no creepy data mining behind the scenes. What's not to love?

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