Jens Krämer

Bye, Flickr!

 |  flickr, photography, ruby

River Elbe, Dresden, Germany

I’ve been using Flickr for 11 years.

In the beginning I really liked it, but unfortunately things went downhill from there. I stayed with them through the acquisition by Yahoo (which definitely didn’t do Flickr any good), through user interface changes that can be called debatable at best (endless scrolling, anyone?). I even coped with having to log in through Yahoo, forever having to input my username which definitely is not an email address in a form field labelled ‘email’. Try to explain that to your Dad whom, at some point in the distant past, you also made a Flickr user.

Nowadays I find myself using the Flickr website only when I really have to, just using it for lack of a better option to share photos with friends and family which I uploaded from Lightroom or using the mobile app.

Now Flickr changes owners again and I have a hard time believing that anything will get better soon. Despite what they’re saying now (“There is no plan to merge the products”), in my opinion it’s most likely that in the long run SmugMug will try to migrate users over to their own platform, instead of running two photo platforms in parallel for an indefinite amount of time.

Long story short, I wrote an app to download all my photos and any additional information that might be useful from my Flickr account. It’s written in Ruby and available as a Gem so installation is just a straightforward gem install bye-flickr. All that you have to do is to create an API key on the flickr website. Checkout the Readme which has all the details.

With that done and 26GB of photos and JSON files sitting on my disk, the next step is to generate a static site from all that data, along with a plan for how to add future content. More about that another time.