Sunday, October 26, 2014

Solution du jour for viewing notes data in Flickr

So here I am, faced with the awkward discovery that I left my instructions for making home-made wine in notes on a photograph in my Flickrstream. "Well, where's the problem with that?" you might ask. Hmmm. Well, if I can get this right, the flapping back and forth caused by Flickr's incredibly successful and/or famously distastrous redesign  and the various redesigns of the redesign means that a few of the features - most notably, notes - have been left behind for "technical reasons".

I've always been a big notes user on Flickr. In addition to the winemaking diorama (below) I've also used them creatively with friends (that mass of chicks all have "secret thoughts" penned by friends), to identify products (all those small press comics are labelled with creator and source) and of course for the flickr groups What's in your bag? and What's in my fridge?, among others. You can't see any of that, of course, you'll just have to take my word for it.

But of course it isn't until you go and try and find if there's any way to turn a thing back on that you discover that other people felt very differently. "Graffiti on photos!!!!" and "Runs the purity!!!" and "Hate the way strangers can comment literally ON my photo" and my personal favourite, "A great picture of a butterfly's eye does not need a rectangle drawn around the eye and the comment "great eye" added. Fair enough. Looks like there was, once again, a whole pile of shriekyweb going on that was pretty much invisible from my calm, early adopter*, civilized corner.

Still. I'd already made notes re-appear once (I needed them to label some flowers) using the recommended-on-help-forum hack of viewing the site in French (which I can read, though I talk it very badly) which meant an older style sheet, notes still show, blah-de-blah, worked for a few months, but at some point it had stopped working, and I'd switched back to English till the next time I needed the notes.

That day was today, and at first I was wondering if the data I'd entered was even still accessible anymore. It is, and thanks to Elmophoto,  I have a new trick -- switch to viewing the site in an obsolete browser (you don't actually need an obsolete browser, that link there sets you up with a plug-in that will allow your modern browser to pretend it's an obsolete browser for a single site) and ta-da! The information reappears. That seems to be working for now, though of course no-one else will see the notes, unless they install the same plug-in, ugh, of course.

Funny thing, notes was (and is still, I think) unique to Flickr. But instead of a USP, it seems to be being treated like a random annoyance - a relic of the web before. Like me, I suppose.

*I wasn't a tester, but I was a sufficiently early adopter that I remember the site before anyone had paid for advertising and it was all just random hamster-related google ads.

No comments: