Another dot in the blogosphere?

Posts Tagged ‘imagecodr

After months of allowing a simple editing interface, WordPress forced its new editor on its mobile app and the Web. I am disappointed because I cannot rely on my favourite search of CC-licensed images, ImageCodr, as easily as before.

ImageCodr searches Flickr photos that have been labelled with any of the CC-licenses and provides HTML that can be copied and pasted into other websites. This used to work with the simple editor in WordPress.

Now I get this error message — This block contains unexpected or invalid content — when I try to embed HTML generated by ImageCodr. This happens if I add a new block -> embed -> choose embed as HTML.

Thankfully I can avoid this by a) ignoring the message (it still seems to embed), b) selecting custom HTML instead, or c) using some other external image source.

The last option is Pexel and Google Photos. I experimented with the Pexel source yesterday. I used images in shared folders in my Google Photos to embed all the screenshots above.

All this is a matter of getting used to the changes. However, I also think that the embedding is slower and less direct. It also feels like I am operating remotely on a patient — I cannot actually see and feel the HTML that this reflection is built on.

Earlier this month Flickr assured users that that it would not delete photos shared under Creative Commons licenses.

While that may be the case, the tools for seeking and using these images do not seem safe from changes that Flickr makes at the database level.

I use ImageCodr almost every day to find images to illustrate my blog entries. The search and attributing tool sputters and malfunctions with increasing regularity. After all, it is based on what Flickr allows it to do.

Yesterday I could only find a limited number of images to illustrate “stupidity”. None of them were clickable — they remained thumbnails that did not lead to larger images and HTML code. I could not embed a suitable image as a result.

So I resorted to looking for other tools and image sources. None were as simple or elegant as ImageCodr.
 

 
I worry about the tool I have been using for about a decade. In Internet time, that is forever.

Then again, nothing is forever when it is a free web tool. But as long as ImageCodr walks the tightrope of policy and time, I will keep using it.

A few days ago, I found out that SmugMug had acquired Flickr. I received email from Flickr confirming this.

Yahoo acquired Flickr in 2005. Yahoo was then acquired by Verizon, combined with AOL, and put under the umbrella of Oath.

I was worried that these moves would affect the photo storage, display, and sharing service. It turned out to be mostly service as usual. However, the latest move has me worried about how this affects the photos shared under various Creative Commons (CC) licenses.
 

 
Flickr is a wonderful source of CC images. I use ImageCodr almost daily to search for images to illustrate my blog entries. ImageCodr also provides the HTML for attributing the images.

According to the Verge article, SmugMug “intends to keep Flickr as a standalone community and give it more resources and attention than Oath did”. Neither that article or the one by TechCrunch has information about the sharing and use of CC-licensed images. SmugMug’s FAQ does not address this issue either.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that this acquisition is as seamless and uneventful as the ones before it.

Update 28 Apr 2018:

 
The inevitable officially happened. CNET reported Verizon officially inhales Yahoo.

It has already spit out Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s former CEO of five years. What more victims lie ahead? I worry most about one particular entity.

Yahoo owned Flicker. Flicker houses Creative Commons (CC) licensed photos. ImageCodr searches Flickr for these photos and provides HTML-based CC attributions for them.

ImageCodr is my go-to resource for CC images, much more so than any other search engine including Google. Its deep database and excellent attribution are top notch. If I need to illustrate the sharing and use of CC, I highlight ImageCodr as a practical tool.

The Flickr images have been added to the huge CC pool by professionals and amateurs alike. Will this community-based resource persist? If so, Yahoo! Will an effort “for the people, by the people” be swallowed up by corporate greed? If so, so not Yahoo!

Yesterday an RSS feed from a Facebook page reminded me of a famous quote by Alvin Toffler.

The quote was embedded in an image that did not reveal its licence. I used Tineye to do a reverse image search but was unable to find free-to-use alternatives.

So I turned to my usual source of CC-licensed images, ImageCodr. It did not disappoint.

The image I embedded here is not as nice as the one in the Facebook feed. Why did I use it?

  • I have already learnt an important 21st century literacy skill of attributing my online sources. I have also learnt more than one way to find usable images.
  • I chose not to go with the aesthetically more pleasing version because I have unlearnt the need to only impress with visuals.
  • I will relearn how to attribute as the standards of practice evolve.

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