Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Dropping in for a moment....

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I'm still swamped/stressed with family matters (everyone here is fine; this is mostly family paperwork. Boring but necessary, and some of it has a deadline), but I just wanted to blog a picture that I shot yesterday evening. My way of dealing with stress was to take the camera outside and focus on something else, if you'll pardon the pun. The light was getting low, the wind was kicking up, and that made shooting difficult, but I managed this one picture of a caterpillar:



A couple more photo and writing-related things before I crawl back into doing stuff I gotta do:

The controversy over restricting German users continues over at Flickr. Since this all started, Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel has stepped down and now Rupert Murdoch has offered MySpace to Yahoo! in return for a 25% stake in the company. Wow. I'm not a fan of Murdoch, but I can't blame him for making the offer. Yahoo's feeling the pressure from competition, but they've turned around before. It could be a wise investment on his part.

None of this is related to the Flickr issues as far as I know, but it does seem an odd coincidence that the Flickr staff isn't saying much right now. From my time in corporate America I can say that this isn't unusual on one level, but I can't imagine that there's a prohibition from saying "can't say much now, folks. Please bear with us." Instead, there was an announcement that there would be a further announcement this morning. It's afternoon in California, and nothing is forthcoming so far. It looks as though a fair number of German Flickr customers are migrating their pictures to other services.

One of the odd things about this whole issue is that German customers (some of whom purchased Pro accounts) can't even see their own pictures that they had flagged as moderate or restricted before all this began. I just find that odd. The lack of communication is the most unsettling though. Sure, I can understand the frustration expressed in one staff post, which was essentially, "do you really want us to jump in every few hours and say there's no news?" Not really, but a follow-up when promised would have been nice, even if it's nothing more than a statement that they're still working on it. Of course, that's not going to placate everyone, but I do think this could have been handled better.

One thing I noticed while running through the very long (40 page +) thread is that some people are talking about backing up their pictures from Flickr. I really hope there's a language barrier at work and they don't mean that Flickr is the only place they have their pictures stored. That's really a bad idea. If a company goes under you lose everything. Not that Yahoo is going under soon, but what if you couldn't see your pictures there one day? How do you get them? Always keep backups, folks.

And one writing link for today: Charles Petit has a nice piece on formatting manuscripts. The bottom line is to follow the publisher's guidelines (they can vary) and not obsess over your typeface when you should really be obsessing over whether or not your writing is good. It's a good read. While you're there, cast your vote in his Harry Potter poll.

Okay, I need to go back into my hole. Depending on how things go today, it may be a day or two before I can post again. And yeah, I still need to go look at the RR entries from last week. It'll happen, and I do apologize for the delay.

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Filed under: Pictures   Photography   Writing   Life   Flickr


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