Revision of blogs and change of photo repository.

I am in the process of revising my blogs as I have decided to change from using Flickr as the repository for my photos to Smugmug. Flickr is no longer a Yahoo product and it is now owned by Smugmug. I could have stayed with Flickr, but I feel that the Smugmug product is a better one with its catalog and presentation offerings. It seems that there is no effort to improve the Flickr offering so I’ve made the decision to move across. It is irritating that companies often rest on their laurels feeding off the fat rather than reinvest to improve and it is no wonder younger upstarts shake the industry.

It takes hours to write blogs, and I now have quite a volume of postings so changing to Smugmug for the photo repository was no easy decision. It may be the wrong one – I do not know.  Perhaps I should have used the Google Drive as the source, but then the argument is that I have no flexibility to move out of Google should the need arise. I did toy with the idea of using WordPress and my own self hosted resource as instead of Google Blogger, but there are features in Blogger that I prefer over WordPress. I cannot win !

To give an idea on the amount of time involved to do a blog we have the following considerations:

  • Post photos to SmugMug.
    If the photos are ready to go and you upload say 200 photos perhaps an hour. Scanning photos and sorting them out will blow out a day or many more.
  • Sort photos into an album for public viewing.
    For 200 photos, there may be 20 that are useful for public viewing. I don’t edit the photos other than the odd crop or rotation. Culling and creating an album allow another hour or two.
  • Write the blog
    The update and revision process will still involve these steps with the difference that the photos and perhaps some reformatting might occur instead of a fresh writing exercise.

When I first wrote a blog it took me hours to write and research all the details. I am now in a process of refining a common look and feel which has been applied. To date the template I am happy with has been applied to the blogs years 1990 to 2008 representing 32 blog entries.  I still have another 11 years to go with 187 posts.  Using this template has improved the speed of blog creation, given a common look and feel and I think improved the readability and appeal.

My “Adventure” blog template is as follows

  • Brief paragraph of what I have done
  • Photograph illustrating highlight of the trip
  • Content which is typically a small paragraph then photo.
  • Details of accommodation, itinerary, references
  • Underline
  • Blog references to Smugmug albums, previous and next blog entry and table of contents (held in WordPress).
  • Underline
  • Smugmug slide show with all photos I have chosen to display relevant to the blog.

Looking at my blog Arm River Track to Cynthia Bay, Tasmania trek. It was written based on some hand written notes I made during the walk (a great idea by the way). It is close to the template format described. The revision process took around 3 hours (maybe more, I didn’t set the stop watch) , mostly because of the photo upload and sorting process. I also corrected some errors etc.  I often miss words, paragraphs and construct sentences in a confusing way so it is a good time to do a bit of editing. 187 posts wow, I did not know that until just now. Even if I could get the update process to 1 hour per post I am looking at 8 x 24 hour days to finish. Hmm: I might keep Flickr for another year  or two !

Why do I bother ? Well, it is fun, better than sitting in front of the ‘idiot box’ watching some stupid advert riddled shoot and kill everyone or now you should laugh show. It also:

  • Adds value to all those photos I take, where instead they languish in a cupboard or on a hard drive. I have uploaded over 30000 pictures and there are still more. Do I look at them ? – not really.
  • Provides a nice memoir as I seemingly accelerate towards the ‘senior’ age.
  • Inspires me for the next adventure.
  • Inspires others for their adventure.

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