Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Flickr anguish matched by Photobucket apathy – and our pics are offline for now

While I don’t use Flickr myself, I do provide a pool for images of Scotland to be shared, so the recent pain that regular users suffered when Flickr’s masters decided it was going to change, and that they weren’t going to listen to the views of its members, did not escape me.

I happen to agree with the users who were up in arms at the changes enforced on them, and that the new Flickr is rubbish compared to that which went before. In fact, when discussing management now, I use Flickr as an example of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” I’m sad to see a number of former users have actually left, justifiably aggrieved at being snubbed when they tried to contact Flickr

I mention this because I use Photobucket, and have thousands of images there, used to support the pages in Secret Scotland. I chose Photobucket as it is built to share images on web pages, unlike Flickr, which is/was a different product.

Photobucket has worked well over the years, and even when it was bought over and began to change, and changed, the changes made no real difference to the basic free hosting I use, so I didn’t bother too much. Notably, I don’t recall any mass hysteria, or even mild moaning, when these changes took place.

However… It seems there was one I missed.

While I’m not generally interested how many views a pic gets,old Photobucket did offer statistics which showed pic views, and I did use this to find stolen or hotlinked pics taken from my account. This is bandwidth theft, since it uses my limited bandwidth on a free account. Using the stats, I could break the thieves’ links.

But Photobucket quietly lost its statistics – so I can’t identify stolen hotlinked pics. Statistics are not even mentioned in Photobucket’s Help system.

So, since I can no longer identify which pics have been stolen, I can’t deal with this, which is all you see until the next accounting period starts:

Photobucket suspended

Photobucket suspended

I’d hate think this is not genuine, and was not some sort of ploy to make free account holders upgrade to a paid Plus account, but with not stats to refer to, I have no way of telling.

I know my own web site’s stats in terms of numbers of visitors and page views, so  I know these have not increased to the extent that the pic views would have hit the Photobucket bandwidth limit. I’ve uploaded few new pics to Photobucket over the past year or so. That means I haven’t increased my demands and bandwidth significantly in the past year or two. So, it must be theft by hotlinking… or something else.

In fact, thank to changes at my own host regarding web space and bandwidth, I have not been uploading new site images to Photobucket at all, and am hosting them in my own space.

This means I have been able to make the images impossible to hotlink, and also difficult to download, steal, or do other things.

I hadn’t planned to move away from Photobucket, it work(ed) fine, but the lack of stats and inability to deal with bandwidth suspension means this will have to be added to my growing “ToDo” list.

Pics should return on or after the 12th of the month.

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July 8, 2013 - Posted by | Site News | , , , ,

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