Thursday, March 16, 2006

My new friend, Flickr

Every once in a while I get just *obsessed* about making things look good. For a while I was acting that about about downloading furniture objects for The Sims. I would just get obsessed about making rooms in my faux houses look perfect with matching furniture. It was crazy. I don't know how much I spent in subscription fees to Well-Dressed Sim, Sim Freaks and 8thdeadlySim. Even though I've bought Sims 2, and two expansion packs, I haven't bought the third and I'm trying to give up the game. It's just not that fun. It reminds me how when I had a box full of My Little Ponies all I would do half the time was brush their hair and "set them up" to be played with (which of course all they would do is fall over again).

Yesterday was one of those days. I finally took some decent photos of my apartment. I kept wanting to take shots of the place when it was a) clean, b) sunny out. Not just daytime, but actually sunny. I've looked at many a apartment photo and I can tell you I've dismissed places based on the digital pictures for merely looking odd. Even though I can tell that digital cameras shot by amatures just don't make for pictures worthy of Home & Garden.

So now that I had the photos I just drove myself crazy trying to find a site to host them where they would actually look good. I know craigslist allows you to host up to four pictures but I have 16 to show!

And I know there are plenty of free sites, not to mention Geocities and other free websites. But it seemed like every time I started downloading the pictures I would quickly run out of space after five, and/or the photos would all be kind of small.

I had found Flickr, which DOES allow for pretty good picture hosting but, here was my mistake, I didn't realize that they have a limit on how much you can upload a month. Not just host, but upload! I burned through my limit by constantly uploading and then deleting photos, trying to see which ones looked good. Waste of bandwidth space. Totally stupid on my part.

After messing with this project for about 3 hours (skipping dinner. I had even cooked some chicken and quickly forgot about it. Which is fine, I just save it for later meals), I got obsessed with making the images come out the way I want them to look so I finally shelled out the $25 for premium membership. Which I can just hear my computer-savvy friend telling me that it was stupid with all the "free" services out there.

But you know, if I look at the $25 as the cost of running a newspaper ad to advertise the apartment its really not an unreasonable expense. Plus now I get the service for a year. I *do* think it'll make a difference in the apartment search, weeding out people who aren't interested and helping stroke interest in others. I showed my place to at least 30 people last time. It was kind of exhausting and I'm just getting started with it. It's sort of the wrong month for this (September is probably the best time to look for a roommate), but I've got at least 10 people so far I'm showing the place to. (Although figure at least a 10% drop out rate).

Anyway I'm kind of loving Flickr. Another cool feature I didn't even think about is the fact Flickr shows you how many "views" a picture has. So I can sort of gauge how many people have been looking at my photos. A few times were probably me, and one never knows if one person looked at something a couple of times. Most views were for the room shot and a "sweeping" view of the living room, 18 views both. Interestingly I notice that my "floorplan with furniture" sketch got 13 views but the regular floorplan only got five. I just used Photoshop to sketch-in where the furniture would be on the floorplan. It's really crude and it was mostly a joke.

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