Flickr has managed to retrieve the 4,000 pix it deleted yesterday and given the aggrieved photoblogger 25 years of free Flickr membership. Here's the statement: Yahoo! is pleased to share that the Flickr team has fully restored a member’s account that was mistakenly deleted yesterday. We regret the human error that led to the …
re: why don't they offer a useful function...
The trouble with allowing users to back up their metadata is that, presumably, you'd need a way of allowing them to restore it too. Which could somewhat open the floodgates for people forging comments, feedback, and the like.
Having said that, in the case of Flickr, it would be damn useful to at least be able to back up the title, description, keywords, tags and people. In other words all the stuff you can enter yourself (as opposed to social stuff like comments and faves that come from other people)
But as previously stated over and over, a backup is only a backup if it can be fully restored...
When it comes to all his linked photos to blogs etc which are based on the URL, then the number that is assigned to the photo to identify it will need to be backed up too so that if it is restored, the URL will be restored too...
In 25 years can you imagine the size of the numbers used to identify the pictures? i think you will need a total perspective vortex booth to grasp the enormity of the numbers..In all probability they will start to recycle un-used numbers from deleted data.
"in the case of Flickr, it would be damn useful to at least be able to back up the title, description, keywords, tags and people."
The easiest way to do this is with a Digital Asset Management tool (e.g. Aperture, Lightroom, or any number of FOSS alternatives). Tag the image BEFORE upload, not after. Then you've got the metadata stored in your DAM database/the image EXIF/an XMP sidecar (delete as appropriate).
Hell, you can even do your own geolocation outside of Flickr (using e.g. Geosetter).
re: why don't they offer a useful function....
Others have already mentioned that tagging *before* uploading is the best way of ensuring you have your own copy of the most crucial metadata. For the majority that have a lot of stuff uploaded already there are plenty of cheap/free tools (such as Bulkr) out there that can be used after the event to backup your Flickr pics with automatic incorporation of title, description, tags etc into the EXIF data.
The restore functionality was probably always there, it was just too much of an arse for the Flickr admins to carry out a restore procedure and THAT is the fundamental objective many people have to cloud services; Namely that unless you check the T&Cs like a hawk you'll find that there's a loophole that allows them to bung you some free stuff as recompense for deleting a load of your data rather than doing the right thing and restoring it. Sure, you can keep your own backups, but unless this allows you to restore all of the neccesary functionality its intended state, you won't have faith in the solution.
I appreciate you have to put things in perspective. This is flickr, not hosted corporate e-mail or a CMS, but the principle still applies, when you use hosted or cloud services, yours may be a lone angry voice amongst thousands and your service provider may simply decide that a small rebate on your monthly subscription or some other token gesture is cheaper and easier for them than providing a service over which you have total faith and until that rather significant concern is addressed, there will still be a significant proportion of peopler who will insist on running everything internally.
There wouldn't be nearly half as much news if they didn't.
Doubt Flickr's going to be around 25 years though - or if they are, they'll be part of something else, and the new management will forget all about previous agreements such as this...
as interest in Flickr fades over the coming years, they'll eventually make the Pro plan "free" in an attempt to keep somebody, anybody, using to their site. Then, eventually, the site will shutdown.
And for perspective: 12-14 years ago, who thought Geocities would dry up and shut down?
Re: more likely
Actually, who ever thought Geocities served any purpose? Did it have any business plan for making money? Every page looked like crap, contained practically nothing of value, and was a huge hard to navigate mess.
depending on your point of view, how is that so much different than Flickr? "One man's trash is another man's treasure" seems to apply equally well to both sites. Sure, Flickr has consistent navigation that Geocities lacked, but it's still just huge piles of user-generated stuff sitting on the Internet.
RE: Cockups happen
"the new management will forget all about previous agreements such as this..."
What is there to forget? It's not like there will be a Post-it on someone's desk reminding them to extend this guy's subscription each year. All they would have done is fired off a one-off database query that basically looked like this:
UPDATE users SET membership_expiry_date = (current_timestamp + interval '25 years') WHERE username = "bindermichi";
Nothing more needs to be done.
If Flickr did become part of something else it would just merge the membership expiry dates of existing customers into the new system.
RE: Cockups happen (restricted access)
Given this farce it was probably more like:
UPDATE users SET membership_expiry_date = (current_timestamp + interval '25 years') WHERE username = "thewronguser";
oops crap! umm, can't give that user 25 years!
DELETE FROM users WHERE username = "bindermichi";
ah much better, oh wait... umm
email, "sorry again"
p.s. we're very sad
Actually they just upped the expiration date from 2011 to 2015 after the first offer and to 2036 in the second, so there's no way to forget that :)
Didn't one of you Britishers once say ...
... "Much ado about nothing" or words to that effect? Seems to fit here.
That would be William Shakespeare
And it was the name of a play.
For an extra $5 a month we will promise not to acidentaly delete your account, except for when we do.
New El Reg unit of measurement ?
25 years = Flickr lifetime ?
Thumbs up to Flucker, I mean flickr!
Thumbs up to Flucker, I mean flickr!
For Paris, how come my photo's never get deleted?
So their initial frame of mind was to pi$$ on the poor user and remain silent on their ability to make him whole again. Must have been their lunch hour when they made their first statement ... more interested in filling their belly. And now, only since they been made to look like fools and worthless money grubbers have they decided to take some of their precious time and restore his data.
And there are people out there who still think these moronic gutless wonders should be trusted with their data? Oh, this disaster in the making is really going to be fun to watch. Not to mention the hapless users who go down in flames and then display their stupidity to the world.