Recently Potobucket began charging for the use of it’s space for image hosting. They don’t mind if you put your images on there, but if you try to use those same images on eBay or a forum, then you have to pay.
This is the second time I have had a “free hosting” deal suddenly go away. The first time was with the Unholy Brethren of Perdition–also known as Comcast, also known as Xfinity (how many big corporations have aliases?). Comcast used to provide some web storage space when you subscribed to their service. Then, one day, they just yanked it. The excuse given was “nobody uses it.” Whenever somebody pulls a fast one like this, they say “everybody” or “nobody” does this or that, meaning that if you do this or that, you’re nobody.
Now Photobucket has been a creaky old leaky bucket for some time. I had my one and only ransomware infestation from Photobucket. They use their ads (some of them dangerous) to try to “force” users to pay for a subscription. It’s a skeezy business model that somehow reminds me of the slimiest sort of villains–the guys who stand on the sidewalk and try to “entice” you to enter the scummy strip joint or bordello in certain “less reputable” places around the globe.
Now, they must have some software that allows them to easily track your image hosting habits, and so they can twist the screws to make you pay up. It’s all wonderfully Damon Runyan-esque. Heres comes da suckas! Stick ’em wid da subscription fee, Louie!
The only way to enjoy peaceful use of your precious photos is to build your very own cabin in the wilderness and make it work with these two hands. This blog costs money. Not too much, compared to most other hobbies (it’s cheaper, even, than plastic model kits, and that’s cheap) but it’s not free. I chose to set up my own website, not because I’m particularly smart, but because I had delusions of building it up into something. I could just use the free blogging tools at WordPress.com, but I chose to go for the Rockefeller approach, so I would have my very own URL, which now seems a bit lame.
But the un-lame part is that I can store images on here like crazy. Zillions of images could be uploaded and then broadcast to any forum or eBay listing or anything I so desire. It’s not the simplest thing ever, but it’s do-able.
On a WordPress blog like this, WordPress has the ability to manage photos, to some extent. You upload them from within the program and then put them in blog posts, on forums or wherever. The key part of this type of activity is developing a basic understanding of the management of files on servers and learning what goes where. Then, once you understand the address of a file, you can “call” that file by writing down its address and it magically appears wherever you have written the address.
You write out the location of the file, and it is summoned just like a demon in one of those movies where they summon demons. Pretty neat, huh? In the movies, the demons rather boring-ly inhabit just one pentagram, but on the internet summoning can happen a billion times and each time a new copy of the photo appears whenever someone visits your forum post. Incredibly, the number of images is theoretically infinite–while you only took one picture. Paradoxical, isn’t it?
You know, if this were quantum physics I was talking about instead of dumb old internet photos, I’d be on television and have a Nobel Prize by now. Dang.
The key thing to understand here is that somewhere, underneath all the internet magic, there is some real-estate in the real world that somebody has to baby-sit and power up and dust in order for your photos to show up on your forum. It’s not just in the mind of God. It’s in the material world. Usually, people pay for that sort of thing. You can get very inexpensive space on somebody’s computer, but when it’s “free”–watch your back. “Free” means “not free.” Nothin’, my man, is free in this world.