Free versus “Free”

(Spell check chokes, so I’ll misspell) Flicker is free. So is my side project, BexarCountyLine.com. The difference is, I have to fork out money for the domain name, the web hosting, and then, there’s the time update and manipulate web underpinnings, not to mention the pictures themselves. However, there’s a substantial difference, too.

While Flicker has much greater reach, it’s limited, too. “Free” limits the list to 200 – guessing – most recent uploads. While bandwidth and digital storage is getting cheaper by the minute, there’s a catch, too.

Did you read all of the fine print? All of the terms of service?

I looked at it, but I get glassy-eyed after a few moments with a standard contract, the EULA. I’m sure there’s a “hold blameless” clause. I’ve got ’em, for sure.

The other question, I can recall when a friend of a friend, told me to try this new website, called “Google.” The rest is history, right? Likewise, the imminent demise of Yahoo!? Yeah, they own Flicker, last I checked. Me? I have an English degree – you do the math on that one.

The behemoths come and go, and the little guy, like me, the independent, we’re the ones who keep on ticking. There’s a question, now, I have about how to support the “free” service. I know that advertising revenue hasn’t been very much. Even with about billion page views, it’s still not a lot. For the sake of demonstration purposes, I’ll suppose that a website on stable host costs around $80 per annum. Then, unless I’m paying by the year through Register dot com, the name costs $20. That means the total bill is roughly $100 per year. About every ten months, I get a check for $10 – direct advertising revenue. While that revenue spans several websites, most of it, almost a dollar a month, is direct from the side-project alone.

Two regular half-hour readings make up the difference, after applicable taxes are paid. While the site doesn’t really generate 2 readings in a year, I enjoy what I do and it’s worth an hour of my time. It’s a worthwhile endeavor.

In part, the side-project could be titled, “How not to take pictures.” Then, too, when I’m in a mood, it’s the best therapy. A quiet walk in place that inspires awe and wonder? Urban decay and its subsequent renewal? That town – San Antonio – it’s been there longer than the States have been a country.

The rules are simple, to me, in the last five years or so, I’ve accumulated quite a tourist’s eye view of the confines of Bexar County. One picture a day, from within that line. Simple. At that rate, that’s 365 images in a single year, and it’s been going for two – outstrips the Flicker guidelines. There are other free outlets for similar services, but there’s always a catch – someone gets paid for the advertising, and the advertising must pay enough for a profit.

Me? I haven’t seen that. Then, too, not every image is enigmatic, or captivating. Or artistic. Or whatever. Some images only speak to me. For example, Liberty Food Store, a currently abandoned shell, south of downtown, and oddly evocative of (something).

I just suppose that, as a working artist, I can earn some kind of income from the efforts, be it written or other. The images for the web are not the full-blown high-res – although I do have the digital files in all their glorious color and detail.

There are currently a little over a thousand files in the image basket for the side project. Means that there’s three years’ worth, so far. And means it’s way over “free” limits.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ssmith04 Dec 28, 2008 @ 10:51

    I didn’t realize bexarcountyline was your own personal domain. I’ve enjoyed the pictures over the last couple of years or so, some are marvellous little gems and some are just wondering-ful. Why did he take that one? One of the things I find to be most restful and relaxing (dare I say therapeutic?) is to have a day when I just follow my nose, doing or not doing, staying or going, whatever and wherever and for how long it feels right. Most of my life is pretty driven by “gotta do this, gotta do that” so the “follow my nose” days are pretty few and far between and highly prized. I understand about your walks and your picture taking and posting on bexarcountyline. That’s when you follow your nose (good thing you’re not following your ears!–only Cancer people do that).

  • Kramer Dec 28, 2008 @ 20:46

    side project, just for fun, to, most important, amuse myself – tourist’s eye view of place I see frequently.

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