The demise of the blog photo children

Oh no!

My, that IS an eerie blog title.  Thank goodness it’s getting close to Halloween.  You can get away with saying things like that near October 31st.

Here’s the bloggin’ scoop.

Remember the blog–a few weeks ago, wasn’t it?–about how I had received an ominous message from the WordPress site saying that Lake Superior Spirit had “exceeded its upload quota”?  Which means, translated, that there was no more space to post pictures without forking over an additional $20 per year for five more gigabytes of space. 

Since the required “forking over” had already happened on August 1st, I assumed they were in grave error.  All would be righted in the blogging world ASAP.

Alas, you know what happens when you ass-ume, don’t you? 

Here’s how WordPress works.  You get three gigabytes of space free.  That’s all.  Forever and ever more.  You can compress your photos and behave nicely and not use up your three gigs forever. 

Or you can think–wrongly, like me–that it will be a piece of cake to easily purchase your five new gigabytes whenever you please.  I mean–you can spend $20 eating out in an instant, right?

But, alas.  That’s not how it works.  You buy your five gigs.  But that’s only for a year, it turns out.  You have to re-new your five gigs after one year. You’re paying for the space, and renewing it every year.  So you don’t want to buy another $20 this year, because next year you’ll be forking over $40.  And so on.  And so on. 

Don't worry, child, I won't get rid of YOU!

The nice support fella suggested I might want to start deleting photos.  So, in the past month, I have been slowly reading through the least popular posts of all time (and there are 483 posts on this blog alone) and–sob!–deleting my blog photo children.

Honestly, it feels like it sometimes.  How can you choose which of your children to delete?  (Chris and Ki, don’t take offense.  I would never delete one of YOU.)

You look at your photos.  Some of them are obviously immature.  You can tell that right away.  Out you go, dear one, thank you for what you gave!  Some of them are blurry, but you used ’em anyway to make a point.  Goodbye, Pointers!  Some of them are explained in the text.  Even though they might be blurry or immature, you have to keep them, then. 

On it goes!  The deleting, deleting, deleting.

Why does it sometimes feel like our creativity is our child?  And that deleting it is just wrong? 

Sometimes, in Native American or shamanic traditions, the elder will request that the apprentice create something very beautiful.  Hours may be spent making this the most wonderful creation.  Then the elder will say, “Now, let’s hang it in the tree and give it to the earth” or “Now, let’s burn this and give it to the fire.” 

Can you imagine what the artist might initially feel?

It's a scary world, folks...

On a separate note, I am AMAZED at my former appreciation for extra-large photos.  Why did I adore extra-large photos?  Answer:  because that’s the only time I really looked at photos.  But guess what?  My visual discrepancy must be healing because now I can look at smaller photos and truly SEE them.  Kathy’s growing up visually!

Separate note #2:  Unless you compress your photos before uploading into WordPress, the size you post on your blog does not matter in reference to upload space.  Therefore, my large-photo obsession did not result in the use of the gigabytes.  The refusal to compress–which I will continue to do, except on vacation–because I am still in love with non-compressed photos–is part of this chopping frenzy.

I am trying to leave at least one photo child per blog.  To make it visually attractive.  Readers who google will never know that four photo-children once danced happily on that post.  They will ass-ume that this post was a one-child family.  (Tee hee, we’ll never tell, will we?)

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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46 Responses to The demise of the blog photo children

  1. Elisa's Spot says:

    hmm, you could always start a new blog and keep them all! 😀

    • Kathy says:

      Good idea, Elisa, except… When I quit my Opening the door blog, I lost two thirds of my readers. I thought that wouldn’t bother me, but it did. It’s taken too long to regain readership, and don’t want to start all over again.

  2. Sybil says:

    Hmmmm. Elisa has a good idea. What would stop you from just setting up a new Blog each year, with a linked referral ?

    I didn’t know that the size of the image on my Blog doesn’t affect the gigabyte limit.

    I’m on Blogspot and had to pay $5 a few months ago for extra space, but don’t remember how much space. Guess I need to learn more about all this, as I’m not compressing photos, and don’t know HOW to.

    Love today’s images. So appropriate.

    • Kathy says:

      Sybil, you can see my answer to Elisa up above as to starting a new blog every year. I am glad you liked today’s images!! They were FUN to show everyone.

  3. susan says:

    I was attracted to your blog from the Lake Superior connection – we have a summer home in Eagle River, Wisc. and drive up to Lake Superior quite often. Love the U.P.!

    I can only imagine the pain in parting with your photos. I paint, and write, and occasionally have to purge out stuff for lack of space in my home! I already have too much stored away in the basement that is going absolutely nowhere but the trash when we move, haha! So even though I didn’t exactly go thru your pain, trust me, I can relate. Pitching creations is a tough one – no matter what it is!

    Loved your reference to Native Americans. That “give away” keeps life simple and egos in check, not to mention eliminating clutter. I may have to call upon that to de-clutter!

    Hugs,
    Susan

    • Kathy says:

      Susan, I am so happy to have you visit my blog–and glad that you share a love of our Lake Superior and U.P. I am of two minds. Part of me adores the spirit of the give-away and de-cluttering. The other wants to hold on to the creations. Please come by and visit again! Nice to meet you. (There are at least two other Susans commenting here regularly. I seem to attract Susans. That’s because my mom was going to name me Susan but changed her mind at the last minute. LOL!)

  4. Barb says:

    My Blog’s photo essay style would make it hard for me to delete. I paid $5 about a year ago for more space – so far, so good. Many installation artists create spaces that will eventually disappear. (I’m not an installation artist, tho…)

    • Kathy says:

      You are right, Barb. Never thought of an installation artist before. Your blogs photo essay style would INDEED make it challenging to “prune”.

  5. Dawn says:

    I pay Flickr to hold my images, not WordPress. You can link them to the blog from Flickr and still maintain all your available storage.

    • Kathy says:

      I am finally investigating Flickr, Dawn. You and Karma (and maybe some others) have already mentioned this, but I am technologically slow. I see it costs $25 a year for pro. I will still have to pay $20/year for the gigabyte storage space on WordPress. So that would be $45/year. And what happens if you quit blogging? If you don’t pay your Flickr account, I suppose you’ll lose what you’ve published anyway. Wishing I knew if blogging was here to stay with me… But thank you for your good advice! Will keep pondering.

      • Martha Bergin says:

        Kathy, if blogging isn’t here to stay with you, I donno with whom it’s here to stay with at all. Are you asking about whether you’ll ever want to take a breather or hiatus of extended time (a couple of years or something?) I mean, what if you wanted to go live in Tibet? You probably wouldn’t make daily blogging part of that routine. …not sure, but that would be my guess. When we feel like we MUST keep something up forever, it becomes an obligation, not a joy. On the other hand, the net service providers want a regular income, and who can blame them? … (I just paused to think.) We lost Zaadz because of that issue, I think. There needs to be some type of stable economic base to honor the time and work of those who maintain our web places. I think this allows us the freedom to come and go. I’m thinking that if you don’t feel free to write or not write, to keep your pictures or not keep them, then the enterprise of blogging becomes a whole different and less magical enterprise.

        • Kathy says:

          Gosh, Martha, you’re more convinced than I am that blogging is here to stay with me! (But I like the idea of going to live in Tibet for a year…hmmmm…wonder how that would work out? I know Barry won’t be climbing any mountains soon…) And, yes, the web places need a stable economic base. I wish the actual larger picture of how it all works would have been clearer to me. But that’s the learning curve for ya!

  6. Karma says:

    That same $20 a year to Flickr gives you unlimited upload space, dear Kathy! And so easy to put your photos in your blog post from Flickr. You can try it for free – you can store 200 photos for nothing! Think about it my friend.

    • Kathy says:

      Karma, I am thinking about it and actually overcame inertia and traveled over to Flickr to see about it. Please read my response to Dawn up above. I don’t know if pay $45 a year right now is the right thing. Pondering…thank you for your urging. It does sound like a good plan. Wish I’d done it back before buying the first upgrade space back in 8/10 from WordPress.

      • Karma says:

        I may be misunderstanding, but I don’t think you’d have to keep paying WordPress. I don’t pay anything to WordPress.
        An interesting note: if you stop paying Flickr, your latest 200 images are still visible. ALL of your photos are still stored there, you just can’t see the ones before the last 200. If at any time you decide you want to pay them again, all the images magically reappear.
        Another thought: Picasa Web Albums by Google. I used them until my sister bought me a gift subscription to Flickr. You get 1024MB for free, but upgrades for storage space are cheap! I may go back to Picasa when this year with Flickr is up. I just found out that 20GB of space a year is only $5!

        • Kathy says:

          Hey, Karma, I have Picasa already! I use it for photo-editing. Thanks for adding the info about the last 200 Flickr images. But, yes, I think I would have to keep paying WordPress $20 a year now for the 5 GB that I used from 8/10-9/11. That has to be upgraded every year, so it’s $20 from now into infinity. The initial 3 GB were free…but would have to go back and delete 5 GB. Now I’m going to ponder Picasa… Thank you.

  7. Brenda Hardie says:

    Kathy I can certainly understand your sadness over “letting go” of your photo children…it hurts me too when I have to do that…see, I scan my photos (the hard copies from growing up, and many from my Mom) into my computer and edit them if possible (get rid of red eyes, etc) and put them in files. But then I am also working from an ancient computer that does not have a lot of space. So, periodically I have to download pictures onto my flash drive and bring that to my sister’s to copy to a cd. My old computer had a cd burner, this one does not. And while going through the pictures, I have to decide if I should keep the ones that are so blurry that one can barely make out who the people are (and not knowing the people in the picture, would anyone else recognize them in the blurriness?) so sadly, I’ve deleted some of my photo children too. 😦 I keep the hard copies, but occasionally use them in scrapbook gifts. If I could afford ink in my also ancient, but still working perfectly printer, then I could print copies of all the pictures. sigh….
    On the other hand, Elisa has a good idea…a new blog…? That could work for you. Also, what Dawn said about Fickr might work too. I don’t know how all that works but it certainly might be worth looking into.
    And like Susan I appreciate the reference to Native Americans…thinking of offering our creations as a gift back to the earth. Lovely thought ♥
    I, for one, will miss seeing all your pictures though 😦 It was like looking through your window and seeing your world, which you so graciously shared with us. Thank you!

    • Kathy says:

      Brenda, thank you for sharing your deletion/demise stories, too. Please read my response to Elisa and Dawn so you can see what I’m thinking and why I’m hesitating. (But don’t worry, as long as I’m blogging, I’ll still be posting pics. You haven’t seen any demise in the last month have you? That’s how long I’ve been deleting to make room for the new ones.)

      • Brenda Hardie says:

        Whew…thank goodness you’re not going to delete the pictures! I go back every now and then to reread your posts and look at your pictures but I have to say that I find myself most often, going back to your “Opening the Door” series. I loved it so much!
        Gosh I feel so lost when I read about all the options that your friends have suggested. Guess I need to educate myself.
        Sure hope Barry is feeling better!

  8. holessence says:

    Kathy – Just in case you’re not aware, I want you to know that I never — ever — cease to learn from you!

    THANK YOU!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh Laurie, you are an angel to say things like that! Thank you. Don’t you love learning things from folks all the time? Aren’t we the luckiest?

  9. bearyweather says:

    Running out of space would be a scary thing, I don’t want to delete my pictures, either. Here is my little secret for conserving space … I never upload my actual pictures. My actual pictures are between 3.5 and 5 MB (big files). Instead, I upload screenshots of my photos (100-300 KB). The quality seems to be great for such small photo files. For the inquiring mind … 1 Gb = over a million Kb (1,048,576 Kb to be exact).

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you for sharing your secret, bearyweather. It is always so interesting to read what others are doing. I have compressed my pics to small KB, too, but am not as enthused about the quality. My eye doesn’t seem to linger. As a visually challenged person (OK, not as much any more) it has felt more important to put in the larger files. Strange quirk. 🙂

  10. Martha Bergin says:

    Gee, when you delete them, does that mean your text on the blog where the picture was is now…just…(plain old) text? And the pictures are…gone??? (I do like the idea above of linking your pics through Flickr… I mean, that’s what they DO. Images…

    • Kathy says:

      Martha, I couldn’t DO that to the plain text!! No, indeed. That’s why I have left at least 1-2 photos per posting. Otherwise people would run shrieking in dismay screeching, “Where’s the photos? Where’s the photos?” LOL. See my answer to Dawn re the Flickr indecision.

  11. I wish I had thought of this sooner, so you didn’t have to delete any photos…. a way to get around to paying for more space, is to register another blog. Since this one is upwoods, you could name the next one upwoods1, then upwoods2, etc. … and direct your readers to your new blog (and link back to this one ON the new blog)

    • Kathy says:

      Michaela, I discovered that when I registered a new blog (Lake Superior Spirit) after my first blog that I lost at least two thirds of my readers. Some of them were search engine terms, but a great deal of readers did not follow me over here, even though all they had to do is click a link. Sigh. Thanks for the suggestion though!

  12. Dawn says:

    I’ve been pondering this problem all day. Off and on. Because my host asked me several months ago to make my photos smaller as I was rapidly becoming his biggest client and he hadn’t been charging me anything. I offered to pay him something but he never responded. Maybe I could lighten his load if I did the Flicker thing too. Sounds complicated though…and I hate complicated…

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, it sounds like we are in a similar place. Let me know what you decide to do. I am still in one of those in-between places of indecision, although I know I will eventually figure out what’s best! (I hate complicated, too. Although I never know exactly what’s complicated and what just looks challenging because it’s a beginner’s curve.)

  13. Very interesting discussion. I’m not sure why I haven’t run out of space yet, but perhaps it is because I re-size, and often crop, my photos in my old (2005) Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 before uploading them to WordPress. Now it looks like there is a version of Photoshop one can use online – it seems I haven’t kept up with the latest trends..

    I love your Halloween pictures! Hope we get some goblins around here this weekend. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Barbara–and anyone else still reading the comments–I think I have found a temporary solution to these space woes. If you use Microsoft Office Picture Manager (not sure that is its official name) you can compress pics to an appopriate size to fit in documents. (300 KB?) I still like the quality of these photos and can hardly tell a difference and they don’t seem to take up very much space at all.

      Maybe the reason I’ve run out is because I’ve used SO many pics. There are almost 5500 posts on the blog alone…

      Glad you liked the goblin photos!

  14. Robin says:

    Goodness. That’s sad. 😦

    I did enjoy the photos in this post. The images fit in so well with your words.

    • Kathy says:

      I’ve got a new compression plan in life, Robin. Look at my latest post about yellow and orange leaves for Halloween and see if you can tell these pics were all compressed.

  15. Colleen says:

    Hi Kathy! I’ve learned a LOT reading this post and the conversations that have followed but for some reason am having a hard time posting this comment. Third time lucky, here’s hoping…..

    • Kathy says:

      Your third time was a charm! I hear you, loud and clear. Glad you learned about some of the struggles and reconcilliations we blog-folks face. I have found a way to compress my pics to “document” size and feel like they haven’t lost any quality. I have gone back to the beginning of 2010 and am deleting old photos and replacing them with document compressions. It saves a lot of space and I can hardly tell the difference. It’s fun to read the old blogs, too.

      • Colleen says:

        It IS fun to read some of your older blogs. I’ve done this myself. To find the title of a book that was mentioned, or to recall a half-remembered piece of local history or spiritual wisdom that wants passing on. Or to share a photo or something wonderfully funny that you’ve written 🙂

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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